Looking for some simple and sustainable ways to boost your metabolism in 2024? If so, read on because we’ve got just the tactics for you.
Each of these is backed by research and makes a significant enough difference, translating to better fitness and health.
Let’s dive in.
1. Exercise Consistently
Working out is a great way to burn calories and boost your caloric expenditure. Even short workouts can burn a decent number of calories if you push yourself hard.
An example of such short and intense workouts is high-intensity interval training (HIIT), where the goal is to alternate between brief periods of near-maximum effort and recovery. For instance, run quickly for 30 seconds, walk for a minute, and repeat.
Traditional weight training and low-intensity steady-state cardio (e.g., jogging) are also excellent ways to boost your metabolism (1).
2. Move More During the Day
All movements outside structured exercise time are classified under non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT).
Did you know that these simple, everyday activities, like taking the stairs, can add up and burn many calories?
Research suggests that adding up small activities during the day can result in a significantly higher caloric burn and might play a crucial role in long-term weight maintenance and the prevention of weight gain (2, 3).
Good ways to boost your NEAT include:
- Take the stairs
- Park further, walk more
- Stand up while working
- Walk during phone calls
- Take short walking breaks
- Carry groceries instead of carting
- Garden or do yard work
- Engage in DIY projects
- Walk or bike short distances
3. Eat More Protein
Your body expends calories to break down the foods you eat and absorb the nutrients. This is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF) and is a component of metabolic rate.
Protein has the highest thermic effect of all three macronutrients (along with carbohydrates and fats) at 20 to 35 percent. Meaning, for every 100 calories you get through protein, your body expends 20 to 35 to break it down and absorb the amino acid.
For that reason, increasing your protein intake can help you burn extra calories (4). Excellent protein sources include meat, fish, eggs, cottage cheese, and protein powder supplements.
4. Get Enough Sleep
This final tactic doesn’t boost your metabolic rate but can favorably impact how your body burns energy. Allow me to explain.
In one paper from 2010, researchers put ten overweight adults through two dieting conditions (5):
- 14-day moderate caloric restriction + spending 5.5 hours in bed each night
- The same diet + spending 8.5 hours in bed each night
The two conditions were spaced at least three months apart. Subjects lost approximately 6.6 lbs in both conditions, which is a lot in just two weeks.
Interestingly, when subjects could only spend 5.5 hours in bed, they lost fat and muscle at a 20/80 ratio.
However, when they could spend 8.5 hours in bed, they lost muscle and fat at a 50/50 ratio, which is far more beneficial.
There you have it:
Three ways to boost your metabolism in 2024 and one simple tactic to improve how your body burns energy.
As you can see, none of these are particularly complex, which is the whole point. Focus on the essentials instead of chasing gimmicks.