Updated: May 9, 2022
You've probably heard people complaining about them having a fast or a slow metabolism, which causes them to struggle to either lose or gain weight, depending on their goals.
It's one of the most common excuses I hear people using when they try to explain why they're unable to reach their fitness goals.
And while the speed of your metabolism is dependent on your genetics, it can be altered and changed to a degree in a way that supports you and your fitness goals.
In this post, I'll be going over how you can alter your metabolism to suit your goals better and helping you apply this new knowledge into your training!
The Easiest Ways to Boost Metabolism
This is one of the best and most effective ways that you can improve your metabolism. Muscle is naturally more metabolically active than fat. So it should make sense that if you have more muscle, you'll boost your metabolism.
This means that having more muscle is going to allow your body to naturally burn more calories, even when you're not doing any physical activity. Muscle tissue burns 7-10 calories per pound of muscle each day.
Each pound of fat on your body only burns 2-3 calories each day. You can do some basic math and figure out that on average, muscle helps you burn more than twice the number of calories that fat does when you're resting.
This will increase the speed of your metabolism, and allow you to burn more calories throughout the day. You'll find it easier to keep the extra weight off and look leaner.
So find a way to build more muscle.
Whether you do this through weightlifting in the gym, bodyweight workouts at home or playing a sport, you should look to take up some kind of physical activity that allows you to build more muscle.
Eat Spicier Foods
Believe it or not, eating more spicy foods can actually help to boost your metabolism and increase the number of calories that you naturally burn each day.
Peppers contain a chemical compound called capsaicin, which has been shown in several studies such as this one by C J Henry to increase the rate of your metabolism.
However, you do need to be eating quite a lot of spice in order to get any meaningful results from this. You cannot simply sprinkle a little bit of pepper on top of your meal and expect to see a huge difference.
This is a small tip and likely a small change, but can quickly add up and help to increase your metabolic rate that little bit extra.
Get More Sleep
This might sound obvious, but we see far too many people neglecting their sleep, and just giving themselves a couple hours a night, if any at all.
The truth is, sleep is incredibly important in fitness. It's incredibly important as your body needs a chance to repair itself from all the hard work you're doing and restore lost energy that was used throughout the day. If you don't get enough sleep, you're essentially limiting yourself in terms of your gains.
Sleeping doesn't have a direct influence on our metabolic rate, but not getting enough of it can lead to an imbalance in our hormones, including the ones that are related to feeling hungry and wanting to eat more.
This can cause us to overeat and easily go over our calorie target and can cause us to gain fat, which we know doesn't burn nearly as many calories as muscle does.
Sleeping enough will also help us maximize our gains in terms of building muscle and boost our athletic performance, which will help us make more progress with our exercise programs.
We already know that building more muscle is one of the best things that we can do to boost our metabolism.
You see, when we exercise and train hard, we create tears and microtrauma throughout body. This damage needs to be repaired in order for us to grow and come back stronger. Sleeping more is going to allow our bodies to repair themselves more efficiently after intense weightlifting, and will help us come back with even bigger and stronger muscles than we otherwise would.
A study conducted by Yanbo Chen concluded that: "maintaining a sleep duration of 7-8 hours may be preferable for muscle strength." Many other sources recommend 7-9 hours each night for optimal muscle growth and gains.
You can get a little bit more sleep if you want, but sleeping too much has been shown to be linked to conditions such as obesity and depression.
So try to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep a night. That's where you should be aiming to be for most of your nights.
Consume More Caffeine
Drinking more caffeine has actually been proven in studies to be an effective way of boosting your metabolism and helping your burn more calories throughout the day.
According to this study conducted by K J Acheson, "caffeine/coffee stimulates the metabolic rate in both control and obese individuals".
Another study concluded that: "Caffeine at commonly consumed doses can have a significant influence on energy balance and may promote thermogenesis in the treatment of obesity."
It's been shown that caffeine can boost metabolism by up to 11%, which might not sound like a lot, but is quite substantial for such a minor change and effort. That's right. Simply drinking your coffee can help you to maintain a healthier bodyweight and keep you burning more calories throughout the day, even during rest.
The caffeine doesn't just have to come from coffee either. It can come from tea, supplements, guarana, and so on. There are lots of ways that you can look to increase your caffeine intake (keep it reasonable and do your research) and boost your metabolism that way.
Drink More Water
Along with sleep, water is one of the most important elements when it comes to fitness that many people forget about or neglect.
According to Medical News Today, our muscles are made up of 70-75% water. It should make sense that you need to be drinking quite a lot of water if you want your muscles to function properly and be as healthy as possible.
Water also contains no calories, which is going to help you keep that extra weight off. Instead of drinking a 125-180 calorie soda everyday, you can help keep the fat off and live healthier by simply rethinking your choice of drink!
And this study conducted by Michael Boschmann also found that drinking water may actually help you increase the rate of your metabolism for a period of time! They found that: "Drinking 500 ml of water increased metabolic rate by 30%".
This is quite a significant change in metabolic rate, for something as simple as replacing your daily soda at home with water instead.
And believe it or not, even though water has no calories, it can still help to fill you up. If you've ever had a large amount of water before a meal, you'll know what we're talking about. Drinking water can fill you up and make you feel more satisfied at the end of your meal, even if you've eaten less than you usually or otherwise would.
Studies have shown that drinking more water helps people lose weight by making them feel like they need to eat less. This is going to help keep the fat off your body and help you maintain your healthier bodyweight.
What's more, drinking cold or chilled water may be an even better option if you're looking to further increase your metabolism and burn more calories. When we drink cold water, our body has to do a little bit of extra work to heat it up to body temperature. Over time, this will lead to your body burning even just a little bit more over time.
A study conducted by Clive M Brown found that: "Drinking water that had been cooled to 3 C caused a small increase in energy expenditure of 4.5% over 60 min".
Again, this may seem insignificant, however if you do it in conjunction with the other tips on this list, you'll quickly realize that the numbers add up fast and you can boost your metabolic rate by quite a substantial amount for doing simple changes here and there like this.
Eat More Protein
Protein has been shown in studies to be the most satiating macro you can eat. By this, we mean that protein fills you up the quickest and the most. So it should stand to reason that if you eat a higher protein diet, you'll tend to want to eat less during each meal that you eat.
This will quickly add up, and a study conducted by David S Weigle found that the average person could reduce their daily calorie intake by a mean (average) of 441 calories when protein made up 30% of their diet.
That's almost the same size of a caloric deficit that Healthline recommends (500 caloric deficit) if you're wanting to lose weight and lose fat.
So if you're currently eating at your maintenance level of calories and are looking for a simple way to reduce your daily intake, simply switch to a higher protein meal and you should find that this does wonders for you and your goals.
Eating more protein can actually also increase your metabolism naturally without doing anything else.
Protein takes more energy for your body to digest and absorb than fat does. And so if you were to eat a meal that was high in protein and lower in fat, you'd burn more calories than you would if you did it the other way around.
This extra required energy is going to stimulate a faster metabolic rate and cause people to burn more calories over time, even when resting.
This is called the thermic effect of food.
Proteins use 15-30% of energy for the body to use, whereas carbs use 5-15% and fats use only 0-5% of energy.
Simply switching to a higher protein diet and reducing your fat intake is going to be a great way that you can increase your metabolic rate and burn more calories throughout the day.
If you would like to learn more about dieting and creating your own workout meal plan, click here to read our free blog article!
Overall, increasing your metabolic rate is definitely something that can be done, and is a good idea if you want to lose weight more efficiently and help maintain a healthier bodyweight.
Instead of simply complaining about your metabolism and how it affects your ability to reach your goals, go and do something about it!
Simply follow the 6 steps outlined in this post and you'll be well on your way to boosting your metabolism effectively.
If you found this post helpful, share it with your friends so that we can reach more people! We're trying to help as many as possible reach their fitness goals.