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How To Increase Metabolism


How To Increase Metabolism

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How To Increase Metabolism

How to Increase Metabolism: Boosting Your Calorie-Burning Machine

Metabolism refers to the intricate biochemical processes that convert nutrients from food into energy. It plays a significant role in maintaining a healthy weight, influencing energy levels, and promoting overall well-being. While genetics contribute to an individual’s basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the number of calories your body burns at rest, there are various lifestyle habits and dietary considerations that can influence metabolism and promote calorie expenditure.

Understanding Metabolism

Metabolism encompasses two primary components:

  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): This accounts for about 60-75% of your daily calorie expenditure and reflects the energy required to sustain basic bodily functions, such as breathing, circulation, and organ function. BMR is largely determined by factors like age, sex, body composition, and genetics.
  • Thermic Effect of Food (TEF): This refers to the energy used to digest, absorb, and store the food you eat. TEF typically accounts for about 10% of your daily calorie expenditure.
  • Physical Activity-Induced Thermogenesis (PAIT): This component encompasses the energy burned during exercise and physical activities. PAIT can vary widely depending on the intensity, duration, and frequency of your workouts.

Factors Influencing Metabolism

Several factors can influence metabolism, including:

  • Age: As you grow older, your BMR tends to decrease due to a decline in muscle mass and an increase in body fat.
  • Gender: Men generally have higher BMRs than women due to greater muscle mass.
  • Body Composition: Muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue, meaning that individuals with higher muscle mass tend to have higher BMRs.
  • Genetics: Some individuals are simply predisposed to having faster or slower metabolisms.
  • Calorie Intake: Restricting calorie intake can slow down your metabolism, as the body enters a "starvation mode" to conserve energy.
  • Hormones: Thyroid hormones, such as triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4), play a crucial role in regulating metabolism.

Lifestyle Habits to Boost Metabolism

While you cannot directly control your BMR, there are several lifestyle habits you can adopt to increase your overall calorie expenditure.

  • Incorporate Resistance Training: Engage in regular strength training exercises that help build and maintain muscle mass. Increased muscle mass leads to a higher BMR.
  • Perform High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): This type of workout involves alternating short bursts of high-intensity exercise with brief periods of rest or low-intensity recovery. HIIT has been shown to boost metabolism for hours after the workout.
  • Stay Active Throughout the Day: Avoid prolonged periods of inactivity and incorporate movement into your daily routine. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk or bike to work if possible, and engage in active hobbies.
  • Get Adequate Sleep: Sleep deprivation can disrupt hormone levels that regulate metabolism, leading to a slower metabolism. Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night.
  • Reduce Stress: Chronic stress can increase cortisol levels, which can contribute to weight gain and a slower metabolism. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as exercise, meditation, or spending time in nature.

Dietary Considerations for a Faster Metabolism

In addition to lifestyle habits, your diet can also influence metabolism.

  • Protein-Rich Foods: Protein has a higher thermic effect than carbohydrates or fats, meaning it requires more energy to digest. Include lean protein sources in your meals, such as chicken, fish, tofu, and beans.
  • Fiber-Rich Foods: Soluble fiber, found in foods like oats, beans, and apples, can slow down digestion and absorption of nutrients, leading to a feeling of fullness and potentially boosting metabolism.
  • Spicy Foods: Capsaicin, a compound found in chili peppers, has thermogenic properties, meaning it can temporarily increase body temperature and calorie expenditure.
  • Green Tea: Green tea contains caffeine, which can stimulate metabolism and promote fat oxidation.
  • Water Intake: Staying well-hydrated can help support metabolism by enhancing blood flow and nutrient delivery to cells.

Sample Meal Plan for a Metabolism-Boosting Diet

Here is a sample meal plan that incorporates metabolism-boosting foods:


  • Oatmeal with berries and nuts (protein and fiber)
  • Greek yogurt with fruit and granola (protein, fiber, and probiotics)


  • Salad with grilled chicken, quinoa, and vegetables (protein, fiber, and vitamins)
  • Sandwich on whole-wheat bread with lean protein, vegetables, and hummus (protein, fiber, and healthy fats)


  • Salmon with roasted vegetables and brown rice (protein, healthy fats, and fiber)
  • Chicken stir-fry with vegetables and whole-wheat noodles (protein, fiber, and vitamins)


  • Fruit (berries, apples, bananas)
  • Vegetable sticks with hummus
  • Greek yogurt
  • Nuts and seeds


1. What are the symptoms of a slow metabolism?

  • Weight gain or difficulty losing weight
  • Fatigue and low energy levels
  • Cold intolerance
  • Dry skin and hair
  • Constipation

2. Can I take supplements to boost my metabolism?

  • Some supplements, such as caffeine and green tea extract, may provide a temporary boost in metabolism. However, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any supplements.

3. Is it safe to restrict calories to increase metabolism?

  • Severely restricting calories can actually slow down your metabolism as the body enters starvation mode. It’s recommended to adopt a balanced diet that provides adequate calories to support your metabolic needs.

4. How can I maintain a faster metabolism?

  • Consistency is key. Regularly engage in metabolism-boosting activities, such as exercise and a healthy diet. Avoid prolonged periods of inactivity and make gradual changes to your lifestyle and dietary habits.

5. What are some common mistakes people make when trying to boost their metabolism?

  • Crash dieting or overly restricting calories
  • Focusing solely on cardio exercise and neglecting resistance training
  • Overeating spicy foods, as this can lead to digestive issues
  • Relying on caffeine alone for a metabolism boost
  • Ignoring the importance of adequate sleep and stress management


Boosting metabolism involves a multifaceted approach that encompasses lifestyle habits and dietary considerations. By incorporating regular exercise, engaging in strength training, managing stress, and adopting a balanced diet rich in protein, fiber, and other metabolism-enhancing nutrients, you can support your body’s ability to burn calories and maintain a healthy weight. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized advice and support.