Your metabolism is the process of converting nutrition into fuel. The speed of your metabolism, or metabolic rate, varies from one person to another and can be changed.
There are various reasons why you’d want to speed up your metabolic rate, especially if you want to lose weight, so this is how you do it.
How do you speed up your metabolism? Eat for frequently, have more protein, drink cold water, exercise, be more active, consume food, drink, and supplements with caffeine, eat spicy foods, improve sleep, get more Vitamin D, cook with coconut oil and reduce stress.
Put simply, your metabolism is the series of chemical reactions that keep you alive, which is why it’s something you can biohack.
A good image to visualize when talking about metabolism is a car using fuel – the body uses nutrition as fuel.
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The factors naturally affecting the speed of your metabolism.
Some people naturally have a faster metabolism than others, meaning they may not gain as much weight because of:
- Body size
Body size relates to muscle, as muscle cells require more energy to maintain than fat cells. Therefore people with more muscle tend to have a faster metabolism. Obviously, training and exercise will allow you to make changes to this.
Age is something, unfortunately, none of us can stop or slow down the process of. As we get older the metabolism often slows down as we gain fat and lose muscle. Again you can alter this with biohacking your diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors.
Gender. Sorry ladies but men generally have a faster metabolism than women as they have more muscle mass and less body fat than women.
It’s said that your metabolism is somewhat determined by your genes, however, this isn’t fully researched yet, although there are many studies like this one.
Is having a faster metabolism better than a slower metabolism?
Having a naturally faster metabolism isn’t always good.
Don’t forget, having a faster metabolism means your body burns calories at a higher rate. So, people who want to gain weight have to eat much more food while being careful with what they eat. You shouldn’t consume too much sugar as this has negative effects on health as an example.
To gain weight healthily you have to eat frequently, have larger meals, and eat foods with natural sugars such as whole grains or fruit. People with a high metabolism might feel frustrated if they want to gain weight and the opposite is true for people with slower metabolisms.
It’s often thought that having a fast metabolism is better than having a slow metabolism. But not everyone with a fast metabolism enjoys it. People with a fast metabolism are more prone to binge eating unhealthy foods.
Speeding up your metabolism
The one factor in the above list that we can predictably change is the ‘body size’ factor.
What does this mean? It means you need to increase your body’s lean muscle mass.
There are several ways to increase muscle mass in your body:
- Increase physical activity and in exercise, start strength training
- Stay hydrated, drink plenty of water
- Eat healthily
- Get enough sleep
- Manage stress levels
There are plenty of other ways to speed up your metabolism which don’t involve exercising. Saying that exercise is the best way to speed up your metabolism, however, try these too.
Eat more often
After eating, our metabolism speeds up as it digests food and turns it into energy. So, eating more often can increase your metabolism and actually speed up weight loss. Be careful though, it’s crucial to eat food that is not filled with calories, to avoid putting on weight.
Increase your protein intake
Protein causes the largest rise in the thermic effect of food (TEF). TEF is the fancy, scientific, way of saying that eating food speeds up your metabolism for a few hours.
Protein increases your metabolic rate by 15–30%, whereas carbs and fats comparatively only increase it by 3–10%. Protein also fills you up more, meaning you won’t feel like binge eating.
In summary, eating more protein boosts metabolism, burning more calories. Protein also helps you eat less so it’s a win-win!
Eat more spicy food
This isn’t for everyone but it works.
Spicy food can increase your metabolism. This is due to the presence of capsaicin in peppers, a substance that can boost metabolism. Capsaicin is also available in pill form as a ‘metabolism booster’ (we’ll get onto that later).
As an added benefit, some studies have found that spicy foods also make you feel fuller, faster.
Get more vitamin D
Less to do with metabolism but still important in weight loss, studies have suggested that a vitamin D deficiency is linked with a higher risk of obesity.
Supplements can be taken and vitamin D can be found in foods such as low-fat dairy products. Or just spend some time in the sun each day to get your dose of vitamin D.
Studies have shown that caffeine can increase metabolism by 3-11% so coffee can encourage fat burning.
Caffeine is the most common ingredient found in metabolism-boosting and weight loss supplements.
Drink green tea
Green tea is good for you in many ways, improving brain function, improving dental health and increase metabolism by 4-5%. It’s recommended that you drink 2-3 cups a day for optimal benefits.
Although some studies have found that drinking it doesn’t affect your metabolism or at least not everybody’s. As with all these suggestions, try it and see if it works for you.
Drink more water
This is the most important suggestion and yet one of the easiest as well!
Up to 60% of our body is made up of water and yet it seems to be one of the most under-appreciated minerals as it’s ‘boring’ and ‘just water’, it can also be biohacked.
Water has a list of benefits too long for this article alone. For weight loss and metabolism however, it helps as dehydrated cells and organs don’t function as well as hydrated ones. This leads to a lower metabolism than it could potentially be if you were to be properly hydrated.
You can, of course, increase hydration through other beverages. But why not combine hydration, and the various other health benefits, with fewer calories and sugar by just drinking water! If you want to read more into the science I’d look here.
And if the water’s cold this speeds up your metabolism too as the body needs to heat it up to body temperature.
Getting good quality sleep
Not sleeping well or getting inadequate sleep can have, along with many other issues, an adverse effect on metabolism.
Studies have found that constant sleep disruption and irregular bedtimes caused a reduction in resting metabolism of up to 8%.
If you’re looking for ways to get a better nights sleep then look at the article on how to biohack it for help.
Use Coconut Oil in cooking
Coconut oil has gained and then fallen in popularity over the last few years due to many studies linking it to various health benefits and then disadvantages. However, for metabolism, using it instead of butter or other cooking oils can increase your metabolic rate by up to 8% over butter.
Be more active in day-to-day life
Unsurprisingly, sitting down at work for a whole day isn’t good for you.
You could lose up to an extra 174 calories just from standing up more often. And moving more by walking, climbing up stairs rather and lifting objects will also boost your metabolism.
Metabolism Boosting Supplements
Supplements are available for almost anything these days, metabolism included.
Pills and powders containing metabolism-boosting minerals and ingredients such as caffeine, capsaicin, chromium picolinate, conjugated linoleic acid, and many others all claim to help in ‘busting fat’ or increasing metabolism.
The metabolism is a misunderstood and unfamiliar subject for many. But it’s the key to understand its links to weight loss and also building lean muscle too.
Once this is understood, it’s clear to see the many ways of biohacking your metabolism and in the end, becoming more healthy.
And the best thing is there are many options open to you. So pick what’s best for you and use as many of them as you want together to speed up your results.