Eat More Often

There’s some truth to the theory that eating smaller meals more frequently — every three hours or so — helps keep metabolism revved. But most studies have found that the calorie-burning effect of frequent meal times isn’t as strong as once believed.

If you eat small, regular meals throughout the day, make sure each one includes lean protein and complex carbohydrates or fiber. Avoid sugary sweets and processed foods laden with added fats, salt and sugars.

Drink More Water

Technically, your metabolism is the rate at which your body breaks down food and converts it into energy. But, there are many foods and drinks that can affect your metabolic rate for the better.

Drinking water, especially chilled water, is a simple way to boost your metabolism. The reason is that your body has to use energy to warm up the water to room temperature, causing it to burn extra calories.

Spicy Foods

A healthy metabolism can help you stay slim and prevent conditions like metabolic syndrome. But how you boost your metabolism depends on diet, exercise and other factors, such as whether you have lean muscle mass. Certain nutrients, such as protein and spicy peppers, have been proven to speed up the metabolism by raising the body’s temperature.

Chilis, salsa and other spicy foods get their heat from a substance called capsaicin. Research shows that this compound increases resting energy expenditure, which is the base amount of calories your body burns at all times, without factoring in physical activity.

Increase Protein Intake

While metabolic factors, such as aging and genetics, may be out of your control, eating right, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly can help boost your metabolism. Eating sufficient protein is key for long-term weight loss as it improves satiety, reduces hunger and helps preserve muscle mass while burning fat.

Protein also has a greater thermic effect, meaning your body burns more calories digesting it than carbs or fat. Add healthy protein sources to each meal, such as eggs, lean meats and fish, dairy, beans and fortified cereals.

Get Enough Sleep

When it comes to weight loss, sleep is a critical part of the equation. Research has shown that people who get adequate quality sleep tend to have higher metabolisms than those who don’t.

Getting enough sleep is vital because it regulates important hormones, including leptin, which suppresses appetite and boosts metabolism. Sleep deprivation can increase ghrelin levels and decrease leptin levels, which can lead to overeating and obesity.

A good night’s rest can also boost physical activity and energy levels. This is why it’s important to stick to a regular sleep schedule and avoid eating large meals or drinking alcohol right before bed.