A group of people holding letters that spell "HEALTH"

Does your metabolism need a boost? Simple ways to burn fat

Keeping your metabolism working efficiently is the best way to keep your body weight at a healthy level. For some people, this is not a problem, but for many of us, shedding a few extra pounds is challenging. This is because each person’s metabolism is different. Some people seemingly burn off anything they eat, and others have to watch every calorie.

“Your metabolism is like your own personal engine. It fuels your body's ability to burn fat. Genetic factors, along with your age and your sex are key influencers of your metabolic rate. Unfortunately, that means a ‘slower’ metabolism isn't totally in your control. However, here's the good news: There are tricks to help get it in gear,” says Lindsay Holmes in the Huffington Post.

The good news is that there are lots of simple ways to improve your metabolism:

  1. Don’t skip breakfast: People who eat breakfast lose weight more easily and maintain a healthier weight than those who skip it. “Eating breakfast gets the engine going and keeps it going,” says Mark Hyman, an integrative and functional medicine specialist, on Health.com.
  2. HIIT cardio: High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is one of the most effective forms of exercise for optimizing metabolic function. It involves ramping up your cardio intensity for 30 to 60 seconds and then returning to your normal speed. Repeat this throughout your workout to maximize fat burning. “Using this strategy will help you consume more oxygen and make your cell powerhouses, the mitochondria, work harder to burn energy,” Hyman explains.
  3. Eat frequently: Cutting out too many calories can actually have an adverse effect on your weight loss effort. When you reduce your caloric intake drastically, your body will conserve fat. Instead, eat regularly throughout the day. Eating five to six smaller meals daily is recommended.
    “Experts are promoting nibbling versus gorging as a way to keep metabolism running by holding blood sugar levels steady and preventing weight-gain-promoting insulin spikes. Enjoying six small meals a day should do the trick; keep them around 300 calories each, or divide your usual day's calories by six,” says Health.com.
  4. Hit the weights: Adding muscle will help you burn fat. Muscle uses more energy, which means you burn more calories. “The average woman in her 30s who strength-trains 30 to 40 minutes twice a week for four months will increase her resting metabolism by 100 calories a day,” says Gary Hunter, a professor of human studies at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
  5. Optimize your protein intake: Protein not only helps to repair your muscles after a workout, it is also effective at making you feel full longer and regulating blood glucose levels. A diet sufficient in protein also gives your metabolism a boost.
  6. Drink green tea: The antioxidants in tea are natural fat burners that will get your metabolism firing on all cylinders. If possible, drink it plain to eliminate unnecessary sugar and calories.
  7. Optimize your water intake: Most people don’t drink enough water. Drinking sufficient amounts of water helps improve digestion and burns more calories. It will also make you feel better and more energized throughout the day.
  8. Eat organic: Foods grown without the use of pesticides allow your thyroid to do its job: regulating your metabolism. Hyman explains that the toxins in conventionally grown produce can slow your metabolism by “interfering with your thyroid, which is your body’s thermostat and determines how fast it runs.”

By including these tips in your daily routine you can boost your metabolism without much effort.