7 Science-Backed Ways to Boost Metabolism

Kick-start your metabolism for the day by following these tips.


By Tesa Johns


You don't need to be a scientist to know that metabolism slows down with age. Luckily, you don't have to be a scientist to learn how to rev it up again either! The average woman gains one and one half pounds a year during adult life. That's over 40 pounds by the age of 50. Life's a roller coaster ride of hormones, muscle loss, and stress that combines to slow down the fat-burning engine known as metabolism. By eating metabolism boosting foods and following some of these metabolism boosting recommendations you will feel better, have more energy, and feel firmer.

1. Eat enough

You have to cut calories to lose weight, but cutting too much can actually be unhealthy for your natural metabolism. When you don’t eat enough to sustain basic function, your body slows down your metabolism. The best advice is to “eat just enough to not feel hungry.” Try a midmorning and midafternoon snack below 200 calories to help keep you satisfied.

2. Morning Nutrition

Breakfast is a great dieting tool, it establishes a regular eating schedule that helps you stay on track throughout the day. Eating breakfast also keeps blood glucose levels more consistent throughout the day if combined with a well planned diet. According to researchers at the American Society of Nutrition, a daily breakfast is linked to more physical activity thermogenesis in lean adults, with greater overall dietary energy intake. However there is no change in resting metabolism from eating breakfast, ruling out the idea that breakfast increases your metabolism.

3. Caffeine

Coffee or tea contains caffeine, a central nervous system stimulant. Central nervous system stimulants can increase alertness and physical activity as well as decrease fatigue. A daily java sip can help speed up your metabolism. Be careful not to consume too many negative calories in cream and sugar.

4. More water please!

Data from short-term experiments suggest that drinking water can promote weight loss. Water consumption has the power to lower the total energy intake and/or alter metabolism. However, long term effects of drinking water and changes in body weight and composition are unknown.

There are many myths and facts to the idea that drinking water helps to lose weight. Water helps make you feel more full and therefore eat less in one sitting or it may change your metabolism by making your body work harder to keep its stable temperature after cold water lowers it. I can’t imagine cold water lowering your temperature enough for a major metabolic change to occur. My thoughts on water is that it is good, has no calories, and doesn't take any effort to consume it!

5. Protein

According to researchers at the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise metabolism, exercise has a powerful effect on muscle growth. Muscle growth can only occur if muscle protein synthesis (process whereby biological cells generate new proteins) exceeds muscle protein breakdown, essentially a digestion process.

Your body needs protein to help maintain it’s lean muscle. Add a serving of 3 oz lean meat, low-fat yogurt, or 2 tablespoons of nuts to your day.

6. Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for preserving metabolism-revving muscle tissue. Not enough Americans take in the recommended vitamin D. Increasing the body’s intake of vitamin D may help to boost your metabolism.

7. Cut the Cocktails

According to Charles Lieber from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Alcohol Research and Treatment Center in Bronx, New York alcohol interferes with nutrient activation, resulting in changes in nutritional requirements.

Individuals consuming over 30% of total calories from alcohol have a high probability of ingesting less than the recommended daily amounts of carbohydrate, protein, fat, vitamins A, C, and B, and minerals such as calcium and iron. In other words alcohol becomes your body’s fuel.

Fueling your body off of alcohol will not make for a good workout! Have fun every once in awhile and unwind, but do you really need more than one drink at dinner? Try cutting back on the alcohol, it may just help the wallet too!

The easiest way to burn calories and help reach your weight lose goal is to partake in daily activity known as “NEAT” (nonexercise activity thermogenesis). Think of all the things you do throughout your day and then think of way to increase your activity throughout them. Small movements such as taking the stairs, walking and talking on the phone, or even just walking around the office every so often can help burn an extra hundred or so calories a day!

Tesa is new to blogging, but hopes to make a big impact with her vast knowledge of athletics and experience. Tesa recently earned her bachelor's degree at the Pennsylvania State University. While majoring in Athletic Training and minoring in psychology, she worked with various division one collegiate sports teams. Tesa is continuing her education by pursuing her Master's of Science in Kinesiology with a concentration in sports pedagogy at The Louisiana State University. Tesa is a board certified Athletic Trainer and a Performance Enhancement Specialist. Outside of the training room, Tesa enjoys going on runs and working out for leisure.

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