As you probably already know, your metabolic rate (metabolism) is the amount of calories you need to sustain vital bodily functions. The higher your metabolism, the more calories you’ll burn at rest and during everyday physical activities. You can naturally enhance your metabolism by training with resistance and eating a well-balanced diet that includes fiber-rich foods and plenty of water. There are also some untraditional ways to give your metabolic rate a substantial boost. Here are three of them.
1. Fill Up Your Coffee Cup
So I confess, I’m a coffee drinker. But, I’m not being biased. Yes, drinking coffee may seem unorthodox to some as it contains abundant amounts of the natural stimulant caffeine. However, the stimulatory properties of caffeine can greatly increase your metabolic rate. In fact, a single cup of coffee has been shown to keep the metabolic rate elevated for up to 3 hours after consumption. Coffee also enhances your body’s ability to burn fat, which can ultimately speed up weight loss.
Unlike other sources of caffeine like soda, energy drinks, and weight loss supplements, consuming caffeine in the form of coffee has added health benefits. Coffee is actually an extremely potent source of antioxidants that have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and nervous system disorders. You can reap the full benefits of coffee by drinking as little as two 6-8-ounce cups per day.
2. Go to Sleep at Night
Sleep? Now there’s a real nontraditional way to boost your metabolism. Unfortunately, sleep is untraditional because most of us just don’t get enough of it. Insufficient sleep (less than 6 hours) is closely linked to reductions in metabolism, which greatly increases the likelihood of unnecessary weight gain. A lack of sleep is also associated with other unhealthy behaviors that elevate the risk of weight gain as sleep deprived folks are more likely to adopt poor physical activity and eating habits, whether knowingly or unknowingly.
Sleep deprivation elevates the release of a hormone called ghrelin that stimulates appetite and hunger, increasing the urge to eat. It also raises cortisol levels. Cortisol is a potent stress hormone that’s associated with increased visceral (belly) fat accumulation. Adding insult to injury, regularly missing out on a good night’s rest elevates the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
3. Eat Fat, Fat, and More Fat
Believe it or not, the act of digesting healthy fats has been shown to substantially increase the metabolic rate. When consumed regularly, these fats can also reduce belly fat accumulation in the body. Fats considered “healthy” come in the forms of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. For metabolism boosting benefits, anywhere between 30 and 35% of your total daily calories should come from these fat. That’s about 0.44-0.52 grams per pound of your body weight.
Foods high in healthy fats include: oily fish (tuna, salmon, and trout), avocado, high-quality oils (olive, canola, and peanut), nuts and seeds. It’s important to monitor your portions though. Healthy fats are still high in calories and too much can make you fat, which undermines any potential benefits to your metabolism.
And there you have it! Totally untraditional ways to boost your metabolism. Metabolism plays a crucial role in weight management. A high metabolic rate can greatly enhance your weight loss efforts. Exercising and eating sensibly, while incorporating these three strategies into your daily routine is a sure way to kick your metabolism into high gear and improve your overall health.