8 Things You Must Do to Increase Your Metabolism (Backed by Science)
If you want to increase metabolism, there are few things to do.
The first is to understand how metabolism works. Metabolism refers to the process our bodies absorb food and drink, and convert it to energy.
It’s the constant cellular process that helps that enables us to breathe and do other daily tasks.
Our bodies constantly depend on this process to keep functioning. Even when we’re resting.
Think about it, even at rest, your body still needs to breathe, circulate blood, grow and repair cells.
When we’re not at rest, we’re moving, walking, standing, jogging, squatting. All these activities use energy.
The amount of calories you use for these life-dependent activities is called the basal metabolic rate. This rate varies based on your age, sex and body type.
When your metabolic rate is high, you’re able to convert food to energy faster. And that, in turn, helps you lose weight, feel refreshed and healthier.
Let’s take a look at some of the things you can do to increase your metabolism.
1. Increase your water intake
A study in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research suggests that drinking increases thermogenic effect.
This effect that helps to produce heat in the body increases metabolism.
The researchers observed 50 overweight female participants for eight weeks. The participants drank 500 ml of water, three times a day.
The finding showed a significant decrease in body weight, body mass index and body composition.
Also, researchers in Switzerland reported a link between water and energy expenditure.
They found that drinking cold and room temperature water increases energy expenditure. This enhances thermogenic effects. All this helps to increase your metabolism.
2. Increase the intensity of your exercises (HIIT)
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) alternates between high and low bursts of activity.
It often has higher-intensity activity with lower-intensity activity for recovery or rest
One of the very foremost HIIT studies was presented at the American College of Cardiology’s conference.
The study found that HIIT accelerated body fat loss and increased lean muscle mass gains. Here’s why.
During HIIT, there is the production of lactic acid. This helps to supplement the inadequate oxygen in the body.
Your body produces adrenaline. And this, in turn, helps to in the burning of fat muscle build-up.
After HIIT, the body is still in full metabolism mode trying to replace lost nutrients.
What’s more? All these HIIT-induced changes in the body help to increase fat loss and energy expenditure.
The gains last several hours after working out. And this, in turn, helps you lose belly fat.
3. Increase muscle mass
Muscles, in general, are vital for our metabolic fitness and everyday life. Activities such as walking, running, standing and carrying grocery bags use muscles.
Several studies show that muscles are critical for resting energy expenditure.
Take for example these two studies in the Journal of Clinical Investigation and Metabolism.
The findings suggest that the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn at rest.
With aging, you lose muscle mass.
After the age of 3, you lose muscles between 3 and 5 percent per decade. And men will lose up to 3% of their muscles during their lifetime.
But strength training helps. And no, I’m not talking about bulking up like The Rock. Gain a bit more lean muscles.
One way to build lean muscle it to do strength training. Strength training helps build muscle mass and improve bone strength.
The key to strength training is volume.
Volume in strength training, according to researchers, is measured in three ways:
- total number of sets to failure
- total number of reps (sets x reps)
- volume load (sets x reps x weight).
The volume is the number of stimulating reps that you can perform for a muscle group in each set.
If you’re just starting, do it safely. Start with small sets and small reps. And as you build more strength, you can add more. Don’t rush it. Ever.
One of our favorite strenth training techniques is the 5×5 technique. It includes a routine of:
- Barbell Squat: 5 sets of 5 reps
- Barbell Bench Press: 5 sets of 5 reps
- Bent-Over Barbell Row (or Overhead Press): 5 sets of 5 reps
4. Increase your intake of green tea
Herbal tea has long had powerful health effects enjoyed by many cultures for several years.
It’s only in recent times that research is beginning to confirm some of these benefits.
Green tea comes from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant. Unlike black tea, green tea is from the smaller-leafed variety of the plant native to China.
Studies show that drinking green tea increases the metabolic rate and boosts the fat-burning process.
In one study, drinking green tea resulted in a 4 percent increase in energy usage. Another study showed that it increases fat oxidation by 17 percent.
5. Increase the time you spend standing
Physical activity is important in stopping weight gain.
And it doesn’t have to be revolutionary activities. Something as simple as standing instead of sitting can help you burn more calories and lose belly fat.
How? Standing helps burns a lot of calories while doing so.
Take for example an estimate from the National Institutes of Health. If you’re an average weight of 170 lb, here’s you are likely to burn:
- 134 calories sitting
- 206 calories standing
- 296 calories walking at a moderate pace
- 341 calories walking briskly
Moreover, choosing to stand more than sitting can also provide back pain relief. It helps you to perform more advanced exercises to gain strength.
6. Increase your protein intake
Proteins supply energy to our body. They contain calories/gram, which is equal to carbs. In the long, fasting state, proteins are very helpful.
Thousands of chemical reactions are the resultants of enzymes, which are proteins. Enzymes are essential for bodily functions, including digestion and blood clotting.
The effect of eating more protein is that it boosts your metabolism by reducing muscle loss.
A study by the Harvard School of Public Health found something compelling.
Researchers found that high protein diets increase metabolism. This is because they significantly increase thermogenesis and satiety which helps in weight loss and fat burn.
Another study enrolled 20 athletes. Researchers found that energy protein helped maintain lean body mass
7. Increase your sleep hours and quality
Contrary to what people think, you can’t catch on sleep. If you’re compromising your sleep quality, your health ends up paying for it.
Poor sleep and sleep deprivation make you more vulnerable to diseases and bad decisions.
In one study, researchers enrolled 12 men and only allowed them 4 hours of sleep.
This sleep deprivation caused them to eat an average of 559 more calories the next day.
Sleep deprivation increases appetite. When not checked, raging appetite can lead to making bad food choices.
In another study, researchers investigated reduced sleep and weight gain in women. The researchers observed 60,000 non-obese nurses over 16 years.
The findings were compelling.
Nurses who slept five hours or less each night were 15 percent more likely to be obese than those who had at least seven hours of sleep.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, consider making little changes to help you sleep better at night. For example, keep a regular sleep schedule or even adjust your sleeping position.
8. Increase your use of coconut oil
Coconut oil can help in digestion by dissolving fat-soluble vitamins and minerals into the body.
Coconut oil is also rich in MCTs or medium-chain triglycerides (fats).
Research in the American Journal of Nutrition suggests that medium-chain fats can help increase metabolism by up to 12 percent. Long-chain fats only boost metabolism by about 4 percent.
The MCTs help in providing short energy bursts to the body as they affect the liver directly.
Whether it’s cooking or adding to your favorite recipe, coconut can be a good metabolic booster.