Apart from eating a proper diet, boosting your metabolic rate is the key to healthy weight loss.
Increasing the rate of your metabolism will burn your fat faster so that you lose weight and improve your general health. And you should increase your metabolism in a way that’s healthy, consistent and permanent.
If you’re ready to speed up your body’s fat burning ability, we’ve got 20 ways to boost that metabolism to help you drop those excess pounds fast!
1. Eat healthy fats
A lot of people think that they need to cut out all fat from their diet to lose weight, but that’s not true. You need fats to be healthy – just make sure that they’re healthy fats. By consuming fats like omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats, you’re eating foods that help to increase your metabolism.
You’ll find healthy fats in foods like avocados, nuts and seeds, fatty fish like salmon and in oils like olive and canola.
2. Eat food rich in protein
Protein is important in a number of ways when losing weight.
First of all, it helps boost your metabolism because it’s extra work for your body to process it. Second, it helps with maintaining your muscle mass – and muscles burn more calories than fat does. Finally, eating foods that are rich in protein helps to satiate your hunger, allowing you to go longer between meals without feeling hungry.
Get healthy protein from turkey and chicken, lean pork, egg whites, and low fat dairy products.
3. Eat dark green leafy vegetables
Veggies like spinach, kale, and broccoli give your metabolism an impressive boost because they step-up your digestion.
Dark green leafy veggies are also high in iron – which is very important for women! They strengthen your red blood cells, which supply nutrients to your whole body.
4. Savour hot and spicy foods
There have been more than a few studies in the last few years showing that spicy foods can help increase your body’s ability to burn fat.
The chemical capsaicin, found in spicy peppers like jalapenos and chili peppers, increases the body’s temperature in a process known as thermogenesis, which some say helps burn fat faster.
5. Eat an apple a day
Apples are one of nature’s greatest gifts to us. Apples are full of vitamins and high in fiber – so not only do they boost your metabolism, they help decrease hunger pangs, decrease between meal cravings and improve your digestion.
6. Drink green tea
Researchers just keep learning more and more good things about green tea. An active ingredient in green tea called catechins helps speed up your metabolism – one reason it’s often called “dieter’s tea”.
Green tea also is also full of antioxidants, which cleanse the body and help prevent some kinds of cancer.
7. Drink lots of plain water
Just by increasing your intake of water, you can boost your metabolic rate by as much as 30%! The standard rule is to drink eight 8 oz glasses each day, although your needs may vary depending on activity level and a few other factors.
Can’t stand water? Drink sparkling water with a twist of lemon or lime juice.
8. Avoid late night eating
Avoid eating anything within a few hours of going to bed. When you sleep, your metabolism slows down because your body doesn’t need any energy. Instead, it turns any unneeded food into fat for storage!
Studies show that people who eat late at night have a harder time losing weight than those who don’t – even when they ate the same number of calories overall.
9. Reduce stress
Stress plays a big role in weight loss. When your body is in any kind of stress, it tries to hold on to extra fat because it assumes hard times are on the way – minimize stress through relaxation techniques and exercise to keep that fat melting away.
10. Use extra virgin olive oil in your cooking
Healthy monounsaturated fats like olive oil can actually help the body to burn calories. Extra virgin olive oil may also increase blood levels of serotonin, a hormone associated with satiety. Plus, olive oil is also loaded with polyphenols, antioxidants that help battle many diseases such as cancer, osteoporosis and brain deterioration.
11. Eat an egg yolk
Although it’s true that egg whites are low in calories, fat free and contain most of the protein found in an egg, eating the entire egg is beneficial to your metabolism. The yolk contains many metabolism-stoking nutrients, including fat-soluble vitamins, essential fatty acids and — most significantly — choline, a powerful compound that attacks the gene mechanism that triggers your body to store fat around your liver. Worried about cholesterol? New studies have found that moderate consumption of two whole eggs per day has no negative effect of a person’s lipid (fat) profile and may actually improve it.
12. Eat carbs at night
The theory makes sense: Your body burns carbs for energy, but if you eat them before you go to sleep, your body just stores them as fat. But the pastanomics of weight loss aren’t so simple. One study in the European Journal of Nutrition put two groups of men on identical weight loss diets. The only difference? Half of the group ate their carbs throughout the day while the second group reserved carbohydrates for nighttime. The result? The nighttime carb group showed a significantly higher diet-induced thermogenesis (meaning they burned more calories digesting their food the next day). Moreover, the daytime-carb group showed increased blood sugar levels. Another study in the journal Obesity saw similar results. Nighttime carb eaters lost 27 percent more body fat—and felt 13.7 percent fuller—than those on the standard diet.
13. Drink full fat milk
Studies conducted at The Nutrition Institute at the University of Tennessee suggest that consuming calcium — which milk has plenty of — may help your body metabolize fat more efficiently. Other studies have shown that increased calcium intake from dairy products (though not from supplemental calcium carbonate) caused study participants to poop out more fat as opposed to it sticking around on the body.
14. Choose whole grains
It takes the body extra effort to break down whole grains than more refined and processed grains, like the flour ordinarily used to make bread and pasta. You can help keep your metabolic rate elevated by consuming foods that the body has to work harder to digest. Your go-tos are whole foods that are also rich in fiber. We’re talking brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, sprouted grain breads, etc.
15. Eat garlic
Recent studies have shown that garlic supports blood-sugar metabolism and helps control lipid (fat) levels in the blood. Adding garlic to foods that are rich in fats and carbohydrates may keep those substances from doing the damage they’re known to do. What’s more, eating garlic can help boost your immune system, help ward off heart disease, fight inflammation and lower blood pressure—to name a few.
16. Skip diet soda
Yeah, yeah, it has zero calories, but drinking diet soda may yet play havoc with your goal of having a flat belly. Research published in the journal Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism shows that artificially sweetened beverages may screw up the body’s normal metabolic response to sugar, actually increasing appetite! Increasingly, diet drinks are being linked with weight gain, metabolic syndrome and a host of other ills.
17. Nibble on dark chocolate
In a study by Swiss and German researchers, lucky participants ate about 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate daily for two weeks. Ultimately, these chocolate nibblers had lower stress-hormone levels and a more regulated metabolism than a control group. Scientists speculate that chemicals in cocoa, such as flavonoids, play a role in regulating metabolism by alleviating stress that can cause your fat-burning engines to go on the fritz. Should you think this is a license to go wild, take heed: We’re talking small amounts of high-quality dark chocolate. Researchers say 1.5 ounces is enough.
18. Drink oolong tea
This antioxidant-rich traditional Chinese tea not only helps keep cholesterol levels in check and aids digestion, it can also help rev up your metabolism. Like green tea, oolong is packed with catechins, which boost weight loss efforts by improving the body’s ability to metabolize fat. A study in the Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine found that participants who regularly sipped oolong tea lost six pounds over the course of the six-week time period. That’s a pound a week!
19. Eat lentils daily
Iron deficiency affects more than 1 in 5 women in the US. Being deficient in essential minerals can show up in all kinds of ways but an iron deficiency can also be a blow for getting into your skinny jeans with relative ease. See, your body can’t work as efficiently to burn calories when it doesn’t have what it needs to work properly. A cup of lentils, it turns out, provides over a third of your daily iron needs. Legumes like lentils also have been shown to drive down bad cholesterol and blood pressure.
20. Eat whole foods
The smoothie revolution is here, and lots of people are swilling down bushels of leafy greens. Believe it or not, there’s a downside to this ingenious delivery method. A big part of the body’s job — breaking down food so that the body can absorb nutrients — has been outsourced to our Nutribullets and Vitamixes. That means that the body is expending much less energy than it would if we were eating kale, spinach and bananas in their solid form. Smoothies are great for weight loss, but by prioritizing lean meats, fish, fibrous vegetables and fruit, you are driving up TEF (Thermic Effect of Food) and expending more calories on digestion. If you need a sensible guide to a whole foods diet, take a look at the Cruise Control Diet, a whole foods eating approach to weight loss.