There are several easy and effective ways to support your metabolism, many of which involve making simple changes to your diet and lifestyle.

Your metabolism is responsible for converting nutrients from the foods you eat into fuel. This provides your body with the energy it needs to breathe, move, digest food, circulate blood, and repair damaged tissues and cells.

However, the word “metabolism” is also used to describe your basal metabolic rate (the number of calories you burn at rest).

The higher your metabolic rate, the more calories you burn at rest. Many factors can affect your metabolism, including your age, diet, body composition, sex, body size, physical activity, health status, and any medications you’re taking.

There are several evidence-based strategies that can help increase your metabolism to support weight management and overall health.

Here are 9 easy ways to increase your metabolism.

Eating food can temporarily increase your metabolism for a few hours.

This is called the thermic effect of food (TEF). It’s caused by the extra calories required to digest, absorb, and process the nutrients in your meal.

Protein causes the largest rise in TEF. Dietary protein requires 20-30% of its usable energy to be expended for metabolism, compared to 5-10% for carbs and 0-3% percent for fats.

Eating more protein can also reduce the drop in metabolism often associated with losing fat. This is because protein helps prevent muscle loss, which is a common side effect of dieting.


Eating more protein can boost your metabolism so that you burn more calories.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves quick and very intense bursts of activity.

If this type of exercise is safe for you, it can help indirectly speed up your metabolism. Your muscle cells will burn energy at rest, which helps you burn fat and build muscle.

This effect is believed to be greater for HIIT than for other types of exercise.

To get started, choose a modality, such as biking or running, that you are already familiar with.


Mixing up your exercise routine and adding in a few high-intensity workouts can boost your metabolism and help you burn fat.

Muscle is more metabolically active than fat. Building muscle can help increase your metabolism to help you burn more calories each day, even at rest.

Lifting weights can also help you retain muscle and counter the drop in metabolism that can occur during weight loss.


Lifting weights can help build and retain muscle. Higher amounts of muscle will result in a higher metabolism.

Sitting too much can have negative effects on your health, partly because long periods of sitting burn fewer calories and can lead to weight gain.

One 2018 review found that standing or stepping at work was associated with lowered cardiometabolic risk (CMR) scores, weight, body fat, waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, fasting triglycerides, total/HDL cholesterol, and insulin.

However, stepping rather than standing resulted in greater improvements to lower systolic blood pressure and insulin resistance.

If you have a desk job, try standing up and walking for short periods to break up the length of time you spend sitting down. You can also try going for walks during the day or invest in a standing desk. In a 2020 study, researchers found that doing this resulted in reduced blood insulin and sugar.


Sitting for a long time burns few calories and may negatively affect your health. Try standing up or taking walks regularly or investing in a standing desk.

Green tea and oolong tea help convert some of the fat stored in your body into free fatty acids, which may indirectly increase fat burning when combined with exercise.

It’s thought it may indirectly help prevent a weight loss plateau due to the way the teas affect your gut microbiome, which helps improve both the way your body breaks down fats for energy and the way it converts excess energy into fat for later use.

However, some older research suggests that these teas do not affect metabolism. Therefore, their effect may be small or only apply to some people.


Drinking green tea or oolong tea may affect your gut microbiome, which may be influencing the way your body breaks down fats, but research is mixed.

Peppers contain capsaicin, a compound that can boost your metabolism.

However, many people can’t tolerate these spices at the doses required to have a significant effect.

For instance, one 2016 review evaluated the effects of capsaicin at acceptable doses. It predicted that eating peppers would burn around 10 additional calories per meal. Over 6.5 years, this could account for 1 pound (lb) 0r 0.5 kilograms (kg) of weight loss for an average-weight male.

Alone, the effects of adding spices to your food may be quite small. However, it may lead to a slight advantage when combined with other metabolism-boosting strategies.


Eating spicy food could be beneficial for boosting your metabolism and help you maintain a moderate weight. However, the metabolism-boosting effect of spicy foods is quite small.

Lack of sleep is linked to a major increase in the chance of obesity.

It’s also been shown to affect levels of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and leptin, a hormone that controls fullness (satiety).

This could explain why many people who are sleep-deprived often feel hungry and may have difficulty losing weight or may gain weight.

In a 2019 study, researchers also found that a lack of sleep for four nights or longer may slightly decrease how the body metabolizes fat. That said, this increase is small and easily restored by one good night’s sleep.


Lack of sleep can affect the levels of your appetite-regulating hormones and may slightly affect how your body metabolizes fat, which may lead to weight gain.

Research has shown that caffeine can trigger the body to release neurotransmitters like epinephrine, which helps regulate the way your body processes fat.

However, this effect may vary based on several factors. For instance, one study found that caffeine was more effective at increasing fat burning during exercise in individuals with a less active (sedentary) lifestyle in comparison with trained athletes.


Drinking coffee can significantly increase your metabolism and may help you lose weight if that is your goal.

Does dieting affect metabolism?

Moderate weight loss can lower your metabolism and decrease the number of calories that you burn at rest.

Resistance training and eating an adequate amount of protein can help preserve lean body mass during weight loss, which may be beneficial for maintaining your metabolism.

Is it possible to speed up your metabolism?

The amount of time it takes to speed up your metabolism can vary based on many different factors, including your:

  • diet
  • activity level
  • health status

While some of the tips listed above may help, few have them have research-based evidence backing their effect on metabolism. Additionally, these strategies should not be considered a quick fix, but rather, they should be incorporated into a plan with health-promoting benefits that includes eating a nutrient-dense diet combined with physical activity and optimum sleep to achieve long-lasting results.

What foods speed up your metabolism?

Foods that can help speed up your metabolism are ones that contain protein such as meat, dairy, or legumes. A few other specific foods can also help. Read more about the 12 best foods to boost your metabolism.

How do you reset your metabolism?

While it’s not possible to “reset” your metabolism, there are plenty of ways you can increase your metabolic rate naturally, including making changes to your eating plan, workout routine, and sleeping routine.

How can I increase my metabolism to lose weight?

To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. This means you need to eat fewer calories than you burn. If you are able to increase your metabolism to burn more calories at rest through things like resistance training and adequate protein intake, this can help support your weight loss goals.

What should I eat before bed to burn fat?

If you’re going to eat before bed, stick to protein-rich snacks such as nuts, turkey, or fish. Learn about these and other foods you can eat before bed.

Making small lifestyle changes and incorporating these tips into your routine can help increase your metabolism.

Having a higher metabolism can help you lose weight and keep it off, if that is your goal, while also giving you more energy.

Just one thing

Try this today: In addition to trying the tips outlined above, you can also add more metabolism-boosting foods to your diet. Check out this article for a list of some nutritious foods that can support your metabolism.

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