Diet & Weight Loss
14 Easy Ways to Jump-Start Your Metabolism
These simple tweaks to your daily routine will boost your weight loss in no time!
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. Learn more about how to rev your metabolism with high-interval training.
People who drum their fingers or bounce their knees burn at least 500 calories a day. That adds up to losing one pound a week.
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. Check out these other 15 ways to burn extra calories without going to the gym.
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.
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 liters 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.
Turn up the heat with hot peppers
Some studies show that very spicy foods can temporarily increase your metabolism. Specialty 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. Learn more about how hot peppers help you burn extra calories.
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. These are the 15 exercises that burn the most calories.
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. Make sure you don’t follow these 15 weight-loss tips that doctors want you to stop following.
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. Find out which one ingredient you should add to your coffee to boost your metabolism.
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. Don’t miss these other 11 metabolism myths that keep you from losing weight.
Walk with intent—and intensity
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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.
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. Try these other 12 tips for getting the metabolism of a 25-year-old.
Don’t skip out on a post-workout snack
Chowing down on a snack after the gym doesn’t just refuel your body, it may boost your fat burn too. A small study showed that middle-aged exercisers who drank a 270-calorie shake filled with 24 grams of protein and 36 grams of carbs after a strength and endurance training session lost about four pounds more fat and created one and a half pounds of more lean muscle in six months than exercisers who didn’t drink the shake.
This research reconfirms that giving your body extra protein and carbs following an exercise session can help build lean tissue and promote fat loss. Experts believe that muscle proteins are made faster when protein is consumed after exercise, which means that your muscles will grow over time.
The perfect balance of proteins and carbs could be a simple snack such as a banana with peanut butter or a couple slices of turkey and cheese with apple slices.
Don’t underestimate the power of a full night’s rest
A lack of snoozing can elevate your cortisol levels, a stress hormone that makes you hungrier and slows down your metabolism. In fact, sleep deprivation can decrease your leptin levels, the satiety hormone, which can tell your brain to eat more calories than you actually need. Make sure you know these other 23 lazy ways to burn more calories all day.