Five Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

If you bump up your metabolism, you can burn more calories. So how do you do it? Here are some important tips for revving up your metabolism.

1. Build More Muscle

No doubt about it, muscle burns fat. In order to get those fuel-burning muscles, you can’t just sit on the couch. Get out there and strength train! 24 Hour Fitness personal trainer Brandt Morris recommends a total body workout with weights three times per week at 30 to 45 minutes per session.

Adding muscle will increase your metabolism, which is measured by your resting metabolic rate (RMR). In addition to building muscle, strength training actually increases your metabolism for 24 hours after your strength-training session,” says Morris.

2. Be More Active

Don’t stop at strength training. You’ll need a cardio workout of 30 to 40 minutes at your target heart rate four to five days per week. “I personally suggest that the time be closer to 40 minutes,” says Morris. “Check with a trainer so you know what target heart rate to shoot for.”

But it’s not just cardio at the gym. “Increase your activity. Any physical activity will make a difference and pep up your metabolism,” says Morris. For example:

  • Take the stairs
  • Park your car in a remote area of the parking lot
  • Walk around your office building during breaks
  • If possible, cycle or walk to work occasionally
  • Play catch or fly a kite
  • Take dance lessons

3. Don't Fast or Skip Meals

Make sure to jumpstart your metabolism in the morning by eating breakfast. Eat small meals throughout the day. “You have to eat in order to lose weight. Four to six meals is a good way to keep your metabolism humming, as long as you maintain a calorie deficit,” says Morris.

24 Hour Fitness trainers can help you plan fun, easy ADA-approved menus to keep you on track. Starving yourself throws the body into survival mode. This encourages the storage of energy in the form of fat – and you lose muscle mass, too. Not good.

While you can initially lose a few pounds by skipping meals, in the long term it’s bad for your metabolism: “When you stop dieting, your body loses its calorie-burning ability,” says Morris.

My client was overweight, with several health problems. Since we started working together, he’s eating breakfast every day. He snacks before lunch and dinner – healthy snacks that he keeps at the office – so that he doesn’t eat too much at meals. He splits meals when he dines out or automatically asks for a “to go” container. He stretches regularly and walks during breaks at the office. In short, his metabolism has increased and now he’s losing one pound per week!

- Brandt Morris

4. Drink More Water

H2O can also help your metabolism. Researchers in Germany report that water consumption increases the rate at which people burn calories. The impact is modest, but researchers say their study could have important implications for weight-control programs.

Read the report

“Shoot for 96 ounces per day,” says Morris. “Try to drink a little water every 15 to 20 minutes.”

5. Get a Good Night's Sleep

Skimping on sleep can upset your metabolism. In a study at the University of Chicago, people who got four hours of sleep or less a night had difficulty processing carbohydrates. When the body is exhausted, it lacks the energy to do normal day-to-day functions, which include burning calories.

Morris suggests stretching before bed to help the body relax.

Brandt Morris is a Fitness Manager and National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM)- certified personal trainer at the 24 Hour Fitness Super Sport in Bedford, Texas.

This information and other information on this site is intended for general reference purposes only and is not intended to address specific medical conditions. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice or a medical exam. Prior to participating in any exercise program or activity, you should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional. No information on this site should be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition.