Almost every person who has recently taken up a healthy lifestyle wants to learn how to increase metabolism for weight loss. You are reading this because you are also in search of answers to metabolism-boosting foods and just how to increase metabolism and burn fat fast.
I also was on this path that you find yourself. Let me tell you about my short story.
During my teenage years, my metabolism was lightning fast. I would eat a meal meant for 5 people, and the episode would never result in fat sitting on my hips, the tummy, or thighs.
I was like Wonder Woman, tall and curvy in all the right places, and eating the tastiest chocolate, rich desserts, and just about everything that screamed high-calorie and yummy. Life was good, I tell you.
Fast forward to my mid-twenties and the birth of my first baby. Boy, did things change fast? I would pick up 5 pounds by just looking at food! Never mention eating chocolate or cake.
This was devastating I tell you. So I decided to accept my fate but also sought how to increase my metabolism rate permanently so that I could lose the extra weight I picked up, and still enjoy food.
I learned what works and what simply doesn’t. I am now going to share with you the best ways to increase metabolism for weight loss.
You can check out how I ended up losing all the extra pounds here: How I Lost Weight (7 Weight Loss Tips That Work)
How to increase metabolism for weight loss
So, what exactly is metabolism?
The Mayo Clinic defines metabolism as the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. The body expends energy even when you are at rest.
What this means is that you burn calories even by just sitting on the couch all day. However, the calories burned are enough to help you lose weight. To torch calories for weight loss, you have to boost metabolism especially if you have a slow metabolism.
What causes metabolism to slow down?
Several factors slow down your metabolism. Some of it, you have no control over, while some are because of your own doing.
Genetics can have an impact on your weight. You can either have a slow or fast metabolism purely because of your genes. So, as you can see, this one you have no control over.
The older you grow, the more sluggish your metabolism becomes. After the age of 30, things really starting going south pretty fast. You start to burn calories at a slower rate.
Also, your mass decreases the older you grow. This then explains all that unpleasant sagging that happens after hitting the big 30.
From this point, losing weight becomes harder, while pilling it on becomes easy. Sigh.
If you want to know how to increase metabolism rate permanently, now is the perfect time to lift heavy things. If you are a woman and believe the weight room in the gym is for men only, you need to put down the pink weights and start lifting heavy.
Lifting weights will not make you huge or turn you into the incredible hulk. Don’t believe me? Read more in this science-based article, which digs deeper into why women should lift weights.
Science explains and proves the more muscle mass you have, the more fat you will torch. This is because muscle building and maintenance requires more energy.
Your level of activity
This one is easy. The more active you are, the more calories you burn.
Your thyroid function
An overactive or underactive thyroid could have an impact on your metabolism. When your thyroid does not produce enough of the hormone, the body’s basal metabolic rate will slow down.
When you have hypothyroidism, your body will convert food into energy at a reduced rate, which will lead to weight gain.
*This post may include affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure here
Men generally burn more calories than women because they have a higher percentage of muscle mass. So ladies, again- lift those weights, you won’t get bulky!
9 ways to increase metabolism for weight loss and burn fat fast
Since you can’t do anything about your age, genetics, or gender (if you can, that’s awesome), there are a few changes you can make to help you boost your metabolism. Let’s go over them:
1. Exercise regularly
We are not asking you to spend hours on the treadmill, or Stairmaster. If you are completely new to fitness, you can get things moving it by doing moderate exercises for at least 20 minutes, 3-5 days a week.
However, if you are more advanced, and can handle a high-intensity level of exercise, then you absolutely should step it up a notch, and include High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), into your workout routine, instead of doing steady, low-intensity exercises.
HIIT is effective in burning fat fast in a short period, as it elevates your heart rate twice as much as moderate exercise. And, if you are short on time, a 15 minute HIIT session can help you burn up to 150 calories if done correctly.
Another better way to turn your body into a fat-burning machine is to stimulate muscle growth by lifting weights. This brings us to our next tip to skyrocket the metabolism rate.
2. Lift weights to build muscle mass
As mentioned earlier, you can fix your metabolism by increasing muscle mass- the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even when you are at rest.
While you can’t turn fat into muscle, and vice versa, you can lose fat and gain muscle by following a protein-rich diet and including strength training into your workout plan.
If you are a woman, there is no reason to be afraid to play with iron; you will not get bulky unless you are eating more calories than you actually burning.
You should not only target a specific area of your body, such as your legs, to build muscle but, rather follow a strength training workout plan that includes all major muscle groups.
3. Eat more to boost metabolism
When you eat fewer calories than your body actually needs, your metabolism will slow down. It’s very easy for someone on a weight loss journey to drastically lower calories and exercise more to lose weight fast.
Cutting calories, however, will hurt your metabolism as your body will go into starvation prevention mode by slowing down the metabolic rate.
Eating a well-balanced diet that doesn’t cut out food groups such as carbs, is highly recommended when you are dieting to lose weight.
You should calculate how many calories you should be eating to lose, maintain, or gain weight using calorie calculators like MyFitnessPal.
Learn how to lose weight the healthy way here.
4. Get enough sleep
As proven by science, when you lose sleep, you gain weight. Scientists have found that when one is sleep-deprived, the normal function of appetite-regulating hormones is interrupted.
When you sleep for less than 5 hours, the hunger-suppressing hormone leptin falls, while the hunger-stimulating hormone, ghrelin, spikes.
When this happens, your body will crave snacks rich in carbs rather than a healthy meal. This is according to a study to determine the link between short sleep and Obesity, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Metabolism-boosting foods and drinks
There are certain foods and drinks that help things along and speed up metabolism.
5. Eat chilli peppers
Now is the time to start spicing up your meals with chilli peppers. Chilli contains the compound Capsaicin which is known to temporally raise the body temperature and help burn fat.
If you don’t normally eat spicy foods, adding chilli to your food will help to curb your appetite as well as increase energy expenditure. You should stock up on peppers and spices like jalapeños, red peppers, Tobasco sauce, cayenne, and turmeric.
6. Eat foods rich in iron
I mentioned earlier that the thyroid plays a huge role in regulating metabolism. When you have an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), it means that the thyroid gland isn’t able to produce certain hormones. This condition may lead to weight gain, obesity as well as other health issues.
If you suffer from hypothyroidism, it is important to include iodine-rich foods in your diet.
The daily recommended dose of iodine for an adult is 150 micrograms (mcg).
Foods that are rich in iodine include:
- Pumpkin seeds
Please note that you should consult your doctor before taking iron supplements as too much of it can suppress tour thyroid function.
7. Green tea revs up metabolism
Green tea contains caffeine and EGCG that is known to increase metabolism and help you lose weight, which is why you will usually find green tea extracts in most fat burners.
8. Chug coffee
In order to increase your metabolic rate, you should be drinking 1-3 cups of coffee a day. If drinking coffee is not really your thing but want to reap the benefits, you can get the same metabolism effects from taking caffeine pills
While caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and speeds up your metabolic rate, you should remember that the longer you consume caffeine, the less effective it will become. If you can, avoid putting sugar and cream in your coffee as that adds extra calories.
Final thoughts on how to increase metabolism for weight loss
9. Drink water
All the remedies will work to speed up metabolism for weight loss. However, one metabolism booster that people often overlook is water.
Instead of having a sweet beverage to wash down your meal, drink water. Drink water more than you usually do, and you’ll be surprised at how this changes how your body feels, and how full you feel for longer.
Staying hydrated by drinking at least 2 litres of water a day, will also help your body burn fat faster.