The fastest way to boost your metabolism (which is what controls how quickly you burn fat) is to build muscle but working out is both time consuming and exhausting. Even worse, working out is rarely enough by itself. In fact, you might have already squeezed some workout time into your schedule only to discover that it isn’t enough to achieve the results you want.
You don’t have to accept a slow metabolism and lack of weight loss because you’ve already hit your maximum capacity for working out or you want to avoid exercise at all costs. The truth is your metabolic rate is almost 80% based on factors totally unrelated to exercise.
Don’t believe me?
14 Metabolism Boosters
1. Sip on green tea
The combination of caffeine and catechin (a powerful antioxidant) in green tea can boost your resting metabolic rate—the amount of fat you burn while you’re relaxing—by as much as 4%. For best results you want to be drinking around one liter per day.
Bonus tip: if you can’t stand the taste of green tea you can actually get green tea extract in supplements to boost your weight loss, but this isn’t quite as effective as drinking the tea itself.
2. Eat protein with every meal
Protein is what helps your body build muscle and muscle automatically raises your resting metabolic rate. If you really want to boost your metabolism make sure that even your snacks have some amount of protein. And you don’t have to load up on meat to load up on protein—nuts, avocados and certain vegetables like spinach and white mushrooms contain large amounts of protein as well.
If you’re serious about losing weight you should get around 80% of your calories from high protein foods.
3. Make sure your carbohydrates are high in fiber
Fiber helps control blood sugar levels and lowers cholesterol levels. It also keeps your digestive system moving, allowing you to go to the bathroom comfortably. All these things combined make fiber essential to maintaining a healthy weight.
Luckily most unprocessed carbohydrates—things like apples and other fruit—are already high in fiber, so this isn’t too hard to do. And avoiding processed carbohydrates means avoiding a lot of other things you don’t want in your system as well.
4. Go for sweet potatoes
Potatoes are so high in nutrients you could literally live off of nothing but potatoes and milk but they’re also incredibly high in starch. Sweet potatoes contain even more nutrients and minerals without nearly as much starch, and they taste good cooked in all the same ways.
You’ll also love making this switch because sweet potatoes are generally much larger than regular potatoes and they’re almost the same price.
5. Never skip breakfast
Skipping breakfast is all too easy to do when you have work first thing in the morning but this sends your body into starvation mode, telling it to conserve any food it does get as fat in case there isn’t more later. If you aren’t usually hungry in the morning have a quick, high protein snack when you first wake up and wait to have an actual meal until you are hungry.
The absolute latest you should ever eat breakfast is an hour after you wake up. It’s also important to keep your meals regular throughout the day as your body can go into starvation mode any time it goes more than a few hours without food.
6. Transition to dark chocolate
Milk chocolate definitely falls into the dangerous dessert category but dark chocolate is incredibly good for you. Dark chocolate is full of essential minerals and antioxidants that help your skin look beautiful, lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, and boost your metabolism. It’s especially beneficial if you’ve been eating a lot of high-in-sugar and low-in-nutrients milk chocolate.
If you’re a big milk chocolate fanatic you probably think dark chocolate is quite bitter but you can train your tastebuds to love it. The great thing about dark chocolate is you can find it in a huge range of percentages. Start somewhere low, like 15% dark chocolate, and work your way all the way up to 80-90% dark chocolate. Your body will thank you.
7. Make it spicy
Spicy food actually raises your body temperature, which also raises your metabolism. Certain spices are also associated with a variety of other health benefits including an improved immune system, which makes it easier to do all the other metabolism-boosting things on this list.
Not a big fan of spice? This is another thing you can gradually become used to. Your tastebuds will eventually adjust to anything if you eat it often enough and it’s easy to gradually add a bit more spice to your meals each week.
8. Load up the garlic
Garlic is an excellent source of nutrients including vitamins C and B6. These nutrients help fill you up and improve your mood so you’re less likely to fall prey to bad emotional eating habits. Garlic also strengthens your immune system, keeping you healthy so all your systems can function properly.
Remember to buy real, fresh garlic instead of garlic powder so you get the full nutritional content as well as the full flavor.
9. Stop stressing out
Chronic stress could kill you literally. This condition is linked to increased risk of heart disease and stroke and it makes it difficult to focus on the other things you have to do. High levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, also reduce your body’s ability to burn fat.
There are almost as many different ways to reduce stress as there are people who have stress. Things like meditating, yoga, art, and a healthy diet can all help you minimize the stress in your life. Of course, sometimes what you really need is a bigger change: a new job, a different relationship(or no relationship), a new apartment or even a new city. Dig deep and understand what’s really causing your stress, then figure out how to get rid of it.
10. Drink more water
Your body doesn’t do anything properly when it isn’t properly hydrated. The eight glasses of water a day isn’t necessarily true—how much water you need depends on your level of activity, your size and the amount of water in your food—but it is true that most of us aren’t drinking enough water.
A good rule of thumb is that you should never actually be thirsty, at least not for more than a few seconds. Get a high quality reusable water bottle and make sure you have water with you everywhere you go.
11. Add some lemon to your water
Freshly squeezed lemon juice is full of vitamin C and antioxidants that are great for your skin. The sour taste also helps curb your desire to overeat—and it’s a great way to add flavor to your water if you really can’t stand drinking it plain.
Drink a glass of lemon water immediately when you wake up and again before every meal for the biggest boost to your metabolism.
12. Get better sleep
Even people who do manage to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep every night don’t always feel good. This is because the quality of your sleep is just as important as getting the right amount. Your body needs sleep to repair and build muscles. Sleep also helps you stay alert and focused throughout the day, reducing your sugar cravings and allowing you to resist temptation when you do have them.
Create a consistent bedtime routine that includes turning off all your screens at least an hour before bed and doing a light, relaxing activity such as reading a familiar book before you go to sleep. You also want to get all your electronics away from your bed. If you’re really struggling to sleep a melatonin supplement an hour before bed can help.
13. Stand up more
You don’t have to put a treadmill in front of your TV to get your metabolism going (although it is a great idea). All you have to do is stand up more. Sitting doesn’t use any muscle power at all, but standing requires your body to hold itself up, using most of your muscles.
Alternate between sitting and standing—with your standing phase being at least an hour long—throughout your day to keep your resting metabolic rate high.
14. Eat celery
Did you know that your body uses more calories to chew celery than it actually gets out of celery? You can snack on celery all day long and still lose a crazy amount of weight as long as you remember not to dip it in anything.
This is particularly helpful if you’re the type of person who tends to snack on whatever’s around when they’re bored or nervous. Fill your fridge with celery and eat it all up!
Also read: 10 Ways to Torch 100 Calories in 10 Minutes
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