5 tricks for increasing your metabolism

October 9, 2015

A fast metabolism will help you lose weight and keep it off. Follow these expert tips to get your metabolism moving and watch the pound melt away.

5 tricks for increasing your metabolism

1. Drink plain ice water

  • The Gatorade people aren't going to feature you in any commercials this way, but here's the truth: not only does water have zero calories, but when it's very cold, you actually burn calories warming and absorbing it.
  • Once you finish burning those calories, your metabolic rate remains 30 percent higher than before you quaffed the liquid—for another 90 minutes!

2. Keep water next to you

  • Keep a glass of ice water next to you all day and continually sip from it, refilling it with fresh water when it gets warm or you finish the glass. That way you'll never get dehydrated.
  • Why should you care? When you're dehydrated, your metabolism slows so it can wring every drop out of whatever liquid it's getting, says Mary Hardy, MD, director of Integrative Medicine at the Ted Mann Family Resource Center at the University of California, Los Angeles.
  • In fact, it can actually lead to 45 fewer calories burned a day. That might not sound like much, but it adds up to two kilograms (4.5 pounds) a year!

3. Eat hot peppers to rev your metabolism

  • Don't you pity the vendors of "miracle" weight-loss products? While they're begging you to shell out big bucks for secret (and dubious) formulas, scientists have identified a simple and inexpensive food that may turbocharge your weight loss.
  • It's right there in the produce section. Hot peppers not only liven up a meal, but some studies show that very spicy foods can temporarily increase your metabolism, or the rate at which you burn calories.
  • Some enticing uses for hot peppers: spice up your morning omelet with minced jalapeño, or fire up some beef stew with half a diced banana pepper.

4. Walk the stairs

  • Just four minutes of stair climbing a day can lead to a 1.8-kilogram (four-pound) weight loss in just a year, says Michelle Cederberg, a Canadian fitness and wellness consultant.
  • Here's the math: an average73-kilogram (160-pound) person will burn about 50 calories climbing up stairs for four minutes (and down for one minute). If that same person takes the stairs for the same length of time five days a week, by the end of the year he'll burn about 12,700 calories (or about four pounds of fat).

5. Keep moving after dieting

  • You've heard the statistics: most people who diet regain the weight they lost—and then some—when they end their diets.
  • Well, you're not a statistic and you can avoid becoming one if you spend 30 minutes, four days a week, cycling, walking or water jogging during and after your diet. That's because the low-intensity exercise can prevent the decrease in metabolism and fat burning that often occurs during and after a diet.
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