Weight Loss

15 Awesome Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

15 Awesome Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
August 7, 2022

A simple explanation of how to boost your metabolism

If you want a simple explanation of what metabolism is, your basic metabolic rate (the calories you burn in rest), and what factors influence it, then you can first read it here.

You’ll also learn how you can have full control over your weight, why every diet can work or not, and how you can start your journey to create a lifestyle you enjoy.

In this article, I’ll focus on 15 awesome ways to boost your metabolism.

I’ll start with the fundamental ways to boost your metabolism, and go to the less important (but ways that still help) after.

The Fundamentals of boosting your metabolism

Protein can boost your metabolism

Egg in a small pan
Protein is for everyone.

Your body burns food by burning food. Yes, you read that right.

This phenomenon is called the thermic effect of food (TEF) How much energy your body requires depends on the type of food that you eat.

You have three categories: Protein, Carbohydrates, and fats. In simple words: for every 100 calories of protein you eat, your body will use 15-30 calories to process it. For carbohydrates, your body needs about 5-10 calories and for fats 0-3 calories.

Eating more protein will help your body boost it's metabolism naturally.

I eat about 200 grams of protein a day. This translates to 1.8-2.2 grams of protein per kg or around 1g per lb of bodyweight. This might give you an idea of what you could do as well.

Eating more protein is beneficial for other reasons as well. It will keep you fuller for a longer time and it helps your body repair itself.

This will help you build muscle, which we’ll cover in our next point.

Summary: Eat more protein. Your body burns a lot of energy just to use the protein you eat. It will also help you stay full and built muscle.
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More muscle will boost your metabolism

Muscular individual doing a front double bicep with a vacuum
Muscle burns more calories than fat.

If you become more muscular you’ll burn more calories without having to do anything else for it (aka an increase in your metabolic rate).

For example, let’s say you Netflix and chill for an entire day, without doing anything else. If you weigh 180 pounds (roughly 80kg), but 30% of that is fat, your body would not need as much energy as if only 15% of it were fat.

Besides that, I would argue that a person who has more muscle and less fat, burns more active calories as well.

Increase your muscle mass and you'll naturally boost your metabolism.

Movement and exercise simply become more enjoyable. You get better at cardio, you can lift more weights and daily activities don’t fatigue you as much.

As a bonus, you’ll start to become undeniably sexier, which will have you flexing when walking past mirrors. Flexing is movement. Movement burns calories.

Oh, and you’ll have all kinds of sexy pictures of yourself on your phone now as well (you’re welcome).

Summary: Building more muscle will increase both the calories you burn at rest and the calories you burn through activity every day.

Lifting heavy will boost your metabolism

210kg deadlift
Heavy compound lifts make the world turn around. - Unknown

Focus on learning some essential weightlifting exercises in which you use a lot of your muscles.

Great examples of these metabolism-boosting exercises are squats, deadlifts, hip thrusts, bench press, overhead press, barbell rows, and lat pulldowns.

You can go all out and add even more, but these are perfect to start.

These movements will allow you to progressively get stronger over time, for example: in week 1 you squat 20kg for 10 reps and in week 2 you squat 25kg for 10 reps, and so on.

A simple program would be:

  • Squats 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Bench press 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Deadlifts 3 sets 6-8 reps
  • Lat pulldown 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Overhead press 3 sets of 8-12 reps.

You could do this full-body routine 2-3 times a week to see very good progress. Make sure to learn the perfect technique for each exercise (YouTube tutorials are great).

This is how I would personally start myself.

Summary: Learn a few of the best weightlifting exercises that use a lot of your muscles at once. This will make you stronger, and more muscular, improve your metabolism and help you lose fat.

HIIT workouts will boost your metabolism

Sled pushing 220kg

High-intensity interval training can naturally boost your metabolism for hours after you’ve finished your workout.

It’s also the best bang for your buck because it burns way more calories in the same amount of time than lower-intensity workouts.

Other benefits are that it can help you build muscle, increase your body’s ability to use oxygen, reduce your resting heart rate, and reduce blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

On the flip side, of course, it’s a lot harder to do. Let me be very clear, if HITT cardio is not your thing, you still get my absolute respect for doing any cardio you like!

I love going all out on an indoor bike a few times a week and enjoy rope skipping. But if I don’t feel like it, I’ll just go easier that day.

A great way to get started is doing one of the following workouts twice a week, which should not take you more than 20 minutes to complete.

  • 6-10 sprints or bike sprints for 15-20 seconds each of all-out effort, followed by 60 seconds of low-intensity.
  • Jumping rope intensively for 6-10 sets of 30-60seconds.
  • Sled pushing/pulling or farmer walks.
Summary: High-intensity interval training can boost your metabolism for hours after you’ve finished training. It also has tremendous other benefits, like building muscle, increasing oxygen consumption, reducing resting heart rate, and reducing blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Home workouts will boost your metabolism

Performing pull-ups outside

Going to the gym is amazing, but don’t be discouraged if this is not your thing (yet).

You can get a lot of the benefits by working out at home, even if it’s only for 20 minutes 3 times a week. This will boost your metabolism naturally as well.

A sample routine would be to simply do push-ups, squats, and (learn how to) do pull-ups. Do each exercise for 3-5 sets of as many reps as you can do.

Do this anywhere from 3 to 6 days a week. Eventually, you can use extra weight to make it harder for yourself, so you keep making progress.

Simply put extra challenge = extra reward. This can mean more repetitions, more sets, or more weight.

Summary: If you don’t have access or don’t want to go to the gym, then doing home workouts instead is an awesome alternative! You’ll still be able to build muscle, become stronger, improve your metabolism and lose fat.

More water (be like a fish) will boost your metabolism

Hey drink water more cup

I’ll give you straight-up facts about why drinking water is good for you, and try to convince you to drink more of it, even though there are a lot of tastier alternatives.

Your body has to heat the water you drink to body temperature, this requires energy, which means you’re burning more calories. And yes, this means a natural boost for your metabolism.

It’s physically nearly impossible to burn fat without water. I won’t go into the scientific details (which you can look up if you’re interested), but by drinking more water your body will be able to burn off the foods you eat in a much more effective way.

Water is used to flush out the toxins in your body and get rid of all the bad stuff, which in turn will make you healthier.

Water will keep you feeling fuller and doesn’t have any calories, so you’re less likely to splurge on high-calorie alternatives. And yes, can still have zero-sugar drinks as well, there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m not a saint either.

Summary: Energy is used to heat water to body temperature. Water is essential to burn the foods you eat. Also, it flushes out toxins, it will keep you feeling full and you’ll be less likely to have high-calorie alternatives. Oh, and yes you can have a zero-sugar drink sometimes.

Standing more will boost your metabolism

Quote "stand up"

I won’t go into the scientific details (you can google them of course), but try to mix up sitting with standing and movement.

There’s a good reason why any smartwatch will constantly tell you to stand up throughout the day.

Sitting for a prolonged time is very bad for your health and metabolism altogether.

By simply standing up your body is burning a ton more energy and your blood pressure, heart health, etc. will thank you as well.

Add any movement at all and you’ll be even further on your way to giving your metabolism (and health) a significant boost!

I love to play table tennis at the office against my fellow interns or take a brisk walk!

Summary: If you’re doing an activity that requires sitting for a prolonged time, try to switch it up by standing or moving a bit now and then.

Sleeping like a koala will boost your metabolism

A cute sleeping koala in a tree

We, as humans, are wired to sleep about one-third of our lives away.

And you know what, that’s fine because who doesn’t love to snuggle under a warm blanket, with their arms wrapped around a teddy bear?

Skipping sleep will hinder your body’s ability to break down fat and can cause weight gain.

Furthermore, it can cause your hormones to go out of balance. This will result in a worse metabolism, being hungrier, and having a hard time building muscle.

Sleep alone will have a huge impact on naturally boosting your metabolism!

Your body simply can’t function or repair itself properly without a decent amount of sleep. You should aim for 7-8 hours of sleep and test out how much your body needs.

Ideally, you try to follow a sleep schedule. Nobody is perfect all the time but do it as often as you can.

I like to go to bed around 11 pm and wake up between 6-7 am depending on what I have to do that day.

Bonus tip: naps are awesome! Just 20 mins are enough to be refreshed and help you focus better on the things you have to do later that day. I do this regularly and it has even helped me study because I can simply remember more!

Summary: Enjoy the warmth of your blankets and snuggle a teddy bear for at least 7-8 hours every night. A lack of sleep causes your body to gain fat, build less muscle, decrease metabolism, and do a lot of other very awful things. Oh, and naps of about 20 minutes are awesome too!

Having less (bad) stress will boost your metabolism

Worry less written on paper with a candle
Chronic stress can kill your metabolism.

In the short term, stress can be good. It prepares our body to go into a fight or flight state and makes it ready to take on a challenge.

This means your body uses energy, which increases metabolism in the short term.

However, prolonged periods of chronic stress cause your body to deal with bad hormones, such as cortisol, constantly.

This will cause your muscles to break down, which will hurt your metabolism.

More importantly, fewer muscles will mean less undeniable sexiness, which I suppose if you’re reading this, we can agree that’s a very bad thing.

Important to know: stress has a lot more negative ways it impacts your body, such as sleep issues. Trust me on this one and make a conscious effort to avoid it.

Summary: Short-term stress is nothing to worry about because it can prepare your body for the challenge at hand. However, be wary of getting yourself into a state of chronic stress. This could negatively impact muscle mass, metabolism, sleep, and many more very awful things you want to avoid.

Other less fundamental ways to increase metabolism

Avoiding crash diets will boost your metabolism

Quote "Diet? For that!"
Cut calories too hard, and see your body ruined.

One way this will happen is by slowing down the calories your body burns at rest, which makes sense because it’s trying to survive. Therefore, your natural metabolism will significantly decrease.

It will also cause a ridiculous amount of the weight you lose to be muscle mass, which will negatively influence your sexiness.

You’ll feel hungry all the time and your daily activities become harder to do. Besides this, your strength will fade away quickly and it will negatively impact your hormone levels.

In my case (I dieted extremely hard for about 6 months thought) my sex drive was gone and my testosterone dropped to 1/3rd of my original levels. I know this because I get my bloodwork done regularly.

You can read about this here.

Summary: Don’t make the same mistake as me and avoid crash diets at all costs. It will ruin your metabolism, strength, muscle mass, mood, daily activities, sex drive, and hormones in general. It takes a long time to recover.

Taking regular diet breaks will boost your metabolism

Take a break written in a notebook
Or is the diet taking a break from you?

If you’re planning to diet for a longer time, a great way to combat the undeniable slowing down of your metabolism is to have regular diet breaks.

A natural boost to your metabolism will help your diet in the long run!

Just schedule in a block of 2 weeks or so, where you bump up your calories to maintenance (the number of calories your body needs to remain the same weight).

Ideally, you plan these diet breaks around a time that is most convenient for you, for example, a holiday you’re looking forward to or Christmas. C

It will also have a positive effect on your muscle mass, strength, hormones, and mood in general. Besides, there are many psychological benefits to having a break as well!

This is something I should have implemented more myself, but that’s life, we’re constantly learning!

Summary: If you’re dieting for a long time, then scheduled diet breaks can have a positive effect on your metabolism, muscle mass, and hormones. Besides physical benefits, it can also improve your overall well-being and in my experience quality of life.

Coffee (caffeine) will boost your metabolism

Fancy coffee cup with a heart on top and coffee beans
Am I a caffeine addict? Maybe. - Viking Beast

Fortunately, it’s backed by science that it can indeed increase your metabolism, among other things.

Studies have shown that caffeine can increase the number of calories you burn at rest by up to 11%.

It also contributes to having more focus and stimulates your brain.

I love it and use especially use it before my workouts. I limit myself to 4-6mg per kg of body weight a day.

However, this still might be a lot for some people, so find what works for you.

Summary: Sipping on some caffeine can boost your metabolism, by increasing the number of calories burned at rest. It can also increase focus and stimulate brain activity. Don’t go overboard though and find what works for you.

Supplements (omega 3) will boost your metabolism

Omega 3 supplement pills
Omega 3, a supplement of the Gods?

For relevance, I’ll talk about the benefits of omega 3 in the context of metabolism, but just know that there are a lot of additional health benefits (improved heart health, better brain function, reduced chance of certain diseases, less inflammation, etc.).

Studies have shown that Omega 3 can increase the calories you burn at rest by 5% and in some cases even more. This means a great way to naturally boost your metabolism.

This is worth it if you’ve got your fundamentals laid out above covered.

Now, I don’t eat a lot of fish, so I take a daily supplement instead.

Summary: Eat fish or take a daily supplement of Omega 3. It has amazing benefits that include but go beyond an increase in metabolism. Your health will thank you.
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Minimal effects for if you want to make every calorie count

Drinking green tea will boost your metabolism

A cup of green tea in nature
Antioxidants, and a metabolism boost?

Some studies have shown that the antioxidants in around 4 cups of green tea can cause your body to burn about 70-100 calories more a day.

Others say the effect is only due to the caffeine that’s in the tea and it doesn’t differ from other caffeinated drinks, such as coffee.

If you love tea over coffee or like to mix it up, go for it. It may potentially help you boost your metabolism.

For me, well I love supplements, so I supplement this in pill form as well.

Summary: Green tea may boost metabolism due to its antioxidants or it might be the caffeine. Either way, if you enjoy it, it’s a good bet to improve your metabolism. You can also supplement this.

Eating spicy food will boost your metabolism

All kinds of hot spices
I love to eat food as hot as the sun itself.

I don’t do it for increasing my metabolism thought. It is commonly said that eating spicy food will boost your metabolism and it’s true.

Only the amount of extra calories you burn is barely anything.

If you enjoy spicy food, by all means, go for it. If spicy food feels like a volcano in your mouth, don’t feel like you have to eat it, the effect is minimal at best.

Summary: If you love to spice things up, enjoy yourself, but if you don’t it’s absolutely fine too! The extra calories burned are very minimal, so there’s no need to torture yourself.

Final words

If you want to naturally boost your metabolism to one of a god among humans, it’s of crucial importance to get the fundamentals down first.

Eat a lot of protein daily, built more muscle, work out, and do cardio.

Sleep like you’re having the most wonderful dreams every night and make sure to drink plenty of water. Move more or at least stand up often and control your stress levels.

Whatever you choose to do today, never do a crash diet. Better yet consider a diet break every once in a while.

Consider boosting up your caffeine, but be mindful about not going overboard. Make sure to get in some Omega 3 for your overall health and perhaps try out some green tea if you enjoy it.

Oh and remember, spicing things up with your significant other is great for boosting your metabolism, but unfortunately the effect is minimal when you’re doing it with food.

What’s your favorite way to boost your metabolism?
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