How to Increase Metabolism for Weight Loss

Jenna Hilton
February 22, 2024

Metabolism is a self-regulating mechanism that helps your body turn food into energy. A slower metabolic rate may thwart weight loss regardless of your efforts. That is why it is essential to learn how to boost metabolism to manage weight, increase energy, and stay fit.

This article gives you 12 actionable tips to help you improve your metabolism to jumpstart weight loss.

how to increase metabolism for weight loss

12 Ways to Increase Metabolism for Weight Loss

The weight-loss puzzle has many pieces that need to come together to produce lasting results. The good news is that there are ways to speed up your metabolism and lose weight.

1. Do High-Intensity Workouts or Weight Train

Muscle cells are more metabolically active than fat because they burn more calories. People with more muscle mass burn more calories at rest, and regular physical exercise will enable you to drop extra pounds even when relaxing.

Two activities with the greatest metabolic impact are the following:

  • High-intensity interval training (HIIT) – Short bursts of intense physical activity increase calorie burn in less time than moderate-intensity workouts. Scientists demonstrated that a single HIIT workout can increase metabolic rate for hours after exercise. Studies also show that each session burns 25% to 30% more calories than other exercises.
  • Weight training (strength training, resistance training) – Strength training builds lean muscle mass and fires up the metabolism by increasing the resting metabolic rate with a powerful caloric afterburn effect.
Working out to increase metabolism.

Note: You can pair your workouts with CoolTone muscle-toning treatments to achieve a well-defined, chiseled look.

2. Don't Skip Meals

Skipping meals is stressful for the body and often leads to overeating. Without a regular nutrient intake, the body starts conserving energy to survive the perceived threat of “food scarcity.” This self-imposed conservation mode slows the metabolism.

Moreover, irregular meals destabilize blood sugar levels, causing energy dips, mood swings, and emotional eating. Appetite suppressants can help you curb unhealthy cravings, but they can’t help much if you don’t eat regularly.

You can eliminate this bad habit by planning and preparing your meals in advance.

Note: Discover the best appetite suppressants to increase satiety and enhance calorie burning.

3. Drink More Water

Research confirms that increased hydration leads to weight loss. Your body needs water to metabolize stored fat and carbohydrates. Drinking water can also help you lose weight by reducing liquid calorie intake (e.g., soda, juice).

If you are dehydrated, your metabolism slows down, and you are more likely to experience muscle cramps and fatigue after workouts.

There is no standard recommendation for daily water intake, but you can get more hydrated by:

  • Carrying a bottle of water with you.
  • Eating more soups and liquid-rich meals.
  • Cutting down on dehydrating drinks (e.g., coffee, alcohol).
  • Snacking on fresh fruits and vegetables.
Drinking water to increase metabolism for weight loss.

4. Eat Smaller Portions, But More Often

You may have heard that small, frequent meals speed up metabolism and aid weight loss. There are no conclusive studies to support this popular claim. Nevertheless, healthy, balanced, small-portion meals prevent binge eating, stabilize blood sugar levels, and provide a steady supply of nutrients. Digesting food also activates metabolism slightly by producing a thermic effect.

There is no “optimal” number of meals that applies to everyone. Listen to your body’s cues and consult a professional nutritionist to optimize your meal frequency.  

5. Eat at Regular Times

Your body loves consistency and predictability. Research indicates that a regular eating pattern and regular fasting periods benefit your metabolism by:

  • Boosting stress resilience.
  • Improving circadian rhythmicity.
  • Reducing inflammation.
  • Supporting gut flora.

Note: Find out how intermittent fasting supports weight loss.

Eating regularly to increase metabolism for weight loss.

6. Eat Metabolism-Boosting Foods

Adopt a fat-burning diet rich in fiber and protein to prolong satiety and rev up your metabolism. Here is a list of some of the most effective metabolism-boosting foods:

  • Protein-rich foodAmino acids are protein compounds vital for breaking down food into nutrients, supporting the immune system, and building muscles. Sources of complete proteins include eggs, poultry, fish, beef, pork, quinoa, and soy.
  • Food rich in iron, magnesium, and zincAnemia causes weight fluctuations due to iron deficiency, magnesium helps weight loss, and zinc-fortified food plays a key role in metabolic regulation. Good sources of these minerals are oysters, red meat, poultry, spinach, liver, tofu, and legumes.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids – You can promote metabolic health with mackerel, salmon, oysters, herring, flaxseed, chia seeds, walnuts, and soybeans.
  • Spicy food – Spicing up your meals with cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, peppers, and chilies can raise your metabolic resting state and regulate your appetite.
  • Green tea – This herbal beverage contains caffeine and catechin that speed up metabolism, break down fat, and increase energy expenditure.
  • Oolong teaStudies show that it decreases body fat content by improving lipid metabolism, thereby reducing the risk of obesity.
  • Coffee – Caffeine is a powerful substance that can boost your metabolic rate, promote fat-burning for energy, and improve exercise performance.
  • Grapefruit – According to new research, half a fresh grapefruit before meals can significantly help weight loss and potentially reduce insulin levels.
  • Celery – This low-caloric vegetable packed with anti-inflammatory compounds, water, and dietary fiber improves digestion, produces a thermic effect of 8%, and flushes out toxins.

Note: Find out if rice is good for weight loss and how to pick the best type for weight management.

Metabolism-boosting foods.

7. Supplement with Vitamins, Minerals, and Medication

Vitamins and minerals are crucial for metabolic health because they impact energy storage and release and help the body metabolize carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

The following supplements have shown positive effects on metabolism:

  • Vitamin B – The water-soluble B vitamins help break down nutrients and transform food into energy. Vitamin B12 – This vitamin turns carbs into glucose and maintains optimal energy levels.
  • Vitamin C – This vitamin reduces post-workout oxidative stress, speeding up metabolism and helping you burn more calories at rest. It also increases iron absorption, which is necessary for overall health.
  • Chromium – This mineral helps metabolize nutrients, reduces sugar cravings and fat accumulation, and regulates glucose levels.
  • Resveratrol – This powerful antioxidant enhances metabolic vitality and aids weight loss by improving insulin sensitivity, preserving gut barrier function, and increasing beneficial gut bacteria.
  • Metformin – This FDA-approved drug is typically prescribed for type 2 diabetes as it lowers glucose levels, enhances insulin sensitivity, reduces the amount of visceral fat, and increases the feeling of fullness.  
  • Low-dose naltrexone – LDN is an FDA-approved prescription drug used off-label to treat obesity by reducing appetite, regulating insulin resistance, and improving thyroid function to boost metabolism.
  • Topiramate – Doctors prescribe it off-label to reduce appetite and increase satiety as part of a weight loss strategy.

Note: Find out if you are a good candidate for a medically supervised weight loss program and check out our medical weight loss pricing.

8. Avoid Low-Calorie Crash Diets

Low-calorie fad diets set unrealistic expectations by promising fast results. While crash diets may help you drop pounds quickly, they also cause lean muscle loss and nutritional deficiencies.

Crash diets also trigger metabolic slowdown, which occurs when the body enters “starvation mode” and tries to conserve energy. The final result of this kind of dieting is rapid weight gain once you resume normal eating.

9. Get Quality Sleep

According to one study, lack of sleep can decrease your resting metabolic rate as the body combats sleep deprivation by trying to conserve energy needed for survival. You can increase your metabolism by sleeping 7 to 8 hours every night and going to bed earlier.

Note: Natural supplements, such as Relora, can help you promote deep restorative sleep, calm the nervous system, and shorten sleep latency.

Vibrant Relora supplement for increasing metabolism to support weight loss.

10. Reduce Stress

Stress and weight gain are inextricably linked. Chronic stress is characterized by elevated cortisol levels that can disrupt metabolic processes in the following ways:

  • Increasing appetite and causing cravings for sugary, salty, high-calorie food.
  • Promoting visceral fat storage, typically around the waist (i.e., hormonal belly fat).
  • Decreasing testosterone levels, thus reducing lean muscle mass, is necessary for optimal metabolic function.
  • Creating a habit of emotional eating as a stress-coping mechanism.

You can relieve stress by engaging in relaxing activities, taking supplements and vitamins for stress, and prioritizing quality time with family and friends.

Reducing stress improves the metabolism and aids weight loss efforts.

11. Practice Cold Exposure

Research shows that cold exposure improves energy expenditure and metabolic health. Cold temperature activates the brown adipose tissue (BAT) responsible for turning glucose and fat molecules into heat. The result is reduced inflammation, swelling, and increased blood flow. This altered energy balance has a preventive impact on diabetes and obesity.

You can expose yourself to cold daily in a shower or a plunge. Experts recommend gradual immersion that allows your body to ease into the practice and build tolerance for cold over time.

Refrain from cold exposure if you are pregnant or have a heart condition, respiratory problems, or cardiovascular issues. Always consult a medical professional before trying something new.

12. Check Your Thyroid

Hormones and weight loss are closely connected, and an impaired thyroid can be an obstacle to achieving your weight goals. Thyroid hormones are responsible for oxygen consumption, respiration rate, and thermoregulation. Insufficient thyroid production (hypothyroidism) impacts these three metabolic processes, affecting overall health.

To restore thyroid health, consult your doctor, who will perform lab tests, prescribe thyroid medication if necessary, and recommend lifestyle modifications.

Note:  Check out these 19 practical weight loss tips to achieve your goal faster.


Slimming down can be a challenge with a sluggish metabolism and poor habits. Luckily, there are ways to speed up your metabolic rate and achieve your desired weight.

For professional advice, consult our weight loss experts at Vibrant Vitality Clinic.

Jenna Hilton
Jenna Hilton has been a practicing PA since 2009, specializing in Family, Internal Medicine and Medical Aesthetics. She attended Arizona State University where she received her Bachelor's Degree and graduated magna cum laude. She received her Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies from A.T. Still University.

Jenna has been injecting neurotoxin and dermal filler since 2013. She received certification as a Master Injector in 2017 through Empire Medical in Los Angeles, California. She is currently working on a Fellowship Program in Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine through the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine. Her special interests include use of PLLA, Ablative/Non ablative skin resurfacing, PDO threads, hormone therapy and nutritional therapies to improve cellular regeneration and medically supervised weight loss.

Jenna Hilton believes in a multi-factorial approach, considering internal factors that accelerate aging and disease development. She always enjoys teaching. She co-founded Vibrant EDU courses at Vibrant Skin Bar and regularly performs one-on-one training with fellow injectors. She teaches Aesthetic and Advanced Injectable Courses at National Laser Institute. She has been named Preceptor of the Year and is an Adjunct Faculty Member at Midwestern University. She was born in Iowa, and lives with her husband and three children in Phoenix, AZ.

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