So many social media influencers try to promote “miracle foods” that can magically increase your metabolism and make you burn fat. Though unfortunately these claims aren’t the most accurate, there are some evidence based strategies you can implement to boost your metabolism and burn fat.
These won’t involve eating certain foods though. They will instead focus on how you are eating and exercising. Plus, these strategies are based on scientific evidence. This means that these strategies have been put to the test and have been found to work.
While it’s important to note ways to boost your metabolism, it’s also important to note what will hurt your metabolism. At the end of this article, I will mention what you may be doing to hurt your metabolism.
By implementing these strategies, not only will your metabolism be increased, you will also be healthier (and likely happier). Try out a few of these strategies and gauge how hungry you are. If you find that you are more hungry than usual, or are able to eat more while maintaining your weight, this is likely because your metabolism has been increased.
1. Increase your lean body mass
Your lean body mass refers to your weight minus the weight of your fat. This includes your organs, but also your muscle mass. It has long been known that lean body mass plays the most important role in resting energy expenditure, or how many calories you burn at rest.
This is one of the reasons why two people can be the same weight, exercise the same amount, but still have vastly different metabolic rates. Likely, the person who has a low body fat, and therefore a higher lean body mass has the higher metabolism. So, how do you improve this?Weight training!
But incorporating more weight training into your workout routine, you will be able to increase your lean body mass, and therefore increase your metabolic rate.
If you are a beginner, I would suggest seeing a personal trainer to learn about good technique and how to build an exercise program for your personal goals.
If you are not a beginner, try increasing the volume or intensity of your training. Perhaps that means adding another day of weight training into your routine, or maybe it just means pushing yourself to lift heavier for less reps. However you want to do it, increasing your muscle mass will increase your lean body mass which will increase your metabolic rate.
2. Make sure you are eating enough food
If you want to increase your metabolism, it’s going to be essential that you are eating enough food. When you are dieting or restricting calories, your body adapts. It thinks you have less access to food, therefore it reduces the amount of calories you burn so that you do not lose more weight.Because your body does not want you to lose weight.
This has been seen in many clinical trials. Your BMR or basal metabolic rate declines when you are on a calorie restricted diet. Along with this, weight loss typically means lean mass loss as well, further reducing your metabolism.
To combat this, ensure you are eating enough to maintain your current weight. Ensure you are getting plenty of protein as well to help maintain lean body mass.
3. Include HIIT into your workout routine
There is some research out there to suggest HIIT or high intensity interval training can help improve your resting energy expenditure over steady state cardio.This one particular study found that metabolism was increased for up to 10 hours after the exercise was completed.
Though this research is not as strong as the last two points, it is still promising. Along with this, HIIT takes up less time than traditional steady state cardio, which is always a plus. So, instead of slaving away in the cardio section of the gym everyday, try incorporating HIIT into your training.
HIIT sessions are typically around 10-15 minutes and can be performed 2-3 times per week. If you are looking for some good HIIT workouts, check out these personal trainers on Instagram: Natacha Oceane, Whitney Simmons, Meggan Grubb
How to NOT boost your metabolism (what you’re doing wrong)
This article wouldn’t complete if I didn’t mention how you could be (unknowingly) sabotaging yourself.The biggest one is dieting.
As I explained before, dieting or reducing calorie intake actually decreases metabolism and makes it very difficult to continue to lose weight. In fact, this is one of the reasons why a majority of people gain back the weight they lost. So, though it seems like to good idea, dieting will actually hinder your progress by reducing your metabolic rate.The next one is trying all these supplements/superfoods which claim to boost your metabolism.
The research behind these supplements (I’m talking to you green tea pills and skinny teas) is very poor and aren’t going to make huge differences in your metabolism. Plus, some of them can be quite dangerous. Instead of wasting your money on these supplements that yield poor results, try out the strategies I listed above.The final one is doing endless steady state cardio.
Though you will be able to burn calories this way, HIIT is much more effective in boosting metabolism after exercise. Plus, it is much shorter, which could fit into your schedule better. Now, if you love steady state cardio and don’t want to give it up, of course you don’t need to give it up. But, if you are only doing it to burn calories, try HIIT and weight training instead.
Putting it all together: How to boost your metabolism
Try your best to incorporate all three strategies mentioned above. Incorporate regular weight training and HIIT into your workout routine. Eat enough to maintain your diet, especially protein.
If you follow these simple strategies, you will find that you will be eating more food while maintaining your weight. Try your best to avoid the common mistakes people make when trying to boost their metabolism or lose weight. Continue the three strategies and continue to see improvements in your metabolic rate.