4 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism and Lose Weight | STACK Fitness
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

4 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism and Lose Weight

May 7, 2013 | Jamie Walker

Must See Training Videos

Metabolism is the rate at which the body turns carbohydrates, proteins and fats into energy for fuel. A healthy metabolism is essential whether you're trying to lose weight or just maintain. Exercising and eating healthy are the best ways to keep the pounds off, but there are a few things you can do to boost your metabolism and speed you toward your goal. (Compare them to these 5 Tips to Kick-Start Your Metabolism.)

Improve your morning routine

A great way to boost metabolism is to start early each day. Morning exercise has been shown to help regulate the body's internal clock and improve sleep quality.

Studies show that working out before breakfast persuades the body to burn fat for energy. Breakfast is important, however; so if you work out in a pre-fasted state, make sure to eat afterward, even if it's a small portion of lean protein like yogurt or an egg. This will jumpstart your metabolism for the day by triggering your body to begin burning calories. Early morning activity can have a big effect on your body's metabolic rate. (Read this first: Food Myths Busted: Skipping Meals Helps You Lose Weight)

Get the right type of exercise

All physical activities burn calories, but some are better than others for boosting metabolism. Strength training will help you build lean muscle mass. The more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn simply to keep your body functioning—i.e., to maintain its resting metabolic rate.

Want to continue to boost your metabolism for up to 16 hours after exercising? Try longer and more intense workouts. They appear not only to burn calories but also to promote excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. Commonly referred to as the "afterburn effect," this describes a period when the body sucks up more oxygen than usual to repair itself after a hard workout. (Read EPOC, Your New Workout Best Friend.)

In one oft-cited study, test subjects who worked out vigorously for 80 minutes metabolized an additional 150 calories through the afterburn effect. (According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for an exercise to be classified as "vigorous," it must raise the heart rate to between 70% and 85% of its maximum rate.)

If you don't have  80 minutes to spend on a treadmill, try interval training. It can be done in a shorter time frame. Mix short bursts of light, moderate and vigorous exercise—e.g., walk for a minute, jog for two, then sprint for a minute. Do this over for 20 minutes. Most studies show that intensity and duration play the biggest roles in post-workout calorie burn. Try these three:

Watch what you eat

If weight loss is your goal, obviously your best bet is to count calories and eat a healthy, balanced diet. Keep your meals full of lean protein, leafy greens and fiber. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed high-protein diets contributed to the building of lean muscle mass and promoted a corresponding boost in resting metabolic rates.

Some specific foods may play a larger role in boosting metabolism. Besides packing lots of antioxidants, green tea may speed up metabolic rate and help burn fat. Likewise, fresh grapefruit, coffee and dried red peppers have been linked to weight loss.

A study out of Arizona State University recommends including foods rich in vitamin C to boost metabolism and burn fat. In one test, subjects who were deficient in vitamin C lost 25% less fat during exercise. Again, peppers make the list of vitamin C-rich foods, as do kale, oranges, strawberries and brussels sprouts.

Don't forget to rest

When we talk about fitness and metabolism, we tend to focus on exercise and diet. But getting enough quality sleep also has an effect on our ability to burn calories. In numerous studies, people who got more sleep had lower body mass indexes. The leanest tend to average around 7.7 hours of sleep a night. Although it's unclear whether there's a causal relationship between the two, researchers studying diabetes have found that disrupted or irregular sleep inhibits the body's ability to process glucose, one of the most common forms of carbohydrate.

Topics: BURN FAT
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

WATCH: Jon 'Bones' Jones's Brutal Uphill Sprints

Versatility Raises the Value of These 11 NFL Draft Prospects

The Training Behind Super Bowl XLIX

Amari Cooper Shows Off Clapping Pull-Ups on Combine Week

7 Training Tips from Professional Triathlete Linsey Corbin

Johny Hendricks Gets Back to Basics

Above and Beyond: STACK Velocity Sports Performance San Diego

Kaitlin Sather Nielsen Does It All

How to Provide a Spot for the Bench Press

Get Lacrosse-Specific Workouts With Bridge Lacrosse

6 Things the Best Athletes Have in Common

Antonio Brown Built His Ridiculous Footwork With Pilates

WATCH: D.J. Campbell's Net Wall Explosive Pull-Up

WATCH: Dez Bryant's Superhuman Punching Bag Abs

Make the Most of Your Pre-season Training

GHD Sit-Up: The Worst CrossFit Exercise?

WATCH: 3 Power Moves for the Diamond from Edwin Encarnaci

Introducing Youth to Off-Ice Hockey Training

Kelly Clark: Strong Enough to Fly

31 Pro Athletes Workouts That Will Inspire You in 2015

Jump Higher and Faster With Transitional Med Ball Box Jumps

Training With Performance Pyramids

WATCH: Jos

WATCH: Clay Matthews Move the Earth in New Muscle Milk Ad

Why You Need to Follow the F.I.T.T. Principle

Athlete Assessment: Tips to Get You Started

The Training Formula Behind Drew Brees's 5 TD Passes

The Comeback Kid: How Scott Kazmir Resurrected His MLB Career

The 4-Day Deloading Plan for Recovery

Greene's Lantern: Riding With 'Soul'

Game Changer: Should You Be Using Machines or Free Weights?

Why CrossFit Is Perfect for Me

WATCH: Brandon Thompson's Plate Mountain Push-Ups

How to Stay Safe When Exercising in Cold Weather

Sanya Richards-Ross Looking Sharp in the Gym, Training for Rio

5 Workout Lessons Every Athlete Must Learn

WATCH: Duke Ihenacho's Reverse Hip Raise with Bicycle Kick

WATCH: Jos

WATCH: Darnell Dockett's Explosive Sled Row with Training Mask

WATCH: Bryce Harper's 550-Pound 'Human Plate Pull'

The 13-Exercise Duke Lacrosse Dynamic Warm-Up

31 Fitness Experts You Should Follow in 2015

WATCH: Jos