How to Boost Metabolism Naturally is a common question in most people, especially those looking to lose weight and improve their health.

Metabolism is a term used to describe all the chemical processes that continually occur within the body to keep it functioning and sustain your life. It’s simply the rate at which your body burns calories for energy. 

You’ll often hear people talk about metabolism when discussing weight loss, nutrition, and health. This is because your metabolism controls how your body creates and uses the energy it gets from the food you eat.

A high metabolism may facilitate high energy expenditure and promote weight loss, while a slow metabolism may lower your energy needs and cause weight gain. You will also love, How To Increase Insulin Sensitivity Naturally, How To Stop Sugar Cravings, and  How To Lower Cholesterol Naturally.

metabolism chart

What Causes Slow Metabolism?

1. Genes

Whether your body is quick or slow to change the food you eat into energy depends on your genes. And although some people don’t have an issue burning calories even at rest, some may find it extremely difficult. Unfortunately, you can’t change your genes; however, you can incorporate other lifestyle changes to facilitate your metabolism. We’ll be covering more on this within the article.

2. Hormones

Hormonal imbalances may slow down your energy expenditure, especially in women.

Conditions such as overactive or underactive thyroid and diabetes may put havoc on your metabolism.

Stress may also contribute to the release of cortisol, a stress hormone that temporarily puts on hold all the normal body processes causing a slow metabolism. Also, see Natural Hormonal Imbalance Treatment. 

3. Inadequate sleep

If you’re getting less than seven hours of sleep each night, it could be lowering your metabolism. When we don’t get enough sleep, levels of leptin—the satiety hormone that signals our brains that we’ve had enough to eat—drop. This means we end up eating more (and more often) throughout the day. In other words, lack of sleep increases appetite and causes overeating.

Additionally, a lack of sleep throws your hormones off balance and dictates the dietary choices people make. This may, as a result, cause metabolic dysregulation, making it difficult for the body to regulate different processes. How To Sleep Better?

4. Strict diets

When on strict diets, the body deliberately slows down the metabolism to preserve available energy stores and prevent weight loss.

5. Lack of iodized salt

Sea salt is not only a trend but a great addition to your diet.

It’s salt in its natural form, meaning you get to enjoy the 75 minerals and trace minerals, plus no aluminum bleaching like in table salt.

However, most sea salt is not iodized, and iodine is important to keep your thyroid working, including regulating your metabolism.

6. Inadequate consumption of water

Proper hydration increases your metabolic rate and causes your body to burn energy even at rest. This may therefore facilitate weight loss. Spring Water Benefits.

7. Medications

Some medications such as antidepressants and some antipsychotics may slow down metabolism.

How to Boost Metabolism Naturally

1. Ensure proper hydration

Water does more than keep you hydrated; it helps your body flush out toxins, regulate blood sugar, and burn calories. When you don’t drink enough water, your metabolism can slow, making weight loss more difficult.

The Institute of Medicine recommends that women consume 91 ounces of fluid a day, while men should consume 125 ounces. Keep a glass of water by your desk or in front of your TV, so you remember to stay hydrated throughout the day. You can also carry around a 20-ounce water bottle and refill it throughout your day.

According to research, drinking half a liter of water will increase your resting metabolic rate by 30% in the next 60 minutes. This means that drinking water frequently throughout the day may help keep your metabolism high.

Research further suggests that drinking cold water may be ideal since the body has to heat it to body temperature, which calls for energy expenditure. Also, see Benefits Of Drinking Water.

2. Engage in high-intensity interval training (HIIT)

High-intensity interval training is an anaerobic form of exercise that involves short periods of intense workouts followed by equal or longer periods of rest repeated in a cycle of 3 or until you are exhausted to continue.

For instance, you can sprint for 30 seconds followed by a minute or two of slow jogging or walk, repeated in three cycles.

Studies have shown that high-intensity interval training can boost your metabolism more than steady-state aerobic exercise. A study published in 2014 found that performing a HIIT routine for three days per week for eight weeks increased resting metabolic rate compared with performing a steady-state cardio routine.

Another study, published in 2015, suggests that mixing HIIT with strength training can boost resting energy expenditure as well as muscle growth and fat loss.

In a different study, 12 weeks of HIIT reduced belly fat by 17 percent and total fat mass by 4.4 pounds in young obese men.

That being said, this type of workout is best suited for those who are already moderately active but are looking to increase their overall caloric burn. If you’re not exercising regularly, start slowly—you may be surprised at how challenging these workouts can be, but the results will amaze you.

3. Engage in resistance training

Resistance training is a no-brainer addition to any diet and exercise regimen, boosting metabolism by as much as 15 percent. But instead of going for long hours at a gym, opt for shorter sessions in which you move all your major muscle groups.

Performing resistance training 2-3 times a week can increase your muscle mass or lean body mass, which increases your resting metabolic rate. This is because muscles are actively metabolic. So the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn. See 8 Life-Changing Benefits Of Exercise.

Resistance training helps build lean muscle mass while increasing strength—two key factors in raising your resting metabolic rate and speeding up weight loss. In fact, research has shown that just two months of resistance training can boost basal metabolic rate by 10 percent! If you’re not sure where to start with these workouts, ask a trainer or coach for help. Not only will they be able to advise you on how to get started safely, but they’ll also give you an idea of what types of exercises are best suited for different goals (e.g., fat loss versus toning).

4. Get enough sleep

Sleep is essential for different reasons; it sharpens the brain, keeps the heart healthy, boosts the immune system, reduces inflammation, improves skin, boosts fertility, and of course, increases your metabolic rate, which prevents weight gain.

Getting a good night’s sleep is important for boosting your metabolism, particularly because our body naturally releases more of certain hormones (such as growth hormone) when we sleep. These hormones enhance metabolism and other processes. Additionally, it’s harder to feel hungry when you have just finished a good night’s rest.

Sleep deprivation contributes to obesity and slow metabolism, among other problems. It can also make you hungrier and more likely to snack between meals. In addition, getting enough quality sleep can also help boost your willpower and motivation, both of which are key ingredients for getting in shape.

While some people need more or less sleep than others, most adults need at least seven hours each night. And keep in mind that quality sleep is just as important as quantity. Be sure to keep electronics out of your bedroom and sleep in a dark and cool place to enhance sleep quality.

A study conducted at Harvard Medical School shows that getting less than 7 hours of sleep increases 3 times your chances of gaining weight each year than if you slept for at least 7 hours. See 10 Benefits Of Getting Enough Sleep.

That said, you should talk with your doctor if you think that you may be suffering from a sleeping disorder or if you have trouble falling asleep on a regular basis.

5. Manage stress

Stress management is very important in restoring your metabolism.

As stated earlier, it’s a major culprit for slow metabolism in most individuals. This is because it produces hormones that trigger a slowdown in body processes.

Whether you’ll have to talk to a friend, a family member, or a professional, or manage your thoughts, make sure your stress is getting better each day. See, Why Is Stress Management Important?

6. Eat Less Starchy Carbohydrates

All carbohydrates turn into sugar in your body, causing your blood sugar levels to rise. Because excess sugars are stored as fat when they’re not burned off, cutting down on starchy carbs is a great way to reduce those extra pounds.

Starchy carbs include wheat products such as bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and corn. In place of these starchy carbs, eat lots of vegetables, healthy fats (like olive oil), and protein. These foods will help keep you full longer, making it easier for you to avoid snacking on high-calorie junk food, which can then improve your metabolism. See Foods To Eat To Lower Blood Sugar.

7. Eat more fiber

One way to increase your metabolism is by incorporating fiber into your diet. Soluble fiber especially binds with water, producing a gel that slows down digestion. This gives you a feeling of fullness and reduces appetite while increasing your metabolic rate.

In addition, high fiber foods help you feel full on fewer calories, but they also send your body a message that it’s getting nutrients and energy. In turn, your metabolism perks up and begins burning extra fat.
Fiber-rich foods include beans, whole grains, apples, berries, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli.

The Institute of Medicine says that women need at least 25 grams of fiber daily; men should consume 38 grams daily. If you struggle with constipation, work on getting more fiber in your diet by slowly increasing consumption over time until you reach an amount that works for you. A good goal is to eat 14 grams of fiber each day if you’re a woman and 21 grams each day if you’re a man. See High Fiber Foods To Eat.

8. Eat cayenne pepper

A study published in Physiology & Behavior found that people who took half a teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper along with their food experienced an increase in metabolism and burned more calories as compared to a control group. It’s likely due to capsaicin, which is responsible for that spicy burning sensation.

Capsaicin causes thermogenesis, a process by which your body produces heat that turns into energy. This increased temperature allows you to burn calories faster.
Cayenne pepper also increases your heart rate for a short period of time, which increases calorie-burning activities.

So, if you can handle the heat, try adding some cayenne pepper to your meals when you want to kick off your metabolism. In addition, use it sparingly until you become accustomed to its effects. Also, make sure not to touch your eyes after handling cayenne pepper. Capsaicin can cause irritation if it comes into contact with eyes or mucous membranes (like the lining inside your nose). Wash your hands thoroughly after working with cayenne pepper.

9. Include ginger in your diet

Researchers have found that people who eat Ginger regularly exhibit increased metabolic rates, and some even use it as a weight-loss aid. In one study, participants were given 1 gram of ginger per day or a placebo for five days. At the end of five days, those who ate ginger had an increase in their resting metabolic rate by an average of 3 percent.

To put that into perspective, if you weigh 150 pounds, your resting metabolic rate is about 1,400 calories per day—increase your metabolism by 3 percent, and you’ll burn about 50 more calories daily. That may not sound like much, but when you do it every day for a period of time (like many studies show), you’ll lose several pounds.

Another study found that just smelling ginger can help rev up your metabolism. The researchers examined 15 men and asked them to smell either fresh ginger or peppermint; then they measured how quickly each man’s body burned energy over a 30-minute period after smelling each scent.

Afterward, they asked each man which scent he preferred, then tested his reaction time to see if it was slower after sniffing peppermint compared with ginger—it was! Men who took scents in through their noses lost about 4 percent of their belly fat over three months.

10. Avocado

For a safe, natural way to speed up your metabolism, look no further than Avocado. This fatty fruit is filled with heart-healthy fats and even helps burn fat. Research published in the Nutrition Journal found that eating half an avocado before meals helped study participants lose 65 percent more weight than those who didn’t eat any at all.

Another study from Arizona State University found that eating just half an avocado with lunch helped participants feel more satisfied and less hungry for up to four hours. What’s more? Researchers found that those who ate half of an avocado with lunch reported a 40 percent decreased desire to eat for hours afterward. This resulted in decreased calorie intake with an increase in metabolism.

The best part? It’s super easy to add to any meal—just prepare smashed avocado by mashing it up with some lemon juice and spread it on toast or over a salad! You can also try adding avocado to smoothies and using it as a dip for fresh veggies like carrot sticks.

11. Sprinkle some turmeric

Turmeric has long been a staple in Indian and Asian cuisine. Curcumin, its active ingredient, has potent anti-inflammatory properties—great for fighting off colds and flu. But that’s not all: Studies suggest curcumin may also help boost metabolism and reduce waist size. In one study published in Obesity Research, participants who took curcumin supplements lost an average of 5 pounds over 12 weeks. Other research suggests curcumin can directly suppress fat cells by inhibiting a key gene involved in their development. Bottom line: Turmeric is one spice you’ll want to have on hand at all times!

Final Thoughts

Metabolism is the rate at which the body uses the energy from the food you eat to perform different functions in the body. High metabolism promotes optimal bodily functions, health, and wellbeing, while a slow metabolism may be catastrophic.

Some things that contribute to a sluggish metabolism include hormonal imbalance, stress, sleep deprivation, dehydration, dieting, iodine deficiency, and genetics. The best thing is that a slow metabolism is completely reversible, and of course, you can’t change your genes, but your lifestyle can modify their expression for the better or worse.

Some steps towards achieving a higher metabolism naturally include getting enough sleep, hydrating, incorporating high-intensity interval training and strength training in your routine, managing stress, having at least one cup of green tea daily, and using iodized salt in your meals.

And in case your cause of slow metabolism is an underlying medical condition, your doctor may help you come up with a good regime. Nonetheless, the steps in this article are harmless and can come a long way in improving your overall metabolism.

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