Can You Speed Up Your Metabolism?


Can You Speed Up Your Metabolism?

You might have previously heard that lean people have fast metabolisms. But do you actually know what a metabolism is or whether this statement is true? This article will give you the rundown on what your metabolism actually entails and some scientifically proven ways to make it run a little bit quicker. If you’re intrigued then read below!

What Actually Is A Metabolism?

Your metabolism is not just one single thing. It’s actually a complex combination of biological processes that occur within your body. Anytime you consume food, your body has to do some work to convert it into energy. Anytime you do physical activity, your body has to complete different processes to make your muscles contract. These processes all culminate to form what we refer to as “metabolism” or “metabolic rate”. Basically, metabolism is a word used to describe the amount of energy your body expends keeping you alive. The more processes your body completes in a day, the more calories you need to function.

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Do Lean People Have Faster Metabolisms?

People aren’t just born with “fast metabolisms”. The number of calories you burn in a day is influenced by a range of different factors. For example age, muscle mass, gender, height and hormone levels all play a role. Humans vary significantly when it comes to metabolic rate. The amount of energy you churn through might be completely different to the person next to you. This is why one person might lose weight eating 2000 calories a day but their friend would put on weight consuming this much. Although your genes are highly influential, they are not determinative. Your metabolic rate is not set in stone. It changes with your age and environment. Those who claim to have a slow metabolism can speed it up by altering their diet and exercise regime. Changing your lifestyle changes your metabolic rate too.

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Switch Up The Foods You Eat

Approximately 10% of the calories your body burns every day is through the process of digestion. This is known as the thermic effect of food. Those who have “slow metabolisms” probably eat foods that aren’t very difficult to digest. For example, your body can put away a heavily processed bag of chips quite easily but a high protein steak meal with fibrous veggies is much harder to digest. You can ramp up your metabolic rate by eating things that require more energy to break down. Go for foods that are high in protein and fibre. Eggs, broccoli, kale and chicken are all options that your body will have to work hard to digest. Interestingly, spicy foods can also give your metabolism a little jolt. Although the effect is minor, research shows that eating things like chilli peppers can burn an extra 10 calories per meal. This is because capsaicin, an ingredient present in spicy foods, has a thermogenic effect on the body. The sweating that results after you eat a hot curry might be unpleasant but it’s ideal for those looking to speed up their metabolism.

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Build More Muscle

The amount of muscle on your body is a good predictor of your metabolic rate. It’s no secret that muscle burns more energy than fat. This is why larger, buff dudes generally need to eat more calories than smaller, frail bodies. They are larger and have a decent amount of muscle mass. Growing muscle requires a lot of energy and getting ripped is no mean feat. If you want a quicker metabolism, get to the weights section of the gym and start lifting. Your body not only has to work hard to grow the muscle, it expends energy maintaining it too. Lift weights and do it often. Not only will you be stronger, you’ll also be burning more calories even at rest.

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Drink More Water

Getting enough H2O is important for a number of reasons. Your body needs water to regulate its own temperature and transport substrates between cells. In addition to keeping you hydrated and healthy, a high water intake can increase your metabolic rate. Research shows that when you drink water, your body temperature goes up. This study found that drinking 500ml of water can increase your resting metabolic rate by 30% for up to one hour. Although this effect is only temporary, a short term increase is better than none at all. Think about your current daily water intake. Are you currently meeting the general recommendation of two litres per day? If not, you may be doing a disservice to your health and your metabolism. Grab that water bottle and sip on it regularly throughout the day. The increased intake plus all of the extra trips to the bathroom will take your metabolic rate to the next level.

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Move More In General

Being more active is one of the most obvious ways to speed up your metabolism. Your body expends a lot of energy when completing physically demanding tasks. Sedentary bodies don’t need many calories to function so do yourself a favour and move more throughout the day. This could be achieved by wearing a fitness watch and hitting a daily step goal. Alternatively, you could start a new active hobby like archery or tennis. There is a reason why those with physically demanding jobs also tend to be leaner individuals compared to those sitting at a desk. Being on your feet all day burns a lot of energy. If you’re really determined to speed up that metabolism, get an active job. Otherwise smash your daily step goal, start taking the stairs and schedule in more workout sessions. It might not be as comfortable as sitting around watching Netflix but your physical health will be better for it.

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What About Weighted Vests?

Our final tip for those desperate to boost that metabolism is to try a weighted vest. Heavier bodies burn more calories because they are harder to move from A to B. Therefore, wearing a weighted vest or carrying a heavier load around with you more often will have you burning more calories than you typically would. Scientists have even tested this on rats by placing weighted capsules on their backs and measuring changes in their bodyweight. As expected, the rats who carried the capsules around ended up losing weight. We’re not saying you have to wear a weighted vest all the time in order to rev up your metabolism. But this does illustrate why smaller individuals have lower metabolic rates. A weighted vest could be a good idea for those looking to take their workouts to the next level. Wearing one enables you to increase the intensity of your walk without changing the duration. Many bodybuilders implement the use of a weighted vest in the weeks leading up to their show because it compensates for the metabolic downregulation brought on by dieting. Basically weighted vests can be a great tool and a fun way to challenge yourself from time to time. Only those who have taken off a heavy weighted vest after a painfully long hike know what true freedom feels like.


Your metabolic rate might be influenced by genetics but it’s definitely not set in stone. The amount of energy your body expends on a daily basis depends on your lifestyle, which can be altered. Having more muscle, doing more exercise and consuming foods that require a lot of energy to break down are all scientifically proven to speed up your metabolism. If you’re concerned about having a slow metabolic rate, eat more protein, move more often and grow those muscles. A few small lifestyle changes here and there will pay big dividends in the long run.


Written by Lauren Carruthers