Instead of envying 20-somethings for their ability to seemingly keep weight off with zero effort, follow these tips to help speed up your own metabolism.
1. Drink more H2O
If you’re looking to speed up your metabolism, ensuring you get the proper amount of water every day is probably one of the oldest health tricks in the book, but not just because it keeps skin hydrated or helps prevent overeating.
A small study in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition found that drinking water can actually lead to weight loss, possibly because it can increase metabolism.
It takes calories to process water, because everything we do takes calories. The more water, the more calories you need to expend. Try and aim for around two liters a day, but the exact amount depends on your activity level and age.
As a bonus, there are many other health benefits of drinking more water.
2. Start strength training
While nutritionists agree that there is no magic food to rev up your metabolism, getting enough exercise, especially the right kind of exercise, is key.
Strength training two or three times a week can help build lean muscle mass. A pound of muscle burns up to nine times more calories than a pound of fat.
Lifting weights is a great way to build muscle mass. However, the point is not just to build lean muscle mass, but to maintain it.
As we age, we start to lose muscle. Strength training not only builds muscle groups to burn more calories, but also helps preserve them and prevent loss.
3. Up your protein intake
Eating a sufficient quantity of protein at each meal is almost unanimously agreed upon as a critical component of maintaining a rapid metabolism.
A study published in the Journal of Nutrition confirms that a higher protein diet makes you feel more satiated after eating and helps you maintain lean muscle mass. But that doesn’t mean you should go to town on a juicy steak every night.
You can absorb only about 30 grams of protein at a time to utilize it for muscle group and repair. Not sure how to incorporate healthy lean protein into your mealtime routines? This is how some of the high-protein foods nutritionists actually eat with their meals and snacks: 2 tablespoons of nuts or nut butter, 8 ounces of low-fat yogurt, either dairy or soy, 2 ounces of tuna, 4 tablespoons of hummus, 4 ounces of tofu, or 1 egg.
4. Be mindful when eating
While most of us might wolf our meals down at our desks or in front of the TV, savoring your food is better for achieving a healthier weight.
Recent research shows that the faster people ate, the more they ate because the hormone that signals that you’re full, cholecystokinin (CCK), takes about 20 minutes to kick in. If you inhale your meal, you might consume more than you mean to without realizing you’re already full.
Additionally, maintaining a regular dining schedule as an important component to mindful eating habits.
5. Limit screen time before bed
It’s no secret that experts recommend putting away blue-light devices such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops, at least an hour before bed to improve sleep quality.
But it’s important for metabolism too—a pilot study from Northwestern University shows that exposure to blue light at night can impact glucose metabolism.
Although the exact correlation is still being studied, ceasing exposure to blue light two hours prior to hitting the sack.
Blue light exposure resets melatonin levels so that getting to sleep becomes harder, and too little sleep means weight gain for most people. Setting a curfew for your digital devices is a key part of any successful bedtime routine.
6. Enjoy a cup of coffee and tea
Caffeine can increase your metabolism up to 8 percent. Brewed tea kicks it up another notch by boosting your metabolism by 10 percent.
Green tea goes above and beyond thanks to its catechins, and the effects add up. Try drinking three to four cups a day to potentially burn up to 50 to 100 calories. Just don’t use this an excuse to indulge in flavored lattes or sugary green tea drinks from boutique cafes. Don’t make it into dessert—that defeats the whole purpose.
7. Don’t underestimate the importance of sleep
Don’t cave into that extra episode of Stranger Things: Getting a quality night’s is critical for a healthy metabolism.
Too little sleep appears to wreak havoc with levels of leptin and ghrelin, two hormones that regulate appetite
When you don’t sleep well, you feel hungrier and you tend to eat more and choose more nutrient-poor foods.