If you’ve often wished, hoped, and prayed for a faster metabolism, allow us to answer your prayers. Between new technology and time-tested tricks, there are plenty of ways to perk up a lazy metabolism—ones that actually work, and not just for a short period of time either.
Whether you are looking to make a major lifestyle change or just want a few everyday calorie-burning tricks, our comprehensive list of how to speed up your metabolism has got you covered. From simple tips, like adding green tea or lean protein to your diet, to what some might consider intense treatments, like cryotherapy or infrared sauna visits, these are the best ways to speed up your metabolism, as well as the scientific reasoning behind each one.
If you are looking to burn more calories or just want to lead a more healthy lifestyle, keep reading for our tips on how to rev up your metabolism.
Why not rev your metabolism while you detox? Infrared saunas that are around 140 degrees burn an average of 250 calories per hour. Our body does this by increasing peripheral blood flow, sweating, and trying to maintain its core temperature. Infrared sauna sessions also help rid your body of cellulite and chemicals related to weight gain. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences reported finding over 15 known chemicals that cause weight gain, some of which increase the number of fat cells and others which increase the size. Furthermore, toxic chemicals wreak havoc on thyroid and adrenal glands, causing adrenal fatigue, impaired carbohydrate tolerance, food cravings, allergies, obesity, and elevated cholesterol. At beWELL, we recommend finding an infrared sauna studio near you to detox those metabolism-crashing toxins; it’s a great Sunday night ritual.
Cryotherapy shocks the outer layer of your skin with extremely cold temperatures. Your body responds by speeding up to bring your body temperature back to normal. The two-minute session translates to an accelerated metabolism that lasts for approximately five to eight hours and can burn an additional 500-800 calories during that time. Introduced in Japan in 1980, the goal of cryotherapy treatment was to offer better health and faster recovery from injury. Today, widely published data shows cryotherapy decreases cellular metabolism, increases cellular survival, decreases inflammation, decreases pain, and promotes vasoconstriction and vasodilatation, which leads to increased levels of oxygenated blood. The process naturally stimulates blood circulation as your body’s hormone, immune, and nervous systems are activated, revved, and normalized. Think of cryotherapy as your hard drive’s soft reset.
The coffee bean is a hard seed to crack. Your morning brew is very high in antioxidants, but also linked to excess cortisol and adrenal fatigue. On the other hand, drinking brewed green tea is an effective way to get caffeine and provide your body with EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), an ingredient known to speed up metabolism. Take the beWELL approach: Enjoy a cup of brew in the morning and then stick to green tea throughout the afternoon. Since high cortisol levels caused by excessive caffeine are more likely to put extra weight around your waist, avoid all sodas and calorie-laden coffee drinks.
Jumping on the elliptical or jogging through your neighborhood only raises your metabolism during the time of the activity. On the other hand, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and weight training raise your metabolism hours after you sweat. Lifting weights is a sure way to achieve EPOC (excessive post-oxygen consumption), which keeps your body burning calories long after you leave the gym. So ditch the 300-calorie elliptical session, and spend those 30 minutes lifting, squatting, or lunging. Make your cardio count by alternating highly intense bursts of exercise for 30 seconds to a minute with slow recovery for one to two minutes. HIIT training is shown to raise metabolism for up to eight hours post training. Weight lifting has been shown to increase your burn for up to 39 hours, so don’t settle for a 30-minute spike.
Lean meat, fish, and eggs all provide your metabolism with a kick in the pants. Loaded with iron, vitamin D, omega-3s, and branch chain amino acids, these nutrients keep your metabolism stoked as you break them down. Not to mention, deficiencies in these macros have been shown to slow the metabolism. For the most effective results, eat 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up. This increases leptin (an energy-regulating hormone) sensitivity and has been shown to push your metabolism into overdrive.
Want to learn more about metabolism? Check out our 12 ways you unknowingly are slowing down your metabolism.
This post was originally published on December 22, 2014.