12 Ways to Jump-Start Your Metabolism

View as Slideshow

1. Use interval training to rev up your workout.

1. Use interval training to rev up your workout.
Walk for the same amount of time at the same intensity day in and day out and your body will get as bored with your workout as you do. Throw in some variety with interval training, which involves changing the intensity of your workout throughout your exercise session. Every 5 minutes of your walk, jog for 1 minute. Every 5 minutes of your bike ride, shift into a higher gear and pedal hard for a minute. If you swim, speed up every other length. You'll burn more calories in the same amount of time.

2. Fidget.

2. Fidget.
People who drum their fingers or bounce their knees burn at least 500 calories a day. That adds up to losing 1 lb a week.

3. Keep a small squeeze ball with you and grip and squeeze it frequently during the day.

3. Keep a small squeeze ball with you and grip and squeeze it frequently during the day.
It's one of the few exercises you can do at any time. You'll build up the muscles in your hands - and muscle, wherever it is, burns a lot of calories.

Content continues below ad

4. Don't starve yourself.

4. Don't starve yourself.
Cutting out too many calories can backfire in more ways than one. Try to subsist on morsels and your metabolism will slow down so much that you'll not only stop losing weight, but you'll be lucky if you can peel yourself off the couch.

5. Put five rubber bands around your wrist every morning.

5. Put five rubber bands around your wrist every morning.
That's how many 16-ounce bottles of water you should drink during the day to rev up your metabolism, helping to burn more calories. At least, that's what German researchers found when they got 14 participants to drink about 500 ml of water. The volunteers' metabolic rate - or how quickly they burned calories - jumped a third within 10 minutes of drinking the water and remained high for another 30 or 40 minutes. The researchers estimated that, over a year, increasing your water consumption by 1.5 litres a day would burn an extra 17,400 calories, or about 2.25 kg (5 lb) worth. Since much of the increased metabolic rate is due to the body's efforts to heat the liquid, make sure the water you're drinking is icy cold.

6. Turn up the heat with hot peppers.

6. Turn up the heat with hot peppers.
Some studies show that very spicy foods can temporarily increase your metabolism. Specialist grocers often stock many different kinds of peppers. Buy one type a week and add some to various meals. Spice up your scrambled eggs with minced jalapeño, add a little fire to beef stew with half a Scotch bonnet pepper.

Content continues below ad

7. Exercise outside.

7. Exercise outside.
Maybe it's the fresh air, maybe it's the sunshine, but something about exercising out in the open makes you walk or run faster than doing the same exercise in the gym.

8. Eat five small meals throughout the day instead of three large meals.

8. Eat five small meals throughout the day instead of three large meals.
You might think you should eat less often if you want to lose weight, but that's just not the case. By eating every few hours, you keep your metabolism fired up and ensure it doesn't slow down between meals in order to hang on to calories. A 'meal' can be as small as a cup of soup.

9. Sip a couple of cups of coffee throughout the day.

9. Sip a couple of cups of coffee throughout the day.
Studies find that the caffeine in coffee increases the rate at which your body burns calories. This does not mean, however, that you should order a fancy calorie-packed frappuccino. And skip the espresso if it makes you toss and turn at night.

Content continues below ad

10. Don't worry if you've been yo-yo dieting.

10. Don't worry if you've been yo-yo dieting.
There's a myth that if you've spent your life losing and gaining the same 10 to 20 lb, your metabolism gets out of kilter and ends up slowing right down. Don't believe it. When researchers reviewed 43 studies on the topic, they found no difference in the metabolic rates of yo-yo dieters compared to those of everyone else.

11. Walk with intent - and intensity.

11. Walk with intent - and intensity.
Burn more calories in the same amount of time with these strategies:
1. Swing your arms when you walk. You'll burn 5 to 10 per cent more calories.
2. Wear a weighted vest - another great way to burn calories. But leave the hand and ankle weights at home. They throw you off balance and could result in injury.
3. Walk on grass, sand or a gravel path instead of the road. It takes more muscle power to glide smoothly over these uneven surfaces (especially sand) than over asphalt.
4. Use walking poles. A U.S. study found that you get a much more intense workout than you would without the poles.
5. Walk along the shore of a river or lake with your ankles in the water. The resistance burns more calories and gives your muscles an added workout.

12. Increase the protein in your diet.

12. Increase the protein in your diet.
There is some evidence that if you increase your protein intake to the upper end of the recommended range (roughly 20 per cent of overall calories), the amount of energy you expend at rest will remain the same even while you're losing weight. Normally, as you lose weight, your body adjusts and you burn fewer calories at rest.

Want to stay smart and healthy?

Get our weekly Health Reads newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you the newsletter each week, and we may also send you occasional special offers from Reader's Digest. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Funny Jokes

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

Funny Jokes

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

Funny Jokes

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram

@kristencarney

Funny Jokes

A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.

@sixthformpoet

Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.

From clientsfromhell.net

Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”

@NicCageMatch

Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 
—Alcohol

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.

Fields marked with an * are required
Foods That Harm Foods That HealWant a Free eBook?
FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL offers important information about the role diet plays in the struggle against heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses. Answer the question below to receive your FREE digital eBook.

Someone in my household experiences the following conditions:

Send me a link to download FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL:
By clicking below, I agree to the Trusted Media Brands Privacy Policy