Jumpstart your metabolism as soon as you wake up by drinking a large glass of water. Founder of Hispanic Food Communications, Sylvia Melendez-Klinger, MS, RD
, suggests placing a glass by your beside before you go to bed and drinking it first thing every morning. If you don't like water, most other liquids count as well, according to the latest recommendations, as do fruits and veggies with a high water content such as mandarin, watermelon, and cucumber.
Never, ever skip breakfastFoxys Forest Manufacture/Shutterstock
Eat breakfast within an hour of waking up to jump-start your metabolism
. "Make sure to get enough protein at breakfast, at least 20 grams or the equivalent of 3 ounces, which is approximately the size of a deck of cards," advises medical nutrition therapist Lauren Harris-Pincus
. "Breakfast is the time we often miss out on the opportunity to protect our muscles because we can only use about 25 to 35 grams of protein at a time for muscle growth and repair. Doubling up at dinner doesn't help if you skipped protein at breakfast." If you can't face meat or eggs in the morning, remember that milk, dairy, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and veggies also contain protein—and are therefore foods that increase metabolism too. Try these food hacks for a healthier breakfast every day
Nosh throughout the daycasanisa/Shutterstock
Learning how to boost your metabolism involves changing not just what you eat, but how and when you eat. Consuming several smaller meals instead of three large, heavy meals will help keep your metabolism and energy levels consistent throughout the day, advises dietitian Abby Sauer
, registered dietitian at Abbott.
Eat foods high in B vitamins5 second Studio/Shutterstock
Foods containing specific nutrients have been shown to play a role in metabolism. "Because your body needs help to convert carbs, protein, and fats from food into energy, eating foods high in B vitamins can help facilitate this process," Sauer says. Try beans, lentils, whole grains, and most deeply colored vegetables such as kale or spinach. These signs suggest you could be deficient in the important vitamin B12
Increase lean muscle massJacob Lund/Shutterstock
Muscles aren't just there to make your body look good—they play a key role in your metabolism. "Making it a habit to get up and get moving throughout the day or engaging in a weekly workout routine with forms of aerobic exercise such as walking, swimming, or cycling, can also decrease your body fat and increase lean muscle mass, which revs up your metabolism," says Sauer.
Lift weightsUber Images/Shutterstock
Incorporating light weight-lifting to your fitness routine will build up muscle strength and also boost your metabolism. "Muscle is hugely metabolically demanding so the more muscle, the higher the basal metabolic rate," explains clinical nutritionist Stephanie Moore
. Here's how strength-training changes your body
. And did you know that just one weight-lifting session can even help fight diabetes
Avoid rapid weight lossAfrica Studio/Shutterstock
Figuring out how to increase your metabolism is crucial if you want to lose weight and keep it off. For optimum long-term results, don't fall into the trap of trying to lose too much weight, too quickly. "This causes the body to drop its metabolic rate in an attempt to survive what it perceives to be a famine," says dietitian and mindful eating coach Dina Garcia
Dina Garcia recommends including PF3 (protein, fat, fiber, and fluid) in all meals, because these components help keep you satisfied and stabilize your blood sugar. "Protein and fiber also require a little more energy to digest than refined carbs," she adds. Here's how to eat more protein without even trying
Don't skimp on z'sMonkey Business Images
If you don't get enough good quality sleep
, your metabolism could pay the price. "Lack of sleep can play a big roll in your body's ability to burn calories," says Dina Garcia. "Plus when you're tired, you're less motivated to hit the gym or opt for the stairs over the elevator."
Snack smartPawel Michalowski/Shutterstock
If you don't consume enough throughout the day, your rate of metabolism may drop. Snacks are a great way to fuel your body, provided you do it the right way. "The key is to reach for foods and snacks that are nutritious and within your calorie requirements," says Melendez-Klinger. "For snacks, one can easily consume 400-plus calories, so reach for foods that are satisfying and full of nutrients with no more than 200 calories each. For example, mandarin oranges are a great snack since they are sweet, easy-to-peel, and only 50 calories each! If you're looking for something more filling yet nutritious, spread a tablespoon of your favorite nut or seed butter on whole wheat toast." Here are some smart snack ideas that really deliver.