5 min read

Whether your metabolism has begun to slow down as you age or you were born with your parent's sluggish metabolism, increasing your metabolic rate and boosting the number of calories you burn daily is a key goal for many people. Moreover, the benefits of increased metabolism go beyond weight loss; a higher metabolism can increase your energy levels and boost your overall sense of well-being and emotional balance. So what steps can you take to speed up metabolism? From probiotic supplements to adding more protein to your diet - we've got you covered.

Increase the amount of protein you eat

Eating actually boosts your metabolism temporarily, as your body has to expend additional calories in order to digest, process and absorb the nutrients in your food. This process is known as the thermic effect of food, and certain foods have a higher thermic effect than others. In particular, protein has been shown to cause a significantly larger increase in metabolic rate than either carbohydrates or fats. As a Yale University School of Medicine study indicated, protein consumption boosts metabolism by 15 to 30 percent, compared to just five to percent for carbs and zero to three percent for fats.

In addition, adding protein to your diet has additional benefits that go hand-in-hand with the goal of boosting your metabolism. A diet high in protein has been linked to feeling fuller for longer, reducing overeating. Increasing protein intake has also been associated with maintaining muscle as you lose weight, key for keeping your metabolism higher as you shed pounds.

Incorporate high-intensity interval training (HIIT) into your workouts

Many people understand the importance of increased activity in boosting metabolism, but choosing the right kind of exercise routine is key to achieving the best metabolic boosting results. High-intensity interval training, also known as HIIT, involves periods of short, intense activity alternated with slower recovery periods. Studies have shown that high-intensity intervals increase your body's metabolism even after your workout is over--something that exercise done at a steady level of exertion like most cardio routines cannot do.

Begin a strength training regimen

Research suggests that a person's resting muscle metabolism plays the largest role in determining their overall metabolic rate. What does this mean? Increasing your muscle mass can help speed up your metabolism. Adding in strength training workouts alongside high-intensity intervals for cardiovascular exercise can help build muscle and improve your metabolic rate. Indeed, studies have found that individuals with a higher percentage of lean muscle mass burn more calories throughout the day, whether they are actively exercising or in bed sleeping.

Make sure you get enough sleep

The results of lack of sleep on your energy levels and sense of well-being are obvious and immediate, but the negative side effects of too little sleep on your metabolism may go deeper than that. According to research conducted by the Brody School of Medicine, chronic sleep deprivation has a significant effect on glucose metabolism and the levels of hormones involved in metabolic regulation.7 In other words, regularly getting less than a full night's sleep can slow your metabolism down. Indeed, additional studies have linked insufficient sleep to an increased risk of becoming overweight or obese.

In addition, because lack of sleep has also been shown to increase the hormones associated with hunger and decrease the hormones associated with a feeling of fullness, not getting enough sleep can make it harder to eat correctly to maintain your metabolism.9 The key take away? Aim for a full eight hours in bed.

Add a daily probiotic supplement to your routine

Refining your diet and workout routine are effective ways to boost your metabolism, but these changes are often challenging to implement. One effortless way to increase your metabolism is to add a probiotic supplement to your daily routine. By helping balance the bacterial populations of your gut microbiome, a probiotic supplement can effectively change the way your body processes foods and thus your metabolic rate.

For example, a study conducted by Imperial Collage London researchers found that taking a probiotic supplement boosts metabolizing of bile acids, which in turn break down fats and may affect the amount of fat that the body ultimately stores. Other studies have shown that probiotics play a role in the body's hormone levels, further affecting metabolism and reducing the risk of obesity.

In short, by incorporating simple yet effective changes to your diet, exercise routine and daily supplements, it is possible to speed up metabolism, improving your ability to lose weight and increasing your energy levels.


Pesta D, Samuel V. A high-protein diet for reducing body fat: mechanisms and possible caveats. Nutr Metab (Lond). 11: 53. 2014.

Lejeune MP, Westerterp KR, Adam TC, Luscombe-Marsh ND, Westerterp-Plantenga MS. Ghrelin and glucagon-like peptide 1 concentrations, 24-h satiety, and energy and substrate metabolism during a high-protein diet and measured in a respiration chamber. Am J Clin Nutr. 83(1):89-94. 2006.

Mettler S, Mitchel N, Tipton KD. Increased protein intake reduces lean body mass loss during weight loss in athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 42(2):326-37. 2010.

Hazell TJ, Olver TD, Hamilton CD, Lemon P WR. Two minutes of sprint-interval exercise elicits 24-hr oxygen consumption similar to that of 30 min of continuous endurance exercise. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 22(4):276-83. 2012.

Zurlo F, Larson K, Bogardus C, Ravussin E. Skeletal muscle metabolism is a major determinant of resting energy expenditure. J Clin Invest. 86(5):1423-7. 1990.

Vermorel M, Lazzer S, Bitar A, Ribeyre J, Montaurier C, Fellmann N, Coudert J, Meyer M, Boirie Y. Contributing factors and variability of energy expenditure in non-obese, obese, and post-obese adolescents. Reprod Nutr Dev. 45(2):129-42. 2005.

Sharma S, Kavuru M. Sleep and Metabolism: An Overview. Int J Endocrinol. 2010: 270832. 2010.

Markwald R, Melanson E, Smith M, Higgins J, Perreault L, Eckel R, Wright, Jr. K. Impact of insufficient sleep on total daily energy expenditure, food intake, and weight gain. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 110(14): 5695–5700. 2013.

Spiegel K, Leproult R, L'hermite-Balériaux M, Copinschi G, Penev PD, Van Cauter E. Leptin levels are dependent on sleep duration: relationships with sympathovagal balance, carbohydrate regulation, cortisol, and thyrotropin. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 89(11):5762-71. 2004.

Martin FP, Wang Y, Sprenger N, Yap I, Lundstedt T, Lek P, Ramadan Z, van Bladeren P, Fay L, Kochhar S, Lindon J, Holmes E, Nicholson J. Probiotic modulation of symbiotic gut microbial–host metabolic interactions in a humanized microbiome mouse model. Molecular Systems Biology. 4, 157. 2008.

Yadav H, Lee JH, Lloyd J, Walter P, Rane S. Beneficial metabolic effects of a probiotic via butyrate induced GLP-1 secretion. JBC Papers in Press. 2013.