What is Metabolism?
Metabolism consists of the chemical and physical reactions that occur in the living cells of our
bodies. It’s the procedure of breaking substances into smaller elements or different components.
Our metabolic rate determines the speed at which we use and burns calories. A higher metabolic
rate causes a body to burn calories faster and prevents those calories from turning to fat. People
who have slower metabolic rates may not burn all the calories they consume, gaining weight as a
result. Genetics normally determine our metabolic rates, however, we can raise those rates with
proper nutrition and exercise.
Natural Metabolism Boosters:
Exercise – Regular exercise is an effective metabolism booster due to the increased
metabolic rates you’ll experience for a period of time after exercising. Try moving
around throughout the day as much as possible to help burn calories. Work in as much
walking as possible, taking stairs, and parking further away from the office, etc. Several
short walks of 5-10 minutes throughout the day prove beneficial as well.
Interval training – Many experts recommend H.I.I.T. Training or High Intensity Interval
Training as an excellent weight loss tool and muscle builder. You can do both
simultaneously, lose body fat and gain muscle. H.I.I.T. allows the heart and muscles to
use oxygen more efficiently. You will burn more calories, raise your metabolic rate and
your level of fitness at a faster rate. Picture a marathon runner’s body and a sprinter’s
body. Most elite marathon runners have a very thin build while sprinters often possess
Eat early – Metabolic rates may be higher early in the morning and diminish throughout
the day. People who eat a healthy breakfast and eat less later on in the day, normally
have higher metabolisms. A protein rich breakfast in my opinion is best
Drink Cold Water – Drinking cold or iced water may raise your body temperature,
therefore, increasing your metabolism. I’ve heard this tip mentioned several times before
so it’s worth a try.
Increase Muscle – Even at rest, muscle tissue burns more calories than fat or other
tissue. Weight resistance training is one of the best ways to increase muscle mass.
Strength training will stimulate muscles making them stronger and provide your body
with beneficial improvements in strength and function. Resistance training can accelerate
fat loss and increase muscle mass.
Get plenty of sleep and rest – Make sure to allow enough time for sleep and rest. I
struggle with this sometimes myself but it’s important. Your body needs adequate sleep
to recover and function properly. I notice that my decision making ability especially
when it come to nutrition and exercise suffers if I’m not rested.
Metabolism Boosters for Women
The makeup of a woman’s body is different than a man’s body. Women, have the ability to carry
children and with that comes a slightly different body composition than a man. Women normally
retain more fat than men. Women typically have lower metabolism rates as well. However,
eating the following foods can help women boost their metabolism:
Pears, apples and other fruit – Apples are high in fiber and low in calories yet they also
have a low GI rating, meaning they help you feel full for longer. This prevents you from
snacking too regularly. I prefer a combination of Juicing my fruits and eating them
whole. I would suggest minimizing fruit intake if your goal is weight loss and focusing
on lower glycemic fruits such as berries.
Foods rich in fiber – High fiber foods take longer to digest therefore burning more
calories. Spinach is a great source of fiber. It is also rich in antioxidants, potassium, iron,
magnesium and Vitamin C. It contains metabolism-regulating vitamins and minerals
such as B vitamins and calcium.
Eat foods rich in magnesium – Found in green vegetables such as spinach, halibut, nuts
such as almonds, cashews, peanuts, soybeans (edaname), whole grain cereals, oatmeal
and legumes like black eyed peas and lentils. Our cells need magnesium for proper
muscle, nerve and heart function as well as protein synthesis and energy metabolism. I
personally follow the paleo approach to eating so I don’t eat most of these items but they
may work for you.
Lean meat – Is rich in protein and is thermogenic. Turkey, chicken, eggs and fish are
great sources of lean meat. Lean meats are high in Vitamin B.
Metabolism Boosters for Men
Men have naturally faster metabolisms than women because of their high levels of testosterone.
However, their diets, levels of exercise and other factors may influence their metabolism and
cause them to gain weight. Men can boost their metabolism by making a few changes to their
routines that include:
Stay hydrated – Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Maintaining proper
hydration levels will allow our bodies to metabolize food more efficiently.
Drink green tea – Green tea is high in antioxidants and contains thermogenic properties.
Thermogenic properties help to warm the body. When your body creates heat it needs to
burn more calories, which in turn increases your metabolic rate.
Drink coffee – Caffeine will boost your metabolic rate temporarily. Do not exceed more
than 3 cups of coffee a day. I would also avoid sugars or artificial sweeteners if possible
especially if weight loss is your goal.
Healthy breakfast – I try to eat a protein rich breakfast most days, however, I do
occasionally skip breakfast and feel fine. I try to eat more instinctually, eating when I
actually feel hungry rather at predetermined times. Eating a good protein rich breakfast
will kick start your metabolism early on in the day. Your metabolism is much faster
during the day. Avoid eating food late at night or close to bedtime unless you’re
absolutely starving. It’s ok to eat whenever you want but just avoid those late night meals
if possible. You can eat foods like oatmeal, cinnamon, almonds, yogurt, green tea and
grapefruit which are natural Metabolism Boosters. I personally avoid grains but if you
enjoy eating them and it works for you, then go for it. Yogurt contains high protein
levels, requiring more calories to digest it. I would stick to natural or plain yogurt and
not ones filled with high fructose corn syrup. The pro-biotic cultures in yogurt can help
regulate your digestive tract as well as aid in a fast and healthy digestive system. Nuts
and seeds are good fats and are essential when you are exercising. The best nuts for
metabolism boosting include almonds and sunflower seeds. Grapefruit can lower insulin
levels throughout your body. Controlling insulin levels is absolutely essential when
trying to maintain or lose weight. This is why I eliminated grains and processed foods
almost entirely from my diet. Insulin is what triggers your body to store food as fat.
Grapefruit is high in fiber so it is harder for the body to break it down. This process
allows for extra calories burned, resulting in weight loss. Grapefruit has Vitamin C, folic
acid, potassium and these all promote a healthy heart and immune system.
Increase your protein and fiber intake – Our bodies use more energy to digest fiber
and protein. The increased energy used to digest these foods promotes calorie burning
when compared to carbohydrates. By expending more energy on digestion, the body
must increase its metabolic rate. Protein promotes lean muscle mass which in turn
increases your metabolic rate. Turkey, chicken, fish and egg whites are great sources of
protein while spinach, broccoli, and nuts are great sources of fiber. I have had great
results eating primally and following the paleo approach to eating and exercise.
Snack right – I focus on eating high protein snacks such as beef jerky, macadamia nuts,
almonds, or a hard boiled egg.
Consume metabolism boosting foods – Turkey, apples, spinach, broccoli, green beans
and jalapenos are great choices.
Supplements – Vitamin B supplements are considered one of the best metabolism
boosters, making you more alert and minimizing fatigue.
Herbal Metabolism Boosters
Certain herbs produce a stimulating, warming effect on the body, improving digestion and
metabolism. The following herbs help maintain energy levels and control appetite:
Cayenne – The thermo-genic properties in Cayenne will raise the body’s temperature
while boosting metabolism.
Ginger – Helps increase your body temperature and metabolic rate. I also include ginger
in many of my Juicing recipes.
Experts say our metabolism decreases with each passing decade. Therefore, we need fewer
calories to maintain our bodies as we age. It is important to eat foods high in nutritional value to
get the most benefit from the calories we consume. One of the reasons we overeat is because we
eat foods that lack nutritional value. Have you ever noticed yourself eating tons of junk food and
not feeling full? Processed foods such as potato chips, ice cream, cookies, etc. lack the nutrients
your body needs and craves, therefore you are left feeling un-satiated or not full. High protein,
nutritious meals will leave you feeling satiated or full with far less calories. All calories are not
Juicing high quality fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to consume the nutrition and
enzymes that are necessary for effective metabolism. Whole foods must go through the process
of digestion. Juicing converts fruits and vegetables into nutrient and enzyme rich Juice. This
allows your body to absorb the Juice into your bloodstream much faster, easing the digestive
In short the most effective metabolism boosters that have worked for me are:
Stay hydrated – I try to drink water and green tea only
Exercise – Walk a lot and perform intense strength training exercises a few times per
Paleo diet – I eat mainly meat, chicken, fish, eggs, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds.
I avoid grains and processed foods as much as possible. An occasional indulgence is ok.
Juicing – I like to drink about 15-30 ounces of Juice throughout the day. The
combination of eating and drinking fresh fruit and vegetables works for me.