This article by health and fitness expert Dawna Stone's will help you kick your metabolism into high gear. For more info, check out her video course: A 14-Day Clean-Eating Program: How to Kick-Start Weight Loss in Two Weeks.
We often assume we’re born with a set metabolism and there is nothing we can do about it. Fortunately, that’s not true!
Here are eight simple steps I follow to make sure I’m kicking my metabolism into high gear:
1. Eat breakfast.
Although there are still questions about whether or not eating breakfast has a direct effect on your metabolism, many studies, including one in the Journal of American Dietetic Association, show that women who eat breakfast tend to eat fewer calories throughout the day, allowing them to better maintain or lose weight.
In fact, the National Weight Control Registry reports that eating breakfast is one of the most important aspects of long-term weight management for its study participants.
Jump-start your morning with a healthy breakfast and get the energy boost you need to start the day out right.
2. Drink water.
Many of us are in a constant state of mild dehydration. We go through the day drinking little water and forget that our bodies need water to burn calories. Even mild dehydration can slow down your metabolism.
For a quick and easy metabolism boost, make sure you’re drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day and more if you live in a hot climate or you exercise regularly.
3. Mix it up.
Not all exercise is created equal. Changing up your current routine can help you torch even more calories and keep your body burning more even after your workout is over—helping to boost your metabolism.
If you do the same workout day in and day out, try something new once or twice a week, and you’re sure to notice an almost immediate and positive change.
4. Get enough sleep.
In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to go-go-go and not put an emphasis on the importance of adequate sleep. But being sleep-deprived can wreak havoc on your metabolism and weight.
A study in the International Journal of Endocrinology showed how sleep is connected to the metabolic process and is important to maintain metabolic equilibrium. Another study in Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism states that sleep disturbances can cause disorders, including obesity.
Try to go to bed 15 minutes earlier each week until you’re getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep a night. I know it may not be easy, but your body will thank you, and not only will you help boost your metabolism, but you’ll also be more productive during the day.
5. Let your food work for you.
Certain foods have been shown to increase metabolism. Give these foods a try: green tea, peppers, eggs, avocados, apple cider vinegar, and whole-fat yogurt. But don’t go overboard or the extra calories you consume will offset any small increase in metabolism.
6. Up the intensity.
Simply adding some interval training into your workout—short bursts of higher-intensity training—can help your body burn more calories even after your exercise session is over.
Next time you’re out for a run or on the treadmill, going for a bike ride or taking an exercise class, try upping the intensity for short bursts and feel the burn!
Even if you’re trying to lose weight, don’t slash your calories too low, as inadequate calories can actually lower your metabolism as your body tries to conserve energy.
If you’re trying to lose weight, cut your calories to a healthy level and then use exercise to burn additional calories.
8. Lift weights or do weight-bearing exercises.
Incorporating weight lifting or weight-bearing exercises into your exercise routine will help you build more lean muscle mass. Since muscle burns more calories than fat, more muscle means a higher resting metabolism, and that means a boost to your fat-burning efforts.
Note: Before adopting any new exercise routine, you should consult your physician.