boost your metabolism

Boosting Your Metabolism

Last updated on February 22nd, 2024 at 08:36 pm

Some individuals eat relatively little but tend to gain and maintain extra weight very quickly, while others seem to eat whatever they choose without any negative repercussions on the scale. Why is that? Many people blame this disparity on metabolism, but is a slow metabolism honestly to blame? Yes, boosting your metabolism can be linked to weight loss or weight gain, but metabolism is not the sole reason you might gain or lose weight.

To better understand what this might mean, it's best to learn what metabolism is and how it can affect your physique.



Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. All the chemical processes in your body continuously allow life and normal functioning.

These processes include those that break down nutrients from your food and those that build and repair your body. The building and repairing of your body require energy from your food.

Eating provides nutrients that form energy, making it one of the vital components of metabolism. This means boosting your metabolism is the rate at which your body expends energy or burns calories.

There are several ways that your body burns calories:

  • The energy required to keep the body functioning at rest; is your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Your BMR is partly determined by the genes you inherit.
  • Through everyday activities
  • Through exercise

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) 

Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the number of calories your body needs to accomplish its most basic (basal) life-sustaining functions, including when at rest.

This includes:

  • Breathing
  • Circulation
  • Nutrient processing (Digestion)
  • Cell production

To compute your BMR, you can use the Harris-Benedict Equation:

bmr-basal-metabolic-rate - Boosting Your Metabolism

The metric formula for men

BMR = 66.47 + (13.75 × weight in kg) + (5.003 × height in cm) − (6.755 × age in years)

The metric formula for women

BMR = 655.1 + (9.563 × weight in kg) + (1.85 × height in cm) − (4.676 × age in years)


Male: Weight (W) = 55 kg, Height (H) = 155 cm, age (A) = 30 years old

BMR = 66.7 + (13.75 x W) + (5.003 x H) – (6.755 x A)

= 66.7 + (13.75 x 55) + (5.003 x 155cm) – (6.755 x 30) = 66.7 + 756.25 + 775.465 – 202.65

= 1395.765 or 1400 kcal


Female: Weight (W) = 55 kg, Height (H) = 155 cm, age (A) = 30 years old

BMR = 655.1 + (9.563 × W) + (1.85 × H) − (4.676 × A)

= 655.1 + (9.563 × 55) + (1.85 × 155) − (4.676 × 30) = 655.1 + 525.965 + 286.75 − 140.28

= 1327.535 or 1350 kcal

Note: kcal values are rounded off to the nearest 50

Factors determining individual basal metabolism:

1. Body Size and Composition

People who are larger or have more muscle burn more calories, even at rest.

2. Sex

Men usually have less body fat and muscle than women of the same age and weight, which means men burn more calories.

3. Age

As you get older, the amount of muscle tends to decrease, and fat accounts for more of your weight, slowing down calorie burning.

4. Genetic Predisposition

Your metabolic rate may be partly decided by your genes.

5. Environmental Temperature

If the temperature is very low or very high, your body must work harder to maintain its average body temperature, which increases the BMR.

6. Infection or Illness

BMR increases because the body has to work harder to build new tissues and create an immune response.

7. Amount of Physical Activity

Hard-working muscles need plenty of energy to burn. Regular exercise increases muscle mass and teaches the body to burn kilojoules faster, even at rest.

8. Drugs

Stimulants like caffeine or nicotine can increase BMR.

9. Dietary Deficiencies

For example, a diet low in iodine reduces thyroid function and slows metabolism.

10. Crash Dieting, Starving, or Fasting


Eating too few kilojoules encourages the body to slow its metabolism and conserve energy. BMR can drop by up to 15 percent, and if lean muscle tissue is also lost, this further reduces BMR.

A. Nutrition, Metabolism, and Energy

Metabolism vector illustration - Boosting Your Metabolism

Nutrition and metabolism have an interdependent effect on human health. While nutrition is the nutrient utilization from the environment, metabolism is the collaborative process of transforming nutrients inside the body to use as energy, thereby boosting your metabolism.

And right after you eat, your BMR typically rises because you use energy to eat, digest, and metabolize the food you have just consumed. This occurs after you start eating and peaks 2-3 hours later.

Essential nutrients supply energy (calories) and deliver the necessary chemicals that the body cannot synthesize. Food provides a variety of substances that are essential for the building, upkeep, and repair of body tissues and the efficient functioning of the body.

Your diet needs to provide essential nutrients like carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, and around 20 other inorganic elements, all of which contribute to boosting your metabolism.

B. Weight and Metabolism

standing on scale - Boosting Your Metabolism

Boosting your metabolism is commonly blamed for weight gain. However, the truth is that excess weight is not all due to bad luck, thyroid trouble, or some other unexplained, uncontrollable external factor. Instead, the calories consumed vs. burned calories have the most influence on weight changes.

Your body may store excess energy in fat cells, increasing or decreasing metabolism. Thus, eating or drinking more calories (energy intake) than you expend (energy output) will commonly cause weight gain.

You'll lose weight if you eat and drink fewer calories than you burn through everyday activities (including exercise, rest, and sleep).

It's important to note that your body also perceives a lack of food as starvation, causing your BMR to slow down. This means you'll burn fewer calories over time. That's one reason why losing weight is often difficult.

Gaining weight is, unfortunately, a complicated process that combines genetic makeup, age, health conditions, hormonal changes, diet composition, and the impact of the environment on your lifestyle, including sleep, physical activity, and stress. All of this can result in an imbalance of the energy equations. 

C. Physical Activity and Metabolism

The speed of your basal metabolism is beyond your control when it comes to burning calories, but exercising and participating in extra physical activities to burn those fat deposits are controllable factors.

People who are thought to have a fast metabolism are more active than others. The more active you are, the more calories you can burn.

Exercise Examples:

1. Aerobic – Cardiovascular Exercise

running in machine treadmill - Boosting Your Metabolism

Cardio is one of the most efficient ways to burn calories. If you want to lose weight or meet specific fitness goals, you may need to increase your time on physical activity. This includes walking, cycling, hiking, swimming, and many sports. Include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine.

If you can't set aside time for a longer workout, try 10-minute chunks of activity throughout the day. Remember, the more active you are, the greater the benefits.

2. Strength Training


Strength training at least twice a week helps build muscle. Remember, muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue does. Combining resistance training with movement helps burn more calories.

Strength training does not have to involve heavyweights in a gym setting. Add resistance bands, light dumbbells, or even soup cans to your home workout to make your fitness regimen more challenging.

Look for ways to add extra activity to your day. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator or parking further away are simple ways to burn some calories. Get up and move during the commercial breaks of your favorite show. Every bit of extra activity will burn calories and contribute to weight loss.

D. Weight, Metabolism, and Age


Are you wondering why you can no longer eat as much as you could when you were younger without paying the price on the scale? This is because your metabolism naturally slows down with age, making it easier to put on extra weight despite a little.

Muscle loss, natural aging of metabolic processes, and being less active can attribute to this. Fortunately, we can take several steps to combat this age-related drop in metabolism.

Hormones and genetics can also influence boosting your metabolism as you age, making it difficult to predict the rate of everyone's metabolism slowing.  

E. Combating the Effects of Age on Metabolism

We can't avoid aging or the natural decrease in metabolism, but there are specific ways to fight the effects of aging on metabolism.

1. Resistance Training

Resistance training, or weightlifting, is excellent for preventing a slowing metabolism. It offers the benefits of exercise while preserving muscle mass, two factors that affect the speed of your metabolism.

2. High-Intensity Interval Training

HIIT is a technique that alternates between intense anaerobic exercise and short rest periods. HIIT also continues to burn calories long after you finish exercising. This is called the “afterburn effect.” It occurs because your muscles need more energy to recover after exercise.

3. Sleep

Inadequate sleep can slow down your metabolism. Poor sleep can increase muscle loss, which slows down your metabolism. Fortunately, a good night's rest can reverse this effect. If you can't fall asleep, try unplugging from technology at least one hour before bed. 

4. Eat More Protein-Rich Foods


Eating more protein-rich foods can help fight a slowing metabolism because your body burns more calories while consuming, digesting, and absorbing these meals. This is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF).

Protein-rich foods have a higher TEF than carb and fat-rich foods. Protein is also essential for fighting sarcopenia (age-related muscle loss). A protein-rich diet can help fight an aging metabolism by preserving muscle. Try to eat protein at every meal.

5. Make Sure You Eat Enough

A low-calorie diet can slow your metabolism by switching your body into “starvation mode.” While dieting has benefits when you're younger, maintaining muscle mass is more important with age.

Older adults tend to have a lower appetite, which may decrease calorie intake and slow metabolism. If you struggle to eat enough calories, try eating smaller portions more frequently. Try to keep healthy high-calorie snacks like cheese and nuts handy.

6. Drink Green Tea

Green tea can increase metabolism by 4–5%. This is because green tea contains caffeine and plant compounds that have been shown to increase your resting metabolism.


Everyone is unique, making it more complicated to identify the sole reason metabolism declines with age. Making small changes and incorporating these tips into your routine can help keep your metabolism running optimally. And to maximize and reap the most benefits from these lifestyle adjustments, additional supplementation should be considered.

Below we have shared the ingredients to look for when choosing a metabolism-boosting supplement. 

7. Zinc

Zinc has not only been linked to weight loss but also to boosting immunity. Many zinc-rich foods are high in dietary protein, which helps increase satiety and energy expenditure.

8. Green Tea

Green tea contains bioactive substances like caffeine and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which can affect metabolism. Caffeine is a well-known stimulant found to aid fat burning and improve exercise performance.

9. Resveratrol

This compound, found in the skin of red grapes, mulberries, peanuts, and more, may also help burn fat. Cellular pathways involved in insulin sensitivity, nutrient sensing, metabolism, and energy production connect to it. We need more studies to support its weight-loss claims.

10. Berberine

Berberine is a bioactive compound that can be extracted from several plants, including a group of shrubs called Berberis.

One of the berberine's main actions is activating an enzyme inside cells called AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). This enzyme plays a significant role in regulating metabolism. This enzyme is sometimes referred to as a “metabolic master switch” found in the cells of various organs, including the brain, muscles, kidneys, heart, and liver.

Mix supplement antioxidant

Remember, cutting calories and regular exercise is still the best way to maintain a healthy weight. If you are making the necessary lifestyle changes but are still struggling to lose weight, talk to your doctor about any possible health conditions affecting your waistline. It is also best to discuss how supplements might impact you as an individual. 

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