Ask the Experts: How Can I Increase My Metabolism?

Learn how to increase your metabolism by following four critical tips.

Bathroom Scale

Q: How can I increase my metabolism?

A: It's frustrating to see some people consistently eating massive amounts of food without gaining a pound. You know for sure that if you ate like they did, you'd immediately see the numbers on the scale jump.

Although other factors are involved—age and gender, to name two—it comes down to metabolism. A higher metabolism means your body burns more calories. It's only natural that many people would prefer to have a faster metabolism—especially when they are trying to lose weight (or if they have a strong sweet tooth).

Although there's no silver bullet, it is possible to increase your metabolism. Here's how:

Build Lean Muscle Mass

Lean muscle uses more calories than fat, because muscles constantly contract and relax whenever you move. It's important to perform regular strength workouts to build lean muscle mass and, hopefully, burn some fat at the same time. Try this workout plan.

Eat Several Small Meals Per Day 

When attempting to lose weight, your first instinct may be to eat less. Yes, you will consume fewer calories, but if you starve yourself, your body will store as much energy as possible in the form of fat as a means of survival.

Most nutrition experts recommend eating three normal and three small meals (snacks) each day so your body has sufficient fuel to function—although there is some controversy. You should also calculate how many calories you need each day to ensure that you are eating an appropriate amount to achieve your goal.

Perform High-Intensity Exercise

One of the best ways to boost your metabolism—at least in the short term—is to perform high-intensity exercises, such as a Tabata interval circuit. This will elevate your metabolism for up to 24 hours after a workout.

Eat More Protein

The thermic effect of food (TEF) refers to how many calories your body must burn to digest a specific type of food.

Protein has a high TEF and fat has a low TEF. Protein should make up approximately 20 percent of your daily caloric intake. You will burn more calories simply by eating.

Reference:

ACSM.org


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: PROTEIN | WORKOUTS | CALORIES | MEALS | EXERCISE | INTENSITY | MUSCLE MASS | LEAN MUSCLE