When you want to lose weight, giving your metabolism a boost can be your ultimate weight loss tool. When your metabolism is running in high gear, you’ll naturally burn more calories and fat. Unfortunately, as we age, our metabolism tends to slow. Other factors that can determine how well your metabolism functions can include your genetics as well as your gender. Women tend to burn fewer calories than men. Of course, there are things you can do to boost your metabolism so you can take advantage of this extra fat burning power.
1. Build Muscle
Your resting or Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the number of calories your body needs to survive. This doesn’t include extra calories burned during exercise or other activities. Even when you’re at rest, your body is burning calories. However, people who have more muscle actually have a higher BMR, so they naturally burn more calories, even when they’re sleeping or sitting on the couch watching television. The reason is simple, your body will burn 2 calories per day for each pound of fat; but, it will burn 6 calories per day for each pound of muscle. Additionally, when you exercise, you burn even more calories; and, adding a strength training session will kick your metabolic rate into overdrive, so you’ll be burning even more calories and fat.
2. Aerobic Exercise
You might not build huge muscles doing aerobic exercise, but it can certainly help give your metabolism a boost that will last several hours after your workout has ended. The key to getting this extra boost is to really push yourself during your workout. A high-intensity workout will provide a longer period of metabolic boost than a workout of low or moderate intensity.
3. Stay Hydrated
In order to process calories and burn fat, your body needs sufficient water. If you’re dehydrated, even if you’re only mildly dehydrated, your metabolism is going to slow down. Stay hydrated by drinking a glass of water before every meal or snack. Additionally, eating fresh fruits and veggies for snacks, can help add even more hydration. Of course, they’re also a much healthier option than chips.
4. Smart Snacks
If you eat more frequently, it can actually help you lose weight. Many people are accustomed to eating 3 larger meals per day; however, during the hours between meals, your metabolism will slow down. If you eat several small meals or snacks throughout the day, you’ll keep your metabolism at is peak. This means you’ll also be burning more calories each day.
5. Spice It Up
Spicy foods contain natural chemicals that have been shown to give your metabolism a boost. Simply adding 1 tablespoon of chopped green or red chili pepper to the foods you cook can help boost your metabolism. You can also add red pepper flakes to your pasta, pizza, chili, or try a few dashes of cayenne in your soup. You’ll get a temporary boost to your metabolism, but even this short boost will add up over time.
6. Green Tea
When you drink green tea you get the benefit of both catechins and caffeine. These substances can give your metabolism a boost for several hours. Research has shown that drinking just 2 to 4 cups of green tea can help your body burn up to 17% more calories when you engage in moderate exercise. Besides, green tea also has a number of health benefits, so it’s a win-win choice.