28 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

English: Containers of coconut oil and flax oil
English: Containers of coconut oil and flax oil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Decided to post a useful entry today: how to boost your metabolism.  I’m still learning stuff on this, and there is, of course, some controversy.  Some say metabolism is the problem, others say that a very tiny amount of people actually have problems with it.  Either way, here are tips I’ve picked up from a clinical dietician and some articles and things I’ve read in my research.  I haven’t tried all of them, either, so no guarantees, but hopefully they’ll help someone!

  1. Get enough sleep.  Simple, but not easy to do.  Make it a priority, though–your entire health will benefit, not just your metabolism!
  2. Eat the right amounts of the right fats.  Cut out trans fats, of course, but make sure you consume some fats–your body needs it!
  3. Eat a hearty breakfast every day–always include protein!
  4. Eat protein with all caloric intake.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, midnight feeding frenzy…whatever it is, make sure some of those calories are from protein!
  5. Work out first thing in the morning–this helps boost your metabolism first thing, and supposedly does better to maintain a higher metabolism throughout the day.
  6. Drink enough water daily.  Everyone is a little different, so I can’t recommend a specific amount, though my personal target is 16 8oz. glasses a day.  This water, however, includes milks, juice, non-caffeinated tea (not decaf–decaf still contains caffeine), etc.  It’s all water based.  However, I do aim for 85-90% of that intake to be straight up water.
  7. Don’t just work out–be active.  Like stand instead of sit.  Walk instead of stand (like pacing while you’re on the phone, for example).  Make sure your activity level is as high as possible throughout the entire day (especially you desk jockeys!) to keep your health, metabolism and energy up.
  8. Eat small meals/snacks every 3 hours.  By small, I mean 100-250 calories at a time.  Obviously some meals will be more like 400 calories, but that means you make the others smaller.
  9. Interval training throughout the week.  It doesn’t have to be every work out, but you need to do high intensity intervals to keep your calorie burning machine cranked up more–studies even show with this kind of training, you continue to burn fat after the work-out.
  10. Weight/strength training throughout the week.  This also increases metabolism and your fat burning ability, not only because of the exercise and the fact that you’re building muscle, but because it increases your fat burning ability after working out, even more so than interval training.
  11. Increase your protein intake!  Just eat lots of lean protein, seriously.
  12. Cut back (but don’t eliminate) carbs.  Duh, but for those of us with snail-like metabolism, we especially need to cut back on starches and other carbs.
  13. Get all the necessary nutrients each day.  Do it naturally through your food, but if you find you consistently lack something, take some supplements.
  14. Coconut oil.  Seriously, this works.  On the days I consume a spoonful of the stuff, my heart rate stays higher all day (in a good way–I have a super slow heart-rate).  For a burst of energy, consume about 30 minutes before your work-out.
  15. Eat within 20 minutes after your work-out.  Helps to repair those muscles that burn fat and keep your metabolism higher.
  16. Take fish oil.  Pop these suckers in 2 hours before your workout for a boost in your metabolism, so they say.
  17. Don’t stay comfortable.  As in, keep the house just under the comfortable winter temperature and a little higher than the comfy summer temperature.  Your body has to work a little harder to warm you in winter and cool you in summer this way.  Plus, you save on those energy bills, too.  Double benefit.
  18. Drink ice water–especially when you first get up in the morning.  (I try to drink 17oz. first thing every morning.)
  19. Keep a food diary.  I know, I know, everyone says it, but seriously, it helps.  You can track what foods help you, what foods hurt you.  You can also track what foods you really love and make sure to keep them on the menu, within reason.
  20. Increase your fiber intake.
  21. Drink lots of green tea.  This is one of the least effective ways, however to do it.  But the antioxidants can help you feel better, too, so it’s a win-win, unless you’re getting dehydrated.
  22. Eat at least one spicy meal a day (something that contains capsaicin–like in chilli peppers).  This is also a less effective way to boost metabolism, but it does clear the sinuses, and helps with smoother digestion.  I can testify to both of these added benefits.
  23. Get enough calcium.  Not through supplements, but through actual dairy or natural sources.  Supplements don’t have the same effect.
  24. Stay up on your iron.  You need enough (but not too much!) iron for your muscles to maintain viability and strength.  Women, this is especially important for us to note during certain times of the month.  I usually add an iron supplement in that week.
  25. Weight train slowly–count to three or higher as you lower those weights.
  26. Increase your muscle mass.  Muscles burn more fat than fat does.  Big surprise.
  27. Consume enough Vitamin D.  So many reasons for this, but this nutrient especially helps maintain your muscles and bones, preventing shrinkage, and maintaining strength and tone.
  28. Get enough rest–this is different from sleep.  This would be the relaxation stuff that many of us Westerners slack in.  Mental, emotional, physical and spiritual rest are vital for health.  And if you don’t rest enough, you’re bound to grow sluggish in your workouts and attitudes, which certainly won’t help that slow metabolism of yours!

Today’s action step(s):

  • Start the 25 squats a day for 7 days challenge
  • Climb a 20 storey building (my last chance for a while!)
  • Meet previous on-going action steps (food diary, enough water, walk 10,000 steps, etc.)
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