Easy Metabolism-Boosting Tips to Speed Up Weight Loss. “Boosting the metabolism” may very well be the “holy grail” of the fitness industry. Fortunately, there are several tried and true methods to accomplish this. Exercise, for instance, is arguably the most potent tool in the metabolism-boosting toolbox. Indeed, certain types of exercise can boost metabolism for hours after a workout. Even better, they can lead to long-term increases in resting metabolic rate by building calorie-burning muscle.

You hear it all the time – “metabolism,” but what is it? It’s the process of converting food into energy. Metabolism happens in your muscles and organs, and the result of it is what we commonly refer to as “burning calories.” Metabolism is essentially the speed at which your body’s motor is running.

“Basal metabolism” is the metabolic rate or caloric expenditure needed to maintain basal body functions such as your heart beating, breathing, muscle tone, etc. It’s how fast your “motor” is running when you’re still in a reclined position or sleeping. Basal metabolism accounts for about 75% of the calories you expend on a daily basis!

Increasing the amount of non-exercise activity (called NEAT)—such as walking, fidgeting, doing yard work, performing chores, dancing, taking the stairs, and moving throughout the day—is another efficient way to increase daily energy expenditure.

Believe it or not, the food you eat—or don’t eat—can also have a significant impact on metabolism. For example, under-eating can lead to reduced metabolic rate. Meanwhile, specific metabolism-boosting foods and drinks help boost metabolic rate.

Top five metabolism-boosting foods:

protein-rich foods

1. Protein-Rich Foods

There is a consensus that protein stimulates thermogenic burn to a significantly greater extent than other macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat). This is what makes proteins one of the top metabolism-boosting foods. Protein-rich foods boost the metabolism THREE to SIX TIMES more than carbs or fats. This means you burn more calories each day when you consume a high-protein diet.

It also means that protein-rich foods provide less metabolizable energy than carbs or fats. That is, your body is less likely to store calories from protein as fat. So, it should come as no surprise that high-protein diets increase metabolic rate and help preserve metabolic rate after weight loss.

2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The omega-3 fatty acids are “essential” fatty acids. That is, the body needs them yet cannot produce them on its own, so they must be obtained through diet and supplementation. The American Heart Association recommends that adults consume at least 500mg/day of EPA and DHA. The average person consumes only about a quarter of that amount (~135mg/day).


EPA and DHA are well-known for their beneficial effects on heart health, brain health, cognitive function, mood, eye health, and immune function. The benefits of EPA and DHA are far-reaching, as they are integrated into the membranes of our cells.

Even more, research has shown supplementation with fish oil may increase muscle mass, which is responsible for about 20% of resting metabolic rate and up to 80% of calorie expenditure during exercise. The best dietary sources of EPA and DHA are cold-water fatty fish such as:

• Anchovies
• Herring
• Sardines
• Salmon

3. Coconut Oil

unique dietary fat

Coconut oil is principally made up of saturated fat (about 92%), with as much as 70% of that being a particular type of fat called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). This makes coconut oil unique among dietary fats. You see, unlike the more common long-chain fats (LCFs), MCTs are easily burned for energy and are far less likely to be stored as fat.

In fact, MCTs are viewed as “functional” fats that provide a host of health benefits. They’ve been shown to lower body weight, improve markers of metabolic health, reduce abdominal fat, and improve insulin sensitivity. Coconut oil is a rich source of this unique, health-promoting saturated fat.

4. Resistant Starch

Resistant starch is so named because it is a non-digestible carbohydrate (i.e., fiber). The reason resistant starch have been long-considered one of the top metabolism-boosting foods is in its ability to increase satiety (feelings of fullness and satisfaction) and reduce food intake both short- and long-term. Research has also shown consumption of resistant starch increases fat burning, decreases fat storage, and improves insulin sensitivity.

That’s not all. Researchers speculate that resistant starch may also increase calorie expenditure. Also, it may also promote weight loss and preserve calorie-burning muscle. Not surprisingly, the resistant starch has been hyped by the popular press as a “weight loss wonder food.” While resistant starch is not digestible by us, it is considered a “prebiotic” fiber that serves as “food” for our beneficial gut bacteria (e.g., probiotics). In other words, gut bacteria feed on resistant starch through the process of fermentation. This results in the production of critical chemicals (i.e., short-chain fatty acids) that fuel our immune cells and stimulate the release of vital hunger-suppressing hormones.

When healthy gut bacteria ferment resistant starches, a byproduct is the production of short-chain fatty acids (SFCA), which may help suppress appetite. Preparation and processing techniques profoundly influence the content of resistant starch in food. Generally speaking, the following are good sources of resistant starch:

green bananas

• Green, unripe bananas
• Uncooked, rolled oats
• Potatoes that have been cooked then cooled
• Rice that has been prepared then cooled
• White beans that have been prepared then cooled
• Lentils that have been cooked then cooled

5. Coffee and Tea

Coffee is one of the world’s most consumed drinks, trailing only water and tea. Of course, coffee is synonymous with caffeine, and there may be a host of benefits—including its place one of the top metabolism-boosting foods. For instance, studies show coffee consumption significantly increases metabolic rate. In fact, consuming as little as 100mg of caffeine, which you can get from a single cup of coffee, is enough to boost metabolic rate. And it appears repeated ingestion and more significant amounts lead to an even more pronounced effect.

What’s particularly interesting is that higher oxidation of fat accompanies this increase in resting metabolic rate. Simply put, coffee and caffeine can help boost metabolic rate and increase fat burning.

If coffee isn’t your, well, cup of tea, then you may be able to reap similar metabolism-boosting benefits from tea. Studies consistently show that green tea, which contains the catechin epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), increases metabolic rate and the body’s use of fat for fuel. Effects that are independent of its caffeine content. EGCG appears to work by inhibiting enzymes that can shut down critical fat-burning hormones (i.e., norepinephrine), thereby stoking the body’s fat-burning furnace.

morning cup of green tea

12 Additional Tips for Boosting Metabolism:

The good news is that there are ways you can “boost” your metabolism! The more of these you’re able to incorporate into your life, the more you’ll boost your metabolism. That means you’ll be burning more calories 24 hours a day!

  • Always eat breakfast!
  • Eat earlier in the day!
  • Don’t Deprive Yourself of Needed Calories!
  • Snack frequently!
  • Eat Carbohydrates!
  • Get your Heart Rate Up!
  • Strength Training!
  • Be Active!
  • Avoid alcohol!
  • Avoid the”3 P’s: Pills, powders, and potions! There are NO quick fixes!
  • Get started today!

Final Thoughts:

Metabolism is an encompassing term used to describe how many calories you expend on a daily basis. It is made up mainly of resting metabolic rate, which is the number of calories your body requires to sustain vital functions at rest. However, physical activity can have a profound effect on metabolism, both in the short run and long-term. While the contribution of eating is less pronounced, certain metabolism-boosting foods can indeed have an impact. And for most, even the smallest changes can add up to make a noticeable difference.

I hope you found this article helpful and as always I look forward to your comments, questions and the sharing of ideas.

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