Originally Answered: What is a healthy natural way to raise your metabolism?
Dieters often complain that they can’t lose weight because they have
a “slow metabolism.” Unfortunately, many companies capitalize on this
misconception by marketing products that promise to give consumers a
so called “metabolic advantage” that helps melt away the pounds.
They are useless. There are things you can't control about your
metabolism, and no product ever will. On the other hand, there are
simple natural techniques, which will allow you to do it.
What you can’t control about your metabolism:
Age: Metabolism slows about 5 percent for each decade after 40.
That’s because as we get older, we tend to lose muscle and gain body
fat. Lean muscle mass is more metabolically active than fat tissue. So
when you lose muscle mass, your metabolism slows down.
Gender: Men generally have faster metabolisms than women because
they’re larger and have less body fat. Men’s basal metabolic rate is
estimated to be 10 percent to 15 percent higher than women’s.
Hypothyroidism: An underactive thyroid will slow down your metabolism
and ultimately lead to weight gain. The good news is that a simple
blood test can determine whether you have this condition or not. If
you do, you can control it with the proper medication.
Genetics: Some people are lucky enough to be born with speedy
metabolisms — and others are not.
What you can control about your metabolism: Diet
Don’t eat fewer than 1,000 calories a day. Your body and metabolism
thrive on food. When you fast or crash diet, your metabolism will slow
down in order to conserve energy. Imagine your metabolism as a blazing
fire. If the fire burns consistently with the appropriate amount of
high-quality wood, it will burn at a steady rate. But if it doesn’t
have enough wood, the fire goes out. If it has too much wood, it can
get out control — just like your waistline!
Eat every four to five hours. Our bodies work hard to digest and
absorb the foods we eat, and your metabolism revs up in response.
This is called the thermic effect of food. Take full advantage of this
and schedule meals and snacks every four to five hours.
Make breakfast a priority. Studies show that people who regularly eat
a healthy breakfast within two hours of rising are more likely to
control their weight. This may be because you’re lifting your
metabolic rate after it’s been in a “resting phase” during the night.
Eat protein with every meal: All foods create a thermic effect and
will slightly boost your metabolism. However, eating protein gives
your body a bigger metabolic boost than eating carbohydrates or fats.
Plus, eating enough protein will ensure you’ll maintain and build
muscle mass. (Remember, the more muscle mass you have, the greater
your metabolic rate). Make sure to incorporate lean protein into most
Best protein sources: fish, chicken breast, turkey breast, lean red
meat, skim milk, nonfat yogurt, eggs and egg substitutes, tofu, beans,
Breakfast: yogurt with fresh fruit
Lunch: turkey burger on whole-grain bun and a salad
Dinner: grilled chicken with vegetables and a baked potato
Do aerobic exercise four to five days a week. Aerobic activities,
such as running, brisk walking, swimming and bike riding, burn
calories and increase metabolism while you’re working out. Several
studies show that aerobic activities cause your metabolism to stay at
an elevated level for a period of time after you have finished
Work in strength-training exercise two to three days a week. Lifting
weights and other strengthening activities, such as doing push-ups or
crunches, on a regular basis will actually boost your resting
metabolism all day. That’s because these activities build muscle. And
once again, muscle burns more calories than body fat. In fact, if you
have more muscle, you burn more calories — even if you’re sitting
When it comes to supplements, I do not recommend them. The
ingredients that are effective tend to boost metabolism only slightly
and they can be risky. High doses of stimulants can make you jittery,
and increase heart rate and blood pressure.
The bottom line: The safest and most effective way to boost your
metabolism is to eat an appropriate amount of food every four to five
hours, incorporate a portion of lean protein into each meal, and