We should be exercising regularly to keep our hearts healthy. However, while not everyone has time to exercise, this doesn’t mean you don’t care about your metabolism. This might leave you looking for ways to boost your metabolism without exercising. Luckily, there are several things you can do that don’t involve working out that can get your body’s metabolism revving throughout the day.
Jim White, R.D., an American College of Sports Medicine-certified health-fitness instructor and the owner of Jim White Fitness & Nutrition Studios in Virginia, spoke to Details and noted, “Your metabolism is the sum of everything your body does to convert food into energy.” While exercising is a good way to get the blood flowing and enhance your metabolism’s performance, it’s not the only way to go. In fact, simple lifestyle strategies can do the trick, White said. By focusing on the times of the day that we eat, what we eat, what we drink, and how much we laugh, we can quickly begin achieving a boosted metabolism. That translates to us burning calories here and there with seemingly very little effort.
Exercise enthusiasts would likely be less than thrilled to hear I’m condoning not exercising (here is a list of 19 reasons Psychology Today recommends exercising), however my goal here to give those who genuinely don’t have time to workout regularly other means of tending to their bodies. Here are six ways to boost your metabolism without having to hit the gym:
1. Always Eat Breakfast
When your parents lectured you as a child on the importance of eating breakfast before heading to school, they weren’t kidding. Back then you probably cared way less about your metabolism, but today, you’ll be happy to learn eating breakfast works magic on your body’s ability to maintain energy levels throughout the day. According to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center, your metabolism performs at the most optimal speed when you’re consuming regular and frequent meals. This includes breakfast, which they noted can increase your resting metabolism by up to 10-percent. According to Medical Daily, starting the day with breakfast helps ignite thermogenesis, which is the metabolic process of digesting and transporting food.
2. Start Your Day With A Glass Or Two Of Ice Water
Kian Ameli, owner of the Concord, California location of Momentum Fitness, told Fox News that drinking ice water as soon as you wake up “gets your blood pumping and blood flowing, which boosts your metabolism one- to two-percent.” Then, consider drinking cold water throughout the rest of the day. Prevention noted that German researchers found drinking six cups of cold water per day can increase metabolism by around 50 calories per day. Why the increase? The study suggested this is because the body is burning up more calories trying to convert the cold water to warm body temperature.
3. Eat A Snack Before Bedtime
Another time I “must eat”? Sounds great to me! According to Women’s Health, having a 100-200 calorie snack before bedtime may help keep your metabolism going, therefore potentially burning more calories while you sleep. A great snack to try before bedtime is celery. It’s seriously like some sort of miracle food. According to Fox News, it takes more calories to digest celery than it contains. Basically, it’s a negative calorie food — so eat up if you're not that hungry but want to keep your metabolism working.
4. Give Your Body Some Necessary Caffeine
... in moderation, of course! According to Prevention, caffeine stimulates your nervous system. That said, having that morning coffee you enjoy so much could increase your metabolism 5 to 8 percent, according to Prevention — just by using the power of caffeine to rev your metabolism! More of a tea kinda gal? You’re in luck. Prevention also noted a brewed cup of tea can increase metabolism by 12 percent.
5. Avoid Too Many Deep Fried Foods
It should come as no surprise that by constantly eating foods that are deep-fried — or any other foods that are loaded with trans fats — we aren't doing our bodies any favors, even if they taste really, really good. However, what you might not realize are the effects these fats have on our ability to burn calories. Mark Hyman, M.D., an integrative and functional medicine specialist in private practice in Lenox, Massachusetts, and author of Ultrametabolism: The Simple Plan for Automatic Weight Loss, spoke to Health about this, and said that trans fats slow the body’s ability to burn fat. He noted trans fats bind to fat and liver cells, thereby slowing metabolism. What’s more, trans fats also cause insulin resistance and inflammation — causing a slowed metabolism and weight gain.
Instead, swap in the good kind of fat — omega-3 fatty acids. According to DailyMakeover.com, salmon is a great example of a food rich in omega-3 fatty acids that can help boost metabolism. These fats are good for multiple other reasons, too: They can decrease the risk of heart disease, help regulate heartbeat, help lower blood pressure, increase ability to focus, and improve mood, among other benefits.
6. Go To A Comedy Show
Seriously! Laughter gets that metabolism revving, according to Medical Daily. The outlet cited a 2007 study out of the International Journal of Obesity that found laughter causes a 10 to 20 percent increase in energy expenditure. Medical Daily explained this means laughing for 10 to 15 minutes could translate to a faster metabolism.
By trying some of the tactics mentioned here you could boost your metabolism without even stepping one foot into your gym. While exercise will absolutely add to the power of your metabolism in burning calories, these tricks can work wonders on their own as well.