10 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism
Your metabolism has three primary components. The largest one is your basal metabolic rate, or BMR. This is the sum of all the bodily functions that keep you alive — such as breathing, pumping blood and keeping your heart beating. About 60 percent of your calories are burned to fuel your BMR.
Approximately 30 percent of the calories you burn daily consist of activity — all kinds of movements, big or small, such as showering, making dinner and running on the treadmill. Every activity you do that’s not sleeping or sitting counts.
The final 10 percent of your metabolism comes from the thermic effect of food — that is, the calories burned to digest food and absorb and deliver the nutrients to your tissues.
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Here is 10 ways to boost your metabolism:
Building muscle boosts the largest calorie-burning component of your metabolism, the BMR. When you perform resistance training, your metabolism increases to fuel protein synthesis — the process by which your muscles grow.
When you perform HIIT, you consume more oxygen than when you work at a slow, steady pace. As a result, you increase your post-exercise metabolism slightly for up to 24 hours.
One of the easiest ways to boost your metabolism is to move more every day. Minor movements, such as tapping your foot, pacing while on the phone, taking for the stairs and doing household chores can notably increase your metabolic rate.
Protein is harder for your body to break down, so it increases the thermic effect of food, or the number of calories you use for digestion. When you increase the percentage of calories you consume from protein, your overall metabolic rate increases slightly.
Enjoy a Spicy Meal
Capsaicin, the compound in hot peppers that creates their spicy bite, can mildly raise your metabolism. Add peppers, such as jalapenos or habaneros, to a chili or sprinkle cayenne spice into salad dressing to get a small dose of capsaicin. It will both raise your calorie burn and fat oxidation, especially at high doses, but only by a slight amount.
Drink Green Tea
Drinking green tea may offer a small boost to your metabolism. Researchers hypothesize that compounds in green tea called catechins stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, which promotes greater calorie burn and fat oxidation. The effects are mild but could provide support to weight-loss efforts.
Have a Cup of Coffee
It’s long been established that caffeine offers a metabolic boost. Researchers found that the amount of caffeine in a typical cup of coffee raises a person’s metabolic rate by 3 to 4 percent for 150 minutes. Over the course of a day, people who consumed caffeine every several hours burned an extra 79 to 150 calories total.
Drink Ice-Cold Water
A glass of water chilled to 37 degrees Fahrenheit offers a small thermogenic benefit. Your body has to increase its energy expenditure to raise the temperature of the water to body temperature before processing it. The tiny metabolic boost from cold water isn’t enough to make a significant difference in your weight, however.
Eat More Often
A regular meal schedule keeps your metabolism burning at a steady rate. When study participants ate at six predictable times during the day, they burned more calories through digestion after meals than when they ate at three to nine unpredictable times per day, despite taking in an equal number of calories.
Cutting calories is necessary for losing weight, but deny yourself too many and your efforts may backfire. If you eat fewer than 1,200 calories a day as a woman, or 1,800 calories per day as a man, you send a signal to your body to conserve calories and decrease your overall metabolic rate. Fail to exercise, too, and you may experience as much as a 20 percent reduction in your overall metabolic rate.
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