We hear the word metabolism a lot when it comes to hitting weight loss goals. So before we can talk about how to rev up your metabolism, you must first understand its nature. Metabolism is the chemical processes that occur within a living organism in order to maintain life. In layman’s terms, it is the process in which your body breaks down foods and liquids to generate energy. Calories inside foods and liquids will combine with oxygen to release the energy our bodies need to function. For this reason, reaching your fitness goals is as much science as it is physical.

Having a speedy metabolism is the holy grail for anyone who is trying to lose weight. Some people are naturally born with a speedy metabolism. Men will naturally burn more calories than women, even when resting. For most people, like you and me, our metabolisms will start to slow down after the age of 40, making it even more difficult to hit our weight loss goals. We may have no control over age and genetics, but there are ways we can rev up our metabolism.

The first is to start lifting weights. Muscles will burn six calories just to sustain themselves whereas fat will only utilize two calories. This difference will add up over time, not to mention that after a strength training session your muscles will be fired up and accelerate their burning rate.

Not into weight lifting? No problem. A high-intensity workout, like a burst of sprints while walking or workouts that increase and lower your heart rate, will not just rev up your metabolism but keep it going an hour after the training session ends.

Be sure to hydrate during your sessions, as well as all day long, because signs of dehydration in the body will slow down the metabolism. Other liquids known to boost your metabolism and help your body to burn more calories for energy are black coffee and green or oolong tea. My personal preference is a warmup of oolong tea before consuming any foods. Researchers have proven that drinking two to four cups of tea can boost your body to burn up to 17% more calories during a training session.

Just as consuming these specific liquids will rev up metabolism, so will eating spicy foods and protein. Your body will actually burn more calories digesting protein than it will carbs and fats, which is why keto and paleo diets work so well. However, not enough carbs and fats can jeopardize your energy levels, so just because you will burn more calories, protein, carbs and fats still have a role to play in the body. Unless prescribed by your doctor, research suggests not to leave them out of your daily diet.

How do you know which one will work best for you? My suggestion would be to pick one of the above and try it for 14–30 days while monitoring your progress. 

Alex Garzaro is a lifestyle strategist, weight loss expert for women and transformational speaker. The views expressed are her own.

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