Metabolism is basically breaking down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats from food into energy.

This process is vital for providing energy, building muscle, and burning fat. Metabolic rate is based on several factors.

Many people feel cursed with genetics programmed for a sluggish metabolism. However, experts say genetics account for only 5% of metabolic disposition. [1]

This is exciting news because it means individuals can influence metabolic rate to burn more calories, resulting in faster weight loss and improved overall health. This is especially important for older people, as metabolism decreases by 5-10% per decade after about age 25. [1]

Here are 7 easy tips for how to increase your metabolism:

• Food is Your Friend
• Spice It Up – Eat Spicy Peppers
• Sit Down for Tea Time
• Chill Out
• Get Enough Zzz’s
• The Power of Water
• Pack on Muscle

Tip #1: Food Is Your Friend

People questing for weight loss and a faster metabolism often make the mistake of treating food like it’s the enemy. In reality, eating regularly is the best way to keep metabolism at high speeds throughout the day. Research shows regular feeding schedules balance lipid and insulin profiles and greatly increases post-meal thermogenesis. [2]

Think of your metabolism as a roaring campfire, and food is the wood that fuels it. If adequate wood is placed on the fire, it continues to burn strong and fierce. If there isn’t any fuel available, the fire will burn out. This is why breakfast is important, because the metabolic fire has been without fuel for many hours.


Research shows eating breakfast optimizes metabolic and hormonal processes which more efficiently utilize caloric energy. This increases meal satisfaction and reduces the amount of food consumed per sitting. It is also proven to speed fat oxidation and recovery time after exercise. [3] [4]

Experts disagree on optimal eating patterns; some people think 6 small meals a day is better than 3 regular meals combined with snacking, but some people found 6 meals uncomfortable to maintain.[5]

According to WebMD experts, it’s best to customize meals and meal times unique to your body. When coming up with a meal plan, follow these 3 principles: eat within 1 hour of waking, eat more calories in the morning and mid-afternoon and fewer calories in the evening, and never allow yourself to enter a state of ferocious hunger. [5]

Tip #2: Eat Spicy Peppers

Capsaicin is the compound in spicy peppers responsible for that tear-jerking kick; the spicier peppers have higher capsaicin concentration. Capsaicin interacts with xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes and boosts caloric burn. It has been used as an ingredient in sports supplements and weight loss pills designed for women. [6] [7]

Capsaicin directly affects lipid metabolism and discourages fat accumulation. One study shows capsaicin significantly reduced perirenal adipose tissue and also reduced serum triglycerides. [8]

The best sources of capsaicin are jalapenos, cayenne peppers, Hungarian wax peppers, sweet bell peppers, habanero peppers, scotch bonnet peppers, and chili peppers. [9]

Tip #3: Sit Down for Tea Time

Teas that contain caffeine boost metabolism while simultaneously providing useful nutrients. Oolong, mate and white teas are recommended for improving caloric burn. However, green tea is considered the ultimate metabolism booster. Green tea contains EGCG catechins proven to enhance thermogenesis and metabolic rate. Green tea also inhibits fat cell proliferation by up to 50%. [10] [11]

Green tea extract is often used as an ingredient in diet pills designed for women like those found on

According to Dr. Oz, drinking iced tea is more effective than hot tea. Consuming cold tea forces the body to warm it before digestion, thus increasing metabolism and caloric burn. [10]

Spices and fruit can be added to improve taste. A good trick is to always keep a pitcher of tea in the fridge for easy access. You can easily pour some into a thermostat or coffee mug for convenient metabolism-boosting effects throughout the day.

Tip #4: Chill Out

The settings on your thermostat may be negatively affecting your metabolism, especially when you sleep. The majority of metabolic activity occurs during resting periods, which is known as basal metabolic rate. Even while resting, the body works hard to sustain organs, tissue growth, and other natural processes, including regulating body temperature. [12]

Lowering room temperature makes the body work to raise core body temperature and keeps it working throughout the night to maintain that temperature. One study shows small reductions in room temperature significantly increases thermogenesis, especially in brown adipose tissue. Scientists observed subjects had greater energy expenditure throughout the night after lowering room temperature by only 5 degrees. [13]

Experts say lowering temperature by a few degrees before bed is all it takes to burn an extra 80-100 calories per night. While this might seem small, this caloric burn adds up over time. This trick can be implemented during the day as well. Turning on the AC in the office or in the car helps burn calories when you’re stuck in a sitting position. [14] [15]

Tip #5: Get Enough Zzz’s

The term “getting your beauty sleep” has taken on a whole new meaning since scientists discovered a link between sleep and metabolic rate. Getting adequate sleep is important for many hormonal processes including regulating circadian rhythm (the body’s natural sleep-wake schedule). Scientists note circadian misalignment correlates to metabolic dysfunction. [16]

Researchers believe this is because the majority of basal metabolism occurs during deep sleep, when the body is most relaxed. Since basal metabolism accounts for 80% of the metabolism needed to sustain cellular processes, inadequate amounts of deep sleep results in a sluggish metabolism and decreased overall health. Sleep deprivation also disrupts the balance between parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, which has a negative effect on metabolism. [16]

Tip #6: The Power of Water

Everyone knows drinking water is a healthy habit, but most people don’t know how much it impacts metabolism. Recent research shows drinking 500 ml water increases metabolic rate by about 30%. Total thermogenic response increased by 100 kJ, which equates to 23.8 additional calories burned. About 40% of thermogenic energy was used to internally warm the water from 22 C to 37 C. [17]

Consequently, drinking ice water provides better results than warmer water. According to Doctor Oz, metabolism spikes within 10 minutes after consuming ice water and stays up for an additional half hour. Doctor Oz says drinking a 16 oz glass of water 5 times a day is effective for shedding 5 lbs. over the course of a year. [18]

Drinking 2 liters of water per day increases metabolism and energy expenditure by approximately 400 kJ, which equates to about 95.5 extra calories burned each day. [17]

This may not seem significant, but it makes a difference when combined with other metabolism-boosting tricks. Try replacing beverages such as soda and sugary juices with water for 2 weeks and see how it affects you.

Tip #7: Pack on Muscle

Strength and resistance training is effective for increasing metabolic rate. Every pound of muscle requires the body to use 6 calories a day to sustain it, regardless of exertion or exercise. Compare this to fat mass that only requires 2 calories per pound of fat. This is because muscle is heavier and makes the body work harder, which increases thermogenesis and fat metabolism. [19]

This means a 180 lb. adult with 45% muscle mass burns approximately 486 calories a day without additional effort. On the other hand, an adult weighing 180 lbs. with 30% fat mass burns approximately 104 calories each day. [19]

However, the primary benefits of building muscle occur after leaving the gym. During vigorous exercise, the body develops an “oxygen debt” which forces it work overtime to find enough oxygen. The body keeps working to repay the oxygen debt even after workouts cease. This phenomenon is called “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” but is usually referred to as “after-burn.” Research shows this after-burn is effective for heightening metabolism and caloric burn for 1-2 hours after exercise, depending on the size of oxygen debt accumulated. [20]

Metabolism is a multi-faceted process and can seem confusing. But with these 7 tips you can start to see real progress and results! What do you do to boost your metabolism? Let us know below!


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[3] Nerys M. Astbury, Moira A. Taylor, and Ian A. MacDonald. “Breakfast Consumption Affects Appetite, Energy Intake, and the Metabolic and Endocrine Responses to Foods Consumed Later in the Day in Male Habitual Breakfast Eaters.” J. Nutr. July 1, 2011. Vol. 141 No. 7, pages 1381-1389. Available from:

[4] Emma J. Stevenson, Nerys M. Astbury, Elizabeth J. Simpson, Moira A. Taylor, and Ian A. MacDonald. “Fat Oxidation During Exercise and Satiety During Recovery Are Increased Following a Low-Glycemic Index Breakfast in Sedentary Women.” J. Nutr. May 2009 Vol. 139 No. 5, pages 890-897. Available from:

[5] “Experts Debate How Often We Should Eat for Weight Loss.” Available from:

[6] “Peppers and Your Health.” Available from:

[7] Young-Joon Surh and Sang Sup Lee. “Capsaicin, a double-edged sword: Toxicity, metabolism, and chemopreventive potential.” Vol. 56 Issue 22, April 21 1995, pages 1845-1855. Available from:

[8] Teruo Kawada, Koh-Ichiro Hagihara, Kazuo Iwai. “Effects of Capsaicin on Lipid Metabolism in Rats Fed a High Fat Diet.” J. Nutr. 116: 1272-1278, 1986. Available from:

[9] “Foods That Have Capsaicin.” Available from:

[10] “Iced Teas to Boost Your Metabolism.” Available from:

[11] Yung-hsi Kao, Richard A Hiipakka, and Shutsung Liao. “Modulation of Obesity by a Green Tea Catechin.” Am J Clin Nutr. November 2000, vol. 72 no. 5 pages 1232-1233. Available from:

[12] “How Does Body Temperature Affect Metabolism?” Available from:

[13] Kong Y. Chen, Robert J. Brychta, Joyce D. Linderman, Sheila Smith, Amber Courville, William Dieckmann, Peter Herscovitch, Corina M. Millo, Alan Remaley, Paul Lee and Francesco S. Celi. “Brown Fat Activation Mediates Cold-Induced Thermogenesis in Adult Humans in Response to a Mild Decrease in Ambient Temperature.” The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, June 18, 2013; 2012-4213. Available from:;jc.2012-4213v1

[14] “4 Lazy Ways to Lower Metabolism.” Available from:

[15] “Will you burn more calories sitting at your desk if the thermostat is turned down?” Available from:

[16] Sunil Sharma and Mani Kavuru. “Sleep and Metabolism: An Overview.” International Journal of Endocrinology. Volume 2010 (2010), 12 pages. Available from:

[17] Boschmann M, Steiniger J, Hille U, Tank J, Adams F, Sharma AM, Klaus S, Luft FC, and Jordan J. “Water-induced Thermogenesis.” J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2003 Dec; 88(12): 6015-9. Available from:

[18] “Turbocharge Your Metabolism.” Available from:

[19] “Slideshow: 10 Ways to Boost Your Metabolism.” Available from:

[20] “Can Weight Lifting Maximize The Afterburn Effect?”