Is it Possible to Change Your Metabolism?

Three things to know about your body’s calorie-burning process and what you can do to manage and even change it.

Metabolism. It’s a word that carries a different meaning for every person. From circulating blood to digesting food, metabolism puts together calories and oxygen to power everything your body does. It never stops, keeping your body going even if you’re not actively moving — but it can act differently for everyone.

Metabolism is often misunderstood, too, especially when it comes to changing your metabolic health.

So, let’s sort a few things out. While you can’t overhaul your metabolism overnight, you can make lifestyle changes that have immediate impacts. Here are the top three things you should know when it comes to retraining your metabolism.

Metabolism Decreases Naturally Over Time

According to a study published in Science, metabolism is at its peak very early in life: Babies burn calories 50% faster than adults, and then it decreases by 3% per year until age 20. From that point on, metabolism appears to plateau until age 60, when it begins to decline by less than 1% annually.

Because metabolism is an aspect of our lives that gradually changes on its own, without any additional effort on our part, it can feel difficult to change. Some activities, like building up lean muscle mass through resistance training, can help with increasing a person’s metabolic rate, however. The more muscle a person has, the more calories they burn during the day. That means a faster rate of metabolism and better protection against metabolic diseases.

Understand Your Body, Change Your Metabolism

Your energy needs change in real time, so gaining direct insights from what’s going on inside of your body could unlock new possibilities for managing your metabolism.

With insightful tools such as our Lingo biowearable, currently available in the U.K., you can learn more about what’s happening in your body and work toward lifestyle changes that help with your metabolic health.

For example, you can monitor your glucose to better understand your metabolism — which biowearables like Lingo can help with. Glucose is an important source of energy. And, when there’s a low amount of glucose in the body, ketones provide an alternative source of energy fuel.

Monitoring glucose and other analytes in the future with biowearables could help guide lifestyle changes and potentially improve health and performance,

“Biowearables can offer a window into your body by helping you understand in real time what’s going on in your body,” said Pam Bede, MS, RD, nutritionist with Lingo. “By using a biowearable, you could gain the ability to see how your glucose is affected by what you eat and take action to help keep your glucose steady. If you’re consistently seeing your glucose spike, or increase rapidly and significantly after every meal, it’s time to make some changes to the foods that fuel you.”

Small Changes Can Help with Changing Metabolism

You could exhaustively overhaul your metabolism with significant changes and perhaps even a metabolic confusion diet. However, there are likely easier ways to improve metabolic health.

Our Lingo experts developed five “Lingo Fundamentals,” each rooted in nutrition science and designed to help manage metabolism while also improving diet quality. The foundation includes adding more protein, fats, fiber and activity — and, when selecting foods, opting for savory rather than sweet. To take savory foods to the next level, you could even add foods with capsaicin, which is the compound that gives spicy foods like jalapenos their kick. This potent spice has been observed to raise metabolic rate primarily by raising the body’s temperature. The more heat that's generated, the more the metabolic rate increases for a short period of time after eating.

Capsaicin can impact a receptor in the body called TRPV1, which plays a role in regulating metabolic health in the body (think weight, the way glucose and lipids are processed, and the cardiovascular system). When TRPV1 is activated by capsaicin, there are a variety of metabolism-associated factors that change in the body for a period of time. In a study conducted in mice, capsaicin appeared to suppress the accumulation of body fat and increase energy metabolism.

More research is needed to better understand how capsaicin could play a role in metabolism management. However, gradually including foods with capsaicin into a diet is an easy addition to other changes like prioritizing protein, fats and fibrous vegetables. And, of course, moving more.

Metabolism. It’s unique to you. And with some lifestyle changes — and perhaps some insights that help you listen to your body — it can change with you as you go about everyday life.

The Lingo Glucose System is intended for users 18 years and older not on insulin. It is not intended for diagnosis of diseases, including diabetes.

The Lingo program does not guarantee that everyone will achieve the same results as individual responses may vary. Consult your healthcare professional before making changes to your diet or exercise regimen or if you have an eating disorder or a history of eating disorders.