Ways to Boost Your Metabolism and Burn Belly Fat

"Think of fat cells as hibernating," says Ellie Busby, a registered nutritionist in the United Kingdom and founder of the nutrition website Vojo Health. "They require very little energy to maintain because these cells are not very active."

Wake up your metabolism with exercise

Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, so the more you have, the more calories your body will burn even at rest.

Make a muscle

To make metabolically active muscle, the key is consistency (working out 2 to 3 times a week) and compound lifts, says Joe Johnson, owner of 9 to 5 Nutrition, a fitness coaching service for busy office workers.

Lift this way

If you are constantly consuming calorie-rich foods and beverages, you'll take in more calories than your metabolism can burn off. This can lead to weight gain and belly fat.

Give your pancreas a rest

By dieting and essentially starving yourself, you are forcing your metabolism to slow down and go into survival mode. That's counterproductive.

Eat more healthy food

While restrictive diets tend to lower metabolism, intermittent fasting can elevate metabolism. One type of intermittent fasting is limiting eating to a window of time, say, the eight hours between your first meal of the day and the last, and fasting for 16 hours, mostly overnight.

Fast intermittently

Not only does eating breakfast jumpstart your metabolism for the day, but studies also suggest you may consume fewer calories the rest of the day, especially if breakfast includes satiating protein.

Eat a Protein-Rich Breakfast

Eating foods like protein that increase your resting metabolic rate can help you burn more calories and ultimately tap into the fat stored in your belly. One type of food that works particularly well for this is anything spicy.

Sweat while you eat

Another piece of the metabolism puzzle is nicknamed N.E.A.T. for non-exercise activity thermogenesis, which encompasses all the physical activity you do in a day that isn't planned exercise.

Exercise without exercising

As long as you don't load it up with cream, tons of sugar, and squirts of those sweet flavorings that are popular at coffee shops, your coffee cup can deliver a daily boost to your metabolism, too.

Drink coffee and green tea