Metabolism is simply the process by which the body converts food into energy. As you know, the faster your metabolism is, the more calories you burn. The more calories you burn, the easier it is to stay lean.
Your metabolic rate is determined to a degree by your genetics, body type and gender. You probably know someone who constantly overeat but remain stick-thin, or someone who watches what they eat carefully but still have trouble losing weight. If you’re more of the latter, the good news is that there are many ways you can speed up your metabolism. You simply need to make some changes on 3 things: your lifestyle, your diet and your activity level.
To make those changes simpler, here’s a list of things you can implement that will speed up your metabolism. Prepare to throw your metabolism into overdrive!
1. Eat Fat Burning Foods
Not all foods are created equal. Some make you fat by turning into fat and waste, and some foods help you burn fat. It takes energy for the body to process and utilize food, and when the energy it takes to process the food is greater than the amount of energy from the food, you have a fat burning food.
If you want to lose weight fast and easily, then eating fat burning foods is one of your quickest and most efficient and natural way to speed up your metabolism and reduce body fat.
Examples of fat burning foods are fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds, lean meats and fish, oatmeal, and green tea. To learn about fat burning foods in greater detail, check out my other blog post entitled, “How to Lose Weight Fast with Fat Burning Foods“.
2. Go Easy on the Alcohol
Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley reported that the liver converts alcohol into acetate and starts using that as fuel instead of your fat stores. So while I’m not saying you should stop drinking alcohol, just be aware that every time have a drink, you’re not doing any wonders for your metabolism!
3. Get Enough Rest, and Sleep Early
Research have shown that the sleep you get before midnight is of much higher quality than the sleep you get after midnight. So hit the sack early, and make sure you do get enough rest. When you sleep less than your body needs, you throw off the amounts of hormones that help regulate energy use and appetite that your body produces.
Getting enough rest is particularly important when you’re exercising regularly and trying to put on muscle. Remember that it is during rest that your body recovers and heals itself, so not getting enough rest is very counterproductive to your fat loss and muscle building efforts.
4. Eat More, Burn More!
If you reduce your caloric intake to extremely low levels, the body is thrown into starvation mode. When this happens, your body attempts to conserve energy by slowing down your metabolism and using your lean muscle mass as fuel and hoarding fat. In other words, you actually increase your body fat percentage when you go on an extreme diet. So don’t starve yourself.
To speed up your metabolism, eat 5 to 6 clean, protein-rich meals per day. This gives you a steady release of energy and because you’re constantly eating, your body is getting trained to think that food is always coming and readily available. The effects? You get constant energy boosts, less cravings and less binges.
Meal frequency is actually one of the best-kept secrets of successful fitness models and bodybuilders, as Tom Venuto revealed in his Burn The Fat Feed the Muscle program. In fact, this principle is so powerful and important that he devoted the entire Chapter 7 to it.
5. Pump Some Iron
Muscles require much more calories to maintain, so the more muscle mass you have, the more energy you’ll burn without actually doing anything. This is the primary reason why exercising and building lean muscle is part of an overall program to boost your metabolism. The more lean muscle you have, the more places excess calories can go before they’re turned into fat. And the best way to build muscles? Yep – weight training!
Ensure you receive proper guidance, learn proper technique and have a weight training program suited to YOUR body type, fitness level, experience level, and individual needs.
6. Get Active
If you want your body to burn more energy, then you have to keep giving it reasons to do so, by forcing it to burn more calories more often. So be active. Get a new hobby. Play a new Sport. Walk or take the stairs whenever possible.
This will raise your heart rate, blood circulation, body temperature, and oxygen intake – which send messages to your body to burn more fuel.
7. HIIT it!
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a technique of cardiovascular training where you alternate between low and high intensity training. For example, walk for 30 seconds and then sprint for 20 seconds, walk again for 30 then sprint for 20 and so on. You can do this for any type of activity : cycling, swimming, on the treadmill, stepper, rower, or cross trainer. It’s the process of constantly demanding more energy from your body that trains your body burn more and more energy, thereby boosting your metabolism.
Believe it or not, new studies have shown that stress levels plays a key role on your metabolism. Stress can send unwanted signals to our body; signals that lead to slower
metabolism. There is now a link between how much stress you experience and your ability to break down cells and lose weight.
When the body is under constant stress, it releases stress hormones. These stress-related hormones actually tell the body to create larger fat cells in the abdominal area! The result can be both increased weight (through increased fat cells), and a slower metabolism.
So relax and chill out. Do more of whatever it is that rocks your boat. You might want to try walking, enjoying nature, listening to relaxing music, meditation, yoga, etc. Try to build a daily routine that allows you to have a “me” time. Get a massage, a facial, a relaxing hot soak – whatever makes you feel revived and de-stressed.
To speed up your metabolism, you simply need to make some changes to the way you eat, your lifestyle and activity levels. The eight simple ways I listed here that will increase your metabolic rate are: eating fat burning foods, reducing your alcohol intake, getting adequate rest, the practice of “meal frequency”, weight training, high intensity interval training, and avoiding too much stress.
If you’re really serious about speeding up your metabolism, Tom Venuto’s Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle program is probably one of the most comprehensive books I’ve read about the subject. In it, he reveals specific techniques that elite bodybuilders and fitness models use to acquire an increased metabolic rate and achieve optimal results. You can learn more about it here.