How Can We Speed Up Our Metabolism?

Whenever there is talk about weight loss diets, the word metabolism always comes up. However, not everyone knows what it actually means. So, what conditions our metabolism? And can we really speed up our metabolism to lose weight?
How Can We Speed Up Our Metabolism?

Last update: 07 November, 2018

A slow metabolism provides less energy for the body to function properly. Although we cannot change the metabolism we were born with, it is possible to modify our eating habits to speed up our metabolism.

The results will be positive improvements in our quality of life. So keep reading!

What is our metabolism?

Metabolism  is the chemical reaction that occurs in the body to assimilate nutrients from food. It’s activated by digestion and responsible for the absorption and transformation of food into energy that the body needs to function.

Metabolism can be divided into two complementary processes:

  • Anabolism which has to do with cell growth and the development and conservation of tissues.
  • Catabolism which produces the energy the body needs by assimilating complex molecules and adjusting the body’s temperature.

Ideally, both processes should be in balance. Balance is what regulates the amount of calories that a person burns daily which will affect their weight.

Food, lifestyle, age, gender and genetics, among other factors, determine the speed with which metabolism performs these two processes.

Slow metabolisms generate less energy to keep the body functioning. The leftovers are then stored in the tissues in the form of fat.

In general, men have faster metabolisms than women. That’s why it’s easier for men to lose weight than it is for women.

Although we cannot condition our innate metabolism, it’s possible to modify it by implementing certain habits. This can be done by maintaining a healthy diet, performing physical exercise and following the advice given by specialists.

Tips to speed up our metabolism


It has been proven that the majority of overweight people don’t eat a proper breakfast. It’s important to have breakfast at least an hour after getting out of bed.

The first meal of the day is essential to get your metabolism started and to keep the body active. Having a healthy breakfast will also prevent mid-morning hunger.

How Can We Speed Up Our Metabolism?

Consume proteins

Proteins modify the way in which metabolism processes calories. The energy that is obtained from proteins is usually stored in the form of muscle rather than fat.

The consumption of proteins produces a feeling of long-lasting fullness. Proteins should be present in both breakfast and dinner.

Physical exercise

Exercise should be constant in order to maintain an active metabolism. Try to perform cardiovascular and strengthening exercises.

Muscles demand a lot of energy. That’s why exercising can help speed up our metabolism. If you can’t go to the gym, try to keep active in other ways.

Another good option is to take 30-minute walks every day or to go on bike rides. Sedentary lifestyles on the contrary, reduce the speed of our metabolism.

“Metabolism is the chemical reaction that occurs in the body to assimilate nutrients.”

Get enough sleep

Sleeping too little can cause the body to misinterpret the signs of hunger. In fact, staying awake for long periods of time also causes extra energy expenditure.

To cover the demand, more calories are needed. It’s important to get at least 8 hours of sleep daily in order to have an optimum metabolism.

Eat foods that increase the body’s temperature

Spices and spicy foods can cause an increase in the body’s temperature. This increase in temperature means that more energy is being used. To obtain energy, the body’s metabolism starts to break down fat reserves.

Black pepper, ginger, chili and other spices as well as green tea are all thermogenic foods that help the body eliminate localized  adipose tissue. These foods can also help you maintain a stable weight.

How Can We Speed Up Our Metabolism?

Avoid strict diets

Some people believe that hypo-caloric and extreme diets are what help to lose weight. However, restricting the body from the necessary nutrients that are important for proper functioning can cause the opposite effect.

A diet that is too strict only causes tiredness and hunger. Metabolism takes energy from the muscles, not fat that is accumulated in tissues. To restore the balance, the body will ask for more food and metabolism slows down.

In conclusion, a balanced diet which contains proteins and complex carbohydrates helps speed up our metabolism and it also contributes to burning calories.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Chungchunlam SMS., Henare SJ., Ganesh S., Moughan PJ., Effects of whey proteín and its tweo major protein components on satiety and food intake in normal weight women. Physiol Behav, 2017. 175: 113-118.
  • Swift DL., McGee JE., Earnest CP., Carlisle E., et al., The effects of exercise and physical activity on weight loss and maintenance. Prog Cardiovasc Dis, 2018. 61 (2): 206-213.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.