Health

Things you can do to boost your metabolism

Trying to lose weight is never appealing, especially as weight loss usually means dieting. The good news is, there are plenty of things you can do to boost your metabolism and aid weight loss.

Dr Ryan Harvey of House Call Doctor said: “Metabolism is the term given to process of converting what you eat and drink into energy.

“It is a complex biochemical process where what you eat is combined with oxygen to release energy.”

Even if you’re just relaxing on the couch, your body still requires energy to continue performing vital functions including breathing, blood circulation, growing and adjusting hormone levels.

There are numerous factors that influence your metabolism, such as age, sex, body size and composition.

“Your basal metabolic rate makes up 70 per cent (%) of the calories you burn, the other 30% comes from food processing and physical activity,” Dr Harvey said.

Your metabolism is mostly controlled by your genetics but there are options to boost metabolism and help weight loss.

Eating nutritious foods

According to Dr Harvey, your metabolism is closely linked to nutrition.

“Everything you eat is converted into energy and either stored or burned,” he said.

“Furthermore, eating actually causes an uptick in your metabolism, the ‘thermic effect of food’.”

Opt for nutritious and low-calorie foods including:

  • Beans: metabolism relies on protein and fibre and beans are a rich source of both.
  • Lean meats: options like skinless chicken and turkey are low in fat and high in protein.
  • Chilli: Capsinoids found in chilli and have been found to increased energy expenditure.
  • Green tea and coffee: caffeinated beverages can give your mind and body a lift and they can also assist your metabolism.
  • Whole grains: whole grains are an excellent source of fibre. Whole grains are harder to break down than processed grains which will help your body burn more fat.

Gaining muscle mass

“Muscle is more metabolically active than fat or bone so the more muscle mass an individual has, the more calories they will be burning during activities and exercise,” Dr Harvey said.

Building strength and muscle is a great way to give your metabolism a boost: try either bodyweight exercises or using weights.

Get enough sleep

The Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours sleep per night. When you’re tired you’re more likely to crave ‘bad’ foods and it is easier to get takeaway when you’re tired than to cook a healthy meal.

Dr Harvey said: “Sleep deprivation affects many aspects of daily life, including your metabolism and weight loss journey.”

Hydration is key

People who drink at least 1.8 litres per day have a higher metabolic rate than those drinking 0.9 litres.

Cold water particularly helps to increase metabolism, likely because the water needs to be heated to body temperature.