One of the biggest questions that men and women ask us is, “I’m in my 40s, 50s, and 60s. I feel like my metabolism has slowed down. What can I do to boost my metabolism?” There are some simple things you can do every day to have a faster metabolic great, which will help you lose more fat, weight and keep it off.
Here are the top 10 of the research-proven ways to increase your metabolism:
#1 Eat more protein
The research shows that when you have protein every single meal, and it makes up around 30% of your total daily calories, you get a great metabolic boost from that. Protein is pretty unique because your body has to burn and use calories to metabolize it. In fact, your body uses and burns up to 30% of the calories that you eat in the protein.
Let’s say you have 200 calories from a chicken breast, 30% of those calories are actually just burned up in the process of breaking down and metabolizing that protein. So, you get a double whammy effect, you eat protein, your body burns more calories, and you stay full longer, meaning you’re going to eat less food.
#2 Drink more water
Particularly, cold water, if you want to amplify your calorie burn. The biggest change people make is they start drinking water first thing in the morning. It energizes the body and is one of the things your body needs first in the morning is some water. We recommended 20 to 30 ounces at least in the morning. You can add some salt for some trace minerals.
If you actually have cold water, you get an additional metabolic boost because our bodies are always trying to regulate core temperature, and when you introduce something cold, the body has to use calories and energy to heat that up – that’s great!
There’s actually a research study showing that they actually gave young children 10 milligrams per kg of bodyweight of cold water, and they found a 25% increase in their resting metabolism 40 minutes after consuming the cold water. So if you’re someone who loves cold water, it can be great.
Now, there are also arguments for having room temperature water because it’s easier for your body to access. You don’t have to spend some energy heating up the water, but it depends on what your goals are. If your goal is losing weight, the cold water could help you but remember this is a transient increase only for about 40 minutes after having cold water.
#3 High-intensity workouts
This is different than steady-state cardio, where you might see people at the gym walking on the treadmill or doing the bike at a low easy pace for 45 minutes. That exercise is good – it’s great for your heart and you do burn some calories.
But if you start doing high-intensity exercise, you have bursts of effort in a minute with some rest. It gives you a high-intensity calorie burn, plus you’re going to get some stimulation to your muscles because you’re lifting weights. It’s probably the most efficient way for people to exercise.
If you sprinkle in these high-intensity exercises three times per week, you can get a metabolic boost up to 24 hours after a single session.
#4 Start lifting heavy things to build muscle
Because muscle is very energetically expensive. If you look at a gigantic bodybuilder, let’s say, the guy’s 250 pounds of pure muscle – that guy may need to eat 4000 to 5000 calories a day just to maintain weight.
That’s how energetically expensive muscle tissue is and what’s really cool is the more muscle you actually put on, the easier it is to keep the weight off.
#5 Get great sleep
This is absolutely one of the most overlooked aspects of health and longevity in general. When we miss sleep, a couple of metabolic changes happen in the body that absolutely damaging. Your body becomes insulin resistant, and insulin is an important hormone. We have an organ called the pancreas that releases insulin.
Insulin helps clear out that blood sugar and some of those amino acids from the bloodstream and gets them into the cells, into the muscles into the metabolically active tissues. Insulin is vital for life. But the problem is if we’re insulin resistant, insulin floats around for a long time and prevents fat burning.
When you miss sleep, you’ve become insulin resistant. Your blood sugars are higher, making you hungrier by increasing the hunger hormone called ghrelin and decreasing a hormone called leptin that increases your metabolic rate and keeps you full.
When you miss sleep, your metabolism is all jacked up, and you’re more hungry – that is a recipe for disaster. And when we get great sleep, our metabolism functions so much better.
#6 Drink green tea
Green tea is a uniquely good drink when it comes to losing weight. Green tea has a little bit of caffeine, and research shows that some green tea and oolong tea can increase your metabolic rate by 4 to 5%.
Moreover, some of the special compounds in green tea like EGCG increase fat burning, so they help release fat from your cells and your body can burn those fats up and use them for daily activity. Green tea helps fat burning and gives you a slight boost in your metabolism. But if you really want to rev up your metabolism, then coffee is your friend.
#7 Drink coffee
Caffeine and coffee can boost your metabolism by up to 11% – that’s a high number. If you burn on average around 2000 to 2500 calories per day, that could be an extra 200 calories, and if we stack that up over the course of a year, that can be very great.
The research found that this metabolic boosting effect of coffee works better in lean people than people who are overweight. The lean people got a 29% increase in your metabolic rate, but only 10% for obese women. It seems to have a good effect, so if you’re looking to lose weight and coffee is a part of your life, then we recommend you do continue with that.
#8 Get MCTs in your diet
Without getting too complex into biochemistry, there are many different kinds of fats we can eat. Triglyceride meaning a type of fat, and these special kinds of fats are called MCTs – medium-chain triglycerides.
MCTs are concentrated in breast milk and what we do as kids when we get these MCTs, they provide our bodies with a ton of energy, and our body uniquely likes to use MCTs for fat burning.
The studies show that MCTs increase your metabolism more than long fats, which can be found in animal meat or butter, MCTs are often derived from coconut oil as one place you can get them or get some straight MCT oil.
In one study, researchers found that MCTs increased metabolism by 12% compared to long-chain fats, which increased it by 4%.
#9 Fidget more
Fidgeting is like you see people who are sitting there twitching their leg, or they’re doing stuff like this. Some people are genetically more prone to fidgeting than others, which is fantastic because fidgeting burns many calories.
You wouldn’t think it does, but over a day, fidgeting can burn anywhere from 100 to 800 extra calories. Researchers measured the energy expenditure the number of calories burned from 16 people while they either sat down, basically not doing anything, using a standing desk. Others used an under desk chair where they could move their legs and fidget.
They found that promoted fidgeting can increase energy expenditure by 20 to 30% without increasing heart rate. Dynamic sitting may be one of the great options to help people move more while at work.
It’s really cool if you can fidget more, you can burn more calories. This is called neat non-exercise activity thermogenesis, which basically means you’re moving and burning more calories.
#10 Use cold
Cold exposure is your friend if you want a better metabolism. Our body’s goal primarily is to maintain homeostasis or balance in the system. One of the biggest things we need to maintain is our core temperature. If you’ve ever gone outside where it’s very cold, and you didn’t have enough clothing, one of the first things your body does is you start to shiver. Shivering is like fidgeting: your muscles are doing these micro contractions, and they’re burning fat to produce heat to maintain core temperature.
When we take a cold shower, or we may be going on a cold plunge, our body is going to get the shivering response so we can burn more calories. But cold is cooler than just burning calories from shivering. It also activates a special kind of fat that we have on our bodies called brown fat.
We have white fat, which might be the adipose tissue you can pinch around your abdomen, and this kind of fat has many functions, but it primarily stores calories in the form of free fatty acids. Brown fat is different. It is brown because it’s packed loaded with mitochondria, these cellular powerhouses that do all this metabolism for us and produce energy.
What happens is when we get cold exposure, our body can actually produce more brown fat and make it more active by increasing these brown fat enzymes that burn more calories.
This is why cold can absolutely be your friend if you’re looking to lose weight and increase your metabolism. A simple way to do it is to take a cold shower. Maybe you do your regular shower and at the end, for one to two minutes you might go on cold. It’s an easy way to start, or you can get to the point of taking some ice plunges and ice baths.
Overall, these are great strategies and little tidbits, and we hope that you take one of two of these things and start applying them to your life.