If you want your metabolism to match the speed of your Facebook status updates, look no further. Implementing small changes to your daily routine can help build muscle, torch calories and increase fat burn. Stoke your metabolism in less than 60 seconds with these 13 effective and efficient strategies.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, don’t skip breakfast. A morning meal keeps you from overindulging at lunchtime and boosts fat burn by as much as 10 percent, says Erin Palinski, RD. Your a.m. fuel doesn’t have to be gourmet to be effective. A container of Greek yogurt with berries or a slice of whole-wheat toast topped with peanut butter can do the trick.
Fill Up Your Water Bottle
And remember to actually drink from it, too. University of Utah researchers found that being slightly dehydrated can slow your metabolism by 2 to 3 percent, so it’s important to get your 8 cups a day.
Take a Stand
“Stand up whenever you’re on the phone,” says Marisa Moore, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “You burn about 25 percent more calories on your feet than when you’re sitting down.”
Sneak in Strength Training
Is the checkout line moving at glacial speed? Use that downtime to do bicep curls with your shopping basket, a gallon of milk, or whatever you have on hand. The more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolism.
Pick a Smarter Side
We know, chips sound more tempting than carrots, but when you have the choice between the two at your local sandwich joint, go with the latter. Not only do you save calories, you’ll get an extra dose of fiber too. Research shows that your body burns 30 percent more calories breaking down fiber compared to other nutrients.
When you’re staring at the bag of Ruffles, take one step down the snack aisle and grab some popcorn instead. You’ll still satisfy your salty craving but at a fraction of the calories (160 calories for 12 chips, versus 93 calories for 3 cups of air-popped popcorn). Even better, a serving of popcorn contains triple the amount of fiber than potato chips, and actually is loaded with antioxidants.
Top Your Salad with Broccoli
Mom was onto something when she made you eat your greens. A half-cup serving of broccoli contains 84 percent of your daily-recommended intake of vitamin C, and low-levels of the vitamin have been show to slow your metabolism by as much as 25 percent.
Pop a Pill
Add a fish oil pill to your morning vitamin routine. Australian researchers saw an up-tick in fat-burning enzymes of exercisers who took omega-3 supplements compared to those who didn’t.
“Nix the salt shaker and replace it with hot and spicy seasonings like cayenne which can speed up your metabolism,” says Palinski. “It takes just two seconds.”
Stoke up fat burn in the amount of time it takes to brew a K-cup. A study found that two cups of caffeinated coffee could crank your metabolism by 16 percent compared to the decaf varieties.
Add Ice Cubes
Your body burns more calories digesting icy drinks than those at room temperature, most likely because it needs to warm up the liquid. One study found that your metabolism shoots up by as much as 30 percent during the 10 minutes after downing a cold glass of water.
Read the Labels
The time to spot the USDA “certified organic” sticker the next time you buy produce. People with the highest levels pesticides in their bloodstream are more likely to have sluggish metabolisms, report Canadian researchers.