Our metabolism converts the calories from what we eat or drink into energy.  Many factors impact our metabolic rate, including size, gender, and age.  However, there are ways to increase our metabolism independently of these factors.   As we all know, the faster our metabolism, the more calories we’re able to burn.  You can burn as much as an extra 500 to 600 calories daily with proper lifestyle changes.  Here are some ways to push your metabolism into overdrive:

  • Eat a healthy breakfast every day – choose foods that digest more slowly and keep you feeling satisfied longer.  A mix of lean protein with healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates is a perfect choice.  Eggs with peppers and onions cooked in 1-2 teaspoons coconut oil, and a half cup of gluten-free oats with a ¼ cup of berries is a good sample breakfast meal.
  • Drink plenty of pure water – research has shown that those who drink 8 to 12, eight-ounce glasses of water daily have a higher metabolic rate than those who drank less water.
  • Include protein with every meal – protein helps to build and maintain lean muscle mass.  And as we know, muscle burns more calories than fat does.  Typically 3-6 ozs. of protein per meal is optimal for most individuals.
  • Drink green tea – not only is it loaded with antioxidants, but green tea also can speed up metabolism.
  • Sleep – getting inadequate amounts of sleep causes an imbalance in leptin and ghrelin levels (hormones that regulate energy use and appetite).  If you sleep less than 7.5 hours per night, body mass index increases.
  • Increase workout intensity – more recent studies have shown that high-intensity interval training (alternating eight seconds of sprints followed by 12 seconds of a slower, steadier pace for a total of 20 minutes or more) help to lose three times as much body fat, including stubborn fat around the thighs and core areas.  Bursts of speed may stimulate a fat-burning response within the muscles.  Whether running, riding a bike, or rowing – try to increase your metabolism by practicing HIIT.
  • Strength train slowly – rushing through strength training with free weights, for example, inhibits your body’s ability to build muscle.  When you do your strength training more slowly, it increases the breakdown of muscle tissue (which is actually a positive thing).  The repair process boosts your metabolism for many hours after your workout session.
  • Add some heat – adding red or green chilies to foods can boost your body’s production of heat, giving  it a temporary boost in metabolism.  Put in salsas, stir-fries, etc.
  •  Reign in the alcohol intake – it’s important to note that as few as two mixed drinks will decrease our body’s fat burning ability by approximately 73 percent.  The liver converts the alcohol into acetate and will use that as fuel in lieu of your fat stores.  Limit your intake.