Once you’re committed to a healthy diet and regular workout routine, here are seven more ways you can keep your metabolism revved up and burning the maximum amount of fat and calories throughout the day.
Eat breakfast daily
You’ve heard it a million times: Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Aside from giving you the energy you need to get going in the morning, a balanced breakfast will also help jumpstart your metabolism and let your body know it’s time to begin burning fat and calories. Fuel up with a balanced breakfast that includes lean protein, nutrient-dense, high-fiber carbs, low-fat dairy, and healthy fats.
The early bird catches the worm, and that’s true for people who exercise first thing in the morning, too. Current research suggests that if you exercise right after waking up, you’ll have slightly more energy during the day to burn more calories than you would if you were to wait to work out until later in the day. But if you’re not a morning person, don’t worry! Exercising at any time of day is better than not exercising at all.
Strengthen that core
Doing exercises that strengthen the vital muscles in your abdomen, back, pelvis, and hips improves balance, stability, posture, and coordination, tones your arms and legs, and increases your flexibility. But did you know that building up your core muscles also helps you burn more calories? It does! So break out the dumbbells and start alternating a core-strengthening workout of crunches, squats, and lunges on days when you’re not doing your cardio interval routine.
Any additional physical activity you do will help rev up your metabolism and burn those calories, so keep moving! Bike around town instead of driving. Get up from your desk once an hour and walk down the hall. Do a quick-timed clean-up of your house. Walk your dog. Play with your kids. Try a new activity, like swing dancing, indoor rock climbing, yoga, or golf. The more you move, the more calories you’ll burn.
This is one of the easiest things you can do to burn more calories. Drinking water helps keep your body hydrated, your systems functioning, and your metabolism fully charged. And the water is also filling you up without adding any extra calories. Drink a glass of water before every meal and when you are thirsty throughout the day, and especially before and after exercising. Bottoms up!
Get your caffeine fix
Your daily cup (or two) of Joe may do more than just wake you up. Because it’s a stimulant, the caffeine the coffee contains can also boost the number of calories you burn. A cup of coffee loaded with cream and/or sugar may still stimulate your metabolism, but it’ll also stick you with plenty of empty calories. Instead, take your coffee with fat-free or 1% milk and a sugar substitute, if necessary. Not a coffee fan? Try green or black tea. If you don’t add anything to the tea, it contains zero calories, plus the polyphenols in tea appear to have additional calorie-burning properties.
Get more zzzs
Do you get at least 8 hours of sleep each night? If you’re like most Americans, you don’t, and it can mess with your metabolism. Not getting enough zzzs interferes with the hormones that regulate your hunger levels, leaving you both tired and hungry, which can set you up for overeating and weight gain. Getting the right amount of good quality sleep will keep your metabolism running smoothly and help you burn more calories more efficiently.