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5 most effective ways to boost your metabolism

The most commonly asked question in the fitness industry is how to boost  your metabolism.

Most people still believe that the metabolism is pure genetic and you are either born with a fast metabolism or not. However, there are some ways that can help us boost out metabolism. Now before we dive into it, let us first define what this word means exactly. Metabolism is defined as the whole range of biochemical processes that occur within a living organism. In the science it is often  used the word metabolic rate. In simpler terms, metabolism is the amount of energy the body burns to maintain itself.

  1. Weight training 

Now we all know that weight training increases your overall muscle mass and this is the key to boosting your metabolism. The main reason for this is because muscle is much more metabolically active then fat mass. 10 pounds of muscle (around 4,5 kilograms) will burn 50 calories in a day spent at rest. The same amount of fat would burn only 20 calories. Therefore we know: the higher the muscle mass, the higher your metabolism. 

Since it is a common knowledge, that your metabolism slows down with age, it is very important for older people to include at least 3 times a week a strength training into their program so they reduce all the muscle loss that happens naturally while getting older. 

  • HIIT training 

Weight training is not the only type of training that has shown positive benefits on the metabolic rate. HIIT-training is another type of movement that could help us boost our metabolism. Research suggests that HIIT-training can help us burn more calories even after we are finished with the workout by inducing far greater fat loss comparing it to moderate or low intensity steady-state training.  Therefore it increases your metabolic rate since the body continues burning energy following the exercise session. 

  • Frequent eating. 

Another factor that influences our metabolic rate is how often do we eat. It is a well-known fact that waiting long stretches between meals can only effect our body in a negative way. This pattern of eating has shown to slow down our metabolic rate, since the body knows that if it keeps working with the same speed and meanwhile not getting enough fuel, it will  only starve and kill itself. That is why people who have been following a very restrictive diet for a long period of time have been marked with a slow metabolism. 

It is often recommended that you eat every 4 hours to “keep that fire burning” all day long. Of course it is very important the quality and quantity of the food. 

However I would never recommend eating even though you are not feeling hungry. Try having 4 to 5 smaller meals throughout the whole day instead of 2 or 3 huge meals. 

  • Eat enough protein at every meal: 

As we already talked about why starving ourselves can slow down our metabolic rate, now we can discuss how exactly food can increase your metabolism overall. 

This process is called the thermic effect of food (TEF). It is caused by the energy required to digest, absorb and process our food and the nutrients in it. 

Protein is well known to cause the largest rise in TEF. Protein increases our metabolic rate 3 to 5 times more then carbs and fats. 

Studies show that consuming enough protein (best spread out through the whole day and meals) is connected to a reduced muscle loss and drop in metabolic rate. 

  • Enough sleep

Enough studies out there support that sleep duration may be an important regulator of body weight and therefore the metabolism. It has also been reported that there is an association between the impact of sleep and the appetite hormones leptin(1)  and ghrelin, which brings up the question how to speed up our metabolism with sleep. 

Leptin is a hormone, that reduces the appetite single in our body and meanwhile increases energy expenditure. Ghrelin, on the other hand, is responsible for the increase in appetite and reduction of energy expenditure. 

Studies have shown that many people who are sleep-deprived  have also lower leptin levels and increased ghrelin levels, which results in an increase in hunger and spike in craving for carbohydrates. Therefore they  struggle to lose weight (2).

Lack of sleep is linked as well to a major increase in the risk of obesity following a decrease in the sensitivity to insulin and as well as cardiovascular diseases (3). 

Although we definitely need more research on metabolism and sleep, but for now, there are number of reasons why we should try getting approximately  7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.