Metabolism is a term that describes all the chemical reactions in your body.
These chemical reactions keep your body alive and functioning.
However, the word metabolism is often used interchangeably with metabolic rate, or the number of calories you burn.
1. Stand up More
Sitting too much is bad for your health (46Trusted Source).
Some health commentators have even dubbed it “the new smoking.” This is partly because long periods of sitting burn fewer calories and can lead to weight gain (47Trusted Source).
In fact, compared to sitting, an afternoon of standing up at work can burn an extra 174 calories (48Trusted Source).
If you have a desk job, try standing up for short periods to break up the length of time you spend sitting down. You can also invest in a standing desk (49Trusted Source, 50Trusted Source, 51Trusted Source, 52Trusted Source).
You can find standing desk kits and setups online.
2. Drink Green Tea or Oolong Tea
Green tea and oolong tea have been shown to increase metabolism by 4–5% (53Trusted Source, 54Trusted Source, 55Trusted Source).
These teas help convert some of the fat stored in your body into free fatty acids, which may increase fat burning by 10–17% (56Trusted Source).
As they are low in calories, drinking these teas may be good for both weight loss and weight maintenance (57Trusted Source, 58Trusted Source, 59Trusted Source).
It’s thought their metabolism-boosting properties may help prevent the dreaded weight loss plateau that occurs due to a decrease in metabolism.
However, some studies find that these teas do not affect metabolism. Therefore, their effect may be small or only apply to some people (60Trusted Source, 61Trusted Source).
You can find green tea and oolong tea online.
3. Eat Spicy Foods
Peppers contain capsaicin, a substance that can boost your metabolism (62Trusted Source, 63Trusted Source, 64Trusted Source).
However, many people can’t tolerate these spices at the doses required to have a significant effect (65Trusted Source).
One study of capsaicin, at acceptable doses, predicted that eating peppers would burn around 10 additional calories per meal. Over 6.5 years, this could account for 1 pound (0.5 kg) of weight loss for an average-weight male (66Trusted Source).
Alone, the effects of adding spices to your food may be quite small. However, it may lead to a slight advantage when combined with other metabolism-boosting strategies (67Trusted Source)
4. Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Lack of sleep is linked to a major increase in the risk of obesity (68Trusted Source, 69Trusted Source).
This may partly be caused by the negative effects of sleep deprivation on metabolism (70Trusted Source).
Lack of sleep has also been linked to increased blood sugar levels and insulin resistance, which are both linked to a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes (70Trusted Source, 71Trusted Source, 72Trusted Source, 73Trusted Source).
It’s also been shown to boost the hunger hormone ghrelin and decrease the fullness hormone leptin (74Trusted Source, 75Trusted Source, 76Trusted Source).
This could explain why many people who are sleep-deprived feel hungry and struggle to lose weight.
5. Drink Coffee
Studies have shown that the caffeine in coffee can boost metabolism by 3–11%. Like green tea, it also promotes fat burning (77Trusted Source, 78Trusted Source, 79Trusted Source).
However, this seems to affect lean people more. In one study, coffee increased fat burning by 29% for lean women, but only 10% for obese women (80Trusted Source).
Coffee’s effects on metabolism and fat burning may also contribute to successful weight loss and maintenance (77Trusted Source, 81Trusted Source).
6. Replace Cooking Fats With Coconut Oil
Unlike other saturated fats, coconut oil is relatively high in medium-chain fats.
Medium-chain fats can increase your metabolism more than the long-chain fats found in foods like butter (82Trusted Source, 83Trusted Source, 84Trusted Source, 85Trusted Source, 86Trusted Source).
In one study, researchers found that medium-chain fats increased metabolism by 12% compared to long-chain fats, which raised it by just 4% (87Trusted Source).
Due to the unique fatty acid profile of coconut oil, replacing some of your other cooking fats with it may have modest benefits for weight loss (88Trusted Source, 89Trusted Source).
You can find coconut oil online.