Can You Actually Boost Your Metabolism? Yes–Here’s How

There’s an overwhelming amount of information out there about how to rev up your metabolism to burn more calories and lose weight. Certain foods (the spicier the better!), magic pills and other strategies like only drinking ice water promise impressive results, but what ones really make a difference? We’ve boiled down the research into the following scientifically-proven ways to actually increase your metabolism—no magic pills required.

  • Get out and sweat. Exercising doesn’t just burn calories in the moment, it also keeps your body burning more calories than usual the rest of the day. And some forms of exercise are more effective than others when it comes to firing up your metabolism. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), strength training and vigorous cardio workouts have been shown to increase your metabolic rate for as long as 14 hours after you exercise.
  • What you drink is important, too. You’ve probably heard it before, but it’s true: Drinking more water can boost your metabolism. Studies show that drinking about two cups of water increased metabolism by 30 percent (the boost peaked about half an hour later). Green tea and caffeinated coffee also have calorie-torching powers.
  • Laugh a little! Don’t take your weight-loss goals too seriously. Researchers found that 10 to 15 minutes of laughter each day can give a small boost to your calorie-burning capabilities.
  • Fidget. Exercise isn’t the only kind of movement that raises your metabolism—foot tapping, finger drumming and adjusting your posture all day long can make a big difference. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that constant fidgeters burn hundreds more calories a day than those who stay still.
  • Pile on the protein. Whenever you eat, your body has to burn calories to break the food down into usable nutrients. And protein takes way more calories to break down than carbohydrates or fats. How much more? When you eat carbs or sugars, 10 to 15 percent of those calories go into breaking down the food. When you eat protein, it’s as much as 30 percent. That boost in metabolism can help you slim down without cutting back on how much food you’re eating.

Snacking smart throughout the day can also help keep your metabolism high. Here are the seven foods you should be noshing on between meals.

 

 

Photo credit: bowenmurphy

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