I want to tell you a short story before I get into this post. A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a friend of mine who was telling me how he wanted to lose weight. Now, just so I don’t throw him under the bus, we’re going to call my friend Tyler. (ah, what a great name! Sometimes I’m so clever!) Tyler was asking lots of questions about weight loss and finally asked me for my recommendations. So I asked him, what do you think you should do if you want to lose weight and become healthier? His immediate answer was to workout a lot more and to eat a lot less. But Tyler then went on to tell me how his life schedule doesn’t allot him with the time to work out as much as he knows he should, and that he doesn’t want to do a diet because they are challenging and he enjoys eating his foods. But he did say he would be willing to make some adjustments within his diet. At that point I cut him off and told him I would love to give him recommendations on how to lose weight, in a healthy way, and maintain a healthy lifestyle without too much sacrifice and stress on working out.
So Tyler, this post is for you.
The Best 4 Ways to Improve Your Metabolism
In order to successfully, and in a healthy way, reach a goal such as weight loss, you must understand there is NO short cut. No quick fix shake/diet/pill/etc that will do this for you overnight. Keep in mind, the weight didn’t jump onto you body overnight, and it surely will not fall off that way either. When it all boils down, weight loss is going to occur through a few different variables, and the one I’m going to stress the most in THIS post is your metabolism.
Here are my top 4 ways to improve your metabolism:
1. Eat more food
No, that doesn't mean that you can go to McDonald's and order 3 Big Mac's. Make sure it’s quality foods you’re eating. Try to have some source of protein at every meal to help build lean muscle and keep you full. You can also work on manipulating your meals with different macronutrient amounts for each one. One general ratio that I normally give my clients is 40% protein, 30% carbs, 30% healthy fats.
Generally for weight loss, if you’re looking to lose weight, lowering your carbohydrates and increasing your healthy fats and lean proteins will allow you to stay full, healthy, and lose weight. Never eat less than 1100 calories or else your body basically goes into starvation mode and it holds onto all of your body fat because it perceives that it will never eat again so it holds onto fat as energy. If you need a general number to start with, multiply your weight x 11 and that will give you a great starting point for a calorie range to lose weight.
2. Build more muscle
Simply put, muscle requires more energy to maintain = more calories burned at rest. Our bodies use the calories from food as basic sources of energy. Since muscle tissue is metabolically active, the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn at rest.
3. Move more
Your body is always burning calories. Your resting metabolic rate (RMR, also known as basal metabolic rate) is the amount of calories you burn at rest (when you’re not doing anything). Your RMR is the number one calorie burner on a daily basis. If you want an easy way to boost your metabolism, try moving more with simple daily activities; go for a walk, stand while you're at work and stretch out every 30 minutes, use the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator (or even walk on the escalator instead of standing still). Park further away in the parking lot. There are many ways you can move more, just do something.
4. Eat more frequently
Instead of eating only 2-3 large meals a day, try eating 5-6 meals a day but make them smaller meals. This may seem counter productive, but if you think about it, this makes more sense for just overall health! Eating smaller meals but more frequently will help curb your appetite, reduce fat storage, give you longer lasting energy (since you won’t have spikes and drops in blood sugar with only 2-3 meals a day), and you will keep your body working to digest the foods (which in turn improves your calorie burning machine, your metabolism!)
There you have it! 4 ways to boost your metabolism.