8 ways to boost your metabolism and kick-start your weight loss

July 28, 2015

What if you could turbo-charge your weight-loss efforts? Here are some easy ways to boost your metabolism – the rate at which you burn calories – as well as tips on cranking up the calorie burn of your workout.

8 ways to boost your metabolism and kick-start your weight loss

1. Fidget

People who drum their fingers or bounce their knees burn at least 500 calories a day. That adds up to losing one pound a week.

2. Hold onto a small squeeze ball

Keep a small squeeze ball with you and grip and squeeze it frequently during the day. It's one of the few exercises you can do at any time. You'll build up the muscles in your hands – and muscle, wherever it is, burns a lot of calories.

3. Don't starve yourself

Cutting out too many calories can backfire in more ways than one. Try to subsist on morsels and your metabolism will slow down so much that you'll not only stop losing weight, but you'll be lucky if you can peel yourself off the couch.

4. Exercise outside

Maybe it's the fresh air, maybe it's the sunshine, but something about exercising out in the open makes you walk or run faster than doing the same exercise in the gym.

5. Sip on coffee

Studies find that the caffeine in coffee increases the rate at which your body burns calories. This does not mean, however, that you should order a fancy calorie-packed frappuccino. And skip the espresso if it makes you toss and turn at night.

6. Turn up the heat with hot peppers

Some studies show that very spicy foods can temporarily increase your metabolism. Specialist grocers often stock many different kinds of peppers. Buy one type a week and add some to various meals. Spice up your scrambled eggs with minced jalapeño, add a little fire to beef stew with half a Scotch bonnet pepper.

7. Increase the protein in your diet

There is some evidence that if you increase your protein intake to the upper end of the recommended range (roughly 20 per cent of overall calories), the amount of energy you expend at rest will remain the same even while you're losing weight. Normally, as you lose weight, your body adjusts and you burn fewer calories at rest.

8. Eat five small meals throughout the day

You might think you should eat less often if you want to lose weight, but that's just not the case. By eating every few hours, you keep your metabolism fired up and ensure it doesn't slow down between meals in order to hang on to calories. A "meal" can be as small as a cup of soup.

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