7 ways to speed up your metabolism naturally

Metabolism is the set of chemical processes in your body that keep it alive and functioning properly. It’s responsible for turning food into energy and burning calories, that’s why you most likely heard that slow metabolism could sabotage weight loss efforts.

Although there’s more to getting fit than just having a fast metabolism, boosting it can actually facilitate weight loss and help you reach your body goals.

The speed of your metabolism depends on many factors, and some of them are out of your control – like genetics and age. But the good news is that you’re still the one in command here, and your everyday choices can influence how efficient your body burns calories.

Let’s look at 7 ways how you can naturally speed up your metabolism.

1. Drink more water

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Drinking enough water does wonders to your whole body – it helps keep your organs healthy, makes your skin beautiful and youthful, supports proper brain function, and assists in losing weight.

Research shows that drinking 500 ml of water can increase metabolic rate by 30% in healthy adults – and the maximum effect happens after 30-40 minutes.

So keep your body hydrated – drink around 2 liters of water during the day, and you’ll help it burn calories more effectively.

2. Drink green tea

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Green tea is a powerful antioxidant and another facilitator of metabolism that can help you lose or maintain weight, among other benefits.

Research shows that green tea has positive effects on body weight management due to 2 substances it contains – tea catechins and caffeine that can increase metabolism.

It’s also one of the things you can try if you are having a weight-loss plateau to boost the calorie-burning process – just include high-quality green tea in your daily diet.

3. Have a healthy sleep

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Never underestimate a good night’s sleep. It brings a million benefits helping you keep your hormones balanced, stress managed, and yes – weight in check too!

Various studies show that sleep deprivation has a negative impact on metabolism and can potentially lead to obesity and diabetes.  

So, try to have a quality sleep for 7-9 hours every night and be consistent with your sleep schedule for reaching your weight-loss goals. If you’re having problems with getting asleep, try doing a meditation session right before going to bed.

4. Eat more protein

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Protein gives you a feeling of satiety, helps you build muscle, and boosts your metabolism. In fact, your body spends the biggest amount of energy on digesting protein among all macronutrients.

Research proves that fact and suggests that high-protein, low-fat diets could be the optimal choice for those who’re trying to lose weight.

Start having protein shakes as healthy snacks – just mix protein powder with water or plant-based milk and enjoy it when you feel hungry between meals. You can also drink it right before going to bed if you tend to wake up hungry in the middle of the night.

5. Build muscle mass

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Growing muscle requires lots of energy, so working out your muscles helps your body burn more calories even between your training sessions.

And that’s not all – your muscles use more energy than fat while being at rest. So, when you increase your muscle mass and decrease your fat mass, you also increase your metabolic rate, so your body starts to burn more calories, even when resting.

For example, one research demonstrated that muscle metabolism is a major determinant of how much energy your body spends while at rest (= your resting metabolic rate).

6. Do high-intensity interval training

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High-intensity interval training (HIIT) helps you burn more calories than other forms of exercise, so make sure to add this type of exercise to your weight-loss plan.  

For example, studies suggest that by doing a HIIT session on a hydraulic resistance system, you can burn significantly more calories than when exercising with weights, treadmill, or cycling.

And it doesn’t only happen during the exercise, but also after it – research shows that HIIT leads to the largest increase of your post-exercise resting metabolic rate compared to aerobic endurance exercise and high-intensity resistance training.

7. Revise your calorie intake

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It may seem logical that if you just cut your calorie intake, the weight loss will follow. But in reality, you can cause the opposite effect, if you’re not careful.

Let’s say, you decided to consume fewer calories while keeping your physical activity on the same level. Now, your body doesn’t get enough fuel anymore and gets into starvation mode. It tries to preserve precious energy and holds on to your body fat. Your metabolism slows down, and you can even gain weight instead of dropping it.

So, keep in mind that eating too little is as much of an evil as eating too much. Keep track of what you eat during the day and calculate your macros for making proper changes to your diet.

Speeding up your metabolism can be a tricky process, as there are many factors affecting it that you can’t control – from your genes to your age. While we described various ways of how you can influence your metabolic rate, it’s always wise to ask a health professional for help, especially if all your weight-loss efforts don’t lead to the desired result.

Cover photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

Julia Stecher is an award-winning fitness model, professional nutritionist, and certified personal trainer who provides personal training services in Zurich and online.

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