Your metabolism isn’t a muscle or specific organ in your body. It is actually a process that impacts every single cell. The metabolic rate refers to the number of calories you burn as energy to fuel your body. The higher that you can get that metabolic rate, the more calories you burn off and that can translate into weight loss. When you are operating at peak metabolic efficiency, you are full of energy and feeling great. The goal then becomes to boost your metabolism by any means.

Here are some smart and easy ways to increase your metabolic rate:

Have Protein at Every Meal

The simple act of eating can trigger your metabolic rate if only for a few hours. Your body needs the energy to digest the food that you’re ingesting. This is called the thermic effect of food or TEF. Calories are used to digest, absorb and process nutrients from every bite you consume. That is why it is so important to eat the right foods. Protein delivers the highest TEF rate increase. It can also help you feel fuller so that you won’t overeat.

Drink More Water

Sugary drinks contain calories. Without those, you’ll have fewer calories and that means your metabolism will be using “stored” calories in the form of fat that it needs for your fuel. Burning fat is what you want to have happened. Drinking water provides your body with much-needed hydration. Drinking cold water means cooling off your body and that also diverts energy away from keeping your body warm. And if you drink a glass of water before your meal, you will often end up eating less.

Engage in a High-Intensity Workout

Working out requires energy. This is when your metabolism kicks into high gear. It stands to reason that a high-intensity workout maximizes the potential for your metabolism to be totally engaged. Of course, any exercise is going to provide a boost to your metabolism. Make the most of your time working out by going hard!

Stand More

Have you’ve seen someone working at a standing desk? This might be to promote back health but it actually helps with your metabolism, too. Sitting burns fewer calories than standing. If you have a desk job, then take some “standing breaks.” Maybe you can engage in a phone call to a client while standing.

Eat Spicy Foods and Drink Green Tea

Certain foods and beverages have been known to have components that can trigger a metabolism boost. For instance, green tea has been shown to increase metabolism by 4%. That is because the tea targets some of the fatty acids that you have stored in your body. When you burn those off, you lose weight. As for spicy foods, peppers containing capsaicin can also provide a metabolism boost. Added up, these might be small numbers but in the calorie-burning game, every calorie counts.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

With metabolism there is “resting” and “active” to consider. You might be surprised to learn that your resting time actually can burn more calories. That is why the best time to step on the scale is right when you wake up. You can see the results of a decent eight-hours of sleep. Studies have shown that lack of sleep can be linked to increased risk of obesity and developing type 2 diabetes. Even though your body is sleeping, it is still “working” and that’s a good thing.

To review: Stand up, drink water, add spices to your chicken and go to sleep!