13 scientifically proven ways to increase your metabolism


13 scientifically proven ways to increase your metabolism

The food and fitness formula to get your body running at optimum level

By ELLE team  August 7th, 2018

Having a high metabolism, or a fast metabolism to many women, is pretty great news. Firstly, your body burns energy from food at a faster rate than your fellow gym-going pals and but perhaps, you’re not even sure what the term metabolism refers to. Right? Well, let us rectify that now. Then we’ll share how you can hack your lifestyle and increase your metabolism.

In laymen’s terms, metabolism is the digestive process that turns food into fuel. This energy is then used by your body to function; think hormones, bone, skin, nails, flesh, neurotransmitters, and healthy organs — they all need energy.

And if you’ve heard that the speed of your metabolism is genetic, there’s some truth to this. A study back in 2001, which has yet to be challenged, discovered that baseline metabolism is determined at birth. What this means is, that yes, you can be born with a slow metabolism. However, it doesn’t have to stay this way, which is comforting news for women over 30: did you know that after the big event your RMR (how many calories you need each day to survive) decreases at a rate of 2-3 per cent per decade, mainly due to inactivity and muscle loss?

So, back to hacking your body.

To reverse a sluggish metabolism — and lose excess weight that’s often the result of this — you need to take a holistic approach. If you simply slash your calories, you’re at risk of dialling down your metabolism further.

Keep reading for how to burn more calories without much more effort and boost your fat burning potential this summer in doing so.

How to increase your metabolism

1. Schedule in exercise

Exercise doesn’t just burn calories—it actually changes your DNA to boost your metabolism immediately. Experts recommend up to an hour to see these benefits. To make absolutely sure you squeeze in these sweat sessions, schedule them ahead of time.

2. Strength train

Muscle is a fat-burning powerhouse, so stick to your strength-training routine. Aim for 120 minutes of strength sessions a week: Try this total-body workout circuit with weights to build muscle, or do this TRX workout the next time you hit the gym.

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3. Do cardio

Cardio is crucial for keeping your metabolism running smoothly. In one study, researchers found that cyclers increased their metabolism for 14 hours after a tough 45-minute workout. “If you do just two to three vigorous bouts of exercise per week for 45 minutes, you could lose a pound of fat every two weeks from the combination of calories expended during exercise plus what you burn afterward,” says study author David Nieman, a doctor of public health and professor of exercise science at Appalachian State University.

If you add your total cardio time (3 x 45-minute sessions) to your strength training time (120 minutes) it totals 4.25 hours. That’s still less than a week’s worth of skipping lunch. We say, take a lunch break and work on your body, not your inbox this week.

4. Eat breakfast

After a long night of fasting, your body needs fuel to rev up its metabolism. Skipping breakfast can slow down your body’s ability to burn fat as it tries to conserve energy, so make sure you eat a healthy breakfast within an hour of waking up.

5. Don’t skip meals

You might think that passing on dinner would translate to a slimmer waistline, but it does just the opposite. Skipping meals can make your body think it’s starving so it stores extra calories instead of burning them. Eat up to six small meals a day to fend off hunger, keep blood sugar levels steady, and help your metabolism function properly.

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6. De-stress

Stress can do more than drive you crazy—it can actually slow down your digestion and thwart any goals of having a high metabolism. The stress hormone cortisol is the culprit: When levels are too high, it inhibits your body’s ability to burn fat. Take a few moments to breathe deeply or flow through a calming yoga sequence to keep your metabolism in check.

7. Do a mini-workout

Short on time? You can still fit in enough exercise to burn 200 calories. A recent study showed that a very short burst of intense exercise (2.5 minutes’ worth) can lead to an after-burn of 200 calories throughout the day.

So even if you don’t have time for a full workout, working up a sweat for a just few minutes is a lot better than nothing!

8. Snack before bed

This isn’t a joke. A 100- to 200-calorie bedtime snack may help keep your metabolism cranking so you burn more calories while you sleep.

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9. Eat whole grains

Packed with fibre, whole grains such as brown rice, barley, quinoa, oats, and millet fill you up more than other foods with the same number of calories. This doesn’t just leave you with less room for second helpings, though. High-fibre foods tend to be more difficult to chew. And when your mouth works harder, the act of eating in and of itself can burn up to 10 per cent more calories.

10. Mix up your routine with intervals

If you log cardio at the same pace every day, you could be making better use of your time. Adding high-intensity intervals into your cardio will help burn more calories during each sweat session and in turn, help you achieve a high metabolism.

11. Spice up your food

Cayenne pepper is known for its pungent flavour and healing powers, but the spice can also boost your metabolism by increasing your body’s core temperature.

Don’t worry about smothering your food in hot sauce—a small amount goes a long way.

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12. Indulge with dark chocolate

Dark chocolate is a healthy dessert for many reasons. One of them: It can boost your metabolism, thanks to two of its ingredients: caffeine and the antioxidant catechin.

Just make sure you stick to a small square a day so the sugar and calories don’t negate dark chocolate’s fat-burning potential.

13. Sprinkle cinnamon

Add this warm spice to any food to pep up your metabolism. Some ideas: Put some on a slice of whole-wheat toast, in your bowl of oatmeal, or onto soup.

20 simple exercises that start showing results after one workout

Box jumps Get a sneak core attack in while working your lower body. 'Just a few reps of these will leave those legs looking better than they will feel,' says Marraccini. Get your form right and then go for speed to get that extra burn.Get instant results: Stand six to eight inches back from a six-inch box with feet underneath hips. Drop hips and push through your legs, to explode up landing softly on the box. Come to a full stand then jump or step down. That’s one rep. Do as many reps as you can in 20 seconds, working your way up to one minute. Repeat for three sets.

Picture courtesy: Instagram 


Assisted chin ups 'If you want to improve definition in your arms, shoulders, and back with one simple movement, the chin-up is essential,' says McCall. 'You’ll see an immediate difference in the definition of those muscles.' Seriously. This move is effective.
Get instant results: Stand facing an assisted chin-up machine or wrap a band around a chin-up bar so there is a loop hanging underneath it. Grab the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart, palms facing you. Kneel onto the bench or band and let your body hang, arms straight. Squeeze your back and brace your core to pull your chest to the bar. Pause, then slowly lower back to start. That’s one rep

Picture courtesy: Instagram


Deadlifts This one is all about the bum. After just one set, you’ll notice that your glutes feel firmer, look bigger, and even sit rounder and higher on your backside, he says. Your glutes are your body’s biggest muscle group, and this move hits them hard.Get instant results: Grab a pair of dumbbells with an overhand grip, and hold them at arm's length in front of your thighs. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Without changing the bend in your knees, bend at your hips and lower your torso until it's almost parallel to the floor. Pause, then raise your torso back to the starting position. That's one rep.

Picture courtesy: Instagram


Deadlifts This one is all about the bum. After just one set, you’ll notice that your glutes feel firmer, look bigger, and even sit rounder and higher on your backside, he says. Your glutes are your body’s biggest muscle group, and this move hits them hard.Get instant results: Grab a pair of dumbbells with an overhand grip, and hold them at arm's length in front of your thighs. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Without changing the bend in your knees, bend at your hips and lower your torso until it's almost parallel to the floor. Pause, then raise your torso back to the starting position. That's one rep.

Picture courtesy: Instagram


Eccentric chinups Your muscles generate more force during the eccentric phase of exercise — when the muscle lengthens while producing force — which is why this type of chinup can pump up the appearance of your biceps, says Matheny.
Get instant results: Standing on a box or bench, grab the bar with an underhand grip, then jump up so that your chin touches it. Pause, then lower yourself as slowly as possible, aiming for about five to 10 seconds. Once your arms are fully extended, let go of the bar and step back onto the box. That’s one rep. Repeat for three sets of 10 reps.

Picture courtesy: Instagram

 

Eccentric push ups These require the same movement as a push up, but lowering slowly adds an extra challenge to your triceps, shoulders, and chest for the pump effect, says Matheny.
Get instant results: Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor and extend your legs behind you, so your body forms a straight line from head to heels. Brace your core and bend your elbows to lower your body as slowly as possible to the floor, aiming for about five to 10 seconds. Push back up to start. That’s one rep. Repeat for three sets of 10 reps.

Picture courtesy: Instagram


Man - makers Prepare for beyond-burpee levels of impressiveness with the "man-maker" (or "woman-maker!") This move will blast your arms, legs, shoulders, and—if you are using a moderate to heavy amount of weight—your core, says Suter. Expect your stomach to de-bloat from all that sweat as your muscles swell.
Get instant results: Get into a high-plank position, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping a straight line from head to heels, perform a single row with each arm. Then, jump or step your feet forward and stand up (Kind of like you’re doing a burpee). Immediately press the dumbbells straight overhead. Lower the dumbbells to your sides. That’s one rep.

Picture courtesy: Instagram


Kettle bells swings This dynamic, high-intensity move works the power muscles throughout your entire backside, like your butt, back, and hamstrings, making them look more toned, says exercise physiologist Pete McCall. Plus, it’ll rev your cardiovascular system and get you sweating, which will help reduce any tummy bloat caused by excess fluid retention, and even constipation.Get instant results: Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees, push your hips back, and grab the top of the kettle bell with both hands. (The kettle bell should be heavy enough to demand serious work, but allow you to maintain proper form.) Swing the bell back between your legs and, as you straighten your legs, thrust your hips forward, squeeze your glutes, and swing the kettle bell directly in front of your chest. Let it fall back through your legs to return to start. That’s one rep.

Picture courtesy: Instagram


Resistance band bicep girls 'Resistance bands are my go-to for curls because they provide continuous tension in the muscles,' says Taylor Gainor, co-founder of LIT Method in Los Angeles. And the longer you keep your biceps tense, the more of a pump you get, she says. 'Resistance band bicep curls will leave your arms looking a little bit tighter and toned for the rest of the day,' she says.Get instant results: Stand on the centre of a resistance band with your feet about shoulder-width apart. (Adjust your feet if you need more or less resistance.) Hold the handles at your sides with your elbows fixed to your waist. Slowly curl your arms up to your shoulders, and then back down, while keeping your core engaged. That’s one rep.

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1.5 Squats 'This is one of the best ways to work your glutes, hamstrings and quads,' says Matheny. 'Challenge your glutes and core to control the weight and build strength and control in your squats' — that’ll help give you that whole lower-body bump.Get instant results: Stand as tall as you can with your feet spread shoulder-width apart. Lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Pause, then slowly push yourself halfway back to the starting position. Pause, then lower back down to full depth. Return to stand. That’s one rep. Repeat for three sets of 10 reps.

Picture courtesy: Instagram

 


Sprint intervals Instead of just slogging through a run, add sprint intervals to your cardio routine. 'Sprinting will get your blood flowing all over, but the key is to not hold back—go as fast as you physically can,' says Marraccini.
Get instant results: Warm up at an easy pace for five to 10 minutes. Crank up to a sprint pace (an eight to nine on a scale of one to 10) for 10 seconds. Ease back to a jog (about a six) for 30 seconds. Repeat for 15 to 25 minutes. Cool down for five to 10 minutes.

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Burpee slam ball You need to be quick and explosive to do this move correctly.'The power needed for every slam will pump the whole body,' says Christi Marraccini, certified personal trainer and training manager at Tone House in New York City.
Get instant results: Stand with feet hip-width apart holding a medicine ball. Bend knees to lower the ball to the floor, then jump both feet back to move into a plank. Lower chest to the ball, then push back up, jump feet back up to hands, and stand back up. Lift the ball up overhead, slam it into the ground. That’s one rep. Repeat for 3 sets of 10 reps.

Picture courtesy: Instagram


Weighted single leg raised with toe touch This core-focused movement burns out your entire core. 'Adding weight to most core movements is a great way to up the challenge,' says Marraccini. A few reps of these will have those abs popping in no time.
Get instant results: Lie on your back holding an eight- to 10-pound dumbbell in each hand. Lift your heels until they're two to three inches off the floor, and hold as you extend your arms straight overhead. Lift one leg until it’s at a 90-degree angle from the floor while bringing the opposite arm to touch your toe. Lower leg and repeat on the other side. Continue alternating for 15 reps on each side. Repeat for three sets.

Picture courtesy: Instagram


Sumo squats Get instant results: Stand with your feet more than shoulder-width apart, and your toes turned out to 45 degrees. With your hands clasped in front of you for balance, brace your core, and lower your body as far into a seated position as you can. Pause, then slowly push through your glutes and inner thighs to return to start. That’s one rep. For extra results, pulse up and down at the bottom of the squat for 30 seconds.

Picture courtesy: Instagram


Sandbag lunge walks If you’re looking to lift your glutes and tighten your lower body, you can’t beat lunges; but adding the sandbag on your shoulders will force you to engage your core and stabilize more than a regular lunge, says Stahl. 'When you lunge, keep your knee in line with your ankle and hip all while leaning forward slightly and driving through your front leg (that’s the working leg),' he says. 'You’ll feel it immediately.'
Get instant results: Start in a standing position with a sandbag resting behind your head on your shoulders. Step one foot forward and lower the back knee lightly to the ground (or as low as possible). Press through your front foot and maintain a neutral spine to return to stand. Continue alternating legs for two minutes. Repeat for three sets.

Picture courtesy: Instagram


Dumbells step ups 'This is one of the more challenging lower body exercises, because using the weights in the hands increases the difficulty on the legs, core, and grip during the movement,' says Stahl. You’ll fire up your hamstrings, glutes, and quads to see results in no time.

Get instant results: Start in the standing position behind a box holding dumbbells in each hand by the side of your body. Step one foot on top of the box and press through your heel up into a fully extended and standing position on top of the box. Slowly lower yourself down using the same leg on top of the box. Remove your leg from the box and repeat on the other side. Do 10 to 12 reps on each leg. Repeat for three sets.

Picture courtesy: Instagram


Kettlebell Goblet squats They are an amazing exercise if you want to see quick results. 'Holding the kettlebell at your chest forces your body to engage your entire core, including the muscles of your lower and upper back,' explains PJ Stahl, a trainer at Lock Box LA Fitness & Performance Center. “And while all those muscles are engaged, you’re performing squats, which use the largest calorie burning muscles of your body: the legs.' You’ll feel the burn—and see the effect.'
Get instant results: Start with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and hold the kettlebell against your chest in a front rack position. Keeping the kettlebell in that position, lower into a full-depth squat, maintaining a neutral spine. Push through each mid foot continuously to ascend back into your starting position. That’s one rep. Repeat for three sets of 10 to 12 reps.

Picture courtesy: Instagram


Kettlebell sumo deadlift high pull You’ll feel your hamstrings, glutes, inner thighs, core, and back quaking after just one set — it’s a total-body exercise, says Stahl. 'As you finish the movement, the upright row will pump up your arms and shoulders so you feel like an Amazonian warrior.'Get instant results: Start in the sumo dead lift stance (feet wider than shoulder-width apart and turned out slightly more than in a traditional squat stance) with the kettlebell on the floor between the legs. Hinge at the hips, maintaining a flat back, to grab the kettlebell. As you move up, progressively increase your speed. Then transition the momentum from your hips to your arms and shoulders, to perform an upright row. Finish with your knees locked out and elbows just above the shoulders. Lower the kettlebell down in reverse order. That’s one rep. Repeat for three sets of 10 reps.

Picture courtesy: Instagram


From: ELLE UK