7 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

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  • By Robin Westen

    Whatever you eat or drink, your metabolism is responsible for converting those calories into energy. How fast or slowly it goes contributes to whether you put on weight or not. And the process depends on lots of factors including your age, body size, and gender. The good news? There are ways you can give your metabolism a boost. Here are easy tips on how to do that:

    Drink Green Tea

    A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that drinking green tea extract results in a significant increase in energy expenditure (a measure of metabolism).
  • Get Shut-Eye Not getting enough sleep has been linked to a slow metabolism and a quick weight gain. After four nights of restricted sleep, fat cells taken from the stomach of participants in a study were less sensitive to insulin, a hormone that helps control blood sugar. Insulin insensitivity is linked to both obesity and diabetes.
  • Eat Breakfast Eating early in the day keeps us from "starvation eating" later on. It also jump-starts your metabolism. When you don't eat breakfast, you're actually fasting for 15 to 20 hours, so you're not producing the enzymes needed to metabolize fat to lose weight.
  • Pump Iron Resistance training increases your resting metabolic rate by about 7 percent, so you’ll burn more calories throughout the day, even while sitting, according to Tufts University researchers. Aim for 30 minutes, three times a week.
  • Drink Water A German study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism showed participants in the study who drank two more glasses of water each day burned more fat than those who didn’t. Drinking eight to ten 8-ounce glasses is generally recommended.
  • Add Spices Cayenne pepper has thermogenic properties, or the ability to heat up the body and increase your calorie burn. That’s why eating spicy foods can make you sweat. Ginger helps the cells in muscle tissue to utilize more oxygen. This activation of metabolism also causes the body to burn more fat and calories.
  • Go Cardio One study found that 45 minutes on the bike sped up metabolic rate for over 12 hours. According to clinicians it doesn’t matter whether you’re riding a bike outdoors or a stationary bike indoors.

    Robin Westen is ThirdAge's Medical Director. Check for her daily updates. Her latest book, co-authored with Dr. Alyssa Dweck, is "V is for Vagina."