Stuck with a metabolism as slow as your Friday rush hour traffic? You’re not the only one. There are a few factors that can help boost your metabolism from non-existent to the speed of Usain Bolt. So don’t let a lineage of bad genetics slow you down. Here are a few tricks to help your metabolism resemble that of your 12 year-old niece’s.

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(1) Eat Breakfast 

Eating breakfast is not only key for weight loss success, but it also helps give your metabolism an early start to the day. Having a simple and healthy meal before work should be a number one priority when trying to boost metabolism and stay on track.

(2) Build Lean Muscle

Building lean muscle through strength training can also help speed up your metabolism even when you’re not working out. For every 22 pounds of lean muscle mass you gain, you burn approximately 100 extra calories per day. That’s why incorporating some sort of strength exercise to your cardio routine is essential to help your burn more calories even when you’re not on the treadmill.

(3) Drink Water

Staying hydrated is just as important as diet and exercise – the body needs H2O to process calories. A study showed that adults who drank eight or more glasses of water a day burned more calories than adults who drank four.  Overall, dehydration can be mistaken for hunger. So your next time you go to grab another snack from your drawer, make sure you’ve had another glass of water before.

(4) Snack more

Having three small meals a day with snacks in between is another way to boost your metabolism to Olympic speeds.  A 2001 study published in The British Medical Journal found that people who ate six small meals a day had a 5 percent lower average cholesterol level than people who ate one or two larger meals. Other studies have also linked weight loss success to healthy snacking.

(5) Pack on the Protein 

Your body burns more calories while digesting protein than it does while digesting carbs or fat. The thermogenic effect of fat is 0-3%, carbs is 5-10%, and protein is 20-30%. That means you burn approximately 25 calories while digesting 100 calories of protein. Keep in mind you should always maintain a balanced diet, but subbing in more protein for less carbs and fat can help you lose weight and kick-up your metabolism.

(6) Drink Coffee or Green Tea

Caffeine is another great trick for speeding up your metabolism. Although only short term, having coffee in daily moderation can give your metabolism a temporary boost. Since green tea has a lower caffeine content, having two to four cups of green tea a day is safe and can  help increase metabolic rate. In a 2003 study, a Laboratory found that volunteers who drank caffeinated water or tea experienced a 3 percent increase in energy expenditure, burning an average of 67 calories more than subjects who drank only water.

(7) Do a High Intensity Workout

High intensity workouts give your metabolism a longer and bigger increase than low to moderate intensity workouts. A study showed that interval sprinting increases your body’s production of the human growth hormone for up to 24 hours after you done. Human growth hormone is responsible for speeding up metabolism and slowing down aging.

While you may not be able to control the flow of rush hour traffic or the quirky genetics your mom gave you, these are a few ways to help your genome work in your favor.

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