When it comes to losing weight, you’ve probably heard that your metabolism is the main driver of weight loss, but do you know why it plays such an important role? I’ll explain why, and I’ll share my favourite ways to increase your metabolism naturally so you can burn more fat, even while you’re sleeping!
Your metabolism regulates the rate at which you burn energy.
If your metabolism is a bit slow, there’s a good chance the energy you take in from food might not be burned off over the course of your day. Your body has to put that excess energy somewhere, and unfortunately for those of us who can struggle with weight gain, that ‘somewhere’ always ends up around your body and organs as fat.
One way to overcome the weight gain from a slow metabolism is by eating less, however I’m not a fan of traditional restrictive diets. Instead, a much better approach is to simply focus on eating well and to incorporate some of my tips to naturally boost your metabolism so you can burn energy more efficiently and lose weight naturally.
Safe and effective ways to get your metabolism to burn more fat without dieting.
If your metabolism is working efficiently then the energy from your food will be used up, and any excess energy you’ve already stored as fat will be broken down and you’ll start to lose your excess weight. So, put simply, if you’re trying to lose some weight or keep yourself at a healthy weight, you better keep your metabolic engine revving!
With that in mind, here are some of my top exercise & nutrition tips to naturally fire up your metabolism so your body can become a lean, mean, fat-burning machine. I’ve also included two effective fat-burning, metabolism-boosting workouts for you to try at home.
13 QUICK TIPS: How to get a faster metabolism
1. Eat plenty of protein
When you’re looking to get your metabolic engine revving, packing your diet with protein is a must. Protein has a large thermic effect which means your body expends more energy to absorb and digest nutrients – making it awesome for fat loss. Eating plenty of protein means you naturally increase your calorie expenditure as your body uses more energy in order to perform all it’s important physiological functions.
Try my tasty Protein-Packed Poke Bowl Recipe, and you’ll soon see why it’s my favourite way to get my daily dose of protein. Or, if you’re looking for a healthy protein powder to supplement your normal diet, you can grab my natural, Australian-made whey powder (in Chocolate or Vanilla) from my 28 Shop.
HIGH PROTEIN FOOD SOURCES
If you’re looking for natural food sources to boost your metabolism, eat more lean protein like chicken, beef and turkey, and include more fish, eggs, dairy and legumes in your diet.
2. Eat more fat
The healthy kind of course! Good fats (like avocado, nuts, fatty fish, olive oil and seeds) can boost your metabolism and help you lose weight. They’re also one of the best foods to help you feel fuller for longer. My Super Speedy Guacamole recipe is my go-to when I’m after a quick and delicious hit of healthy fats.
3. HIIT it up
When you’re looking to boost your metabolism, you need to train in a way that will raise your heart rate and put your muscles to work. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is just the answer. HIIT is a type of training that involves repeated short bursts of intense activity with short, low-intensity recovery periods. It’s an incredibly efficient way to burn body fat and burn calories, and one of the best ways you can fire up your metabolism. Learn why HIIT is so effective and then try a HIIT workout for yourself.
4. Just eat real food
JERF is the nutritional philosophy behind my 28 program, and it really is as simple as it sounds: Just. Eat. Real. Food. What this means is that our program encourages you to eat more healthy, unprocessed foods that are rich in all the nutrients your body needs to perform at its highest potential. It also gives your metabolism a kick because your digestive system has to work to break down all the fibres, amino acids, fatty acids, and other nutrients into their respective parts.
Wondering the best way to keep it real? Jump in the kitchen and cook your own food. That really is the only way to know that every ingredient in your meal is a quality one. There is another important benefit to eating (and cooking with) real whole foods, which is that you’ll avoid consuming all the hidden nasties (like refined sugar and preservatives) that usually reside in foods that come from a box!
Want to cook healthier meals that taste delicious?
5. Ramp up the resistance
“Don’t resist the resistance” is something I’m always telling my clients – and for good reason! Resistance training is not only a great way to tone and shape muscle, but it’s also one of the best ways to increase the speed of your metabolism. When you have a higher metabolism, you burn more calories all day long and the more lean muscle you have, the more muscle you burn. Like the sound of what you’re hearing? Give this At Home Resistance Workout a go.
6. Spice things up
We love a bit of spice here at 28, and not just because it adds an extra hit of flavour. Spice such as chilli or jalapeños are shown to boost your metabolism because they increase the body’s release of hormones like adrenaline, which in turn increases your calorie burn. Why not get a bit more spice in your life with my Spicy Black Hummus recipe.
7. Move every day
I know I’ve already mentioned the importance of HIIT and resistance training – but when it comes to boosting your metabolism, it’s important to move your body every single day.
Don’t worry, I’m not telling you to smash out an intense HIIT workout every day! Just try to get as much movement into your day as possible. The key here is to find something active that you enjoy, so you’ll want to do it.
HOW TO MOVE MORE EVERY DAY
Whether it’s a long walk after work to clear your head or a high-intensity boxing session to get your heart rate up, if you stay active and move your body every day you’ll give your metabolism a boost so you can burn more fat, naturally!
8. Drink more water
This seems so simple but I can’t stress it enough. Water is incredibly underrated; most people know water is good for you, but they don’t realise just how important a role it plays in your diet and that it also plays a big role in boosting your metabolism. So – try to keep your water intake to around 2-2.5 litres a day to make sure you’re burning maximum energy and keeping your hormones balanced. If you find it difficult to keep your water consumption up, my tip is to flavour your water bottle with a combination of lemon and mint, or, if you prefer something sweeter throw a few berries in there – trust me, you won’t even realise it’s water!
9. Get more zzz’s
Just like staying hydrated, sleep is another component that is underestimated (and often forgotten) when it comes to losing weight and getting your metabolism engine revving. Sleep deprivation messes with the body’s circadian rhythm (the 24-hour cycle that regulates sleeping, waking up, digestion and other important functions); this means your metabolism can slow as your body tries to hold onto all of it’s resources. So – if you’re looking to boost your metabolism, you cannot neglect some good old shut-eye.
3 TIPS TO BETTER SLEEP
Is your bedroom set up for sleep? You’ll rest easier if your bedroom is cool and dark. Stick to a consistent bedtime every night, even on weekends, and you’ll soon train your brain to snooze. And don’t forget to ditch the technology so your mind can unwind in the hours leading up to bedtime.
10. Cut the snacks
When you stick to three balanced meals a day, you are able to keep your body in its most metabolically efficient state. So, unless you are doing intense physical activity every day, or if you’re a shift worker or pregnant – you should cut out the snacks where possible! All too often, we snack because we’re bored or simply out of habit, but the reality is that if you’re sticking to three balanced, satisfying whole food meals a day you shouldn’t need to snack.
11. Cut the stress!
I understand this one is easier said than done, but you need to manage your stress levels if you’re looking to give your metabolism a boost. Managing stress is a must for an efficient metabolism because it optimises your fat-burning potential. But let’s be real – some stress is a natural part of life and, in moderation, a bit of stress can be good for us. The key here is to not let stress overwhelm you and get in the way of your daily life. Make sure you have practices in place to help you de-stress and refocus when stress rears its ugly head.
TIPS TO DESTRESS
I always recommend exercise as a natural stress reliever. It doesn’t have to be intense, you can go for a walk, take a yoga class or go for a gentle swim. Or, if you’d like a quick workout to help you let go of the stress of the day, give my Stress Relief Home Workout a go!
12. Get moving (in the morning!)
A lot of my clients ask, “Sam, what is the best time of day to work out?” and my answer is always the same: the best time to workout is when you’ll actually do it! Of course, when it comes to boosting your metabolism, there IS an optimal time. If you can fit your workout into your morning routine (before breakfast) then you’ll give your metabolism an extra 10% metabolic boost for the rest of the day.
13. Kickstart your metabolism with a balanced breakfast
Everyone has heard the saying ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’, and it’s said for good reason! Having a wholefood breakfast each morning means you get an early boost of nutrients to kick start your metabolism. As an added bonus, eating a wholefoods breakfast also helps balance your blood sugar levels and provides long-lasting energy so you can tackle the day ahead.
VIDEO: workouts to boost your metabolism
Boost your metabolism in 10-minutes with my HIIT ‘no equipment’ workout. It’s short but I promise you’ll feel the burn AND the benefits!
Get your metabolism firing with this full-body resistance home workout with Snez. This one doesn’t require special gym equipment, as you can use everyday items that you’ll have around the house!
Q&A: Do pre-workout supplements & “metabolism boosters” work?
Pre-workouts and metabolism boosters fall under the supplement category of ‘thermogenics’, which claim to increase your metabolic rate and therefore your energy expenditure. While pre-workouts are extremely popular in the body-building space, the reality is that there is NO magic pill for weight loss.
Most thermogenics are a chemical concoction of artificial ingredients, sweeteners and excessive amounts of artificial caffeine from guarana or yerba mate. If your metabolism-booster causes you to experience nervousness, jitteriness, changes in sleep, increased anxiety or heart palpitations then it’s not a healthy product for you.
It is really important to remember that the benefits of caffeine are dose-dependent. Too little and it won’t provide any benefits but consume too much and it can create unpleasant or potentially dangerous side effects! The amount of caffeine used in store-bought pre-workout is rarely healthy. However, in the right amount, caffeine has good natural thermogenic benefits and increases your fatty acid oxidation (which is the amount of fat your body selects to fuel your exercise session).
TOP TIP: The best natural pre-workout metabolism booster is…
One of the best pre-workouts is a shot of coffee, or a Bulletproof Coffee (which is simply an espresso blended with a teaspoon of grass-fed butter and/or MCT or coconut oil). Try a shot of coffee before your morning exercise session to maximise your workout benefits, but aim to cut the caffeine by 3pm at the latest so you can sleep.
One of the best (and cheapest) pre-workout boosters is a simple shot of coffee! But avoid coffee after 3pm or your sleep might suffer!
Need an energy boost for an evening workout?
To avoid any sleep issues, skip the caffeine booster, and instead try a healthy pre-workout snack like my Sweet and Salty Low-Calorie Popcorn.
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Have you heard about my home fitness & nutrition program, 28 By Sam Wood?
My customised online workouts & nutritionist-approved healthy meal plans are suitable for all ages, all fitness levels and all dietary preferences. I’ve already helped over 300,000 people live healthier lives, and I’d love to help you too!