How to Boost Your Metabolism (According to Science)

how to boost your metabolism

Your body’s basal metabolic rate (metabolism) is the amount of energy it burns while at rest in order to keep the body functioning. Your metabolism actually accounts for 60% to 75% of the calories the body burns in a day. So, speeding up your metabolism is a worthy goal if you’re trying to lose weight! Here are 8 science-backed ways to make it happen:

 

1. Lift Weights:

Strength training is the most effective way to boost your metabolism. One study found that 63% of variation in metabolism among participants was due to fat-free body mass. Of the remainder, 7% was explained by fat mass, 2% was explained by age, 2% was due to error and 26% was unexplained.

metabolism chart

Not surprisingly then, another study found that a 16 week strength training increased metabolism by 7.7% in older men.

 

2. High Intensity Cardio:

We didn’t say it would be easy. Another study found that engaging in 45 minutes of vigorous intensity cycling increased metabolism by 7.8%. Metabolism remained elevated for roughly 14 hours after exercise. High intensity interval training has also been shown to increase metabolism for at least 12 hours post exercise.

 

3. Eat a Low-Carb Diet:

Paradoxically, caloric restriction can actually reduce metabolism by as much as 20%. When you reduce calories, the body thinks it’s experiencing a famine and so it reduces metabolism in order to conserve energy. Smart, but it’s not doing us any favors in this case. However, another study found that consuming a low-carb diet greatly mitigates the reduction. Following a low-glycemic index diet led a moderate decline, while consuming a low-fat diet led to the greatest decline in metabolism.

 

4. Eat More Protein:

Fortunately, another study found that eating a high-protein diet when restricting calories led to no decline in metabolism. However, a high-carbohydrate diet caused significant declines.

 

5. Drink water:

Drinking water can increase metabolism by up to 24%. The peak in the metabolism boost comes 57 minutes after drinking, so be sure to drink water throughout the day.

 

6. Drink Coffee/ Green Tea:

What about beverages? Another study found that 8 mg of caffeine increased metabolism by 16% over a period of 3 hours after consumption. Some studies have also shown green tea and oolong tea can also be effective.

 

7. Eat Spicy Foods:

Spicy foods have also been shown to boost metabolism. Spicy foods also reduce the desire to eat fatty, salty, and sweet foods.

 

8. Get Enough Sleep:

You don’t usually think about sleep when it comes to metabolism or weight loss. However, a study found that sleep deprivation led to a 5% decline in metabolism.

 

9. Put Ice in Your Drinks:

Cooling water to 3° C (37.4° F) caused metabolism to increase by 4.5% over the next hour. It’s not a major effect, but the body burns additional energy as it raises the temperature of the water.

 

10. Habitual Activity:

While not directly impacting your metabolic rate, fidgeting, laughing or otherwise habitually moving more will increase the amount of calories you burn a day.

 

Conclusion:

Raising your metabolism is like having a stream of income that comes in without you having to do much work. It constantly works in your favor. So give a few of these points a shot!

 

Citations:

Acheson, K. J., et al. “Caffeine and coffee: their influence on metabolic rate and substrate utilization in normal weight and obese individuals.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 33.5 (1980): 989-997.

Benedict, Christian, et al. “Acute sleep deprivation reduces energy expenditure in healthy men.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 93.6 (2011): 1229-1236.

Brown, Clive M., Abdul G. Dulloo, and Jean-Pierre Montani. “Water-induced thermogenesis reconsidered: the effects of osmolality and water temperature on energy expenditure after drinking.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 91.9 (2006): 3598-3602.

Buchowski, M. S., et al. “Energy expenditure of genuine laughter.” International journal of obesity 31.1 (2007): 131-137.

Dubnov-Raz, G., et al. “Influence of water drinking on resting energy expenditure in overweight children.” International journal of obesity 35.10 (2011): 1295-1300.

Dulloo, Abdul G., et al. “Efficacy of a green tea extract rich in catechin polyphenols and caffeine in increasing 24-h energy expenditure and fat oxidation in humans.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 70.6 (1999): 1040-1045.

Ebbeling, Cara B., et al. “Effects of dietary composition on energy expenditure during weight-loss maintenance.” jama 307.24 (2012): 2627-2634.

Greer, Beau Kjerulf, et al. “EPOC Comparison Between Isocaloric Bouts of Steady-State Aerobic, Intermittent Aerobic, and Resistance Training.” Research quarterly for exercise and sport 86.2 (2015): 190-195.

Hill, Andrew J. “Does dieting make you fat?.” British Journal of Nutrition 92.S1 (2004): S15-S18.

Johnstone, Alexandra M., et al. “Factors influencing variation in basal metabolic rate include fat-free mass, fat mass, age, and circulating thyroxine but not sex, circulating leptin, or triiodothyronine.” The American journal of clinical nutrition82.5 (2005): 941-948.

Knab, Amy M., et al. “A 45-minute vigorous exercise bout increases metabolic rate for 14 hours.” Med Sci Sports Exerc 43.9 (2011): 1643-8.

Levine, James A., Sara J. Schleusner, and Michael D. Jensen. “Energy expenditure of nonexercise activity.” The American journal of clinical nutrition72.6 (2000): 1451-1454.

Ludy, Mary-Jon, and Richard D. Mattes. “The effects of hedonically acceptable red pepper doses on thermogenesis and appetite.” Physiology & behavior 102.3 (2011): 251-258.

Pratley, R., et al. “Strength training increases resting metabolic rate and norepinephrine levels in healthy 50-to 65-yr-old men.” Journal of Applied Physiology 76.1 (1994): 133-137.

Rumpler, William, et al. “Oolong tea increases metabolic rate and fat oxidation in men.” The Journal of nutrition 131.11 (2001): 2848-2852.

Stiegler, Petra, and Adam Cunliffe. “The role of diet and exercise for the maintenance of fat-free mass and resting metabolic rate during weight loss.”Sports Medicine 36.3 (2006): 239-262.

 

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