9 Little Things That Could Speed Up Your Metabolism

Moms are working with limited time. It may be hard to go run as often as you'd like, hit up a Zumba class at the gym, or even take a quick breather in a yoga studio. Thankfully there are little things that could speed up your metabolism, without much effort (or time).

To give you simple explanation, metabolism is how fast your body breaks down food into energy, according to the Mayo Clinic. Essentially it's what keeps you going. Some people naturally have faster metabolisms than others because of genetics. But there are ways to boost it that don't require you to be a gym rat and spend every waking hour on a treadmill. Although Harvard Medical School recommended that everyone exercise regularly for various health reasons, you don't have to cut into quality family time. You don't have to starve. In fact, you're encouraged to eat, including a snack before bed.

And to be clear, the end goal of having a faster metabolism isn't necessarily weight loss. The goal can be to simply feel more energized, and less sluggish. The good thing about giving your metabolism a jolt, is that you don't have to run marathons to do it. Here are nine little things that could speed up your metabolism, that require minimal effort from you, or, in some cases none at all.


Spice Up Your Life

There is a little compound in hot peppers called capsaicin that packs a mean punch and boosts your metabolism. In talking with nutritionist Frida Harju, from the health app Lifesum she says, "Capsaicin can increase your metabolic rate for a short time, and also suppress your appetite."

And you don't have to be a chef to use it. It's super easy to add it to your food with minimal effort. "Try sprinkling red pepper flakes onto salads and pizzas or mixing a little cayenne pepper into your coconut water," Harju says. "Not only will it prevent hunger and speed up metabolism, but it will also add a kick to even the blandest of foods."


Don't Skip Breakfast (Or Any Meal)

There is a myth out there that skipping meals helps cut calories and helps you lose weight. Not true, says Harju. "Missing breakfast will actually have the opposite effect, slowing down your metabolism and taking much longer to digest the food you consume over lunch or dinner," she says. Harju recommends eating every four hours to keep your metabolism working smoothly.


Get Some Sleep

Besides being terrible for your mood, the International Journal of Endocrinology noted that researchers have found that sleep deprivation can disrupt your metabolism. The researches added that people not getting enough shut-eye may have a hard time managing their blood sugar levels and may often feel hungry (especially for high sugar/carb foods).


Grab A Snack Before Bed

You've probably heard you that you're not supposed to eat after a certain time at night. But you should throw that logic to the side for a second, and grab a snack. (No really.)

Researchers at Florida State University found that eating a snack about 30 minutes before bed actually boosts metabolism. It can't be a candy bar though. The researchers noted that protein-filled snack, like cheese or cottage cheese, and no more than 150 calories, did the trick.

But there is a big caveat here: In order to reap the metabolism-boosting benefits from the bedtime snack, you have to exercise regularly.


Add Coconut Vinegar To Your Diet

Coconut vinegar is high in minerals, especially potassium, which helps control your blood sugar, says Harju. She suggests mixing coconut vinegar with a tablespoon of warm water and use it as a detox to kick-start your morning, or alternatively, add a dash to your salad dressing.

Try: Organic Raw Coconut Vinegar, $24, Amazon


Drink Water

There's a reason weight loss programs tell participants to drink more water. According to a study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, researchers have found that consuming water can elevate how many calories you burn a day. The body burns calories to warm up the water to body temperature in a process called thermogenesis. You also save calories by hydrating yourself with water, as opposed to sugary drinks.


Consume Caffeine

Coffee lovers and tea drinkers rejoice. Just like water, caffeine may stimulate thermogenesis in the body, which in turn, speeds up metabolism, Dr. Katherine Zeratsy wrote on the Mayo Clinic website.

The other effect caffeine has is appetite suppression. And, if weight loss is your goal with metabolism boosting, then java helps do the job.


Pack In The Protein

It doesn't matter how you get your protein, whether it's from plant-based sources, dairy or meat, you will reap the benefits. People who take in sufficient levels of protein, expend more energy at rest, according to a study published in the Journal of American Medical Association. This means they're burning calories, even when they're not exercising. Awesome, right?


Exercise Regularly

It doesn't have to be super intense or occur every single day. It can be something as a simple as an hour walk a few times a week. Just get moving. Web MD recommends an aerobic workout to kick start your metabolism. Something that provides an interval between high and low intensity.

And don't forget the weights. The same Web MD article noted that building muscle mass boosts your resting metabolism.

Again, it's not always about losing weight. It's about having enough energy to get your through your day with family and work, while feeling your personal best.

FYI, Romper may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which were added independently from Romper's sales and editorial departments after publication.