If you’re looking for a way to boost your metabolism, there are plenty of methods, tricks and products to choose from. Some actually work, but most of them…. not so much. In this article you’ll find 8 of the most popular ones and discover how effective they really are.
The foundation for successful fat loss is your metabolism. It works tirelessly, burning fat 24/7. The question is, how fast is your metabolism and what can you do to boost it and start burning off that unwanted fat?
Your metabolic rate determines the amount of calories you burn each day. As you get older, your metabolism naturally slows down. It might decrease as much as 30% over your life… if you let it!
Does this mean that you are destined to become overweight as you grow older?
No… thankfully there are ways to give your metabolism a kick up its proverbial behind and force it to ‘pick up the pace’.
But… they are not all created equal!
Here are 8 popular methods that are claimed to speed up your metabolism and the truth about how well they work.
Claim: You’ve probably heard it many times before… don’t skip breakfast. After hours of “fasting” while you were sleeping, breakfast helps kick your metabolism into gear.
So, is this true? Your metabolism won’t go into “starvation mode” if you skip breakfast. However, it has been proven to help keep your appetite in check and prevent cravings and unhealthy snacking till your next break or even lunch. So, it’s a good idea to make it a habit to consume some protein, fiber, fruit and maybe even some veggies after you wake up in the morning.
2: Fat Burners
These come in all shapes and sizes. According to their manufacturers, they are the magic solution to weight loss and will boost your metabolism big time!
Many fat burners are nothing more than caffeine pills with a few extra ingredients thrown in. They might give you an increase in energy, but that doesn’t mean they will actually boost your metabolism or help you burn fat. Also, they aren’t a long term solution and there are more ‘natural’ (and inexpensive) ways that will often bring better results.
3: Strength training
Strength training is claimed to boost metabolism up to 10% after an intensive workout.
True! Contrary to what many men and women think, harder (heavier) exercise is better for your metabolism than low weight exercise or cardio. In fact, according to this article, cardio may even be detrimental to fat loss.
In one study, women gained a greater metabolic boost from using 8 repetitions of a heavier weight per set rather than traditional high-rep sets with less weight. That’s right ladies… strength training is not just for men! Many women are worried about looking bulky if they start strength training. If that’s you, check out Becky to find out what really happens when women start lifting weights.
What is not true is that 1 pound of muscle does burns 50 calories per day. However, experts do agree that the basal metabolic rate stays elevated for up to 39 hours after a strenuous strength training workout.
For the best results, stick to the harder exercises push-ups and other bodyweight exercises or dumbbell/kettlebell exercises that you can get about eight reps with.
4: Green Tea
Green tea is claimed to rev up the metabolism and burn as much as extra 80 calories per day.
True or not? Well… partially. One study has shown green tea to burn 80 calories per day in young men on the first day of supplementation. However, there is no indication that the drinking of green tea provides a lasing effect when it comes to weight loss.
Different studies show that drinking green tea does have numerous benefits. It is definitely a good idea to include it in your diet, but for health reasons, not for fat loss. The only way you will lose fat with Green Tea is if you use it to replace your 300 calorie frappucino. Otherwise, don’t count too much on it in terms of boosting your metabolism.
5: Ice cold water with lemon juice
Claim: When you drink cold water with lemon juice, the body will burn calories warming up the water and the lemon juice will help you burn more fat.
True? It’s a nice in theory, unfortunately it’s short in practice. People aren’t losing fat with ice cold water, unless they are using it to replace other high calorie drinks.
6: Eating 6 small meals per day
Eating 5 or 6 small meals per day instead of 2 or 3 big ones is claimed to boost metabolism as well as to help control cholesterol.
Does it work? Well… according to this article from webmd, eating numerous smaller meals doesn’t help boost your metabolism. It does however help prevent binging between meals caused by a drop in blood sugar.
High protein diets are popular. Protein is said to burn more calories in digestion than carbohydrates or fat.
Although this is true, the real benefit from protein is that it helps fill you up longer and prevents you from overeating. Study indicates that animal protein results in more energy burned than vegetable protein.
8: Interval training
Interval training is claimed to causes a greater increase in post-exercise metabolism than regular cardio workouts.
True. During a study from Australia it was found that a shorter interval program led to more weight loss than an aerobic training program that lasted twice as long. This confirms the first study on interval training (which was conducted in 1994) which showed that a shorter interval program delivered greater results when compared to a traditional cardio program.
Bottom line: Intervals work and you should definitely include them in your exercise regimen if you want to boost your metabolism and get rid of unwanted fat!
Personally, I love the interval workouts from The Curve-Ball Effect program. They only take 10-20 minutes and primarily use bodyweight exercises. You can easily do them from home with little or no equipment.
So, what can we conclude from all this?
Not surprisingly, we see that the best way to switch on your metabolism and burn more calories is through a well designed exercise regimen and a sensible diet. you also see that magic pills and potions either don’t work at all or, at best, only provide temporary results. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.
So, what should you do? Add mini-meals, strength training, intervals and protein to your weight loss plan. This will help you get leaner and warmer thanks to your faster metabolism.