Have you been struggling to lose weight? Do you think you’re suffering from a slow metabolism? Read on to find out some simple changes you can make to your daily life to speed up metabolism.
Speeding up your metabolism isn’t something that will happen at the click of a finger. It takes time and consistency. A reasonable timeframe would be around 3 months, but for some people, it could take more or less time than this. It will depend on what your metabolic rate was to start with.
In this article, we will be going into more detail about how to speed up your metabolism. Although it does involve some lifestyle changes, none of them should be too restrictive – and the best part is, it doesn’t involve any crash diets or insane workouts.
Can you speed up your metabolism?
Speeding up your metabolism is a slow process, and unfortunately, it is much easier to reduce it than speed it up. Although you can make natural changes that will somewhat improve your metabolic rate, you cannot change it completely. It may be annoying, but a fast metabolism majoritively comes down to the luck of the cards.
With consistent effort, it will take around 3 months before you can expect to see any changes in your metabolism. Since it takes so much time, it can be easy to feel as though it’s not working and give up. Just be patient, and remember that weight loss doesn’t happen overnight.
Bear in mind that this is not a guaranteed time frame. It can vary based on the following;
- Your diet
- Your activity level
- Your health status
Some people may find that their metabolic rate increases quickly, but don’t worry if it doesn’t. Rather than seeing this as a quick fix, you should instead focus on building up a health-promoted lifestyle.
In the next section, we have included some of the best ways you can speed up your metabolism.
What can you do to speed up your metabolism?
Your body is constantly burning calories, even when you’re just resting. However, people with a higher muscle mass will burn more than those with a lower one.
Building muscle is key to speeding up your metabolism. Fat will only burn around 1 or 2 calories per pound, whereas muscle can burn anywhere from 7 to 10 calories per pound. It may seem like a small difference, but it does build up over time.
Some of the best ways to increase muscle include weight training or resistance training. There are also plenty of home workouts you can do that focus on toning and targeting certain muscle areas such as abs, arms, or legs.
Do HIIT workouts
Although HIIT may not build muscle, it does cause a rise in your metabolic rate for several hours even after you’ve finished your workout. The idea is to push yourself to the limit, but for a short period of time. HIIT workouts will deliver a bigger, longer rise in your resting metabolic rate than prolonged, or low-medium intensity workouts. Even basic cardio such as running will only burn calories when you’re actually active.
Move your body
Moving around, in general, will help your body to burn calories faster. If you notice that you’ve been sitting down for a long period of time, just stand up and take a little walk. It doesn’t need to be far, just down the end of the street or through your house, but enough to reset yourself.
Seated jobs are one of the biggest impactors on health and fitness, and it actually puts your body under a lot of strain by being stagnant for too long. You can even practice moving at your desk. Every few hours, stand up for 5 minutes and repeat.
Your brain can often confuse hunger with thirst. So sometimes, when you feel like you need to eat, you’re actually just dehydrated. If you are even slightly dehydrated, your metabolism will slow down.
Drinking water throughout the day also helps to flush food through your body faster, so you can digest it quicker. If you drink a glass of water before a meal, it can make you feel fuller so you’re less likely to overeat. Daily, you should be drinking around 8 glasses of water.
Drink coffee (within reason)
This is great news for coffee lovers everywhere. As well as the energy boost, another of coffee’s perks is that it can cause a short-term rise in your metabolic rate – it will also benefit you by helping you feel fuller. Coffee can increase the amount of healthy fat cells in your body, known as brown fat cells, which help reduce bad fat cells. The best time to drink coffee is first thing in the morning.
Increase your protein
It takes more effort for your body to burn protein than it does to burn fat or carbohydrate, meaning it also burns more calories. Try and add a little protein to each of your meals, such as eggs, dairy, lean meats, tofu, or seafood. Protein-rich foods can boost your metabolism during mealtimes, but also keep you fuller for longer.
Drink green tea
We have already discussed the benefits of caffeine from drinking coffee, but green tea does one better. Green tea combines caffeine with catechins, known as a popular anti-inflammatory remedy for illnesses such as IBS. These substances together can increase your metabolic rate for several hours. Furthermore, people who drink green tea on a daily basis can burn 17% more calories than those who don’t when exercising.
Eat spicy foods
Many spices contain chemicals such as capsaicin that can naturally push your metabolism into a higher gear. You will only need to add a tablespoon of green or red chilli peppers to your meal to give your metabolic rate a boost. The bad news is that the effects are only temporary. However, if you eat spicy dishes on a regular basis, the results will start to show.
Get enough fibre
It may seem strange that fibre could somehow lead to weight loss, but, it just might. Fibre is indigestible, however, our bodies will still try to digest it, which in turn expels more calories. Soluble fibres will take in water as it passes through your system, which makes you feel fuller, and insoluble fibres simply help us pass through food.
Crash diets have become somewhat of a trend, and far too many men and women try them believing that is the only way they will lose weight. But actually, it’s only causing your body more harm. Your body doesn’t care if it’s ‘summer ready’, it cares if it’s healthy and been fed. If you deprive your body of food, it will hold onto pre-existing and new fat and store it to prevent starvation.
In the short run, you may lose a few pounds, but as soon as you try to eat normally again you will gain it back. It will slow your metabolism as your body lacks nutrition and loses muscle. Eating small amounts at 3 to 4-hour intervals keeps your body constantly working, burning more calories without stretching your stomach.
Get sufficient sleep
Just as it does when dehydrated, your metabolic rate also slows down when you are sleep deprived. This is not directly caused by sleep, but because of hormone imbalances in your body. Lack of sleep can make you feel hungrier throughout the day by affecting the ghrelin hormone and causing sugar cravings from the leptin hormone.
Getting 8 hours of sleep per night is recommended for a reason. I know, this can be easier said than done. With work life, home life, and social life, you feel like you hardly have any time left to sleep. But given how important it is, sleep should not be the category that takes the backseat. Each night, before going to bed, take an hour or so to unwind and relax. If your mind is ready to sleep, your body will be too.
Your body burns more calories when it’s cold than it does when it’s hot. We mentioned brown fat earlier and its benefits, but brown fats are particularly good at thermogenesis. When you’re chilly, your thermogenesis increases by up to 30%, therefore burning more calories.
This doesn’t mean that you need to freeze yourself, instead, just turn the heating off for a couple of hours per day and allow your body to cool down. You can also exercise outdoors when it’s chilly or take a cold shower.
As you can see, speeding up your metabolism is a long process, but it shouldn’t be too challenging. With some simple changes to your exercise routine, eating habits, and general lifestyle, you should start to notice some changes within a few months.
Remember, a fast metabolic rate is not something you can magic up, and whether you have one or not really comes down to luck. You cannot completely change your metabolism, but you can make adjustments to improve it.