Best Way to Boost Metabolism: Our 7 Can't Miss Tips

Certified Personal Trainer Reveals The 7 Best Ways to Boost Metabolism

Looking for the best way to boost metabolism? No worries - I've got you.

Learn what you can do today to permanently raise your metabolism so that you NEVER have to go on a keto diet or do cardio for hours just to lose weight!

Our body's metabolism doesn't actually slow until age 60 according to research - but that doesn't mean things have not changed with how we are burning energy.1 It turns out that our lifestyle is the main driver to what changes our metabolism, not our age. That means there is stuff we can do about it!

best way to boost metabolismDid you know that weight training is critical to keeping your metabolism elevated, especially as you age?

Do you have a "slow metabolism?" If feel that you do, you've probably tried a variety of diets. When people want to shed pounds, they usually start with trying to eat fewer calories - that is, they follow a specific diet or they cut back on portion sizes and snacks. Everyone requires a certain number of calories per day to maintain their weight. By dieting people are hoping to eat less than their body burns, and therefore lose pounds on the scale. However, there are some issues with that approach. 

More often than not, when you deprive your body of too many calories, you end up constantly hungry, tired and moody. Sometimes you just simply miss all the things you used to eat. The other problem with the calorie-cutting system is that as you lose weight, you need to fewer and fewer calories in order to lose more, since a smaller body requires fewer calories to maintain its weight. This isn't a happy scenario.

It seems there has to be another solution - and there certainly is! The other side of the calorie equation, the number of calories you require to maintain your weight, can also be altered. One obvious way is through exercise. Moderate cardio (walking at a brisk pace) is a great strategy because it burns calories (also known as increasing your daily caloric needs). This means you could eat the same amount you used to and still lose weight. What most people DON'T know is that moderate cardio only burns calories while you are actually performing the activity, whereas there are other types that have a metabolism-raising effect for up to 24 HOURS after the activity. 

There is certainly an effect from moderate cardio when it comes to losing weight, but it is fleeting. For example: a 180-pound person burns about 320 calories walking for a half hour at a pace of 15 minute miles (that's pretty brisk). Unfortunately, two extra cookies or a candy bar can add those 320 calories right back into your body, leaving you right where you started calorie-wise. Let's take a look at some other techniques, including by far the most powerful one, that give a more permanent metabolism-raising effect by increasing your daily calorie needs OR preventing a drop in your metabolic rate. 

Number 7: Best Way to Boost Metabolism

weight lifting routine performed by womanOur 7 Keys to Raising Metabolism for Life will be a game-changer for you!

Perform Strength Training on a Regular Basis. Strength training programs involve the use of free weights or cable machines. They can also include challenging bodyweight exercises like chin-ups. Your weight lifting programs ABSOLUTELY MUST include movements that challenge most muscles of the upper and lower body as well as core to fully stoke and increase your metabolism.  

These Include:

  • Deadlifts
  • Leg Press
  • Lunges
  • Planks
  • Chest Presses
  • Shoulder Presses
  • Rows

Isolation exercises may be included in your strength training as well. Those are going to hit just one muscle or muscle group at a time (such as a bicep curl) and are also important for muscle development, but not so crucial for raising metabolism and building muscle mass. Most people in the gym spend too much time here, and not enough time on the heavy hitters listed above.

Your strength training should emphasize those bigger exercises, especially if you don't want to spend tons of time working out. The exercises that use more muscles at once build muscle the fastest, and help maintain muscle and bone tissue when a person is in weight loss mode. Each pound of muscle you manage to build burns about 30 extra calories a day! This is why men usually can eat more than women without being overweight; they carry more muscle, and consequently require more calories. Athletes tend to eat a lot of calories yet stay lean, and almost all of them perform lots of strength trainingwithin their practices.

When I say you need to do strength training, I mean that you should choose a weight or an exercise that allows you to do between 6-12 repetitions before your muscle gives up. Always maintaining good form, the heaviest weight possible is the weight you should choose

Pro Tip - If you're a beginner, spend a couple of months performing strength training in the 15-rep range to help prepare your joints and tissues for the work to come.

The legs, glutes and back are especially important to target because they have the potential to develop more muscle mass than any other part of your body. By developing them through strength training, not only will you have a tight, toned, and shapely appearance, but your body will also burn more calories every day as a result of that extra muscle mass. This helps you burn fat without having to drastically under eat or do hours of cardio.

Also, consider the fact that you also need to be filling out your body with something to replace the fat that is melting away. Muscle is denser than fat, so as you continue to follow your weight lifting programs you will get more compact and tighter all the time. Both men and women look better when they strength train in conjunction with dieting - it just is not attractive to see skin and bones!

And ladies, don't worry: over 99% of women just don't have the hormonal makeup to build a "manly" physique. You are doing this training to create feminine curves and raise your metabolism. Again, heavy, challenging strength training is best. The more difficult your program is and the more intense the  workout is overall, the greater your post-workout caloric burn will be. This lasts for up to 24 hours after the workout - meaning that you are burning more calories than you normally would this entire time, even while you sleep. This extra caloric burn is in ADDITION to the calories burned during the actual strength workout, of course, which is a greater amount the harder you train. If you're not sure what a solid strength training plan looks like, consider hiring one of our Personal Trainers.

home personal trainer learn strength

Number 6: Best Way to Boost Metabolism

Eat 3-6 times a day. The importance of this key cannot be overstated. Eating regularly works like a charm to improve your health, energy levels, mood, muscle tone, bodyfat levels… the list just goes on and on. It also helps your body make the most of the effort you are putting into your workouts. Ideally, you should have some protein, carbs and fat in each meal, minimeal or snack. It's not important to hit any specific ratio like the "Zone" concept, but try to include a bit of each. That way by the end of the day you should have sufficient carbs, protein, and fat and a good balance amongst them. We also have Certified Nutritionists on staff to help out.

Your best bet is to choose carbohydrates of the complex variety, which, along with the frequency of feedings, keeps your blood sugar regulated and your glucose metabolism in top-notch shape. Eating more often also means that you never get so ravenously hungry that you lose control. Dieters actually should be eating MORE frequently than those who are simply maintaining their weight. This is because dieters are more apt to be hungry since they are expending more calories than they consume.

Eating more frequently helps fight hunger and makes sticking to your food plan much easier. However, don't feel you HAVE to eat 6 meals. If eating 3 meals works for you, great. You probably could lose fat at a similar rate with 3 feedings or 6, at least when you start your diet plan. Some people need more frequent, smaller feedings to feel energetic and keep losing fat, however. This could mean 4-6 minimeals or 3 meals and a couple of snacks. Experiment with what works best for you. My No Snacking Plan is super popular - but that interestingly that doesn't mean you only get to eat three times per day. The leaner you get, the more tinkering you might need to do to stay on track. 

Number 5: Best Way to Boost Metabolism

Get in the habit of 2-7 days per week of some type of cardio. Cardio (in conjunction with strong nutrition and weight training) is the best way to fat reduction, NOT "spot reducing" exercises. Cardio helps people lose fat in a variety of ways. Cardio helps burn calories, resulting in pounds lost if your diet is in order. It helps to regulate blood sugar and reduce appetite. It helps to maintain lean mass (when not done to excess) and promotes loss of bodyfat. These things are true of cardio in general, but higher intensity cardio in particular is so much more effective for weight loss than any other type.

If you are looking at getting closer and closer to your goal weight you will lose faster and be leaner if you interval train.1 By alternating periods of recovery pace cardio (20 min/mile flat walk) with all out effort (sprint), you can crank up your metabolism to get that post-exercise calorie burn, similar to what happens when you strength train. In addition, with high-intensity interval cardio you will burn more calories per minute of exercise than you could ever burn working steady-pace cardio.

Now, this intense type of training should not be undertaken every day. Some cardiovascular activity, however, is wonderful for your metabolism if you do it on a daily basis. No, you don't need 10,000 steps per se, that is an old wives tail, but you should be moving! This is not a requirement: one, two, or three days is so much better than none. But if you are looking to increase your metabolism as high as you can, do at least 30 min. of cardio exercise 5-7 days per week. If you choose to do more days, some of them can be lighter in intensity: such as walking the dog.

Quick tip: if you perform cardio back-to-back with your weight training workout, always perform your weight training first.

Besides the benefit of calorie-burning, cardio also increases blood circulation to the limbs. As a result, cardio helps prevent fat storage and helps facilitate your body's ability to burn the fat away.

As long as you are not significantly overweight, look to do the activities that burn the most calories per minute. These include climbing (hills or incline walking or stairs) and running. Bicycling and walking are better choices for the significantly overweight. Recumbent bikes are a favorite for many who are starting out. Because you are in a "reclining" position with your back supported on a wider, more comfortable seat, it makes exercising more pleasant for those who aren't already in the best of shape.

If you are just starting an exercise program, you need to stick to bicycling or walking until you have developed a fitness base from which to achieve higher and higher intensities. People who are just starting out get so much out of just doing SOMETHING that you should take advantage and move, but don't push yourself to the limit. You don't need to, and it's not healthy quite yet. Just get yourself into a routine and you will eventually achieve all your goals. A treadmill or elliptical trainer are good choices for home cardio equipment that can accommodate all levels of fitness.

Number 4: Best Way to Boost Metabolism

Active recreation. If you spend your free time engaging in active pursuits, you will be burning extra calories and having fun at the same time. What could be easier? Watching TV and sitting at the computer are the worst things you can be doing for your waistline. Actually, eating while doing said activities probably is worse…but you get the idea :) If you don’t already partake, think of things you used to do as a kid or that you have done in the past, or that you do once in a while and enjoy it, and make it a regular habit. This activity will help supplement your workouts. Find a friend or family member to enjoy the activity with you. Skiing, pickup basketball, hiking, leisurely bike rides, these all are ideas. You will burn lots of calories and have lots of fun.

You'll find these activities even more enjoyable when you're in good shape, which is another reason to hit those workouts! Another thing you might consider, if you don’t do this already, is completing household jobs like mowing the lawn or shoveling the driveway by yourself instead of letting someone else do it or hiring someone to do it. You can earn some brownie points or save a few bucks, and burn some serious calories.

best ways to boost metabolismGoing for a simple walk is high on the list of a best way to boost metabolism - plus you can do it in addition to your other workouts!

Number 3: Best Way to Boost Metabolism

On the job (or at home), move! Whenever you have a choice, always choose movement. you don't want to limit your "exercise" to cardio and strength or yoga class. When there are boxes to be carried or errands that can be run on foot, jump in and volunteer to do it! If you are talking on the phone, stand up and pace instead of sitting. Save some of the active tasks to yourself and delegate the sedentary ones to others. See, it’s funny that in today’s world every effort is made to do less physical work- and look where it got us! About half of American adults are overweight. Yikes! In our relentless pursuit for convenience and ease of living, we have made ourselves (as a society in general) sick and unhealthy.

Number 2: Best Way to Boost Metabolism

Supplements. Here, we get more into the issue of preventing metabolism slowdown. Did you know that deficiencies in any of the vitamins and minerals our body needs can set you up for a metabolic slowdown? All the processes the body depends on to function at its peak require everything to be available in sufficient quantity, some on a daily basis. You won't progress much with your workouts if you are deficient in vitamins and minerals. For example, the water-soluble vitamins cannot be stored in the body for any significant length of time. Unfortunately, in the American diet it is hard to get all of the micronutrients that used to be readily available in food. Most of our food is stripped of its vitamins and minerals by the food processing; sometimes, the companies add synthetic ones back in to try to make up for this. "Enriched" products are made in this way. They will never be as nutritious as the natural food, but unfortunately this high-quality, nutritious food is harder and harder (and much more expensive in the organic products, which are sometimes unknown as to their nutrient status) to come by these days.

However, by eating a balanced diet that contains sufficient calories and a variety of foods, you can greatly increase the amount of quality nutrition your diet provides. 

A multivitamin/mineral can go a long way to getting your needs straight. Workouts "cost" your body nutrients, so if you exercise it's ultra-important that you supplement to be sure you're getting everything you need. 

Beyond that, we have the issue of minimum versus optimal nutrient levels. The RDA states the amount of vitamins and minerals you need to avoid being sick, but not necessarily the amount you need to thrive. Certain substances, one being creatine, has a significant postive effect on the body when taken in doses impossible to obtain through food alone. You can get by just fine without it, but your friend who is doing everything the same as you plus supplementing with creatine will be leaner with more muscle, therefore a higher metabolism, and less fat - thus getting better results even when following the same workout plan. Some experts believe that vitamin C should be taken in mega doses while dieting to aid in immunity and recovery via the reduction of free radicals. Indirectly, these things all contribute to a higher metabolism. If you'd like to dive deeper into these concepts, consider booking an appointment with one of our Certified Nutritionists.

Fish oils or other sources of omega 3 are another great supplement. If you are deficient in the essential fatty acids, which is quite common, fat burning is slowed and muscle loss is common. 

Number 1: Best Way to Boost Metabolism

A good night’s rest. 7-9 hours of sleep (whatever amount makes you feel like you had a great night’s rest without needing an alarm clock to wake up) sets the stage for you to have an efficiently running metabolism. Chronic sleep loss affects the processing and storing of carbohydrates and the regulation of hormone secretion. The effect can be so drastic that after just one week the changes resembled the effects of advanced age and the early stages of diabetes.2 Loss of sleep also increases the secretion of cortisol, a stress hormone that eats away muscle and bone tissue and increases the deposition of abdominal fat. Yes, you really can be so stressed out that you develop a gut! If you have more fat stored around your middle, it may be due to this hormone, or to a diet high in sugars and alcohol.

So how do you get enough sleep? Well, the answer depends on why you might be a poor sleeper. Some people do get tired but purposefully stay up late and awaken early to try to get more things done. If this is the case for you, don’t bother! You are harming your body too much, and it is proven that sleep deprived people are LESS productive per hour worked. Discipline yourself to stick to a set bedtime. Don’t watch TV or use your phone in bed - and avoid doing stressful work in the bedroom.

If you have trouble sleeping, avoid performing workouts in the three-hour period before bed. And DON'T be guzzling coffee or cola all day (or other beverages high in caffeine) and expect to get a good night’s sleep. Even if you ARE able to fall asleep, having caffeine in your system (it has a four-hour half life, so yes it is still in your system) makes for a less restful, restorative sleep. You just don’t hit the deep phases like your non-caffeinated friend does. One or two cups in the morning is OK, and tea is OK. Any more, and you’re in trouble.

Besides these simple sleep habits, you might need additional help, possibly even medication for insomnia. This information is beyond the scope of this article, but look into ways to get more sleep if you aren’t right now. Your physician is a great place to start.

Wrap-Up on the Best Way to Boost Metabolism

trainer teaches the best way to boost metabolismIf you don't follow these 7 Keys, the fitness police will come find you! :)

Well, there you have it: My 7 foolproof tactics for you to use to get your metabolism on fire like it used to be. Every one of them is guaranteed to affect your metabolism for the better! That means that if you are taking in a good amount of healthful calories through your diet you will still be losing weight.

The adequate calories are an important part of this: food is actually thermogenic, meaning it requires energy to be assimilated into the body. Yes, eating calories burns calories! Some people try to be really gung-ho and they do everything above to raise their metabolism, then do everything possible to eat as few calories as possible, including skipping meals, avoiding animal protein, avoiding all fat, eating salad every day for lunch…the body goes into a shock emergency state at that point to conserve calorie and fat stores because it perceives the energy crisis. This is BAD for your long-term weight loss goals because your metabolism will be slowed to a crawl.

The ideal situation is for you to be eating just slightly less than you burn each day, resulting in a steady weight loss without those rapid losses and gains or the dreaded plateau. Workouts are powerful tools in keeping weight loss moving and keeping you healthy.

These seven steps might seem overwhelming, but think of it this way - maybe you are already doing a couple of them! You can start with just one and incorporate it into your life: I PROMISE you, you will notice the difference. Remember, think "progress" not "perfection." Every little bit helps. The number one thing you should do is start following a variety of weight lifting programs if you haven’t been already. “Behaviors,” including following weight lifting programs, generally take at 30 days to become habits, but once you are in the groove you will be well on your way to having a lean, toned body. And having a lean, toned body is the absolute best way to boost metabolism there is. Need a bit of help? Consider hiring one of Our Trainers.

1 "Daily Energy Expenditure Through the Human Life Course," Herman Pontzer, Yosuke Yamada, Hiroyuki Sagayama, et al. Science, Aug. 12, 2021. DOI:  10.1126/science.abe5017

2 Effects of Interval Training on Visceral Adipose Tissue in Centrally Obese 70-Year-Old Individuals: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Marcel Ballin MSc,Emmy Lundberg BSc,Niklas Sörlén MSc,Peter Nordström MD, PhD,Andreas Hult PhD,Anna Nordström MD, PhD. First published: 23 April 2019

3 Role of Sleep and Sleep Loss in Hormonal Release and Metabolism. Leproult R., Van Cauter E. et. al. Pediatric Neuroendocrinology. Endocr Dev. Basel, Karger, 2010, vol 17, pp 11–21