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12 Metabolism Hacks to Help You Lose Weight Faster (PHOTOS)​

woman standing on a scale Contrary to popular belief, weight loss isn't always as simple as the amount of calories you're eating vs. the amount you're burning. A whole bunch of other factors can affect the scale, from genetics to gender. And of course, your metabolism, or the rate and efficacy with which your body can burn calories, is a biggie.

While we obviously don't have control over all the things influencing our ability to shed pounds, there are metabolism-boosting hacks that may help. And believe it or not, a lot of them are actually fun, and so delicious they may make your mouth water!

More from The Stir: Low-Carb vs. Low-Fat: The Better Diet Comes as No Surprise to Me

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Nutrition expert Deborah Orlick Levy, M.S., R.D., a consultant with health food brand Carrington Farms, enlightened us on the most effective metabolism-boosting habits out there. And no joke -- they're so simple that incorporating them into your routine will feel like a no-brainer! Click below to see them, then tell us:

Which of these metabolism hacks has worked best for you?


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1Eating breakfast

"Eating breakfast is essential to jump-starting your metabolism for the day," says Levy. "When we skip breakfast, we tend to over-eat later in the day, which can actually slow down metabolism in the long run." As if that weren't enough, research published in the Journal of Nutrition found that missing breakfast causes metabolic and hormonal shifts in the responses to foods consumed later in the morning. Eek!

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2Weight training

It's so easy to get hooked on cardio (hopping on the elliptical or taking a Zumba class), but building lean muscle with weight training is important, too -- especially when it comes to boosting metabolism. "Muscle is composed of metabolically active tissue, which means that it requires energy to be built, used, and maintained," explains Levy. "In contrast, fat tissue lies dormant and does not contribute to calorie-burning at all." She recommends incorporating weight training into a workout regimen 2-3 times per week to maximize metabolism.

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3Drinking ice cold water

We all know drinking water is good. Drinking ice water, it turns out, may be even better! "There is a slight metabolic boost that can be gained," Levy says. "Your body burns calories when it has to raise the temperature of ice water to your body temperature." Still, as long as you're drinking at least the recommended eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, you'll be doing your metabolism -- and your waistline -- a favor.

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4Spicing up your eats

Capsaicin, found in spicy foods like hot peppers, has been shown to not only help boost metabolism but satisfy hunger too. "It works by creating a bump in heat generation, which helps burn more calories immediately after a meal," notes Levy. If you're not a fan of chili peppers, try black pepper or ginger, which have similar effects.

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5Picking a calcium-rich snack

When you're craving a snack, you'll do well to reach for a cup of low-fat yogurt. Research from the University of Copenhagen found that calcium helps the body metabolize fat more efficiently by increasing the rate at which it gets rid of fat as waste.

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6Upping your lean protein intake

No need to dive into the meat-packed Paleo diet, but adding more lean protein will boost your potential for calorie-torching. "Lean protein has a high thermic effect, meaning your body will burn more calories to digest it," explains Levy. She recommends incorporating things like low-fat cheese, beans, chicken, fish, and peanut butter into meals and snacks. "These foods will rev your metabolism, keeping you energized and fueled all day long," she says.

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7Drinking caffeine

While we're not talking about sugary, caloric, flavored coffees (yes, including pumpkin spice lattes!), research shows caffeine stimulates metabolic rate. Your best bets are unsweetened coffee or green tea. "However, moderation is key here," warns Levy. "With greater intakes of caffeine, people become more tolerant to its effects and it stops working!"

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8Swapping pesticide-laden produce for organic

While buying every last fruit and veggie from the organic section of your grocery store isn't necessary, you may want to swap out some of the most pesticide-ridden ones. Dieters with the most organochlorides (chemicals found in pesticides) stored in their fat cells were the most susceptible to disruptions in mitochondrial activity and thyroid function, according to a study published in the journal Toxicological Sciences. In other words, it compromised their metabolisms!

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9Boosting your omega-3s

"EPA and DHA, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil, can help to increase levels of fat-burning enzymes and thus, offer a metabolic benefit," says Levy. What's more, research published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found fish oil can help increase lean muscle mass and decrease fat mass. "Just make sure to look for fish oil supplements containing at least 300 mg of EPA and DHA total," notes Levy. "The best option is to consume the fish that are high in the naturally-occurring EPA/DHA if possible, because fish oil supplements may cause gastrointestinal distress for some people."

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10Interval training

Incorporating fat-burning interval training -- workouts that alternate between intense bursts of activity and periods of recovery -- into your exercise routine will boost your ability to keep unwanted pounds at bay. "Interval training means increased fat burning and more muscle preserved," shares Levy. "The best news is that the metabolic benefits of interval training last for hours after your workout!"

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11Snacking frequently

Snacking more often means extra calories that end up as extra weight, right? Not necessarily! "Snacking throughout the day allows for better blood sugar control, which can help to regulate metabolism in the long-run," explains Levy. "When you eat large meals with many hours in between, your metabolism slows down between meals, because your body doesn’t know the next time it will be fed." Instead, try having a snack or smaller meal every 3-4 hours, she suggests, which will have your metabolism functioning at "optimal levels." That way, "you burn more calories over the course of a day." The best fat-blasting snacks are those high in lean protein (see #5 and #6!).

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