Boost Metabolism: The Dos & Don’ts For An Active Metabolism

There’s a lot you can do to boost your metabolism – and even help you lose weight! Get your metabolism going now with these tips.

Not everyone has a well-functioning metabolism. Some people’s metabolism is bumpier than others, which often makes it difficult to lose weight if you want to.

But this is no reason to panic. A weakened metabolism can be stimulated very easily.

Lists various options for keeping the biochemical processes in the body running optimally and healthily.

How does the metabolism work?

Often digestion is equated with metabolism. This is not completely wrong, however, it is only a part, only a preliminary stage, of the whole.

Metabolism is also called metabolism, which includes all biochemical processes and procedures in each individual cell.

This metabolism is composed of all-encompassing metabolic processes: Glucose metabolism, protein synthesis (protein metabolism), and fat metabolism.

If all metabolic processes run healthily and optimally, it is easier for us to maintain or lose weight.

Those who want to boost their metabolism also distinguish between catabolic and anabolic metabolism, in which the three mentioned metabolic processes are integrated.

Catabolic and anabolic metabolism

Both processes never occur simultaneously in a cell, but always one after the other – hormones and enzymes regulate a safe sequence.

  • Catabolism is a breakdown metabolism, whereby food is broken down into individual molecules and chemical compounds to produce energy – the “engine for our body”, so to speak. For example, proteins are converted into amino acids and carbohydrates into simple sugars (glucose). The excess energy that the body does not need to maintain the functions that are essential for survival is stored as so-called “storage energy” in the fat or muscle cells.
  • Anabolism is a building metabolism that supports the construction and repair of cells. Thus, amino acids, fatty acids, and glucose are converted back into larger endogenous cell components such as proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, and can be used for muscle building, wound healing, blood renewal, or general cell renewal.

Our book tip on the subject of metabolism: “The Turbo Metabolism Principle” by sports scientist Dr. Ingo Froböse.

These factors influence the metabolism

  • gender: the male gender basically burns more energy than the female gender, simply because men have more muscle mass than women. And as is well known, muscles burn more energy.
  • age: the older you get, the slower your metabolism becomes.
  • diet: diet is often the be-all and end-all. You can influence your metabolism through targeted food intake.
  • stress and sleep: too much stress and not enough sleep are no-gos for the metabolism.

Even if points one and two cannot be influenced, with points three and four you can take the rudder into your own hands and make sure that your metabolism is boosted.

Stimulate metabolism with sports

The body needs a basic amount of energy every day to be able to survive. This energy is called the basal metabolic rate.

However, if you supply your body with more energy than it needs during the day, this energy is stored in fatty tissue and muscle cells.

When you exercise or do physical activity in your daily life, the body can selectively draw on the stored energy. If this does not happen, and you take in more energy/calories than needed, then you will gain weight.

Therefore, the best strategy to burn more calories and thus keep your metabolism active is regular everyday exercise and sports activities.

But not all sports are the same: there are several ways to increase your basal metabolic rate and burn fat in a targeted way.

More muscles = less fat

Strength training is among the most effective options for keeping your metabolism active. Not only does your body burn energy during exercise, but thanks to the muscle mass you build up, it also burns energy afterward when you’re resting.

So if you challenge your muscles on a regular basis, you will benefit from muscle growth, a steadily increasing demand for energy, and, in the end, from the after-burn effect, which means that you can also burn a lot of calories after exercise.

In short, targeted muscle building increases the basal metabolic rate and allows metabolic processes, such as fat metabolism, to take place in a more targeted manner.

Regular endurance training

Targeted interval training while running, swimming or cycling are also suitable to increase calorie consumption and to promote fat burning, especially if you eat a low-carb diet after training.

If you consume more calories than you eat (negative energy balance/calorie deficit), you will quickly get closer to your weight loss goal.

Cardio sessions don’t always have to last forever – often a maximum of 30 minutes is enough to boost fat burning to a maximum.

You achieve this mainly with high-intensity training units such as HIIT. The alternating phases of exertion and recovery boost the metabolism. During training, you push yourself to your physical limits because a lot of oxygen is consumed.

As a result, the body has to expend a lot of energy, and there is also the well-known afterburn effect: as already mentioned, this also increases your basal metabolic rate after exercise.

It’s all in the mix: the ideal training mix

Your focus should be primarily on strength training, followed by endurance units – the alternating sports routine is the guarantee for optimizing the metabolism.

Training suggestion:

  • Beginner: 2-3 days strength and 1-day endurance per week + regeneration
  • Advanced: 3-4 days strength and 2x endurance per week + regeneration

It’s best to never do the same workouts consecutively, so your body is forced to respond to the new training stimuli.

Stimulate metabolism through nutrition

If you want to lose weight, a well-functioning metabolism is especially important. With a balanced, natural, and vitamin-rich diet, you can optimize metabolic processes.

  • Fiber: Basically, fiber-containing foods such as whole grains, oat bran, legumes, and vegetables, as well as high-quality and low-fat protein and healthy fats with a positive omega-3 and omega-6 ratio activate the metabolism.
  • Proteins: Especially when breaking down protein-rich food, the body has to expend more energy – also known as the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF) or thermogenesis. Thus, the body already burns between 20 and 30 percent of the ingested proteins, which can therefore no longer land on your hips.
  • Fats: When it comes to fats, you should primarily rely on fatty fish, linseed oil, hemp oil, flaxseed, chia seeds, olive oil, or walnuts, all of which provide plenty of omega-3 fatty acids that keep your hormone balance in balance and promote muscle growth.

Drinking plenty of fluids also activates the metabolism

Do you manage to take in at least 1.5 liters of fluid every day? The German Nutrition Society (DGE) gives this value as a reference for an adult.

A better rule of thumb: 4 percent of body weight. For example, 2.4 liters at 60 kilograms.

For this, it is best to use non-carbonated water and unsweetened teas.

Drinking enough not only supports digestion but also helps to increase the basal metabolic rate: a study by Charité Berlin found that just 500 milliliters of fluid increase energy consumption by 24 percent for the next 60 minutes.

Cold water is also helpful for additional energy consumption from time to time since the body has to expend energy to heat the water to body temperature.

The role of sleep and relaxation

Fitness and nutrition trainer Silke Kayadelen puts it in a nutshell: “Everything that permanently stresses us makes us fat. Because organically, our body stays in flight mode all the time, keeping a perpetually high blood sugar level, producing more and more insulin, bringing more and more blood sugar into the cells, where it’s converted to fat.”

Whether your life is ruled by stress is indicated by your answers to the following questions: do you feel constantly dull, powerless, and tired? Do you suffer from insomnia and nervousness? Do you find it difficult to concentrate? Do you regularly crave alcohol, lots of coffee, or pills?

Three times ‘yes’ is the clear signal to actively relax from now on if you want to lose weight!

Even small changes in your daily routine can help. You can continue to pedal on the wheel – or incorporate small mindfulness aids into your daily routine from now on: Short breathing techniques, oxygen, and drinking breaks give you new energy and relax you.

Stress as a metabolism brake

Relaxing and losing weight or maintaining a comfortable weight belong together, which is why you should always allow yourself enough time to reduce stress. Because permanent stress often leads to the stress hormone cortisol being released too strongly.

The body reacts with a defensive behavior in which it reduces the fat metabolism, cannot fully carry out regeneration processes, and increasingly stores water.

In addition, increased, permanent cortisol production often leads to sleep problems. And too little sleep or sleep with too short a deep sleep phase further leads to cortisol release – a vicious circle.

Get enough sleep

Restful sleep of at least seven to eight hours is particularly important for muscle growth, muscle regeneration, and hormone balance.

The deep sleep phase at the beginning of the night’s rest is crucial – it should be at least two hours. Anything less than that doesn’t really allow the body to recover.

What happens if you sleep poorly and too little? Your insulin level remains comparatively high, and the satiety and appetite hormones leptin and ghrelin go into imbalance. Ghrelin is secreted more, it makes you feel more hungry and inhibits fat metabolism.

The release of leptin is also inhibited, so the brain constantly receives the signal that you are hungry – you may have noticed that when you don’t get enough sleep, you snack much more than usual.

Make sure you get good and sufficient sleep to keep your metabolism active and in balance.

Our book tip on the subject of hormones: “The secret bosses in the body: How hormones determine our lives and actions” by Berndt Rieger, MD.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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