11 Incredible Ways to Boost your Metabolism

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Most people know that having a fast metabolism is good for overall health, but they aren’t sure how to do it. Fortunately, there are a number of effective ways to boost your metabolism, including proper diet, early exercise, increasing omega-3s, working out, adding protein, boosting activity levels, varying caloric intake and many more!

Ways to Boost your Metabolism

The effective ways to boost your metabolism include:

Add Protein

Protein is one of the most important elements in any diet, but it is particularly key in the development of lean muscle. That is the type of muscle that is closely associated with a high metabolic rate. Protein is also harder to digest than fat or carbs; this means the body spends more time (and calories) digesting protein than it does many other elements of your diet. In other words, add protein-rich foods like salmon, red meat, cheese, beans, yogurt and seeds if you want to increase your metabolic efficiency. [1]

Vary Caloric Intake

If your body gets into a routine, it can get lazy, so it’s important to keep your digestive system and metabolic system dynamic and on its toes. The best way to do this is to vary your caloric intake between days, ensuring that your body learns to be adaptable and work harder or less depending on your intake. This will increase your metabolic flexibility, and improve your fat-burning and digestive efficiency. [2]

A woman in gym clothes with a mineral water bottle, looking happy and excited

Vigorous exercise can increase your metabolic rate for hours after exercise. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Exercise More

Research has shown that exercise is one of the most basic ways to improve your metabolic pace. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, your metabolism is going to suffer. Exercising 3-5 times a week is an excellent way to shore up your metabolic rate. Also, if you regularly exercise, but still haven’t seen the improvements you’re looking for, try shorter bursts of activity throughout the day, such as three 15-minute chunks of exercise, rather than one session of 45 minutes. [3]

Eat Enough

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when trying to improve their metabolic speed and lose weight is dieting! The foundation of a good metabolism is an appropriate amount of nutrients and calories in the body. If you cut down too far on your calorie intake, your body may start devouring your muscle tissue for energy, because it is lacking in the nutrients it needs. In other words, improving your metabolic rate can be achieved through calorie reduction, but don’t go too far! [4]

Increase Physical Activity

Even if you regularly exercise, more frequent activity can do wonders for your metabolic rate. For example, if you have a workout in the morning, but then sit at a desk all day, you may very well be undoing all the good that you did in the morning! Ensure that you maintain activity within your body; even climbing the stairs a few times a day, rather than taking the elevator, can give your body the type of constant exertion that keeps your metabolic rate high! [5]

Increase Omega-3 Intake

By increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, you not only help to optimize your metabolism, but also protect heart health and reduce inflammation throughout the body. This can help to increase your anabolic and catabolic rates, while also increasing the function of leptin within the body, which is a hormone directly linked to fat-burning! [6]

Eat Iron-rich Foods

In order to burn fat, the muscles in our body need to be properly oxygenated; that’s also how you are able to increase the duration of your workout and burn as many calories as possible. The only way you can ensure that your body is properly oxygenated is by increasing your intake of iron-rich foods, since that mineral is necessary for the production of red blood cells. Some great iron-rich foods include red meat, seafood, beans and spinach. [7]

An infographic on the best ways to boost metabolism

Eating small meals at regular intervals helps boost metabolism. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Customize your Diet

While eating enough food and ensuring your body gets enough calories is important, you also need to be conscious of how you’re getting to your calorie and food intake goals. You may be someone who works out occasionally, isn’t particularly diligent about what they eat, and are relatively happy with your weight. However, without optimizing your metabolism through proper food choices, like those high in protein and healthy fats, you’ll never be able to reach your health goals! [8]

Choose Organic Foods

Although much of the research is still out on this issue, there are those who believe that the many chemical compounds that are used in processed foods and GMO fruits and vegetables can actually cause obesity in human beings. Some of these preservatives have been coined obesogens, as they are believed to convert normal cells into fat cells and affect the appetite in ways that are detrimental to the metabolism. To prevent this from happening, choose organic foods, without all those potentially dangerous preservatives! [9]

Drink more Milk

Nicotinamide riboside (NR) may not be a molecule that many people have heard of, but it is becoming a very popular word in health circles. Called the miracle molecule by some, this vitamin, closely related to vitamin B3, has been known to speed up fat-burning and give a much-needed bump to your metabolism. This particular molecule can more efficiently turn fat into energy, which is precisely what you want if you’re trying to improve your overall health. [10]

Bring back Snacking

Many people see snacking as a bad thing, as it can interrupt your appetite for more planned, healthy meals and can often take the form of junk food. However, grazing throughout the course of the day can be a great way to keep your digestive system active and working, rather than dumping large amounts of calories into your system all at once, which can make you feel sluggish. Slowly giving your body bursts of energy throughout the day can be a great practice for improving your metabolism, provided that you are snacking on healthy foods, like nuts, raw vegetables and fruit. [11]

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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