A fast metabolism is often associated with the ability to burn calories efficiently to control body weight, but it also has other benefits. Increased energy levels and the ability to cope with stress have been connected with high metabolisms in some studies. Not surprisingly, the question of how to increase metabolic rate is a common one.
Inheriting genes that promote a faster metabolism means you can eat more without having to worry about gaining weight. Genetic factors play a large part in determining your metabolic rate, but diet and lifestyle changes can bring improvements. The following are simple ways you can encourage your body to burn calories faster.
1) Eat more protein
There are many good reasons for increasing the amount of protein in your diet. Eating protein has been proven to make you feel full for longer and reduce the risks of overeating. The body needs an adequate supply of protein to repair and build muscle, so it's particularly important for anyone taking part in regular exercise. The chemical process of digesting and absorbing food in the body is accelerated by protein, and this causes a temporary increase in metabolism.
2) Stand up more
Many health experts warn of the dangers of prolonged periods of sitting. As well as the potential for weight gain, long periods of inactivity can lead to back pain, poor posture and other problems. If you have a desk job, take regular breaks to stand and get away from your work station. Standing up for a few hours can burn a couple of hundred calories. Some studies also suggest standing can lower blood sugar levels, as prolonged sitting can reduce your body's ability to regulate glucose.
3) Drink more cold water
It's widely accepted that most people don't drink enough water. Around 60 percent of the human body is water, and it's constantly lost through sweating and other bodily functions. Health experts suggest the average person should drink two liters of water a day to prevent dehydration and health problems such as kidney stones. Drinking cold water can also have a calorie burning effect. Energy is used to heat water to body temperature, and this process can increase resting metabolism by as much as 30 percent.
4) Lift heavy weights
Muscle is metabolically active, so increase muscle mass within the body means you'll burn calories at a faster rate. Lifting heavy weights is one of the most effective ways to build muscle. Focus on increasing the weight you can lift over time, and allow your body to recover with rest days in between resistance workouts. Squats, bench presses and deadlifts work several muscles at the same time, so they are particularly effective for building mass.
5) Do high-intensity workouts
Often referred to as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), intense bursts of physical activity are proven to burn more fat than walking, jogging and moderate exercise. Metabolic rate increases during intense workouts, and this continues for hours afterward. HIIT workouts are generally between 10 and 30 minutes, so they are a time-efficient way to exercise. As well as maintaining an increased metabolism for hours after completion, HIIT sessions can shift the body from burning fat for energy rather than carbs.
Making a number of small changes to your lifestyle can add up to increase your metabolic rate over time. A faster metabolism can help to prevent a number of serious illnesses and improve body composition.