Burn more calories without even trying with these metabolism boosters.
Step 1: Take cold showers Give yourself occasional blasts of cold water when you shower; it improves circulation, according to research, which can in turn speed up metabolism.
Step 2: Don't skip meals Don't go longer than five hours without eating, except when you're sleeping. Skipping meals slows down metabolism.
TIP: Always eat breakfast to kick-start your metabolism in the morning.
Step 3: Eat lean protein Eat lean protein, like skinless chicken or egg whites, at every meal, and aim to make lean protein 30 percent of your daily food intake. A Dutch study found that people who did increased their metabolism all day long, even while they slept!
Step 4: Choose the right carbs Choose complex carbohydrates, whole-wheat bread instead of white, and steel-cut oatmeal rather than sugary cereals. They boost metabolism because they are harder to digest than refined carbs are.
TIP: Spice up your food with red chili pepper, black pepper, and ginger – your body may burn more calories immediately after the meal.
Step 5: Get intense bursts of exercise Get short, intense bursts of aerobic exercise for a few minutes every day, whether it's sprinting for a few blocks or pedaling on a stationary bicycle at the most difficult setting you can handle. A study indicated this kind of exercise can speed your metabolism in just two weeks.
Step 6: Lift weights Take up weight training. Building muscle increases your resting metabolic rate, the number of calories your body burns when it's doing nothing at all. Some research has shown that weight training can raise a person's resting metabolic rate by 15 percent in 12 weeks.
TIP: Lifting free weights builds muscles more efficiently than lifting on weight machines.
Step 7: Fidget! Move around more during the day, even if it's just small movements while sitting. Studies show that naturally thin people fidget more than heavier people. And fidgeting is a lot easier than working out!
FACT: Metabolism slows down by about 5 percent for each decade after 40 because of muscle loss and body-fat gain.