5 Surprising Ways to Boost Your Metabolism Without Exercising

Want to boost your metabolism while barely moving a muscle?

Ben Greenfield
4-minute read
Episode #277

I recently read the results of a brand new study in the journal Obesity that shows eating slowly and chewing your food carefully actually increases your postprandial (“after a meal”) energy expenditure, metabolism, and fat oxidation in both men and women.

In an even more surprising study, the same researchers, found that chewing gum post-prandially also resulted in an increase in something called “dietary-induced thermogenesis” (DIT), which is basically how many calories your body naturally burns while consuming a meal that you’ve eaten.

This is one reason why: 1.) I chew each bite of food 20-25 times, especially when eating dense foods like steaks or big salads, and 2.) constantly chomp on gum (preferably natural gum without lots of sugar or artificial sweeteners, instead flavored with things like stevia or xylitol).

In addition to chewing each bite of food carefully and chomping on gum after a meal, what are some other ways, besides exercise, that you can boost your metabolism? Here are five quick and dirty tips that can boost your metabolism while barely moving a muscle:

1.) Consume Minerals

Minerals initiate, regulate, and control vital bodily functions like enzyme activity, digestion, cell electrical impulse, and metabolism. For example, the mineral copper reduces free radical damage and enhances recovery from exercise, helps maintain bone and connective tissue health, and preserves normal thyroid gland function. Copper also helps develop the proteins and enzymes essential to iron utilization, which directly influences the amount of oxygen available to working tissues. This is important since every molecule of oxygen you utilize burns a significant number of calories!

So what are the top sources of copper? Try crimini mushrooms in your omelet, turnip greens with your spinach salad, and blackstrap molasses in your oatmeal.

2.) Twitch

Studies have found that individuals who are constantly moving burn more calories. This seems obvious but many people don’t realize that “constantly moving” includes activities like tapping your feet, drumming your fingers, standing up, sitting down, moving your head in circles, shrugging your shoulders, clinching your butt, and even rolling your eyes! These movements may seem to incorporate only small and insignificant muscle contractions but every time a muscle fiber moves, it uses energy and increases your body’s temperature and metabolism.

It’s true that larger muscle fibers burn more calories but when you’re attempting to elevate the metabolism, even the tiny boosts from smaller muscle fibers will help. If you’re trying to lose or maintain weight or just keep your metabolism elevated, make sure that you’re twitching and fidgeting as much as possible. Employing even these small movements while you’re riding on the bus, watching television, or even eating breakfast will make a big difference in your metabolism. And yes, chewing gum counts.


All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own health provider. Please consult a licensed health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Ben Greenfield

Ben Greenfield received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from University of Idaho in sports science and exercise physiology; personal training and strength and conditioning certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA); a sports nutrition certification from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), an advanced bicycle fitting certification from Serotta. He has over 11 years’ experience in coaching professional, collegiate, and recreational athletes from all sports, and as helped hundreds of clients achieve weight loss and fitness success.