Your metabolism determines the rate your body burns calories, which affects how easily you gain or lose weight. While genetics plays a major part in setting your metabolic rate, certain products may help give it a boost. If you think your metabolism may be sluggish, consult your doctor to rule out a medical cause.
Free Weights to Increase Metabolism
Muscle is a major contributor to your metabolism. Working out to build muscle may help your body burn an extra 50 calories a day, according to the University of New Mexico. Whether at the gym or at home, free weights make a great addition to your metabolism-boosting regimen. They can be used to build arm, back, chest and leg muscles.
But before you go and buy a set, consult with a personal trainer to review exercises and form for safety and effectiveness. To build muscle, your free weights need to be heavy enough that the last rep is so hard it's a struggle to finish. You don't have to stop at free weights either. Resistance bands also work well for building muscle and increasing your metabolism.
Sneakers to Burn Calories
Planned cardiovascular exercise is the most efficient way to give your metabolic rate a boost, according to NHS Choices. You don't need to join a gym or take classes to get your exercise; all you need are a pair of sneakers that fit properly and offer good support, and a safe place to go for a walk, which is an effective way to burn calories. A 155-pound person walking a 15-minute mile burns 334 calories an hour. Plus, walking is low-impact and a safe form of exercise for most fitness levels. Be sure to consult your doctor first before you strap on your sneakers to get the OK based on your own personal health.
Metabolism-Boosting Green Tea
Green tea may not give your metabolism as much of a boost as working out, but the catechins and caffeine in a cup can increase both calorie and fat burning, according to a 2007 review article published in the American Journal of Physiology. However, in weight loss, green tea may not be the way to go, according to a 2012 review study published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. This study found that while green tea did help people lose weight, the amount lost -- about 2 pounds in 12 weeks -- wasn't significant.
That said, green tea makes a healthy addition to your daily diet, and most adults can safely consume two to three cups a day. You may want to be cautious drinking green tea, however, if you're on any medication such as blood thinners, beta-blockers, birth control, antibiotics or certain over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, because of the potential for negative interactions.
Power of Hot Peppers
If you like spice, cayenne peppers may also up your calorie burning. Capsaicin, the substance in pepper that gives it heat, increases energy expenditure, according to a 2015 review article published in the International Journal of Obesity, and it also helps control appetite.
Add a few slices of hot pepper to soup or salad for a little kick,or, sprinkle the dried powder on your brown rice or baked potato. It may also add a little extra heat to your next pot of chili or baked chicken.
If you have an allergy to bananas, kiwis, chestnuts or avocados, you may also be allergic to red peppers, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, and may not want to use it as your metabolism booster. Also, you might want to careful if you have stomach ulcers or issues with heartburn due to possible irritation from the hot pepper.
- NHS Choices: How Can I Speed Up My Metabolism
- University of New Mexico: Controversies in Metabolism
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- Harvard Health Publications: Calories Burned in 30 Minutes for People of Three Different Weights
- Harvard Health Publications: Walking: Your Steps to Health
- American Journal of Physiology: Obesity and Thermogenesis Related to the Consumption of Caffeine, Ephedrine, Capsaicin and Green Tea
- Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Green Tea for Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance in Overweight or Obese Adults
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Green Tea
- International Journal of Obesity: Capsaicinoids: A Spicy Solution to the Management of Obesity?
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Cayenne