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Have you ever wondered why your skinny friend just seems to be able to eat anything she wants without ever putting on weight? Are you the one that just has to look at the cake to put on 5 lbs? The key is all in your metabolism – the higher your metabolism, the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off. Your friend will most likely have been born with higher metabolism as there are significant genetic differences between people. And if you’ve gone through a lifetime of yoyo dieting, the chances are your metabolism will have dropped in response to frequent periods of calorie restriction.

So what is metabolism? Put simply, metabolism refers to the constant chemical reactions going in your cells to support your organs and tissues. The higher it is, the more energy your cells are using (i.e more calories burned). Increasing your metabolism is a bit like putting your foot down on the gas pedal of your car – you’ll go faster but you’ll also use more petrol.


  1. Build muscle: I often hear women say they go on a diet at the same time as their husband/boyfriend. Lo and behold – the weight just drops off of their partner while they remain exactly the same. That’s mainly because men have more muscle than women. Your man will be able to burn off extra calories, simply while sitting watching the football, as his muscle cells are constantly burning fuel.

  1. Don’t stress: Chronic stress inhibits thyroid function and blocks the action of thyroid hormone. Since this organ has direct control over metabolism, the last thing you want to do is compromise its activity.

  1. Eat thermogenic foods: Thermogenic foods are any foods that burn energy to make heat. If you’ve become very warm after eating a hot curry, it’s because the chillies are thermogenic. The best thermogenic foods are: chilli; any protein foods (meat, fish, beans); and green tea.

  1. Increase your NEAT: NEAT stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis and is the energy you burn just through everyday activities, such as walking to work, running up the stairs, gardening, vacuuming etc. This is a great way to improve health and if you don’t have time for formal exercise, general movement over the day is a very good way of keeping fit. Increasing NEAT has been shown to raise significantly your metabolism and is very easy to implement over the day. You can park your car further away from work and walk in; ask your boss for a workstation that adjusts to standing as well as sitting, so that you can work while standing for some of the day; always take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalators; and make a point of joining in with your kids when they are playing.

  1. Take a fish oil supplement: Scientists have found that omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil are actually thermogenic and increase fat burning. So, not only is fish oil good for you, it will also help you lose weight.

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