There are actually quite a few natural metabolism boosters.
Some of the 10 that I will list here you’ve probably heard of.
Others on the list I’m sure you’re not familiar with at all.
In fact, some may surprise the hell out of you.
All of them are proven through research to be highly effective natural metabolism boosters.
Metabolism is simply the process through which your body converts the food you eat into usable energy to power all of your functions.
The food you eat is used to power all of those things. Even breathing.
When it comes to metabolism, the common misconception is to think in terms of fast and slow.
You probably think if you have a fast metabolism then you burn calories faster and will lose weight faster.
And if you have a slow metabolism then you burn calories slower and store more body fat.
A more accurate way to think about it is in terms of efficiency.
When a car is more fuel efficient it simply uses the gas in the tank better and is able to go further.
If you have a “slow” metabolism your body is simply using the food you eat in an inefficient manner.
The net result is you may feel tired and sluggish much of the time and have several other symptoms – the most common of which is that you store excess body fat.
Losing weight is harder too.
Some of the natural metabolism boosters on this list work by increasing thermogenesis.
Certain supplements do the same thing.
There are also activities that do as well. Obviously working out is one of them.
I will share a little bit of each in this list of 10.
But above just burning calories faster the things on this list will help your metabolism function way better over time and the net results will be not only improved health but also easier weight loss.
Do HIIT (or sprint) Training Each Week
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) actually does live up to the hype.
I personally do five cycles of a 30-second sprint followed by at least a two-minute rest.
People get scared of heart attacks and things with intense forms of cardio – but research shows that not only do they significantly boost metabolism but they are also just as safe, if not safer when performed correctly.
One Norwegian study examined the effects of HIIT vs. steady state cardio on 4,846 coronary heart patients and found that those doing HIIT actually had a reduced risk of heart attack while exercising.
The reason is that intense forms of exercise open the heart valves up making blood flow easier.
HIIT has been shown to cause what is known in the fitness world as the afterburn effect.
Another term for this is excess post-exercise oxygen consumption or EPOC for short.
A simple, but brilliant way to understand this is that exercise that consumes more oxygen will burn more calories.
In other words, the more intense the exercise the more it boosts metabolism.
Research shows that the human body burns approximately five calories to process one liter of oxygen.
So the more you’re huffing and puffing the more calories you are going to burn.
And the longer your heart rate remains elevated after the workout the more oxygen you’ll use and the more calories you’ll burn.
Increasing growth hormone is important because research shows that this natural chemical is also one of the truly great natural metabolism boosters.
I know from personal experience, that pretty much nothing burns fat as quickly from the human body as consistently doing HIIT or some other form of intense exercise like sprinting at least a couple times per week.
I still see people trying to argue this point, but if you doubt me just keep on doing slow steady state jogging and continue to get the shitty results you’ve been getting.
Avoid Calorie Restriction
The reason for reverse dieting is to correct the metabolic damage caused by calorie restriction.
There are some instances when calorie restriction is warranted…
- Cutting for a competition.
- Short bouts in order to speed up weight loss.
Beyond that, it’s one of the single most damaging things you can do to your metabolism.
This is not debatable – it’s a fact.
Calorie restriction (also known as dieting) also causes high cortisol levels that lead to water retention.
I call this pudgy ab syndrome.
So one of the single best natural metabolism boosters is to avoid calorie restriction for any extended period of time.
You may be someone who is constantly “eating like a bird” to keep yourself thin only to continually be frustrated that you have all this stubborn excess body fat.
What is going on is that you have basically destroyed your metabolic efficiency.
To correct this you need to eat more.
Boost Protein Intake
High protein diets increase thermogenesis.
It really is just that blunt and simple.
And they do it even if they do not exercise.
The surprising thing about many of these studies is that they show that not much actually changes with the body weight.
What changes is the body composition.
Fat decreases and muscle mass increases.
One of the best things you can do if you are serious about body recomposition is to just eat more protein with your meals.
The result is you will burn more fat and maintain or even build muscle.
A solid number to shoot for is 1 gram protein per pound of body weight.
This may seem like a lot at first glance but there is a lot of research that shows the safety of protein.
Another thing to make sure to do is to eat protein for breakfast.
Protein is a truly remarkable macro and one of the greatest natural metabolism boosters.
Boost Daily Meal Frequency
Yes. This does actually work.
In an attempt to be unique or just stand out you get these online fitness gurus trying to say that eating several small meals a day doesn’t work.
I’m telling you right now, it actually does.
I wrote an article on meal frequency and its impact as one of the best natural metabolism boosters that makes losing weight far easier.
The fact is that research proves it.
It’s also one of the single easiest things you can do.
Another thing it accomplishes is a mental connection with eating. If forces you actually think about what you are eating instead of going hours between meals and then just stuffing your face.
Do Not Overtrain
So how in the hell are you supposed to know if you’re overtraining?
I’m glad you asked.
We already discussed 10 signs here.
If you find yourself in a state of being overtrained I guarantee that your metabolism is also operating inefficiently.
Working out becomes counterproductive because the harder you work the more you drive your metabolism into the ground.
Overtraining and dieting are the two biggest causes of the skinny fat look from my experience.
In my experience, most people do way too much cardio.
Cardio is a great thing to do (to an extent), but day after day of pounding away on the treadmill for long periods of time usually catches up with you.
I’m also not a fan of steady-state cardio like jogging. HIIT (as we discussed above) is a far better option.
Overtraining runs along similar lines as calorie restriction.
Basically, your body cannot keep up with the demands placed upon it and you begin to drop into a negative recovery zone.
You are actually digressing.
This murders your metabolic rate because your body rations calories.
It’s just not a good way to go.
Drink A Gallon Of Water Per Day
Hydration is one of the ultimate natural metabolism boosters.
People think water as being boring.
It’s just not something that typically gets measured.
I’m guessing if you are serious about lifting you measure your protein intake.
You may even measure your carb and fat intakes too.
But nobody ever considers water measurement to be an important aspect of building muscle and burning fat.
In other words – if you are in a state of dehydration you will burn fewer calories while storing more body fat.
A powerful way to think about it is that your body consists of over 60% water.
If you are dehydrated by even a little bit it can and will absolutely impact your metabolic function.
Eat Coconut Oil (and other saturated fat)
Coconut oil is 90% saturated fat.
Contrary to popular belief, that is a good thing.
I’m not talking about going all out here.
But bumping dietary fat intake has been proven to be a great metabolism booster.
Coconut oil is one way to do that.
We discussed coconut oil in this previous post.
It has some pretty unique qualities, number one of which is that it consists of medium chain fatty acids and has actually been shown to be very effective at increasing daily calorie expenditure.
This type of fatty acid is treated far more like a carb than a true fat. It can be used immediately by the body for energy.
Heavy Resistance Training
There are two stages of calories burned when you lift weights and/or do cardio:
- While you are training.
- After you are training (afterburn).
Both of which we discussed in the HIIT section above.
For simplicity sake, we can define two types of resistance training as either heavy or light.
When it comes to burning calories, heavy is generally superior at both in exercise calorie expenditure and afterburn.
In fact, research has demonstrated that it is the intensity of the training (i.e. how heavy) that determines post exercise oxygen expenditure (how many calories you burn).
By heavy, I simply mean a weight that actually forces you to strain. The reason for this is because you will activate type 2 muscle fibers.
These are also called fast twitch fibers.
They are bigger and require more energy than your slow twitch fibers.
We’ve discussed that in this article on slow weight training.
When you do heavy resistance training you force the activation of fast twitch fibers.
When you lift light weight that doesn’t require much effort – all you do is just use slow twitch fibers. This is why you never see many muscular changes in people who continually exercise with pathetically light weight that does not challenge them.
Heavy resistance training is one of the best natural metabolism boosters.
Doing it regularly will cause you to burn more calories while you are training and also after you are finished.
Remember, an exercise that requires more oxygen will burn more calories both during and after.
Heavy resistance training, even at lower reps, will use more oxygen.
The net result of doing heavy resistance training is that you will increase your metabolism.
200-300 mg Caffeine Pre-Workout
The shit is insanely effective.
But there is a catch.
The catch is that prolonged caffeine use can lead to the build up of cortisol in your system.
As we discussed in the section on overtraining above, prolonged high cortisol levels lead to an inefficient metabolism.
However, if you were to take 200 mg to 300 mg pre-workout the effects are indisputable.
One study found that those who consumed caffeine prior to exercise increased post-workout energy expenditure by 15%.
Other research shows that those working out under the influence of caffeine burn significantly more fat than those who do not.
It is seriously one of the single greatest natural metabolism boosters I’ve ever found.
You do not want to overdo it, though.
That’s why I use it a max of three times per week before my workout.
I take pure caffeine anhydrous.
I will also go a week without using it each month.
This prevents my body from developing a resistance to it and also from excessive cortisol build up from using it.
I also don’t drink coffee or other caffeinated drinks because all that does is add to my overall caffeine consumption each day.
Boost Serotonin Levels
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is vital in a gargantuan amount of processes in the human body.
It is also a hormone.
Hormones and neurotransmitters are both signal messengers in the body.
The difference is that neurotransmitters function in the neurons of the nervous system, while hormones function in the endocrine system (blood and organs and glands).
In fact, your body produces serotonin in both the brain and the gastrointestinal tract.
It plays a key role in the metabolism of food and how that food is used and stored in the body.
For one, it is responsible for helping push food through the intestines.
We discussed 10 natural ways to increase serotonin in the past.
Among the most effective are to get more direct sunlight exposure, vitamin d and exercise.
It is a proven way to speed up your metabolism.
The 10 natural metabolism boosters on this page can all be used without a lot of extra effort on your part.
What research shows is simple…
If you focus on them they are proven to increase your metabolism so that your body uses more calories.
This obviously means easier weight loss.
I use each of these 10 in my weekly regimen and they absolutely do work.
It doesn’t mean that they will be equally effective for you as they may be for someone else.
But nonetheless, they are proven through research.