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9 Top Tips for Maximising your Metabolism

9 Top Tips For Maximizing Your Metabolism

In my last three articles I revisited the topic of boosting your metabolism discussing the effect that both food and exercise can have.  I explained that metabolism generally refers to the number of calories your body burns in a day.  It is influenced by three main things:
- Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) (the number of calories you burn performing the basic functions that keep you alive).
- Your level of Physical Activity.
- The Thermic Effect of Foods that you Eat (the number of calories it takes to digest and absorb the foods you eat).

Today I would like to bring all this information together and give you nine top tips for maximising your metabolism.

1) EAT HIGH FIBRE CARBOHYDRATES:- High fibre carbohydrates are harder to digest than simple carbohydrates and therefore have a greater thermic effect.  On top of this foods that are high in fibre are generally lower in calories (because fibre itself contains zero calories), help suppress your appetite and provide you with many more fantastic benefits.  High fibre foods include fruits, vegetables and whole grain products so where possible make sure your dietary carbohydrates come from these sources.  Not only will they help you burn slightly more calories but they will also make it easier for you to lose weight.  However, you need to make sure that you do not go overboard on the fibre.  Excessive fibre consumption has been linked with wind, diarrhea, constipation and more.

2) EAT VITAMIN RICH FOODS:- Your body relies on vitamins and minerals to perform a number of essential functions.  If you become deficient in any of the thirteen vitamins you may not be able to perform some of these functions properly which can have a negative impact on your BMR.  There are lots of vitamin rich foods including fruits, vegetables, eggs, liver and nuts.  To maximise your metabolism you need to make sure you are getting the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for all your vitamins from the foods you eat.  It will keep your BMR at its optimal level and also promote good overall health.  However, like with fibre you need to make sure you don’t overdose.  Getting too many vitamins has a number of adverse effects including cell and organ damage.

3) DRINK LOTS OF WATER:- If your body is not properly hydrated it may not be able to perform certain vital functions.  This can lead to a reduction in your BMR.  Therefore, you need to make sure you are drinking enough water to maximise your metabolism.  I find that keeping a water bottle at your desk and topping it up regularly plus making an effort to drink extra water whilst exercising helps me stay hydrated throughout the day.

4) MAKE SURE YOU ARE GETTING ENOUGH PROTEIN:- Most people’s diets are rich in fats and carbohydrates but contain very little protein.  However, protein is a very important macronutrient that is essential for the growth and repair of your body’s cells.  It also has a greater thermic effect than fats and carbohydrates with research suggesting that 25% of the calories in protein are burned during digestion and absorption.  Therefore, you can give your metabolism a boost by making protein a richer part of your diet.  However, you need to make sure that you are not consuming too much.  Overdosing on protein can place stress on a number of vital organs including your kidneys.

5) ADD SOME SPICE TO YOUR DIET:- Spicy foods can temporarily increase your BMR.  For starters they increase your body’s temperature for a short period after consumption meaning that you will burn more calories as your body attempts to regulate this temperature.  Secondly, spices such as cayenne are thought to have thermogenic properties meaning that they temporarily increase the rate at which your body burns fat.  Like with the other foods mentioned in this article you need to exercise moderation when it comes to spicy foods.  Getting too much can lead to unpleasant side effects such as heartburn, stomach ulcers and an irritable bowel.

6) CUT BACK ON THE ALCOHOL:- Alcohol has a dehydrating effect and can therefore reduce your BMR.  Many alcoholic beverages are also full of simple carbohydrates meaning that they have a reduced thermic effect when compared with high fibre carbohydrates and protein rich foods.  On top of this excessive alcohol consumption can cause vitamin deficiencies which further slow down your BMR.  You don’t need to eliminate alcohol from your diet completely but if you drink regularly perhaps you should consider cutting down.

7) REDUCE YOUR CAFFEINE CONSUMPTION:- Like alcohol, caffeine has a dehydrating effect and can lower your BMR.  Drinking a couple of cups of coffee each day is unlikely to have any adverse effects on your metabolism but if you are getting all your fluids from caffeinated beverages you might want to think about substituting in some water.

8) START A CARDIOVASCULAR EXERCISE ROUTINE:- Your metabolism is partially affected by your level of physical activity.  Regular cardiovascular exercise helps in two ways.  First, you burn additional calories whilst performing the cardio.  Secondly, the number of calories you burn following a cardiovascular workout remains elevated for a few hours after you finish.  By going for a walk, jog, run, bike ride, swim (or whatever other cardiovascular exercise takes your fancy) a few times a week you can burn extra calories and boost your metabolism.

9) START A RESISTANCE TRAINING ROUTINE:- A pound of muscle burns around 6 calories per day whilst a pound of fat burns around 2 calories per day.  Therefore, by increasing your lean muscle mass you can raise your BMR.  If you perform a resistance training workout a few times per week and combine it with proper nutrition you can build additional muscle and increase the amount of calories you burn whilst resting.

As you can see from this article it is possible to boost your metabolism through a combination of smart food choices and a well structured exercise routine.  However, you need to remember that metabolism is not the key to successful weight loss.  Whilst you can increase the number of calories you burn on a daily basis by following the above tips there is a limit to their effect.  Maximising your metabolism will not compensate for eating too much food BUT if you learn to control the amount you eat and follow the above advice metabolism can be a powerful tool in your weight loss arsenal.  I highly recommend that you try and implement the above tips in to your lifestyle because they will give your metabolism a boost, help you burn more calories and more importantly they will improve your overall health.

Now I want to hear from you guys.  What’s your opinion on metabolism?  Do you think it’s an essential part of weight loss or do you think it’s over hyped?  Leave me a comment and let me know.

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About Tom

Tom is the owner and operator of Free Fitness Tips and Best Fitness PLR. He has a keen interest in health and fitness and has been writing about that very topic on this website since 2007. He stays fit and healthy by going to the gym at least four times a week and eating fresh, natural foods most of the time. You can find out more about Tom by clicking here. Alternatively, you can follow Tom via Facebook, , Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube or follow this blog via RSS.

Comments

  1. ABSOLUTELY! Metabolism is essential for weight loss. It is however the most variable portion of the weight loss equation.
    For instance there is much research and debate over aerobic vs. anaerobic exercise for maximum metabolism.
    I for one am becoming a believer in the anaerobic support due to my own personal findings and accomplishments.
    This is a subject that will never truely have a right or wrong answer, simply a personal answer.
    Thanks for the info!

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  2. Some really great tips.

    It’s really about combining an effective workout routine with a healthy diet. Make sure you are not eliminating the essential elements your body needs, like protein and carbs completely from your diet. It’s alright to have these items, just make you monitor your portion control.

    Timothy

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    Tom Reply:

    Hey Strong One – I agree. Like many things related to health and fitness no one is ever going to agree on which type of exercise is better for boosting your metabolism. However, they both have their benefits so I would advise everyone to do some cardio and some resistance training on a regular basis.

    Hi Tim – Thanks for your comments. However, I’m not advocating eliminating protein or carbs. Tip 1 is to eat high fibre carbohydrates whilst tip 4 is to make sure that you are getting enough protein.

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  3. Mixing it up on the exercise works for me…keep the burn on! As far as the food I agree…great tips!

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    Tom Reply:

    Hey Mark. Thanks for the comments. Gotta agree you can’t beat a good cardio and resistance training combo.

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  4. i think you can go into great depth about exactly the best ways to raise and maintain metabolism, but you can almost become confused by too much detail! keep training your heart and build a good base of muscle and you’ve pretty much got it sorted!

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    Tom Reply:

    Totally agree. As I say in the article “metabolism is not the key to successful weight loss”. However, I wanted to go into detail to clarify exactly how metabolism affects the calories burned on a daily basis.

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  5. You have some really good tips, but one thing I am interested in is how the raising of your metabolism effects your appetite and hunger. Any ideas?

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    Tom Reply:

    Hey Paul – Thanks for your comments. Interesting point. I’ve never considered the effect it has on your appeite. However, based on what I have read I think appetite is mainly linked to what you eat. Eating foods that cause your blood glucose levels to increase rapidly generally make you feel hungry. Eating foods that have less of an impact on your blood glucose levels generally help you control your apetite better. These are just my initial thoughts so don’t take them as fact. I’ll probably have to do some more research into this topic and write my findings up as a blog post.

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  6. Tom, good list.

    People always confuse #7 up because of all the media attention green teas and co. receive. Water is definitely a better alternative.

    Mike

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    Tom Reply:

    Very true Mike. I’m not completely against caffeine. I drink 1-2 cups of coffee per day and a few cups of green tea. However, if caffeinated beverages are your only source of hydration it might be time to re-evaluate your fluid consumption and drink more water.

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  7. Tom,
    This is a great article with good details. I do believe metabolism is essential to reaching fitness goals. Feeding the body with the right foods at the right time is important as is drinking lots of water to keep the organs working for you not against. Thanks for the tips.

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  8. Hi Tom,
    All the points are absolutely fantastic. i think having a high metabolism increases your blood circulation which keep the all the organ to act 100% and enough strength for your daily activities, which ultimately burns the extra calories that leads to weight loss in short time.

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  9. Very thorough job!

    Congratulations!

    Ccris

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  10. Great post Tom,

    I have found that training with kettlebells can cross the bridge between aerobic and anerobic training.

    My Metabolic Rate workouts consist of two or 3 kettlebell exercises performed for set periods of time, for instance kettlebell swings for 10 sets of 45 seconds with 15 seconds rest between each. The swings are performed explosively and the high work rate/rest ratio can really get your metabolism revved up.

    [Reply]

    Tom Reply:

    Thanks for the comment. Not tried kettelbells yet but they certainly look like a fantastic cross over exercise.

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  11. How about mentioning breakfast to the list. I have always found that eating breakfast has boosted my metabolism. I generally eat more but have found that I stay slim since my body is used to burning and digesting food. Studies indicate that eating breakfast may increase resting metabolism by 10%.

    You will surprised by the amount of people who do not know this. I suppose this could come under #2 as well and get your vitamins from your breakfast. I guess any breakfast it better than skipping though as well.

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    Tom Reply:

    Hey Alex – Thanks for your comments. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to disagree with you on the topic of breakfast and metabolism. I used to think that regular meals could boost your metabolism but after reading a number of articles on the topic I have found that it actually has a minimal effect. I am not suggesting that breakfast is not important an important meal. It is a great way to start the day. However, it does not give your metabolism the boost that many people believe.

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  12. Great tips how to maximize metabolism! I like Tip #2 “EAT VITAMIN RICH FOODS”, i think many people don’t try to follow this tip, they eat snacks and that’s bad!

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    Tom Reply:

    Totally agree. Much better to snack on fruits than processed snacks.

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  13. An excellently comprehensive list Tom! Didn’t know the water tip so am all over that now, keep up the good blogging, I’m gonna add you to my roll

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  14. Hello,

    I have just found your article. Thank you for it, it’s full or great tips! I totally agree with you about the physical exercise. Good for the metabolism, but not only, as there are a lot of people who work in an office, that’s also a great way to have a break and stop thinking about work! It’s actually very easy to exercise a bit everyday, people could walk to work or just go down a few bus stop before.

    [Reply]

    Tom Reply:

    Hey Lucie – Glad you liked the article. Excellent point. It’s very easy to fit a little exercise into your day. A few short walks each day can be highly beneficial.

    Thanks Zac – Glad you enjoyed the article.

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  15. Good site dude! Clear consise tips. View completely shared on the fibrous carbs. Too many diets try making people leave them out and as we know thats not a good idea for keeping weight off!

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    Tom Reply:

    Thanks for the comments. Glad you like the site. On top of the fibre, natural carbohydrates are also a great source of vitamins and minerals.

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  16. Nice post. sure we will share the right & effective health tip to all.

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    Tom Reply:

    Thanks Mona. Glad you enjoyed the article.

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  17. I strongly Agree with getting proper proteins. Protein is important for building muscle and bone and to keeping cells in good working order. Meat, Eggs and Fish are rich source of proteins. Adult men need about 56 grams a day.
    Adult women need about 46 grams a day.

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    Tom Reply:

    Glad you agree John. Thanks for the comment.

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  18. I’m loving your articles.

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    Tom Reply:

    Glad you are enjoying them Jay.

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  19. Interval training is a MUST too! I have noticed a huge increase in weightloss and fitness with a well structred program… Im interested in an earlier comment you made replying to a comment stating that breakfast increases your metabolism?! Can you post the articles you read as I find this extremely hard to believe. I tested this over a 2 month period and body fat % after eating breakfast was much lower than the periods I went against eating breakfast….

    [Reply]

    Tom Reply:

    Hi there – The article I based my point about breakfast on was “Eating More Meals Does NOT Speed Up Your Metabolism. I’m not discounting the importance of breakfast. I eat it myself and would encourage anyone to make sure they eat some food shortly after they wake up. However, the timing of meals does not increase your metabolic rate.

    There could have been so many other factors behind your lower body fat % when eating breakfast. Perhaps when you were not eating breakfast you got hungry half way through the morning and snacked on low quality, high calorie foods? Maybe you ate more extra calories in your lunch and dinner than you would have eaten if you were having breakfast? Maybe when you ate breakfast, you ate more fibre and protein so you got a greater thermic effect from digesting the breakfast? Maybe your exercise routine was different and better at stripping fat from your body?

    Just to repeat, I am not saying change the way you eat. Eating regularly normally does help you lose weight because you eat better foods, control your portion sizes and are less prone to snacking on junk so it’s a really great lifestyle choice. However, it does not increase your metabolic rate.

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  20. Thanks for this post. Make sure you are not eliminating the essential elements your body needs, like protein and carbs completely from your diet.

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    Tom Reply:

    Totally agree Martin. A balanced nutritional intake is key.

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  21. Hi Tom, great article did you know that extreme temperatures either very hot or super cold can increase our metabolic rate by 20%.

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    Tom Reply:

    Hey Rene – I actually mentioned this in my earlier post on metabolism. I just didn’t want to suggest freezing yourself or scorching yourself as a way to boost your metabolism :-).

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  22. I lost 75 pounds in a year dropping from 240 down to 165. I feel great! You definitely have to cut down on the alcohol. I would go for weeks without drinking and eat the same thing everyday. Eating the same thing every day would make it easy for me to count the calories I was eating.

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    Tom Reply:

    Thanks for the comment Cliff. Just for future reference please use your name only in the name box. Don’t put your company name in there.

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  23. I love the Article I am a group fitness instructor and have been working in the Industry now for 22 year so im now in my 50s at this time in my life its so import to keep that metabolism working I find you dont have to kill yourself exercising just 10 -20 mins a day nutrition plays a big role to

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    Tom Reply:

    Thanks for the comment Celia. Totally agree with what you’re saying. When it comes to fitness, a solid diet is what will get you the best results. Even the best exercise program in the world needs to be built on the foundation of good nutrition.

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  24. You mentioned some good points here in this article Tom.Especially the workouts like cardio and resistance.I find that doing cardio in intervals will maximize your metabolism better than doing old boring cardio.I always recommend cardio to my readers.But I didn’t know spice was so powerful in terms of maximizing your metabolism.Keep up the good work Tom definetly bookmarking this site.

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    Tom Reply:

    Glad you liked the article Shon :).

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