“My metabolism is way too fast. It’s just too easy for me to lose fat and keep it off. How can I slow down my metabolic rate? Help!” said NO ONE. EVER.
Whether you’re looking to lose fat, struggling to maintain your weight, or simply striving for a leaner physique, chances are you’re pretty keen on boosting your metabolism. After all, a healthy metabolic rate is a key to shedding unwanted body fat (and keeping it off) and achieving that svelte, good-looking body that you desire.
The truth is that there are many ways to increase metabolic rate, and some of the tricks of the trade are easier to implement than others. And today, we share 5 pretty simple strategies to crank up that metabolism of yours!
Get plenty of sleep. Some have said that sleep is the cousin of death, and many have glorified the notion that you can sleep when you’re dead. But here’s the deal: Skimping on sleep can have negative effects on metabolism, body composition, hunger hormones, and behaviors (like skipping workouts and making crappy food choices). Aim for 7 – 9 hours of shut-eye each night.
Stay hydrated. Considering that the human body is about 60% water, you better believe that optimal hydration is key to a humming metabolism. In fact, just a minor drop in hydration can significantly reduce metabolic rate. Since water needs vary considerably from person to person, the best bet is to use your urine as a guide. A hydrated person’s pee is clear to very faint yellow.
Don’t just sit there. Most people spend the overwhelming majority of their days sitting, which has been called the “new smoking” thanks to the laundry list of negative health outcomes associated with being sedentary. Instead of sitting, work at a standing desk (but don’t just stand still either), walk during meetings, take frequent movement breaks, and when you do have to sit, make sure you fidget.
Drink coffee. We admit that we’re avid coffee drinkers, and we also recognize that not everyone is in the same boat as us (and we feel sorry for those who aren’t). When it comes to boosting metabolism, caffeine is old reliable. Studies have shown that coffee can boost metabolic rate by up to 11%, and an added bonus is that the increase in energy demand comes at the expense of body fat.
Don’t cut calories. Here’s a catch-22 for you: If you want to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume, and for most people, that means cutting calories. Unfortunately, for most people with adaptive metabolisms, that’s a sure-fire way to slow down metabolic rate. Fortunately, there are better solutions like increasing activity levels and varying your caloric intake. For example, in the case of the latter, cut calories for just a week or two (or even a day or two) at a time, alternating with maintenance level calories.