Wondering how to speed up metabolism? Here’s what to know

Medically reviewed by Rosanna Sutherby, PharmD on January 12, 2020. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.


Metabolism is the biological process during which the food and drinks you consume get converted into energy to help your body perform necessary functions every day. While there are several misconceptions about how to influence metabolism, understanding its function and what factors can contribute to your body’s ability to convert energy can give you better insight into how to get closer to your weight loss or weight gain goals.


Check your levels of three key hormones that affect metabolism and weight (cortisol, testosterone, and thyroid-stimulating hormone or TSH) with the easy-to-use, at-home Metabolism Test. Note that this test does not give you a measurement of your metabolic rate.


Want to better understand how one might speed up metabolism and burn fat? We break down how metabolism works and some potential ways to speed up metabolism in this article, so read on to learn more.

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How can I speed up my metabolism to help lose weight?

Your body needs energy to perform essential functions necessary to live. Even when you are resting, your body is burning energy to breathe, circulate blood in your veins, and repair cells. The energy your body uses to perform these basic functions is described by your basal metabolic rate.

You may be wondering how to speed up your metabolism to potentially help with weight loss. One of the most effective ways to boost your metabolism for weight loss is by building more lean muscle tissue. Because muscle uses a lot more energy than fat while in a rest state, more muscle mass means you burn more calories (even when you’re resting), and your metabolic rate increases. So, if you’re looking to increase your basal metabolic rate, focus on building more lean muscle mass and reducing your overall body fat.

Some physical activities that could help promote a faster metabolism include:

  • Strength training
  • Weight lifting
  • Aerobic exercises
  • Resistance training
  • HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts

Consider discussing the changes you plan to make to your daily physical activity and weight loss goals with your healthcare provider before starting a new fitness program. They may be able to provide helpful resources and insights specific to your weight, body composition, and metabolism.


Experiencing changes in your weight or energy levels and aren’t sure why? The Everlywell at-home Metabolism Test lets you check 3 key hormones commonly associated with metabolism and weight to help narrow down possible causes and determine whether a hormone imbalance may be affecting your metabolism. Note that this test does not give you a measurement of your metabolic rate.


How long does it take to speed up metabolism?

There is no clear answer for how long it takes to speed up your metabolism. Everybody is different and lifestyle, eating habits, and other factors may play a role in how your metabolic rate changes over time.

A change in your metabolism won’t happen overnight, and to keep your progress consistent, you should start slow instead of trying to change your entire lifestyle overnight. Creating slow changes in your daily caloric intake and physical activity may be effective for reaching more long-term goals because you are more likely to incorporate these new, small habits into your overall lifestyle.

Which foods boost metabolism and help burn fat?

The truth is that there is no magic metabolism booster that can speed up a person’s metabolism, especially not overnight. While some foods are known to slightly speed up the basal metabolic rate, scientists don’t think this boost is significant enough to have long term effects on your weight loss. That being said, incorporating healthier, protein-packed foods into your diet could help you build up your lean muscle mass, which may have the effect of increasing your metabolic rate.

Of course, just because you make it a point to focus your diet on foods like these doesn’t guarantee by any means that you’ll lose significant amounts of weight or fat; thus, it’s best to talk with your healthcare provider about weight loss or fat loss to learn what they recommend for you specifically.

What vitamins should I take to speed up my metabolism?

Vitamins and other supplements are not able to directly boost your metabolism. However, vitamins are important nutrients that help boost your body’s overall daily performance and well-being, which can help you take better control of your weight loss or weight gain goals. So making sure you’re getting the right amounts of key vitamins (like vitamin D, which you can check with a Vitamin D Test) is a great idea all around. Of course, don’t forget to consult with your healthcare provider before adding a new supplement (such as a vitamin supplement) to your diet.

How to check on your metabolism from home

Your metabolic rate is unique to your body and it’s difficult to speed up or slow down your metabolism in a sustained way by merely eating certain foods. However, checking in on hormones in your body that play a key role in your energy and weight may give you better insight into your metabolism.

Learn your levels of 3 key hormones (cortisol, testosterone, and thyroid-stimulating hormone or TSH) that affect metabolism and weight with the Everlywell at-home Metabolism Test. This at-home lab test lets you easily collect your sample from the comfort of your home, send it to a CLIA-certified lab for testing using the prepaid mailer provided in the kit, and get digital results in just a few days. The test can help indicate if a hormone imbalance may be interfering with your weight gain or weight loss goals. Note that this test does not give you a measurement of your metabolic rate.


What is fast metabolism?

Signs of a slow metabolism

Signs of a fast metabolism


References

1. Metabolism and weight loss: How you burn calories. Mayo Clinic. URL. Accessed January 12, 2020.

2. How can I speed up my metabolism? National Health Service. URL. Accessed January 12, 2020.

3. Noreen EE, Sass MJ, Crowe ML, Pabon VA, Brandauer J, Averill LK. Effects of supplemental fish oil on resting metabolic rate, body composition, and salivary cortisol in healthy adults. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010 Oct 8;7:31. PMID: 20932294; PMCID: PMC2958879.

4. St-Onge MP, Ross R, Parsons WD, Jones PJ. Medium-chain triglycerides increase energy expenditure and decrease adiposity in overweight men. Obes Res. 2003 Mar;11(3):395-402. PMID: 12634436.

5. Vander Wal JS, Gupta A, Khosla P, Dhurandhar NV. Egg breakfast enhances weight loss. Int J Obes (Lond). 2008 Oct;32(10):1545-51. Epub 2008 Aug 5. PMID: 18679412; PMCID: PMC2755181.

6. Dietary Supplements for Exercise and Athletic Performance. National Insitutes of Health. URL.

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