Things you’ll learn in this blog
Lots of factors can contribute to weight gain. Consuming too many calories and not getting enough exercise are two of the biggest culprits—but there’s something else that can have just as big of an impact: your metabolism.
We hear about it in passing all the time. When someone can seemingly eat whatever they want without gaining an ounce, we immediately say, “well, they must have a fast metabolism.” Likewise, when we put on weight, no matter what we try to do— we blame it on a slow metabolism.
Bu, what is metabolism, exactly? Does it really have an effect on weight loss and weight gain? And, is there anything you can do to speed up your metabolism?
These are the questions that we’ll be answering right here so that you can use your metabolism to your advantage for burning extra fat and speeding up your rate of weight loss.
Ready? Let’s dive in.
What Is Metabolism?
Most of us think of metabolism as being linked to how much weight we gain and lose throughout our lives, but there’s a little more to it than this.
Your metabolism is responsible for turning the calories you consume in your diet into energy for a host of biological processes.
Digestion, circulation, tissue, and cellular repair, moving, and even breathing. All of these require energy, and it is your metabolism’s job to convert the nutrients from food and use them to fuel all of these actions.
Part of where this comes into play with weight loss is with your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate).
Your BMR is essentially how many calories your body burns to perform all of those metabolic processes throughout the day.
FYI: The higher your metabolic rate, the more calories you’ll naturally burn at rest.
Many things can affect a healthy metabolism and play a role in how quickly or slowly you lose and gain weight. You can’t change all of these things, but for the most part it is possible to do something about our metabolic rate.
This is one you can’t do much about, unfortunately. The traits that you inherited from your parents at birth play a part in how well your body loses weight, gains muscle, and burns calories. But, on the plus side, this is only a part of the puzzle.
As you get older, your body begins to lose muscle mass, which slows down your metabolism and means you may accumulate fat more easily than before.
Aging is unavoidable, of course, but the effects of a slower metabolism don’t need to be inevitable.
In general, males tend to have faster metabolic rates than females. This is because of their larger bones, higher percentage of muscle, and lower levels of natural body fat.
Body size and composition
The percentage of muscle, fat, bone, and water you have determines what size and shape your body is—and it also impacts your metabolic rate. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat is, so the more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism.
You may have to work harder at first to lose fat and boost your rate of weight loss, but your body will become more efficient as you get fitter and stronger over time.
Endocrine and metabolic disorders can also negatively affect your metabolism. Hypothyroidism and Cushing’s syndrome, for example, can both slow down your metabolic rate, whereas Wilson disease, hemochromatosis, and various mitochondrial diseases, among others, can impact how you process certain enzymes and nutrients.
This is a big one, and the one that you can definitely do something about. Smoking, a lack of physical activity, and a poor diet all have an adverse effect on your weight and metabolic functioning.
So, these are the places to start if you want to make a change and improve your metabolism—and we’ll show you how right now.
Is Metabolism Responsible for Your Weight Gain?
Your metabolism isn’t directly responsible for any weight you gain or lose, but it can make things easier or more difficult.
As the needs of your body change, your metabolism will regulate itself to meet them. So there are things you can do that will naturally increase your metabolic rate and make weight loss simpler and weight gain less of an issue.
The major influences on your weight are diet and exercise. Consuming more calories than you burn each day will eventually lead to you gaining weight, whereas burning more than you consume encourages weight loss.
Improving your diet and exercise habits will lead to a healthier metabolism and increased ability to lose weight.
How Can You Improve Metabolism?
So, how can you actually go about improving your metabolism to make it easier to burn fat?
Eat more protein
Protein has a higher thermic effect on food than carbs or fat. This means your body has to use more calories to digest and absorb the nutrients from protein than it does from other foods. It also helps you build muscle mass, which is far better for your metabolism than body fat.
Replace some of the carbs and fats in your meals with extra portions of lean proteins like chicken, beef, eggs, and tofu. For an extra boost, meal replacement shakes can provide extra protein whilst containing fewer calories than full meals.
If you’re a fan of spicy food then you’re in luck. Chili peppers contain a compound called capsaicin that can boost your metabolic rate. Give your diet and your metabolism a kick by including them in your meals from time to time.
If you aren’t keen on hot and spicy foods, then you can still get the benefits of chili peppers from supplements. There are some really great fat burners that include ingredients like capsaicin for its thermogenic abilities. You’ll get all the benefits but without the sweltering spice.
No, we're not suggesting you add some chili into your morning coffee (well, not unless you really want to for some reason). But, we are suggesting that you have a daily dose of caffeine, though.
Caffeine triggers the release of epinephrine, which helps regulate body fat, and increases your fat-burning potential by raising your metabolism.
Don’t like coffee? Well, just like with capsaicin, there are supplements that can provide you with a caffeine boost and kick your metabolic rate up a gear.
Research suggests that green tea is another great hot drink option for a healthy metabolism and improved weight management. It provides caffeine, along with a compound called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) that speeds up the metabolism and converts body fat into free fatty acids for enhanced fat burning during exercise. Green tea also contains antioxidants that can reduce inflammation and lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.
Amazingly, you can increase the amount of calories you burn by simply drinking more water. Within 10 minutes of drinking 500ml of water, your resting energy expenditure can be raised by up to 30%—just by drinking water.
Water can also make you feel full and reduce your appetite—drinking a big glass before each meal will help you consume fewer calories and lose even more weight.
Do some exercise
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a particularly effective form of exercise for boosting your metabolism, as you’ll continue burning calories at rest for up to 48 hours after your workout!
Likewise, resistance training (a.k.a. strength training) builds muscle, which, as we well know, increases your metabolism.
Lifting weights helps you retain muscle mass, even as you lose weight. So, you’ll experience less of a drop in your metabolic rate as you shed body fat.
FYI: Doing a little boogie around the house or cutting a few Mrs Doubtfire-style vacuum cleaner shapes also counts as exercise! The point is that the more you move, the more calories you’ll burn.
Sitting down too much isn’t good for your metabolism, weight, or overall health. Make sure you stand up regularly to take a walk or do some stretches.
Not only do you burn more calories standing up instead of sitting down (and that’s before you even start moving around), but you’ll also lower your blood sugar levels and improve your blood pressure and insulin resistance. So, as we said, get up on your feet and get your body moving multiple times each day.
Stress affects your metabolism by increasing the amount of cortisol produced by your body. Cortisol plays a big role in regulating your appetite, so too much can increase your appetite and cause you to overeat—which throws your metabolism off.
Try to avoid stressful situations where possible, and practice meditation or mindfulness to lower your heart rate and levels of stress hormones.
LIkewise, make sure to regularly get a good night’s sleep. A lack of sleep also leads to hormonal imbalances that can negatively affect mental health, increase hunger, and lower your metabolic rate.
If your body can rely on some consistency and regularity, it will help keep your metabolic rate level. If you eat at erratic times each day, or follow a fad-like crash diet, your metabolism can end up all over the place.
Try to eat your meals at similar times each day so that your body gets used to your routine and can anticipate what it needs to do to digest and metabolize food. Eat healthy whole foods that fuel your body, and avoid anything that has negative effects on your health, like processed foods that contain lots of sugars or trans fats.
How Can You Boost Your Metabolism To Lose Weight?
Following these tips can help you naturally increase your metabolic rate and lose additional weight.
Eating the right foods, getting enough exercise, and making healthy lifestyle choices are some of the most beneficial ways to improve your metabolism that you can stick to…for good.
Along with making these longer-term changes, you can also give your metabolism an instant boost by supplementing your healthy diet with a thermogenic fat burner and appetite suppressant like PhenQ.
One of the key ingredients in PhenQ is Capsimax—an extract that contains that metabolism-boosting capsaicin found in chili peppers. By generating heat in your body, Capsimax gets you burning extra calories and losing body fat.
PhenQ also contains caffeine for an additional boost to your metabolic rate. This not only gets you feeling more energized and ready for action, but it will also have you burning off excess fat as energy, reducing your body weight in the process.
The fat-burning and appetite-suppressing ingredients in PhenQ provide an effective way to safely boost metabolism—so give it a try if you want to start losing weight and burning calories quickly and easily.