Skip to main content

How to Increase Your Metabolism

Metabolism is the chemical process by which the body converts the food you eat and drink into energy. The body needs this energy to function and allow you to go about your day-to-day activities.
It is also needed when the body is at rest, to perform tasks like breathing, circulating blood throughout the body and repairing cells.

Your metabolism is determined by several factors, such as genes, sex, age, hormone levels, body size and composition, and activity level. A slow or low metabolism can have a huge impact on your energy level, body weight and overall health.

Some causes of low metabolism are fasting, poor eating pattern, an unhealthy or low-calorie diet, lack of physical activity, snacking on sugary foods, drinking too many high-sugar drinks, poor or inadequate sleep, too much stress and accumulation of toxins in the body. Other key factors responsible for slow metabolism are conditions like diabetes and hypothyroidism.
Some of the most common symptoms of slow metabolism are low blood pressure, slow pulse, fatigue, weakness, constipation, dry skin, high body fat and increased sensitivity to cold. Men usually have a higher metabolism rate than women.

If your metabolism rate is low, you can make some small lifestyle and dietary changes to increase it.

Here are the top 10 ways to increase your metabolism.

1. Green Tea
A small 1999 study done at the University of Geneva in Switzerland found that green tea raises metabolic rates and speeds up fat oxidation. This is due to the presence of powerful flavonoids and antioxidants in green tea. Additionally, green tea works as a stimulant to increase metabolism.

Add 1 teaspoon of green tea leaves to a cup of hot water.
Cover and allow it to steep for 5 minutes.
Strain and add a little honey.
Drink 2 to 4 cups of green tea daily.
You can also take 300 to 400 mg capsules of green tea extract daily after consulting your doctor.

2. Oil Pulling
The ancient practice of oil pulling in Ayurveda is often recommended for detoxification of the body. It can also be used to increase metabolism and shed excess pounds. Oil pulling is inexpensive, harmless and easy to do.

Put 1 tablespoon of organic coconut oil or sesame oil in your mouth.
Swish it around your mouth for about 20 minutes.
Spit it out, then brush your teeth.
Do this daily in the morning, on an empty stomach.
Note: Do not gargle or swallow the oil.

3. Cayenne
Cayenne has a compound known as capsaicin that has a positive impact on thermogenesis, the process by which cells convert energy into heat. According to a 2008 study done at Aarhus University in Denmark, capsaicin consumption increases thermogenesis, which in turn boosts body temperature and metabolism.

Add cayenne pepper or cayenne powder in soups, salads or any of your favorite foods.
You can also take 1 cayenne capsule twice daily with food.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another good remedy to boost your metabolism rate, allowing you to burn calories more efficiently. It helps alkalize the body, thus preventing you from becoming too acidic.

Mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a glass of water.
Drink it each morning and before meals.
Follow this routine daily.
Note: You can gradually increase the amount of apple cider vinegar to up to 2 tablespoons per day glass of water.

5. Warm Lemon Water
If you are trying to increase your metabolism, drinking a glass of warm lemon water will help a lot. It will alkalize your body and boost your metabolism.

Lemon water will also keep you hydrated and help fight hunger cravings. Plus, adding black pepper to your lemon water will boost your metabolism and assist in losing weight.

Add the juice of ½ lemon to a glass of warm water.
Mix in 1 teaspoon of honey and ½ teaspoon of black pepper powder.
Drink it in the morning on an empty stomach.
Drink this daily to ignite your metabolism.

6. Ginger
Ginger has thermogenic qualities, meaning when consumed it can slightly increase body temperature. This helps increase your metabolic rate. Plus, ginger helps increase the feeling of satisfaction so that you eat less and burn calories faster.

Add 1 teaspoon of freshly chopped ginger root to 1 cup of boiling water.
Cover and allow it to steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
Strain and add honey.
Sip a cup of this tea slowly 2 or 3 times daily.
You can even chew a small piece of fresh ginger root or take ginger capsules after consulting your doctor.

7. Increase Fluid Intake
Drinking water and other healthy fluids can boost your metabolism and help your body burn fat more quickly.

According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, drinking 500 ml water increases metabolic rate by 30 percent among healthy people. On the other hand, even mild dehydration will slow down metabolism.

Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water daily.
Drink ice water 1 or 2 times a day.
Drink a few cups of herbal teas like chamomile tea, green tea, ginger tea, peppermint tea and others.
Include fresh fruit and vegetable juices in your diet.
Coconut water, low-fat milk, soy milk, yogurt, and fruits and vegetables with a high water content will also add to your fluid intake.
Note: Fluid requirements vary from person to person, so you need to adjust accordingly.

8. Get Vitamin D
Vitamin D can speed up your metabolism and help you lose weight. Studies have shown that low vitamin D levels may lead to fat accumulation, which in turn lowers your metabolism rate.

Plus, vitamin D enhances intestinal absorption of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate and zinc that are essential for a healthy body.

Expose your body to early morning sunlight for 10 to 15 minutes daily to help your body produce vitamin D.
Eat foods rich in vitamin D like fatty fish, fortified milk, liver and eggs.
You can also take a vitamin D supplement after consulting a doctor.

9. Follow a Healthy Eating Pattern
Along with eating healthy foods, it is essential to follow a healthy eating pattern to increase metabolism. Eating regular meals and healthy snacks supports your metabolism throughout the day.

Start your day with a healthy breakfast. A 2010 study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that a high-fat breakfast can boost your metabolism and help your body burn more fat during the day.
Eat smaller meals frequently during the day instead of eating two large meals.
Eat healthy snacks in between meals.
If you are trying to lose weight, avoid indulging in heavy dinners. Also, eat dinner at least 2 hours before going to bed.

10. Exercise Daily
Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to boost your metabolism. When you exercise, your metabolic rate will increase. At the same time, exercise will keep your resting energy expenditure high during the recovery period.

Do 30 minutes of anaerobic exercises like push-ups, pull-ups and sprints daily.
Do 2 strength training sessions per week.
Do aerobic exercises like walking, running, swimming and cycling for about 30 minutes daily.
Note: Don’t forget to warm up and relax your body before and after exercising.

Additional Tips
Include oily fish like tuna and salmon in your diet.
Eat a diet rich in vitamins C and B, calcium, protein, iron and fiber.
Never skip breakfast.
Opt for organic foods in your diet because the toxicity from pesticides has been found to slow metabolism and encourage weight gain.
Do not wolf down your food.
Determine your calorie requirements and plan your diet accordingly. Calculate here.
Do not starve yourself as it can lower your metabolism drastically.
Do not take over-the-counter pills to boost metabolism.
Avoid stress as it raises the amount of cortisol in your body that can hamper the metabolism process.
Get enough sleep as lack of sleep can slow the metabolism, increase appetite and increase risks of obesity and weight gain.
Drink a cup of coffee daily as a small amount of caffeine can boost your metabolism by stimulating your central nervous system.