10 Natural Ways to Boost Your Metabolism

Science by HLTH Code Team

Metabolism, the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy, plays a crucial role in maintaining overall health and managing weight. While genetics and age influence metabolism, there are several natural strategies you can incorporate into your routine to rev up your body’s calorie-burning potential.

1. Strength Training

Strength training, also known as resistance training, involves working your muscles against a resistance force. This type of exercise not only helps build muscle mass but also revs up your metabolism more than aerobic exercise. According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology1, muscle tissue burns more calories at rest than fat tissue does. Incorporating strength training exercises into your routine two to three times a week can help increase your muscle mass and metabolic rate over time.

2. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by brief periods of rest or lower-intensity exercise. This form of workout has been shown to boost metabolism and burn more calories both during and after exercise2. A study in the Journal of Obesity found that HIIT can increase resting metabolic rate and improve fat oxidation, making it an effective strategy for weight management and metabolic health3.

3. Get Sufficient Sleep

Quality sleep is essential for overall health, including metabolism regulation. Lack of sleep can disrupt hormone levels that regulate hunger and appetite, such as leptin and ghrelin, leading to increased cravings and reduced energy expenditure4. Aim for seven to nine hours of quality sleep per night to support optimal metabolic function.

4. Stay Hydrated

Drinking enough water is crucial for metabolism and overall health. Research published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism5 suggests that drinking water can temporarily boost metabolism by up to 30% in healthy adults. Additionally, staying hydrated ensures proper kidney function, which is essential for eliminating waste and toxins from the body.

5. Eat Protein-Rich Foods

Including protein-rich foods in your diet can help boost metabolism due to the thermic effect of food (TEF). TEF refers to the energy expenditure required to digest, absorb, and process nutrients from food. Protein has a higher TEF compared to carbohydrates and fats, meaning your body burns more calories digesting protein-rich foods6. Incorporate sources of lean protein such as chicken, fish, tofu, legumes, and nuts into your meals.



6. Cold Exposure

Exposure to cold temperatures can activate brown adipose tissue (BAT), which plays a key role in energy expenditure and metabolism. Cold exposure triggers the body to generate heat, burning calories in the process. Research published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests that regular cold exposure may increase BAT activity and energy expenditure7. Taking cold showers, swimming in cold water, or spending time outdoors in chilly weather can all stimulate metabolism.

7. Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting involves alternating periods of eating and fasting. This eating pattern has been shown to enhance metabolic health and promote weight loss. A review published in the New England Journal of Medicine concluded that intermittent fasting can improve insulin sensitivity, lipid profiles, and metabolic rate8. Additionally, fasting triggers autophagy, a cellular process that removes damaged components and promotes cellular renewal, contributing to metabolic efficiency.

8. Consume Spicy Foods

Adding spicy foods like chili peppers to your diet can temporarily increase metabolism and promote fat burning. Capsaicin, the compound responsible for the spicy flavor in peppers, has been shown to raise metabolic rate and enhance fat oxidation9. Consider adding a dash of hot sauce or cayenne pepper to your meals to reap these metabolism-boosting benefits.

9. Manage Stress Levels

Chronic stress can negatively impact metabolism and contribute to weight gain. When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol, a hormone that can increase appetite and promote fat storage, particularly around the abdomen10. Incorporate stress-reducing activities such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, or spending time in nature to help manage stress and support a healthy metabolism.

10. Avoid High-Glycemic Foods

Certain foods have been shown to have a positive impact on metabolism due to their nutrient composition or thermogenic properties, while others have a profoundly negative impact. A landmark study from Ludwig, et al, showed the harmful metabolic effect of processed carbohydrates and other refined grains, potato products and added sugars. Instead, the paper recommends consuming adequate protein, healthy fats, non-starchy vegetables and low-sugar fruits11. Incorporating these metabolism-boosting foods into your diet can help support overall metabolic health and weight management.

In conclusion, there are several natural ways to boost metabolism and support overall health. Incorporating these tips and practices can help rev up your body’s calorie-burning potential and promote optimal metabolic function.



  1. Melov, S., Tarnopolsky, M. A., Beckman, K., Felkey, K., & Hubbard, A. (2007). Resistance exercise reverses aging in human skeletal muscle. Journal of Applied Physiology, 105(6), 1677-1685.
  2. Boutcher, S. H. (2011). High-intensity intermittent exercise and fat loss. Journal of Obesity, 2011.
  3. Boutcher, S. H. (2010). High-intensity intermittent exercise and fat loss. Journal of Obesity, 2011.
  4. Taheri, S., Lin, L., Austin, D., Young, T., & Mignot, E. (2004). Short sleep duration is associated with reduced leptin, elevated ghrelin, and increased body mass index. PLoS medicine, 1(3), e62.
  5. Boschmann, M., Steiniger, J., Hille, U., Tank, J., Adams, F., Sharma, A. M., … & Jordan, J. (2003). Water-induced thermogenesis. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 88(12), 6015-6019.
  6. Westerterp, K. R., Wilson, S. A. J., & Rolland, V. (1999). Diet induced thermogenesis measured over 24h in a respiration chamber: effect of diet composition. International Journal of Obesity, 23(3), 287-292.
  7. Aaron M. Cypess, Seda Kurdak, Geoffrey J. Haft, et al. “Identification and Importance of Brown Adipose Tissue in Adult Humans.” Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, vol. 96, no. 2, pp. 382–387, 2011.
  8. Mark P. Mattson, Valter D. Longo, Michelle Harvie, et al. “Impact of intermittent fasting on health and disease processes.” New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 381, no. 26, pp. 2541–2551, 2019.
  9. Yoshioka, M., St-Pierre, S., Drapeau, V., Dionne, I., Doucet, E., Suzuki, M., & Tremblay, A. (1999). Effects of red pepper on appetite and energy intake. British Journal of Nutrition, 82(2), 115-123.
  10. Epel, E., Lapidus, R., McEwen, B., & Brownell, K. (2001). Stress may add bite to appetite in women: a laboratory study of stress-induced cortisol and eating behavior. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 26(1), 37-49.
  11. Ludwig, D. S., & Ebbeling, C. B. (2018). The carbohydrate-insulin model of obesity: beyond “calories in, calories out”. JAMA internal medicine, 178(8), 1098-1103.


This article is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice.