Your metabolism plays a critical role when it comes to weight loss. In this article you’re going to learn four simple ways to boost your metabolism and start burning more fat.
Your metabolism is the chemical process your body uses to break down and transform the food you eat into fuel. Protein, fat, water, vitamins, minerals, and carbs are the nutrients your body uses for energy.
Before we move on I do want to make it clear that in order to burn fat you must be in a calorie deficit. Whatever your diet… or lack thereof. Whether you’re paleo, vegan, vegetarian or whatever else, energy has to be either used or stored once it’s consumed. If you’re getting in too much energy it will get stored.
That being said the amount of energy you actually burn with your personal metabolism is largely dependent on four important factors that we have varying amounts of control over.
1: Your basal metabolic rate
Factor number one is your personal your basal metabolic rate or BMR. This is the amount of calories you burn just living your normal life. It’s the energy your body uses just to maintain itself.
This number is largely dependent on factors which are not in your control, such as your age, sex, height and genetic makeup.
However there is one modest way you can control it and that’s by improving the muscle to fat ratio on your body. The more muscle and the less fat you have, the more calories you will burn just chilling… so to speak.
So how does one acquire this lean and sexy muscle tissue?
The answer is by lifting heavy things. Doing resistance training is one of the best ways to change your body composition, thereby boosting your metabolism.
Another thing that is very effective is doing high-intensity circuit training. This form of training will help you build muscle while increasing your metabolic rate… even after your workouts are finished.
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The choice is a matter of personal preference, but if you’re truly trying to maximize fat burning then high-intensity interval training has been proven to be most effective. My personal favorite is the bodyweight only HIIT home workouts taught in this program.
The second factor in boosting up your metabolism is the hormone insulin. The whole process of proper digestion is almost entirely dependent on the proper release and absorption of insulin.
Insulin secretion is largely dependent on your carbohydrate intake. This is why it’s important to get the amount and the type of carbs you eat to the right levels. Too many carbohydrates, particularly the wrong ones, can lead to insulin resistance and medical conditions like type-2 diabetes over time.
The goal is for your body to be insulin sensitive. This means that your insulin is functioning properly and responding appropriately to the carbohydrates and other food consumed.
Some important steps to take in order to become more insulin sensitive are:
- Eliminating fast-acting carbohydrates like refined grains flour and sugar from the diet and managing overall intake of carbohydrates.
- Getting proper sleep. The body becomes more insulin sensitive when we get seven to nine hours of sleep, so it too affects your metabolism.
- Consider using intermittent fasting, it has been shown to both increase insulin sensitivity and raise resting metabolic rate by three to fourteen percent during a fast.
3: Digestive enzymes and gut bacteria
The third factor that plays a role in speeding up your metabolism are digestive enzymes and gut bacteria.
Once food is consumed it has to be processed for the uptake of those nutrients. A big part of this process is the breaking down of those nutrients by enzymes and bacteria in your digestive system.
Did you know that you actually have just as much bacteria as you have cells in your body? We’re talking ten to twenty trillion different microbes!
The problem here is that many people have ruined their healthy gut bacteria and digestive enzymes. Things like eating too many processed foods, eating too much sugar and even taking necessary antibiotics can kill healthy gut bacteria.
The more of the incorrect bacteria in the gut the harder it is for the body to process the healthy foods we eat. However, the more of the good gut bacteria we have, the better our food is processed and the more our metabolism is improved.
Great ways to increase your amount of healthy gut bacteria and digestive enzymes are:
- Eating healthy, bacteria friendly foods like broccoli, sweet potatoes, blueberries, bananas, fermented foods like sauerkraut and tempeh and drinking apple cider vinegar.
- Taking a probiotic and our digestive enzymes to help your gut out
4: Thermogenic foods
The fourth and last factor in boosting your metabolism is the natural thermogenesis of certain foods. Some foods have a naturally greater thermogenic effect on the body. This means the body uses more calories or energy to burn those foods.
High protein foods like lean meats, poultry, eggs and oily fish have been shown to have the greatest effect on thermogenesis, resulting in a 15% to 30% increase in metabolic burn.
Caffeine has been shown to boost the metabolism by three to eleven percent and promote fat burning. Some of the best sources of caffeine are black coffee and green tea.
A quality source of whey protein powder is also a great way to get in more protein throughout the day.
Things like lentils, beans and quinoa are great foods. However, they don’t have the same concentration of protein as the foods mentioned above. This means they won’t have the same metabolic effects.
Drinking ice-cold water also has a slightly thermogenic effect increasing metabolism by 10% to 30% for about an hour.
There are also some spices which can help boost your metabolism. Some of the best choices are black pepper, cayenne pepper and cinnamon.
Certain peppers like chiles and mustard have been shown to moderately increase metabolism and fat burning in various studies.
Finally consuming lots of dark and vibrant leafy green vegetables will help because they contain virtually no calories and the body still needs to heat up to process them. This is why they are often called zero calorie foods, even though they will always provide more calories than it takes to consume them.
For delicious, easy to make thermogenic recipes check out Metabolic Cooking by Karin Losier and Dave Ruel. It teaches you how to unleash the “hidden metabolic power” of the food and provides you with over 250 metabolism boosting recipes to put that power into practice.