Breakfast will kickstart your metabolism.
George Doyle/Valueline/Getty Images
Your metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns calories. Moderate and vigorous exercise can increase your metabolism, but it will also increase your heart rate. This may not be an option, for instance, if you have a medical condition that prevents you from exercising at an elevated heart rate. Fortunately, you have other options to increase your metabolism. Discuss them with your doctor before choosing a course of action.
People with more lean body mass have a faster metabolism. But it takes a significant amount of muscle to increase your metabolism. According to Paige Kinucan and Len Kravitz, Ph.D., of the University of New Mexico, 4.5 pounds of muscle will add about 50 calories to your daily metabolic burn. You can perform resistance training exercises at an easy intensity to increase your metabolism without elevating your heart rate.
Eating Your Fill
You may be tempted to drastically cut your calories back in an attempt to lose weight, but this can be counter-productive. Cutting your calories back too much can decrease your metabolism, causing you to maintain your weight. Consume enough calories on a daily basis to keep your metabolism up. Your doctor or nutritionist can give you personalized recommendations; in general, women should consume at least 1,200 calories per day and men should eat roughly 1,800 daily calories.
Fueling in the Morning
Eating enough isn't the only thing that matters -- when you eat is also a factor. According to Go Ask Alice! you can increase your metabolism by eating breakfast every day. This is because your metabolism slows when you're sleeping, and eating early in the day can spur your metabolism back into action. Aim for a breakfast of between 350 and 500 calories and include complex carbohydrates, protein, unsaturated fat and fruit or vegetables. Caffeine can also increase your metabolism so feel free to enjoy a morning cup of joe.
There are a number of undesirable things that can boost your metabolism. For instance, a sustained fever will increase your metabolism but it is unhealthy. Tobacco use can also increase your metabolism but it has potentially lethal long-term effects. An increased level of thyroid production can increase your metabolism, but it's outside of your control and excessive thyroid hormone production can cause medical problems.
- George Doyle/Valueline/Getty Images