Nutrition Style

10 natural ways to speed up metabolism

by Hara Hagikalfa

increase metabolism

Whether on a weight loss regime or just looking for natural ways to speed up your metabolism, these tips can give a helping hand.

10 daily tricks to wake up your metabolism

What if you could spend 5min a day and with a small trick you could burn that double XL cheeseburger? Yes If only my car operated on fairydust and things were that simple. However, if there are ways to help your weight loss along the way or to just simple burn those extra few calories why not try.

One of the most feared ‘weight loss’ time is the plateau period, in which your metabolism adjusts to the diet and weight loss slows down. During that period most people become frustrated and tired and in result they give up.

There is no magic cure but here are 10 tips which they will help along the way and some may help a long way (exercise!).

1. Exercise

Ok, exercise is the most obvious way to get your metabolism going and there is no magic remedy to it. Exercise requires effort and your body will use extra calories to carry out exercise.

There are some suggestions that exercise can increase the metabolism and calorie burning for a few hours after and also it will increase metabolism in the long run through increasing muscle mass.

The type of exercise, the time of the day, the intensity and so on will affect the end results. However, overall even just keeping active through the day could be sufficient to give that little boost.

Remember that exercise is not just going to the gym and pumping iron for 2 hrs 4 times a week. Exercise is walking to work or school, cycling, running, swimming, playing in the park with the kids, doing a 15min workout in the house etc…etc. The list isn’t exhaustive.

2. Eat protein

Some studies have shown that those who consume higher amounts of protein tend to have a higher basal metabolic rate. Basal metabolic rate is the amount of calories you burn just to be alive before any activity.

Results have been controversial though and some studies suggest that the increase in the metabolic rate is in the long run after 6 weeks rather than from one day to the other.

High protein diets have gained a lot of support over the last years and they do have some good research behind them.

However, as is still early days it may be best to avoid diets which they strictly protein based and exclude all carbohydrate. Aim for balance. In addition, high protein diets are not suitable for certain conditions such as kidney complaints. Read Best sources of protein for more details.

3. Calorie cycling

A few commercial diets have been based upon the calorie cycling theories. What does it mean? The body will adapt to any changes given to it. So if someone goes on a weight loss diet and reduces the calories consumed then the body will adapt and reduces the metabolic rate to match the reduction in calories.

Well all it says is that if you vary the amount of calories you consume from one day to the other, that will ‘confuse’ your body and it will keep your metabolism high.

Is that so? Well, overall studies have shown controversial results and it is a maybe rather than a 100% sure. Basically some studies support that this effect does happen some don’t. In general varying the amount of calories consumed can help in keeping your metabolism from slowing down.

You don’t have to go to the extremes of eating 2000 kcal one day and 200 kcal the next but you can your cycle calorie consumption within a 200-500 kcal range. For example if you consume 1500 kcal one day you can consume 1300 kcal the next or 2000 kcal, it all depends on personal circumstances and needs.

4. Coffee

Moderate amount of coffee consumption through the day may have positive effects for metabolism, fat metabolism and exercise performance as well. What to be aware is not to over consume coffee, not to consume poor quality coffee and the ‘additionals’.

Dry freeze coffee or in other words instant is not as good quality usually. Also be aware that if you drink black tea, coke, and a couple of cups of coffee a day you may be overdosing in caffeine. If you are you are more likely to start feeling stressed and less likely to gain weight.

Finally, what I call ‘additionals’ is all the extras which end up in a cup of coffee. These could be sugar, syrups (i.e. flavour syrups) cream, marshmallows, sprinkles etc. The coffee industry can be very sophisticated these days and very fattening at the same time.

5. Green tea

Studies support, that green tea can increase metabolism and help in losing weight. Good news all around. Green tea is believed to be rich in antioxidants such as catechins and some studies support that it is beneficial for health all around.

Green tea has been connected with positive results for heart conditions, fat metabolism, cholesterol and many more. Is it the magic pill of our century? I am not a believer of magic pills and it can be argued that there is lack of solid evidence.

The verdict is, don’t empty the market and buy tones of green tea with the hope of having superman’s metabolism. However, adding it in your daily diet can have some good benefits by helping in burning fat, increasing your metabolism and decreasing your risk of diseases and conditions.

If you replace some of the calorific, high in sugar not healthy fizzy drinks with a cup of green tea it can be good for your all around.

6. Vinegar

Some studies have shown that vinegar can decrease fat and sugar levels in humans. Some animal studies suggest that vinegar can hinder the accumulation of fat in the body.

I have come across some articles which suggest that you can have vinegar after a high fat and sugar meal in order to get away with eating it. ‘No’ is my answer. Don’t use remedies to excuse those lethal meals; there is no magic or scientific evidence that this practice will be healthy or effective.

You can add vinegar in your food as part of a sauce, or some people tend to dilute a spoonful in water and drink it after a meal. I prefer incorporating in the food but this is a personal choice.

In addition there are some studies which suggest that high amounts of vinegar may not be good for health, so take the straw out of the 2L bottle and relax.

7. Cold

Cold does increase metabolism whether it is a cold shower, or cold weather. The practice of iced baths has been popular with a lot of people, but I wouldn’t go that far. Athletes tend to have the ice baths for muscle soreness but that is a different matter all together.

In the name of increasing metabolism and weight loss I would say that you may benefit by taking a layer of clothing off or putting the heating down a bit. Too much ‘hot’ like pilling on the clothes and putting the heating high is actually not as good for health and you will be more like to get viruses.

A cold shower could possibly be a way of going about it but personally I would die even with the idea of having one, so I can’t preach about it. I am also not convinced that it will be good for health in the winter.

In the summer a cold shower may be ok and in some places with high temperatures is bliss so thumps up for that. With all those ‘cold’ practices that go around from time to time you have to make sure that you don’t actually harm your immune system and increasing your chances for getting ill. Moderation is a good way forward.

8. Good night’s sleep

A good night’s sleep is one of the most important things for our body. Sleep is important for general health, the immune system, hormone regulation, metabolism, the brain and so on.

Lack of sleep or disturbed/broken and poor quality sleep can make you miserable, ill and fat. Aim for the 8 hr sleep a day if you can. Some authors suggest that too much sleep can be as bad as no sleep.

How much is much or too little can be a personal thing as well. 7-9 hrs of sleep tends to be the recommendation for sleep, but some people may be fine with 7 and some may need the 9. Children, ill people and elderly are likely to need more sleep in general.

9. Spicy food

Spices and chillies are believed to increase metabolism and fat burning. This effect is believed to be due to the capsaicin a compound contained in chilies and spices. As with a lot of ‘food’ claims there are not a lot and strong evidence and more research is needed.

In general is believed that a spicy meal can create a temporary increase in the metabolic rate and it can also slightly suppress appetite. For some people it may also act as a colon cleanser the day after but I am not sure if that has any health or weight loss benefits.

10. Cinnamon

Cinnamon has gained a lot of support in its role for glucose metabolism. In some ways cinnamon goes under the same category with other spices including chilies in increasing metabolic rate.

It is believed that such spices can increase metabolism up to 8% but that increase is temporary. Well can’t argue that any small increase even a small one or a temporary one can help in burning a calorie or two more a day. Every little can help in the overall picture.

Additionally to the increase in metabolism cinnamon is believed to be beneficial with sugar metabolism. This effect is suggested to be more dramatic than the metabolic increase.

Studies show that it can help with improving insulin sensitivity and stabilize blood sugar levels. This is important for those who suffer from diabetes and/or insulin sensitivity or are in high risk of developing the conditions.