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9 Ways To Boost Your Metabolism

Last updated Aug. 26, 2015

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

Your body tends to burn more calories digesting protein than it does for fat and carbohydrates. However, be careful not to overdo the high protein diet.


Boosting metabolism is key for weight cautious people to burn extra calories. Some people inherit an increased metabolism. Men tend to burn more calories than women. Also as we age, our metabolism slows down (Click here for study). Though genetics always comes first, there is still hope in boosting your metabolism and making your body work for you. Here are 9 ways to speed up your metabolism.

1.     Add protein to your diet

Your body tends to burn more calories digesting protein than it does for fat and carbohydrates. Be careful not to overdo the high protein diet. Maintain a balanced diet, while substituting some carbohydrates with lean protein-rich foods like beans, lean beef, turkey, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, and low-fat dairy products. This can boost your metabolism during meals.

2.     Give your foods a spicy kick

Capsaicin, the compound that gives red chili pepper its powerful kick, creates heat generation, which helps you burn more calories immediately after a meal. Studies have shown that a spicy dish can temporarily increase your metabolism by eight percent over a person’s normal rate as well as increase the person’s feeling of satiety, feeling of fullness.

3.     Shameless Snacking

Eating more often helps prevent your metabolism from tanking. When eating large meals, your metabolism slows down between meals. Eating a small meal or snack every three to four hours keeps your metabolism running. Be careful not to snack too much and accidentally consume more calories than needed for the day.

4.     Water is your best friend

Roughly 60% of your body is water. Some of the water is needed to process foods. Slight dehydration can curb your metabolism in the wrong direction. To stay hydrated, drink a glass of water before every meal and snack. Be sure to drink water more frequently when exercising as well. Lastly, fresh fruits and vegetables that are full of water is a great source of water.

5.     Black Coffee

Taken in moderation, coffee can increase your metabolic rate. The caffeine in black coffee can help you feel rejuvenated and increase your metabolism as you work out.

6.     Give Green Tea a try

Drinking green tea or oolong tea benefits your body with the caffeine and catechins it contains. Catechins are substances shown to speed up your metabolism for several hours. Research concludes that two to four cups of either tea can help your body burn 17% more calories during moderately intense exercise for a short period of time.

7.     Energy drinks

Energy drinks are full of caffeine, like coffee, and sometimes taurine, an amino acid that helps speed up metabolism. Abusing these drinks can cause problems like high blood pressure, anxiety, and sleep problems. It is not recommended for kids and teens by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Also, many energy drinks carry lots of simple carbohydrates.

8.     Pump Iron

Our bodies are constantly burning calories throughout the day. The amount of calories burned when we are doing nothing is our resting metabolic rate. Individuals with more muscle have a higher resting metabolic rate and burn more calories while doing nothing. A pound of muscle burns three times more calories than a pound of fat.

9.     Keep your heart rate pumping as well

High-intensity exercises increase your resting metabolic rate more than low- or moderate-intensity workouts. Short bursts of jogging during a brisk walk can take your workouts to another level. Aerobic muscles may not build large muscles but your metabolism can increase even hours after a workout.

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: Jan. 9, 2014
Last updated: Aug. 26, 2015