Can we really do anything to help our body burn calories faster?
To answer this question, it helps to understand a little about how our metabolism works. The metabolic process involves a complex network of hormones and enzymes that not only convert food into fuel, but also affect how efficiently you burn that fuel.
How fast you burn calories is influenced by:
a) your age - metabolism naturally slows about 5% per decade after age 40;
b) your gender - men generally burn more calories at rest than women;
c) the proportion of lean body mass - the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate tends to be.
And in the “life-isn’t-always-fair” category: heredity makes a difference, so some of us inherently have faster metabolic rates than others.
The good news is even if you weren’t born with “skinny genes,” there are things you can do to increase your body’s ability to burn calories faster.
While there’s no magic metabolism bullet, there are a few strategies besides exercise that have been shown in scientific studies to help boost your metabolic rate. We give you 8 simple rules to follow to boost your metabolism.
1. Eat more often
The strategy here is not “eat more,” just more often. Small, frequent meals help keep your metabolism in high gear, and that means you’ll burn more calories overall. When you put too many hours between meals, your metabolism actually slows down to compensate.
2. Eat more protein
The body digests protein much slower than carbs and fats, which makes you feel fuller for longer. This means the body uses up more energy breaking the protein down and extracting the nutrients, giving your metabolism a boost.
3. Get some muscle
Not only is muscle heavier than fat, but it also uses up more energy. Increasing your strength and residence training means you are re-setting your base metabolism to a higher rate. This means that your body will burn more calories, even on the days you are not exercising.
4. Eat little
Eating small portions of healthy food throughout the day keeps your metabolism going buy keeping your blood sugar levels stable. It also prevents large spikes in insulin which can result in a slower metabolism.
5. Never skip breakfast
Eating a healthy breakfast as soon as you get up in the morning literally kick starts your metabolism for the day ahead. Think of it like re-fueling a car.
6. Get enough sleep
Sleep regulates your hormones and keeps your metabolism running the way it should. When you don't get enough sleep, this can interrupt your body’s ability to regulate both. A decrease in quality sleep can decrease insulin resistance and increase appetite, too. Getting enough sleep is important to staying balanced and regulating your metabolism.
7. Drink before you eat
Drinking two glasses of water before every meal helped dieters lose an average of 15.5 pounds (five pounds more than the non-water drinkers) over three months in a study presented at the American Chemical Society’s annual conference.
8. Brew A Cup Of Coffee
Caffeine’s ability to speed up the central nervous system makes it a powerful metabolism booster. Coffee has been shown to improve energy levels during exercise, especially endurance activity, and help people work harder longer, which therefore burns more calories. Drinking coffee after a workout can also be beneficial. Consuming caffeine after exercise increased muscle glycogen by 66 percent in endurance athletes, enabling them to more quickly replenish energy stores used through exercise, according to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.