How to Boost Metabolism: Tips for a Faster Metabolism

Your metabolism turns the food you eat into energy. This energy keeps your body working. A fast metabolism means you burn more calories even when you’re resting. This helps manage weight and keeps you healthy.

There are many proven ways to speed up your metabolism. They include eating lots of protein1 and doing high-intensity interval training (HIIT)2. Lifting weights3 and standing up more1 also help. At the same time, drink green or oolong tea1, eat spicy foods1, and aim for good sleep1. Plus, enjoy some coffee or other drinks with caffeine1. These changes will speed up your body’s ability to burn fat for a faster metabolism.

Key Takeaways

  • Eating protein-rich foods can increase the thermic effect of food, leading to a higher metabolism.
  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT) and strength training can help build and maintain muscle, which is more metabolically active than fat.
  • Standing up more throughout the day and reducing excessive sitting can lower cardiometabolic risk and boost metabolism.
  • Green tea, oolong tea, and caffeine-containing beverages like coffee can provide a modest metabolic boost.
  • Getting adequate sleep and managing stress levels are important for supporting a healthy metabolism.

Understanding Metabolism and Its Importance

Metabolism is how your body turns food into energy. It powers everything from breathing to digesting food and more. The faster your metabolism is, the more calories it burns. A lot of things can make your metabolism change, like your age or how active you are. It’s crucial to know this to try and boost your metabolism.4

What Is Metabolism?

Metabolism is all the chemical processes that make energy from what you eat. It’s needed for every basic function, like breathing and digesting food. Your metabolism decides how many calories your body uses while at rest.

The Role of Metabolism in Overall Health

Your metabolism affects your health in many ways. A good, smooth metabolism helps keep your weight and energy right. It also lowers your chances of getting sick with diseases like type 2 diabetes and heart problems. Knowing how to boost your metabolism is key to staying healthy.4

Factors Affecting Metabolic Rate

Lots of things can change how fast your metabolism works. Things like how much muscle you have, how active you are, or your sex. To speed up your metabolism, try to exercise more, eat healthier, and keep a regular sleep schedule. These simple steps can make a big difference.4

Eat Plenty of Protein at Every Meal

Eating food makes your metabolism work harder for a few hours. This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF). Protein boosts your TEF the most. It uses 20-30% of its energy to digest, more than carbs or fats.1 Also, eating more protein can keep your muscles strong, even when dieting. This is important because losing muscle can make your metabolism drop.5 So, include protein-rich foods like meat, dairy, and legumes in every meal to help your metabolism work better.

The Thermic Effect of Food

The thermic effect of food (TEF) is the energy your body spends to process what you eat. Protein has the highest TEF, needing 20-30% of its energy for digestion.1 Because of this, eating protein helps you burn more calories than eating carbs or fats. That’s why it’s important to have protein in your diet.

Benefits of Protein for Metabolism

Eating lots of protein can stop you from losing muscle when you diet. This muscle loss can lower your metabolism.5 Protein needs more energy to digest (20-30%) than carbs (5-10%) or fats (0-3%).5 So, diets high in protein can make your metabolism work better than those with less protein.5 Try to get 25-35% of your calories from protein. This can help you lose weight and keep your muscles strong.5

Protein and metabolism

Incorporate High-Intensity Interval Training

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is about intense bursts of activity.6 It boosts your metabolism, making your body burn fat and build muscle.6 Many think HIIT is better at this than other types of workouts.7

What Is HIIT?

A HIIT session lasts 10 to 30 minutes.6 You mix short bursts of hard exercise with slower recovery periods. This approach does wonders for your fitness, helps burn calories, and speeds up your metabolism.

Benefits of HIIT for Boosting Metabolism

HIIT is great for getting fit and losing weight, proven by research.7 In just 30 minutes, it burns 25–30% more calories than other exercises.6 And it keeps your metabolism up for hours after, better than jogging or lifting weights.6 It trims body fat and waist size for those with too much weight.6 Plus, it might build muscle in people not very active.6

HIIT makes your lungs work better and lowers heart rates, especially in overweight people.6 Even short HIIT programs can improve how your body handles sugar and insulin.6

To start HIIT, try a familiar exercise like biking or running. Add short, powerful bursts into your routine. This kind of workout is key for a fast metabolism and better health overall.

Lift Weights and Build Muscle

Muscle is better at burning calories than fat. This means your body uses more energy, even when you’re not moving.8 Working out with weights boosts your “metabolism,” or your body’s calorie-burning power. This helps you burn more calories all day.8

When you lose weight, your body might start burning calories slower. But, lifting weights can help keep your metabolism up.8 By doing different weight exercises, you can grow and keep your muscles strong. This keeps your metabolism high.8

Muscle Mass and Metabolism

Muscle burns more calories than fat, even when you’re resting.8 After a weight training session, your body might burn more fat for a day. This is true for young women, overweight men, and athletes, according to new studies.8

People who lift weights sometimes are less likely to get really overweight. This was found in a recent research article.8 After lifting weights heavily for six months, muscles burn more calories because they are bigger.8 Researchers are still figuring out how exactly muscles and fat interact after weight workouts.8

Muscles also send out hormones and proteins after working out. These can change how our organs work, helping our bodies become fitter.8

Strength Training Exercises for Metabolism

Doing a range of weight exercises that focus on different muscles can improve your metabolism.9 After this kind of workout, your body’s calorie-burning rate can be 452 calories higher. This is much better than the 98 calories an ordinary workout can give you.9

Surprisingly, those who do these exercises quickly but take breaks exercised half as long.9 This quick-rest method can be just as good as doing intense cardio for your muscles.9

Using heavier weights in these workouts also helps your muscles rebuild and burn more calories. This also raises your metabolism.9

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lift weights

Stand Up and Move More

Sitting for long periods can hurt your health. It burns less calories and might make you gain weight. But, standing or moving more at work can lower your risk for heart problems and other issues. It can also help cut down your weight, body fat, and waist size. Plus, it’s good for your blood pressure and how your body uses insulin.1

The Dangers of Excessive Sitting

If your job keeps you at a desk, it’s very important to take breaks from sitting. Too much sitting can cause heart problems, metabolic issues, and make you more likely to get obese.1

Tips for Incorporating More Movement

Looking to boost your metabolism and feel healthier? Stand up and walk around often during your day. Getting a standing desk or taking short walks can add more activity to your life.1

Drink Green Tea or Oolong Tea

Green tea and oolong tea have caffeine and catechins. These might boost your metabolism. They can turn body fat into free fatty acids, helping burn fat with exercise.10 But, the boost to metabolism could be small. And some studies say it might not affect everyone.10 Still, they’re a good addition to a healthy diet and life.

The Metabolism-Boosting Compounds in Tea

Green tea and oolong tea are loaded with caffeine and catechins. These could help ramp up your metabolism.10 Oolong tea is special because it’s between green and black teas. This means it has more diverse antioxidants.11 Antioxidant studies find oolong tea may be better than green or black teas.11

Potential Benefits and Limitations

Oolong tea might help lower body fat and rev up metabolism. It might burn up to 3.4% more calories, aiding in weight control.11 The impact on metabolism from these teas might not be big. Some research points to differences among people.10 Oolong tea also has a lot of L-theanine. This amino acid can improve brain function, sleep, and lower stress.11

green tea and oolong tea

A cup of oolong tea has about 38 milligrams of caffeine. Experts advise against more than 400 milligrams daily. This helps avoid side effects.11 You can find oolong tea loose or in tea bags at many places.11 For the best antioxidants, steep oolong tea at 190 degrees Fahrenheit for 3 minutes.11

Include Spicy Foods in Your Diet

Peppers have capsaicin, which can help speed up your metabolism.12 But the boost from spicy foods is small. Not everyone can handle the amounts needed to really see a difference.12 For example, eating peppers might help burn 10 extra calories per meal. This could lead to losing 1 pound over 6.5 years for a guy of average weight.12

The Role of Capsaicin

Studies suggest capsaicin can improve the health of your gut bacteria and gut.12 It fights mild gut inflammation linked to obesity.12 Plus, using a capsaicin cream might lessen arthritis and fibromyalgia pain.12

Realistic Expectations for Spicy Foods

Eating spicy foods may offer a small metabolism boost. But it’s key to also keep a healthy diet and move often.1213 A 2015 study found that eating spicy meals almost daily lowered the death rate by 14 percent.13 Spices like cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, and chilies can help speed up your resting metabolism and curb hunger.13 But the truth is, the effect of spicy foods on your metabolism alone isn’t very big. It’s part of a bigger picture for staying healthy.

How to Boost Metabolism

Lack of sleep can make you more likely to be obese. It can change the levels of hormones involved in hunger and feeling full, like ghrelin and leptin.1 If you don’t sleep enough for over four nights, your body might not turn fat into energy rapidly. But, getting one really good night of sleep can bring this process back to normal.1

The Importance of Quality Sleep

Making sure you sleep well each night is important. Doing things like keeping your sleep times consistent and having a bedtime routine that helps you relax can benefit your metabolism.2 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests adults aged 18-60 need at least 7 hours of sleep nightly.2

Strategies for Better Sleep Hygiene

If you want to sleep better and longer, try these tips:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day
  • Do things that relax you before bed, like reading a book or stretching
  • Stay away from the blue light of electronic devices before bedtime
  • Make sure your room is dark, cool, and quiet
  • Avoid drinking caffeine, eating big meals, or drinking alcohol near bedtime

Putting effort into sleeping well can boost your metabolism and keep you healthy.12

Enjoy Coffee or Other Caffeinated Beverages

Coffee and other drinks with caffeine can boost your metabolism. Studies show that caffeine, found in coffee, can make your body release epinephrine. This helps your body burn fat better. It speeds up your metabolism and could help with losing weight.14

The Effects of Caffeine on Metabolism

Research shows caffeine can speed up your metabolism by 3-11%, especially with more caffeine.14 It helps burn fat more quickly, but your body can get used to it over time.14 It’s interesting that one study saw caffeine boost fat burn by 29% for lean people. However, obese people only increased their fat burn by 10%.14 As people get older, caffeine may not help as much with weight loss.14

Moderation Is Key

Drinking caffeine in moderation is best for increasing metabolism. The FDA says it’s safe to have 200 to 400 milligrams of caffeine daily. This is about two to four cups of coffee.15 Too much caffeine can cause unpleasant side effects like a fast heartbeat or feeling jittery.15 Also, it’s hard to tell if caffeine really affects body fat because of other healthy compounds in coffee and tea.15

Stay Hydrated with Water

Keeping hydrated is crucial for good health and a healthy metabolism. Some studies show that drinking a lot of water, at least 500 milliliters, might help burn fat better. But, we’re not completely sure about its direct effect on how fast your body burns energy.16

Since our bodies are mostly made of water, it’s key for many body functions. By drinking lots of water every day, you help your metabolism work well. This means you support your health and well-being in general.

The Link Between Hydration and Metabolism

16 Some research says drinking water can make you feel less hungry. People who drank water before meals ate less, about 22 percent less.16

In one study, girls who drank water before eating, without changing what they ate, lost weight. They also saw improvements in their body mass index and body composition.16 Drinking cold water could boost metabolism by about 30 percent on average.16

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Choose water over sugary drinks like juice or soda to lower your calorie intake.16 Overweight and obese women who swapped post-meal drinks for water ate fewer calories. This helped them lose more weight.16

Recent studies have shown interesting results on how water affects weight.17 In 2019, over a quarter of the people in a survey said they drank more water to try and lose weight.17

Research from 2023 found that drinking warm water after meals might help you lose weight. People who did this lost more weight and had a lower BMI than those who didn’t.17 Adding just one cup of water to your daily intake could prevent weight gain over time.17

In 2019, a study showed people lost anywhere from 0.4 to 8.8 kilograms by drinking more water. On average, they lost 5% of their body weight.17 Another study in 2021 found that only drinking water for 5 days led to about 5 kilograms of weight loss in people who weren’t overweight.17

Experts usually recommend 2 liters of water a day for most people. They specifically suggest more for those who are very active or younger.17

But, how much you should drink might vary. What we often hear is 2.2 liters for women and 3 liters for men a day. In ounces, it’s 74 for women and 101 for men. That adds up to about 9 cups for women and 13 cups for men every day.17 However, a study in 2017 didn’t find a direct link between a set amount of water and losing weight in teenagers who were overweight or obese.17

Another claim that water can help you lose belly fat doesn’t have enough proof.17 And, water fasts, where you only drink water for a few days, aren’t a safe way to lose weight according to doctors. This is because the weight you lose on these fasts is often temporary.17

16 Hydrating well is critical when you’re active. It helps avoid muscle breakdown, keeps your blood volume right, and helps your body stay cool.16

Water also plays a role in removing waste from your body. This keeps your kidneys working well and helps prevent problems like constipation and bloating.16 Plus, more water might help you burn fat for energy better.16

Not drinking enough water can lead to issues like feeling tired, dizzy, and having trouble focusing. This can hurt your mood and stress levels too.16 Besides, being well-hydrated matters for more than just losing weight. It’s key for your skin, brain, and keeping your blood pressure in check.16

Manage Stress Levels

The link between stress and metabolism is not straightforward. High stress can make you want to eat more, leading to weight gain. This might impact metabolism.18 Still, some studies mention they can’t directly connect stress to how fast your body burns calories when at rest.18 We know stress influences our sleep, activity levels, and what we eat, which could indirectly affect metabolism.18

The Impact of Stress on Metabolism

Long-term and hard-to-control stress can mess up trying to be healthy. It can cause bad weight loss from skipping meals or over-exercising, ending up in weight gain.18 Stress can make us eat when we’re not even hungry, and it might slow down our metabolism, especially for burning belly fat.18 If you don’t manage stress well, it can be tough to keep to a regular exercise routine and healthy lifestyle.18

Stress-Reducing Techniques

Learning stress-reducing habits such as meditation or yoga can support a good metabolism. They are also good for your overall health.18 Being able to trigger your body’s relaxation response helps keep stress under control.18 Looking at challenges instead of threats can change how you deal with stress.18 And turning anxiety into excitement might improve how you perform when stressed.18 It’s important to recover from stress to stay energetic and healthy.18

Setting goals beyond yourself can inspire you during tough times.18 Exercise is great for reducing stress, keeping you calm, and helping you lose weight.18 Supporting others, even when you’re stressed, can give your life more meaning and make you stronger.18 Everyone has to find their best way to deal with stress since there are no universal strategies.18

Ensure Adequate Vitamin Intake

Vitamins, especially B vitamins, are vital for our bodies’ metabolism. They help turn food into the energy we need.19 B vitamins like B-12, biotin, and more do this.19 Vitamin D might also help regulate blood sugar and improve how the body uses insulin in those with diabetes.19 In 2016, a study noted that women after menopause with diabetes saw better blood sugar control and lower inflammation. This was after they added vitamin D to their diet. They also slimmed down their waist size.19

Along with B vitamins, minerals like iron and magnesium are key for a good metabolism.19 Iron moves oxygen in our blood and is needed for healthy cell and hormone creation.19 Magnesium keeps important metabolic and energy processes going. If we lack magnesium, our energy production suffers.19

Getting the right nutrients helps our body’s metabolism work well. This means eating a balanced diet or taking supplements, if a doctor recommends it.192021

NutrientRecommended Intake
B1/Thiamin1mg for men, 0.8mg for women21
B2/Riboflavin1.3mg for men, 1.1mg for women21
B3/Niacin16.5mg for men, 13.2mg for women21
B61.4mg a day for men, 1.2mg a day for women21
B7/Biotin30mcg a day for men and women21
B9/Folate acid200mcg for men and women, 400mcg up to 12 weeks pregnant21
B121.5mcg for men and women21
Vitamin C40mg daily for adults aged 19 to 6421
Vitamin D10 micrograms daily for adults21
IronMen aged 18 or over: 8.7mg daily
Women aged 19-50: 14.8mg daily
Women aged 50 and over: 8.7mg daily21
MagnesiumMen aged 19-64: 300mg daily
Women aged 19-64: 270mg daily21
Calcium700mg daily for adults21

Consider Thyroid Health

The thyroid gland is key in managing metabolism. If your thyroid doesn’t make enough hormones, you may get hypothyroidism. This makes your metabolic rate slow. Thus, you could gain weight.22

The thyroid hormone helps produce things that need oxygen. This includes rising your breathing rate and body temperature. They’re all key for using energy.22

The Thyroid’s Impact on Metabolism

Your body’s is how it turns food into energy. This can affect your weight. For most people, their BMR or RMR is 60% of their metabolism. Activity uses up about 25%, and digesting food uses 15%.22

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Things like genes, age, and what you eat can change how fast your body burns energy. Health issues like hypothyroidism, diabetes, and adrenal fatigue can also play a part.22

Addressing Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism can slow you down, leading to weight gain. Hashimoto’s disease is a common culprit and can make your even slower.22

A detailed test of your thyroid is crucial. This helps see the real impact on your metabolism.22

Taking the right thyroid medicine can increase your BMR/RMR. This might make your metabolism work faster.22

Moving more, especially by doing muscle workouts, can also help. Eating well is important too. Try to choose whole foods and avoid ones with lots of sugar. Eating plenty of protein and fiber is good for your .22

But if you’ve gained a lot of weight quickly, it might not just be your thyroid.23

22 Very low-calorie or crash diets aren’t good for your thyroid. They can make you gain weight and make it hard to lose. This is especially true if you have hypothyroidism.22

Incorporate Regular Exercise

Regular physical activity is vital for a fast metabolism. Strength training and HIIT help you build and keep muscle. Muscles burn more calories than fat, making you burn more even at rest.24 Other exercise types, like cardio and yoga, also boost your metabolism. They keep you healthy and feeling good.

The Benefits of Physical Activity

Doing exercise often helps a lot. It boosts your metabolism in many ways. The CDC says adults need 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. For every minute of hard exercise, it counts as two minutes of moderate work.24 Doing strength training twice a week makes your metabolism faster.24 Mixing up your workout times and eating many times can also raise your calorie burn.24

Types of Exercise for Boosting Metabolism

To get the most from exercise, mix it up. Along with strength training and HIIT, try cardio, yoga, and walking fast.24 These not only burn calories while you work out but also help your metabolism work better later.

Staying active is key to being healthy. It’s a big part of keeping your metabolism up. By doing a bit of everything, like strength training and HIIT, you can keep your body burning fat. This also helps you stay healthy and in a good mood.24


Making your metabolism faster involves what you eat, how you live, and moving more. By using these proven ways every day, you can boost how well your body burns fat. This also helps your health and feeling good.2 Dietary guides suggest 1,600–2,400 calories daily for girls 19–30. Boys of the same age range need 2,000–3,000.2 Moms-to-be or nursing mothers might need a bit more – about 452 extra, based on pregnancy stage and baby’s age.

Everyone is different, so your perfect mix of tricks might vary. Start with good habits like moving more, eating better, stressing less, and sleeping well. These changes can make your metabolism better.25 A study proved that a balanced high-fat diet over 16 weeks helped obese women before menopause improve their health. If you’re worried about your metabolism or health, talk to a doctor. They can give you advice.


What is metabolism?

Metabolism is how your body turns food into energy for everything you do. This covers breathing, moving blood, and fixing your cells.

Why is metabolism important for overall health?

Your metabolism decides how many calories your body uses when you’re not doing anything. Knowing about your metabolism can help keep you healthy and at a good weight.

What factors affect my metabolic rate?

Things like your age, what you eat, and how active you are can change your metabolism. Even your health and the medicine you take play a part.

How can eating protein help boost my metabolism?

Protein stops your body from losing muscle during diets. It also takes more effort to digest, using up more of your energy than fats or carbs do.

What is HIIT and how can it boost my metabolism?

HIIT is short bursts of hard exercise. It makes your muscles use more energy all day, helping you burn fat and grow stronger.

How does building muscle help boost my metabolism?

Muscle uses more energy than fat, even when you’re not moving. This means by building up muscle, you’ll burn more calories all the time.

How can standing up more help boost my metabolism?

If you sit a lot, you burn fewer calories and might gain weight. Standing or moving more at work can really help keep you healthy.

How can drinking green tea or oolong tea help boost my metabolism?

Green tea and oolong tea have things like caffeine that can speed up your metabolism a bit. They might also help use up fat.

Can spicy foods help boost my metabolism?

Spicy peppers can make your metabolism work a bit faster. But, you’d need to eat a lot of them for a big effect.

How does sleep affect my metabolism?

Not getting enough sleep is linked to being more likely to gain weight. It changes the way your body handles fat, but a good night of sleep can fix that.

How can caffeine help boost my metabolism?

Caffeine makes your body release a chemical that can speed up how you burn fat. This can make your metabolism faster and help with losing weight.

How does staying hydrated affect my metabolism?

Drinking lots of water might help use more fat for energy. But, we’re still not totally sure if it really makes your metabolism higher.

How does stress affect my metabolism?

Stress can make you eat more, which might mean your metabolism works slower. But, if stress affects your metabolism directly isn’t clear yet.

How do vitamins and minerals affect my metabolism?

B vitamins help turn food into the energy your body needs. Not getting enough of them might slow down how fast you burn through fats.

How does thyroid health affect my metabolism?

The thyroid makes hormones that control how fast you burn calories. If your thyroid doesn’t make enough, your metabolism can slow down.

How can regular exercise help boost my metabolism?

Moving a lot, especially lifting weights or doing HIIT, helps you keep and build muscle. More muscle means burning more calories when you’re not moving.

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