The #1 Easiest Way to Boost Your Metabolism, New Study Says — Eat This Not That

A new study in the journal Diabetologia suggests there may be one quirky trick that might boost your metabolism.

Looking at 14 overweight men and women between the ages of 40 and 75, researchers had participants stay in a special indoor chamber that measured respiration rates for 40 hours. That measurement allowed them to determine factors like how quickly and when they were burning calories, both while awake and sleeping.

The time was broken into two separate sessions based on light exposure. One mimicked natural light with a bright day and dim evening, while the other flipped that sequence. In both sessions, participants were in darkness during the night and had regular meals that kept calorie and macronutrient content consistent.

Blood samples were taken before breakfast and dinner, then at 30-minute intervals in the four hours after both meals to determine triglycerides, insulin, melatonin, and glucose levels. All of those play a role in metabolism, according to lead author Jan-Frieder Harmsen, in the nutrition and movement science department at Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands.

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