SLOW METABOLISM: Best Ways to Increase Metabolism

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It is established that in order for the body to function at its best, it’s important to have a good metabolism rate. But are we really well-versed with what metabolism means and what it entails? Metabolism is a term that is used to describe the myriad chemical reactions that take place in the body so as to maintain the state of living cells and the organism. In simpler words, metabolism has everything to do with some cardinal nutrients and their availability. This further introduces us to a term called bioenergetics that depicts the metabolic routes through which the cell acquires energy. Therefore, production of energy is one of the crucial components of metabolism.
The chemical reactions act as an impetus in the proper functioning of the body. The word metabolism can be interchangeably used with metabolic rate(the number of calories to be burned). The higher the rate, the more calories can be burned which in turn makes it easier to lose weight. This is why it is highly advisable to seek ways to increase your metabolism.

Causes of Slow Metabolism

  • High insulin levels are one of the reasons that cause metabolism to steadily drop.
  • Hormonal imbalance also leads to slow metabolism. The paucity of estrogen in women and the amount of testosterone found in both men and women can affect the muscle/fat ratio. Testosterone helps in regulating muscle mass, that is it vicariously helps in burning more calories. So, its dearth will bring the metabolism to slow down.
  • Our metabolism organically slows down with age. After the age of 30, our Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) keeps declining about one to two percent every year. This is one of several reasons why many people get flabby as they get older. Muscle mass decreases, while fat mass increases, thereby slowing the rate at which we burn calories.
  • Eating foods with abysmal nutritional value can also be considered as one of the major reasons for slow metabolism. Lack of certain macronutrients and micronutrients can adversely affect the rate of our metabolism.
  • Stress can lead to increased levels of the hormone cortisol, which can harm your metabolism. Increased cortisol levels can compel you to overeat, therefore, causing your weight to gain.

Here is a list of foods that can help to boost your metabolism naturally

1. Proteins


How do they help to boost metabolism?
  • It is proven that eating food can proliferate your metabolism for subsequent hours. This phenomenon is called the Thermic Effect of Food(TEF).
  • This is caused by the extraneous calories needed to absorb, digest and process the nutrients in our meal.
  • Protein is one nutrient which when abundantly consumed, leads to a drastic increase in TEF. It increases your metabolic rate by 15–30%, compared to 5–10% for carbohydrates and 0–3% for fats.
  • Eating protein also curbs your overeating impulses.
  • Eating more protein can also lessen the decline in metabolism that is often linked with losing fat. This is because it reduces muscle loss, which is a common side effect that accompanies dieting.
Dietary Information
  • Foods rich in protein such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes, nuts and seeds, could help increase your metabolism.
  • Protein requirements vary from individual to individual, but typically consuming 0.8 to one gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day should ideally be enough to propel weight loss.
  • For a 130-pound (59 kilograms) person, that would equal between 46 and 58 grams of protein.


Eating more protein can boost your metabolism so that you burn more calories. It can further help you eat less than you used to when protein intake was not as much.

2. Green Tea or Oolong Tea

green tea
How do they help to boost metabolism?
  • Green tea and oolong tea have been shown to boost metabolism by 4–5%.
  • It is believed that their metabolism-boosting properties can help prevent weight loss plateau that occurs due to a sporadic drop in metabolism.
  • Since it is rich in antioxidants, this traditional Chinese, Oolong tea not only helps keep a check on the cholesterol levels but also aids in digestion. It also revs up your metabolism.
  • Like green tea, oolong is copious with catechins, which help facilitate weight loss efforts by working upon the body’s ability to metabolize fat.
Dietary Information
  • People who regularly sip oolong tea can lose six pounds over the course of six weeks.
  • Drinking about two cups of Oolong tea per day can have a significant impact on your health conditions.
  • It increases the metabolism of the body, thereby inducing weight loss.
  • You can choose to drink Oolong tea in the morning as it contains caffeine. This will, in turn, enrich your metabolism for the whole day, assisting in reducing weight.


Drinking green tea or oolong tea may increase your metabolism. These teas may also help you lose weight. If you drink oolong tea throughout the day, the risk of you developing any chronic disease will be very much reduced. Oolong tea can increase your metabolism by about 10% even after 2 hours of drinking it. If you sip on your tea at regular intervals, it will be more efficacious.

3. Herbs & Spices

How do they help to boost metabolism?
  • Peppers contain capsaicin, a substance that can boost your metabolism.
  • Cumin, Cayenne Pepper, jalapeños, habaneros and other spices with capsaicin are found to increase metabolism by up to 25%.
  • Along with its slimming effects, capsaicin is shown to work as a blood thinner, helping to prevent blood clots. People who regularly eat peppers have a greatly reduced chance of many blood clotting diseases. Capsaicin has also shown to work as an anti-inflammatory and help to control pain.
  • Half a teaspoon of cinnamon a few times a day can reduce blood sugar, improve glucose metabolism, lower cholesterol, and lower triglyceride levels. It can easily be sprinkled on yogurt, toast, or put in healthy smoothies.
Dietary Information

The effects of adding spices to your food may be quite small. However, it may lead to a slight advantage when combined with other metabolism-boosting strategies. So, they cannot be eaten inordinately. Just sprinkling 3-4 of these on your regular meals daily will suffice.


Eating spicy food could be beneficial for boosting your metabolism and help you maintain a healthy weight.

4. Carbohydrates


How do they help to boost metabolism?
  • Your body burns carbohydrates for energy, but if you eat them before you go to sleep, your body just stores them as fat.
  • Many carb-filled foods act as powerful appetite suppressants. They’re even more filling than protein or fat.
  • These special carbs have a tendency to fill you up because they are digested more slowly than other types of foods, evoking a feeling of fullness in both your brain and your stomach.
  • Carbs high in Resistant Starch boost up your metabolism and your body’s other natural fat burners. As Resistant Starch moves through your digestive system, it gives out fatty acids that encourage fat burning. These fatty acids help preserve muscle mass and that drives your metabolism, helping you lose weight faster.
Dietary Information
  • Barley, whole grained bread, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, green peas, oats, rice are a few carbohydrates that are a must-have in order to increase metabolism.
  • Eating dinner fraught with carbs every day is more than enough to increase metabolism. The researchers concluded that your odds of getting and staying slim are best when carbs make up to 64% of your total daily calorie intake, or 361 grams.


Foods high in a Resistant Starch flip on every single fullness trigger in the body. They release those hormones in the intestine that make your cells more sensitive to insulin. By increasing your consumption of filling foods and releasing satiety hormones, you’ll naturally reduce your hunger.

5. Avocado

How does it help to boost metabolism?
  • Avocado contains metabolism-enriching monounsaturated fat. To add to it, the creamy fruit is also packed with fiber and free-radical-killing antioxidants.
  • Free radicals are destructive oxygen molecules, natural byproducts of metabolism that pave way for various chain reactions in the body that annihilate cells and DNA, causing all kinds of health problems.
  • Antioxidants in fresh fruits and vegetables can help neutralize some free radicals, but they can’t reach the mitochondria, the abode of the free radicals and that’s a problem. When mitochondria do not work properly, your metabolism runs less efficiently. This is where avocado comes to your rescue.
Dietary Information
  • One-third of a medium avocado (50 g) has 80 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins and minerals, making it a great nutrient-rich food choice.
  • The avocado is virtually the only fruit that contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fat which is popularly known as the good fat.


The reason why eating avocados are so productive in dispelling health ailments is that its healthy fats help lower cholesterol and boost metabolism. Researchers also found that people who eat avocados tend to have less belly fat than those who don’t.

6. Lentils


How does it help to boost metabolism?
  • Your body needs iron to undertake its calorie-burning processes effectively. Iron prods the flow of oxygen throughout the body, which helps increase energy and your metabolism.
  • The thing is that your body can’t work as efficiently to burn calories when it doesn’t have what it needs to work properly. A cup of lentils apparently fulfills over a third of your daily iron needs.
  • Legumes like lentils also have been shown to ward off bad cholesterol and blood pressure.
Dietary Information

Eating one serving a day of lentils can significantly reduce ‘bad cholesterol’ and therefore the risk of cardiovascular disease. Just one cup of lentils provides 35% of your daily iron needs, plus protein and fiber, which further help in digestion.


Legumes and pulses, such as lentils, peas, chickpeas, beans, and peanuts, are particularly high in protein compared to other plant foods. Studies suggest that their high protein content requires your body to burn a greater number of calories to digest them, compared to lower-protein food.

7. Citrus Fruits


How does it help to boost metabolism?
  • Citrus fruits, especially lemons and grapefruits, are great for digestion. They’re low in sugar and contain an antioxidant that can help lower your blood sugar levels after meals and the vitamin C helps your body metabolize fat faster.
  • Vitamin C has fat burning qualities that help speed up your metabolism. In fact, vitamin C may be able to help us improve our metabolism by about 100 calories per day.
  • Eating citrus fruits such as grapefruit, oranges, tangerines, tangelos, and even adding fresh lemon juice to water is a great way to boost your metabolism.
  • Try adding a serving or two of citrus fruits to your diet to help reduce your weight.
Dietary Information

They’re low in calories, yet their water and fiber contents help fill you up. Here’s the number of calories the main kinds of citrus fruits contain:

  • 1 small clementine: 35
  • 1 medium orange: 62
  • 1/2 pink grapefruit: 52
  • 1/2 white grapefruit: 39
  • Juice from 1 lemon: 12


Citrus fruits are low in calories, making them a smart choice for people seeking to lose or maintain their weight and hence the metabolism.

Workouts & Exercises to Boost Metabolism

  • High-intensity Interval training (HIIT) encompasses quick and very intense rounds of activity. It can help you burn more fat by increasing your metabolic rate, even after your workout has finished.
  • Any kind of aerobic exercise, be it running or doing Zumba, burns calories. You can make it more intense for your body to burn more calories.
  • High-intensity training pumps your heart rate up to such a degree that it increases your body’s need for oxygen. The body tries to more than makeup for the oxygen deficit during the recovery intervals and even after the workout session ends. This implies that you will be burning extra calories during rest for a substantial number of subsequent hours following your HIIT session.
  • Incorporate in your intense workout an activity of lifting heavy objects. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, and building muscle can help increase your metabolism. This means you will burn more calories each day, even when at rest.
  • Lifting weights will also help you retain muscle and fight the decrease in metabolism that can occur during weight loss.
  • Moreover, sitting too much is bad for your health. Some health commentators have even branded it “the new smoking.” This is because when you keep sitting for long periods of time, you burn fewer calories and this can lead to weight gain. In fact, compared to sitting, an afternoon of standing up at work can burn an extra 174 calories.
  • Exercises like burpees, lunges, squat jumps and mountain climbers are most suitable to boost your metabolism.

Additional Ways to Boost Metabolism

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

  • Lack of sleep is linked to a major rise in the risk of obesity. This may partly be caused by the negative effects of sleep deprivation on metabolism. Lack of sleep has also been linked to increased levels of blood sugar and insulin resistance, which are both associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • It’s also been shown to increase the hunger hormone ghrelin and decrease the fullness hormone leptin. This also explains why many people who are sleep-deprived feel hungry and face problems in losing weight.
  • Minimum seven hours of sleep is deemed necessary for the body’s metabolism to operate at its best.

Drink more Cold Water

  • Not only does water help people lose weight and is a more useful fluid to consume than the likes of the soft drinks, but it also boosts up your metabolism. Studies have demonstrated that drinking 17 ounces (0.5 liters) of water per day increases resting metabolism by 10–30% temporarily, say for about an hour. This calorie-burning impact may be even escalated if you drink cold water, as your body uses energy to heat it up to body temperature.
  • Water can also help fill you up and feel satiated.
  • As aforementioned, after drinking approximately 17 ounces of water (about 2 tall glasses), the metabolic rates shoot up to 30 percent. The researchers speculate that increasing water intake by 1.5 liters a day (about 6 cups) would burn an extra 17,400 calories over the period of a year, that is to say, a weight loss of around five pounds.

Laugh More

  • As ridiculous it may sound, laughing more genuinely helps in boosting metabolism. It can cause a 10–20 percent increase in the energy release and resting heart-rate. Indeed, laughter is the best medicine.
  • A 10-15 minute laugh or giggle could burn up 40-170 calories. No kidding!

Reduce your Bedroom Temperature

  • It is believed that simply turning on the AC may subtly transform a person’s stores of brown fat, that is the “good” fat stimulated by cold temperatures, that serves to keep us warm by burning through “bad” fat caches.
  • So, it is more benefiting to sleep in a room with relatively lower room temperature. Isn’t it cool?

Bid Adieu to Stress

  • Stress is mentioned in one of the causes of slow metabolism, which is why it becomes all the more important to not stress much about things. Stress can actually cause the body to metabolize food at a slower rate.
  • To keep your metabolism running strong, fight stress with laughter.

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