Every time we eat or drink, we can thank our metabolism for converting all those calories into energy. Our size, gender, and age all factor into our metabolic rate, but there are also ways to independently control its speed. And the faster our metabolism, the more calories we burn off, making that Krispy Kreme breakfast no longer such a big deal. (OK, the donut probably still isn't the best idea.) Here are 11 ways to keep that body burning:
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1. Sleep! Almost nodding off in line at Starbucks isn't the only downside of not catching enough zzz's. Researchers have found a link between metabolism and sleep, and not getting enough of it may seriously slow metabolism.
2. Drink green tea. Not only does this superfood pack an antioxidant-punch, researchers have found it speeds metabolism as well. Plus, it's naturally calorie-free, so there's no reason not to enjoy a mug (or two).
3. Amp up workout intensity. Slow and steady may not always win the race. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), such as interval runs, are quick intense exercises that can jumpstart metabolism and keep us burning calories long after the workout is over. (Afterburn effect, anyone?)
4. Don't skip breakfast. It may be time to reconsider hitting snooze in favor of getting up to grab a quick bite before starting the day. Studies show the importance of quick-starting metabolism with breakfast. No AM appetite? Snack on something small, like a bowl of Greek yogurt.
6. Gulp some H20. Forget converting it to wine—drinking enough water is a simple way to speed up digestion and burn calories. We may need more than those recommended eight glasses a day, too. Now if only wine could speed metabolism, too…
7. Spice things up. The next time a chicken breast is cooking up in the kitchen, add a dash of cayenne pepper. The heat from the pepper is thanks to capsaicin, which won't only add a fiery kick—it could help boost metabolism, too.
8. Squeeze in some cardio. Hop on the bike and clock in some miles— one study found that 45 minutes on the bike sped up metabolic rate for over 12 hours. Guess learning to ride a bike way back when was worth it!
9. Eat wisely. Who knew eating could actually help speed calorie burn? Certain foods like tuna and grapefruit have been shown to speed up metabolic rate. Packing in protein has also shown to boost metabolism, so pick some eggs over pancakes at the breakfast table for a morning metabolism boost.
10. Grab a cup o' Joe. This caffeinated morning beverage is not only a savior when it comes to pushing through a midterm paper or work meeting. A cup of coffee (or the caffeine in it) is absorbed into the blood stream very quickly, speeding up heart rate and provide a metabolic boost that peaks at about three hours after drinking.
11. Laugh a lot! A little laughter may go a long way. Scientists have found that as little as 10 minutes of laughter per day (or roughly half an episode of SNL) can burn energy. Just another reason to stay smiling!
This article originally appeared on Greatist.com