How to Get Your Metabolism Jump Started to Lose Weight

Drinking water can keep your metabolism humming along.

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To lose weight, get your body moving on the inside as well as the outside. Ultimately, it's your metabolism -- the rate at which your body burns calories -- that determines whether you'll lose any pounds. As you might imagine, performing aerobic exercise is an excellent way to get your internal motor running, as your metabolism revs up to supply the extra energy you need. You also have some less obvious options to jump start your metabolism when you're not in the gym.

Eating and Drinking


Drink plenty of water. This is partly a preventive measure because your metabolism slows down when you're dehydrated, but a 2003 study published in the "Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism" also found that your metabolism increases by about 30 percent after you drink about 2 cups of water.


Eat very spicy foods. Opinions differ on this point, but some experts, such as fitness author Dr. Lori Shemek, believe that spicy food gives your metabolism a quick boost.


Eat smaller but more frequent meals. Your body processes smaller meals easily, while large meals slow your metabolism.


Begin the day by eating breakfast and you may enjoy a faster metabolism. Include eggs, fish or melon in your meal to add Vitamin B, which helps transform food into energy. Whole wheat toast and Greek yogurt are also good breakfast choices.

Movement and Working Out


Move while you're sitting down. Tap your fingers on your desk, flex your ankles, squeeze a tennis ball or make any other movement you wish. Small movements only burn a few extra calories, but they can keep your internal fire burning, and the calories add up if you remain in motion long enough.


Perform interval training by alternating higher and lower intensity aerobic exercise for at least 20 minutes. Interval training burns more calories than comparable exercise performed at a steady rate and keeps your metabolism revving after your workout ends. For example, instead of walking on a treadmill at a steady pace, walk at your normal pace for two minutes and then jog for one minute. Continue the pattern for the remainder of your workout.


Walk as much as possible to keep your metabolism humming along. Add extra steps throughout the day by parking farther from the entrances to malls or restaurants, taking a walk during your lunch break or using the stairs rather than an elevator.


Perform strength training to increase your muscle mass. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat, even when you're at rest, giving you a faster metabolism. Use weight machines, free weights, resistance bands or do body-weight exercises. If you don't have time for the gym, perform a quick body-weight circuit of pushups, crunches and lunges to work upper body, core and lower body muscles.


  • Warm up before you exercise with five to 10 minutes of light cardio activity, such as brisk walking.


  • Check with your physician before starting a new exercise program or changing your diet significantly.
  • Don't eat spicy foods immediately before exercise.