5 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

For weight watchers everywhere, increasing your metabolism is like a Holy Grail; but the speed at which your body burns calories is dependent on many things. Some people are blessed with a genetically speedy metabolism. Even while resting, women burn fewer calories than men. However, for most people, metabolism slows steadily after the age of 40. Even though you can’t control your genetics, age, or gender, there are other ways in which you can boost your metabolism.

There are many different ways to increase your metabolism, but some methods work better than others. Believe it or not, common metabolism tricks may lead to weight gain. Instead of wasting time with misguided advice, stick to what works. We’ll help you sort through the science with our five effective metabolism-boosting strategies to incorporate into your daily life.

Start Early

woman stretching as she gets out of bed
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Start your day by getting a good night’s sleep the night before. Sleep that’s of adequate duration and higher quality is associated with a greater chance of losing weight successfully. It will ensure that you have plenty of energy for your busy schedule.

Greet the day with a morning stretch before breakfast to focus your mind on your health and well-being.

Something as basic as what you wear can influence your subsequent food and movement choices throughout the rest of the day. Choose comfortable clothing that you feel good in. Flexible attire that allows for freedom of motion will enable you to be active as opportunities arise.

Boost Metabolism at Work

Businesswoman in office training with jump rope
For many people, work takes up a significant portion of the day. Don’t discount the importance of keeping your metabolism up at work, especially if you hope to burn enough calories to lose weight.

How can you rev your metabolism on the job? If you work a sedentary job, scheduling mini-activity breaks throughout the day will get you out of your chair and moving more. Regular movement is not only helpful for weight loss but also for boosting your productivity and ability to concentrate on the task at hand.

For lunch, be sure to plan a nutritious meal full of protein and other metabolism-boosting ingredients. Be mindful of your snacking habits by skipping the high-sugar bars and treats that can leave you feeling sluggish. If you’re not hungry, resist the urge to snack out of boredom. Consider a five-minute walking break instead.

Move More at Home

Man kneeling and vacuuming living room
Sofie Delauw / Getty Images

Did you know that you can boost your metabolism while you clean your house? Modify the way that you carry out household chores to increase your range of motion and bump up your heart rate. Depending on how much effort you put in, some housecleaning routines can be just as beneficial as a traditional workout.

Simple changes at home can also help you reduce overeating while infusing more activity into your daily life. Take an extra trip up the stairs, pace around while you chat on the phone, or stand while you work on your laptop to prevent your body from staying sedentary for extended periods.

Eat Smart

Balanced lunchbox with quinoa salad with tomato and cucumber, blue berry and trail mix
Westend61 / Getty Images

You may have heard that certain foods help you burn more calories. Although this is technically true, “metabolism-boosting foods” don’t burn as much as you may think.

The process of chewing, digesting, and storing food requires your body to burn calories. Scientists call this the thermic effect of food or TEF. It makes up only about 5% to 10% of daily calorie expenditure, so it’s important not to overestimate TEF’s benefits for weight loss.

Foods with protein are more difficult to digest and support the growth of muscle mass, especially if you strength train. Your body also has to work harder to chew and break down fiber. Spicing up your food is another way to slightly boost body temperature to burn more calories.

The popular strategy of eating frequently to avoid “starvation mode” may cause weight gain, especially if you end up eating more than your body needs. Combining protein and fiber-rich foods ​curbs hunger cravings for hours after eating, which reduces the urge to overeat.10 Listen to your internal hunger cues to differentiate between true hunger and emotional or mindless eating.


Woman jogging at beach with smartwatch.
Guido Mieth / Getty Images

Exercise is arguably the most effective way to change your metabolism. An intense workout program revs up your metabolic engine for hours following a session.11 Even if you’re new to physical activity, there are lots of benefits to gain by working out as a beginner.

Resistance training that builds muscle is particularly helpful for long-term metabolism-boosting effects. Even beginner-level workouts build strength, burn calories, and improve your health. If you are not ready for vigorous exercise, there’s no reason to shy away from a more low-key workout program.

Final Words

Bumping up your daily activity level can benefit both your metabolism and your overall health and well-being. Start by moving more throughout the day, either through mini-exercise sessions or by simply changing the way you do housework.

Choose foods that give you sustained energy to maximize your metabolism. Unless prescribed by your doctor, watch out for metabolism-boosting pills and potions that promise to work miracles. Learning to work with your body, instead of against it, is the key to finding harmony with healthy living.

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