10 Ways To Boost Your Metabolism to Help Lose Weight

Many of us can identify with how challenging it can be to lose weight. Along with cutting calories and increasing physical activity, there are other things we can do to help shed those extra pounds without making it feel like we are depriving ourselves. One of them is enhancing metabolism and our fat-burning power.

Let’s look at 10 things you can start doing right now to kick your metabolism into higher gear so those extra pounds will drop off easier.

Eat breakfast.
When we skip breakfast, we start the day by reducing the number of calories we consume and thus help with weight loss, right? Wrong! Eating a healthy breakfast triggers your metabolism for the day. In a study involving nearly 3,000 adults (National Weight Control Registry), the researchers found that 78 percent of the participants ate breakfast every day, and that there was no difference in caloric intake between those who ate breakfast and the 114 participants (4%) who did not. The authors concluded that “Eating breakfast is a characteristic common to successful weight loss maintainers and may be a factor in their success.”

HIIT it. HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training and it involves exercising full-out for 30 seconds or so, followed by going at a slower pace for 90 seconds, then going full out again. Repeat this cycle five to eight times. The activity can be jumping rope, jogging, rowing, swimming, using an elliptical machine, or rebounding, for example. One beauty of HIIT is that your entire workout can take as little as ten to 15 minutes.

Read more about natural metabolism boosters

Boost your muscles. It’s a fact that muscle burns more energy (calories) than fat. (It also weighs more, but when we build muscle, we also look more toned and have more strength.) That means having more muscle causes your body to use up more calories. Consider adding strength training twice or three times a week to your exercise program.

Go grazing. Some of us feel better if we divide our daily calorie intake into six smaller meals rather than three bigger ones. Grazing on healthy foods six times a day can also help balance blood sugar and energy levels, keep hunger under control, and thus boost weight loss efforts. Simply take your recommended or usual caloric intake and divide it by six, and that’s the amount of calories you should shoot for at each grazing event!

Boycott trans fat. Even though food makers have been told by the Food and Drug Administration to phase out trans fat from their products by June 2018, this unhealthy fat is still in many products. According to Mark Hyman, MD, trans fat can slow metabolism, result in insulin resistance, and trigger inflammation, all of which are bad news if you are trying to lose weight.

Go for more protein. Make sure you get enough protein in your diet, because it can help with weight loss in several ways. For one, your body uses about 10 percent more calories to burn protein than it does fat or carbs. The body also metabolizes protein more slowly than it does carbs or fats, which means you can feel fuller longer and thus less likely to overeat.

Drink green tea. The potent antioxidants in green tea called catechins appear to boost metabolism and help with weight loss, although the results of some studies don’t agree. Among those that do is a meta-analysis of 11 studies in which researchers found that catechins significantly reduced body weight and also significantly maintained body weight after pounds were dropped.

How much green tea should you drink to help with weight loss? The amounts recommended vary, but at least one scientific study noted that three cups daily for three days in a row can burn 106 calories per day. Three cups daily for one year would therefore theoretically burn 38,000 calories.

Read about the natural healing powers of green tea

Stay hydrated. Even a mild case of dehydration can slow down your metabolism, because your body requires enough water to metabolize calories. Drinking pure water is important (about eight 8-oz glasses daily), but the addition of lots of fresh fruits and vegetables is also necessary, because they are good sources of water as well.

Get spicy. Several spices and herbs are known for their ability to kick metabolism into high gear. These include cardamom, chili pepper, cinnamon, ginger, ginseng, mustard seed, and turmeric. Mustard seeds, for example, can boost your metabolic rate by 25 percent. Be sure to include one or more of these calorie burning ingredients when you cook every day.

Choose coconut oil. Can eating fat really result in weight loss? Yes, if it’s a healthy fat such as coconut oil. We can’t lose fat unless we eat fat, and the correct fat to add to your diet for this purpose is a medium-chain saturated fat such as coconut oil. This healthy fat enhances metabolism and promotes fat burning by engaging fat cells.

One study showed that consuming 1 to 2 tablespoons daily of medium-chain fats boosted energy burned by 5 percent, totalling 120 calories per day. Use coconut oil when cooking, drizzled on vegetables, or added to smoothies.

Image via Hamza Butt

Campbell A. How much green tea to drink to lose weight. Calorie Bee 2016 May 17
Dempster J ND. Looking to boost your metabolism? Make sure you do this. Huffington Post 2014 Apr 7
Dulloo AG et al. Twenty-four-hour energy expenditure and urinary catecholamines of humans consuming low-to-moderate amounts of medium-chain triglycerides: a dose-response study in a human respiratory chamber. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1996 Mar; 50(3): 152-58
Food and Drug Administration. The FDA takes step to remove artificial trans fats in processed foods. 2015 Jun 16
Health. The best ways to boost metabolism
Hursel R et al. The effects of green tea on weight loss and weight maintenance: a meta-analysis. International Journal of Obesity (London) 2009 Sep; 33(9): 956-61
Mercola X MD. 10 spices, herbs that aid weight loss. 2012 Nov 26
Wyatt HR et al. Long-term weight loss and breakfast in subjects in the National Weight Control Registry. Obesity Research 2002 Feb; 10(2): 78-82

By Deborah Mitchell| March 13, 2017
Categories:  Live

About the Author

Deborah Mitchell

Deborah Mitchell

Deborah is a freelance health writer who is passionate about animals and the environment. She has authored, co-authored, and written more than 50 books and thousands of articles on a wide range of topics. Currently she lives in Tucson, Arizona. Visit her at deborahmitchellbooks.com.

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