Do you have a slow metabolism? Have you always been one of those people who gain weight just by looking at chocolate cake? While your metabolism is partially controlled by genetics, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s completely out of your control. Certain diet and lifestyle changes can help you speed up your metabolism so that you can burn more calories and lose weight faster.
Try some of these easy tips to get your metabolism running more efficiently!
- Drink green tea. Green tea may be one of the best things you can drink. It contains catechins, a type of antioxidant that triggers fat cells to release fat molecules and helps the liver burn fat for energy. In a 12-week study, participants who drank 4-5 cups of green tea a day and exercised for 25 minutes lost an average of two more pounds and more belly fat than participants who didn’t drink tea. Green tea offers lots of other health benefits as well: it helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure, helps protect both heart and brain health, and may help destroy cancer cells.
- Build muscle. Muscle tissue burns calories, even when you’re resting. So people with more muscle have a higher resting metabolic rate. Ten pounds of muscle burns 50 calories a day at rest, while ten pounds of fat burns only 20 calories. To increase muscle mass, try these easy strength training exercises you can do at home.
- Eat the whole egg. Egg white are often regarded as healthier than the yolk, but recent research has shown that eggs don’t actually increase your risk of heart disease. Plus, yolks contain several important vitamins, essential fatty acids, and a compound called choline, a nutrient that helps protect against liver damage and fatty liver disease. As the name implies, fatty liver disease occurs when there is a buildup of too much fat in the liver cells. Besides eggs, sources of choline include meat, poultry, fish, and dairy foods.
- Exercise more. This sounds like a no-brainer: the more you exercise, the more calories you burn. But the benefits of exercise actually extend beyond your workout. Following aerobic exercise, your metabolic rate can remain elevated for 24 hours, depending on your body composition and level of training. By increasing the time you spend exercising, you’ll also prolong this elevation in your resting metabolic rate. So if you’re out for a run or even just out walking, push yourself to go a little longer. See if you can challenge yourself to keep running for one more song on your playlist.
- Nibble on dark chocolate. We probably won’t get any objections here. In a 2009 study, participants who ate 40 grams of dark chocolate every day for two weeks had lower levels of stress hormones and experienced improvements in energy metabolism. Don’t overdo it, though: 40 grams is enough — that’s about 1.5 ounces, or about half of a regular chocolate bar. And get the darkest chocolate you can find — adding milk to chocolate negates some of its healthful effects.
- Eat salmon. Salmon may improve the metabolism due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Systemic inflammation can interfere with thyroid function, and if your thyroid is out of whack, it can stall your metabolism. Other anti-inflammatory foods include olive oil, leafy greens, almonds, walnuts, berries, and tomatoes. Try cutting back on gluten, which is the biggest source of chronic inflammation. Fried foods, soda, and refined carbs also contribute to inflammation.
Need help losing weight and meeting your health goals? Garcia Weight Loss and Wellness Centers deliver customized plans, complete with personalized supplements and consistent support to help you reach your goal and maintain it. Contact us today for your no-cost consultation!
Medically reviewed by Jay J. Garcia, MD on May 31, 2017