Nutrition science and information is constantly changing. Although this article has good points, my opinions and research have developed and changed. If you want to get started eating right for you, check out this new post on nutrition for beginners.
It’s extremely common for people on diets to eat too little. You will lose weight to start, but your body is smarter than you. Way smarter. It will start thinking, “this crazy kid is simply not eating enough to survive, I’m going to drop
his/her metabolism, so he/she doesn’t burn as much during the day and can survive off this ridiculously small amount he/she is eating”. Bottom line, starvation won’t work as a diet, your body will make sure you don’t burn too much and die. Cut down your calories a little, and exercise more. Also check out this post on cheat eating and how it can help you trick your metabolism.
Fast for a day
There is recent research that fasting can help to increase your metabolism. As opposed to the old mentality of eating 5 meals a day, there is evidence that fasting for short periods of time can really help to get the right hormones going and give you a lot of benefits… including weekly calorie control. Try for a 24 hour period to fast, you can start 8pm one night and eat again 8pm the next. Eat well on the other days, clean and healthy food. You shouldn’t do this more than once a week.
Eat Healthy Fats
Getting enough healthy fats in can really help to stimulate the right hormones and ensure that your metabolism doesn’t shut down when you are dieting. Without the healthy fats, your hormones levels suffer and you are at risk of adrenal fatigue. Try to add some more avocado, coconut and olive oil, nuts, eggs, lean meats and fish.
Eat more Protein
This has lots more benefits than just metabolism. Protein is a muscle builder, you need it to grow. Lean protein is even better for that, more good stuff for fewer calories. Your body takes a bit more work to burn this stuff too, which is called the thermogenic effect. So, if you don’t get enough protein in, start eating.
Eat more Fiber
Same principle as above. Fiber is harder for your body to process, and you will get a small increase in metabolism through this effect. It’s also wonderful for your digestive system and keeps you regular. The best kind of fiber? Fruit and vegetables. Eat a lot of them.
Weight training is the ultimate exercise for firing up your metabolism. The more intense your exercise and the more muscles you get involved, the better metabolism increase you will get. Weight training is intense, you are pushing heavy weights around, and you will get a good post workout increase in metabolism and burn for much longer. Get on it.
The more muscle mass you have the higher your metabolism will be. Simple.
Work Your Legs
Leg Weights are important for overall muscle balance, and do need to be done for many reasons other than speeding up your metabolism. However, it’s just another added benefit. Legs are often neglected; it’s the biceps that are overworked. Your legs have a big muscle mass, if you work this mass, you will burn more energy, and thus, increase your metabolism post workout. If you don’t care about how muscly your legs are, at least chuck a few leg exercises in there to get your body working harder during your weights session.
Do more Higher Intensity Cardio
Getting on the treadmill for 30 mins at a slow pace is OK. But there are better options. Doing some intense work will burn more calories, and leave you with a better post work out metabolism boost than a long slow cardio session. A 10 minute bike interval session would be much more beneficial than a slow 30 minutes session. It’s the post workout boost that is the key, as with weight training, the more intense you work, the longer and stronger your increase will be and the more you will burn whilst you aren’t even active. Check out this article from t-nation on which type exercise is best for energy burning and increasing your metabolism.
Alcohol is bad for your metabolism. It acts against it and will slow it down. Avoid drinking it too regularly and you will increase metabolism easily.
Increase Incidental Physical Activity
This is an important one. Being active will automatically give you a short term boost to your metabolism. Adding some extra things into the day that you hardly realize can add up. For example, make your bed in the morning, park your car a little further away than normal, take the stairs occasionally, get up from your desk frequently if possible. Just by simply being more active during the day, which is called incidental activity, you will get an increase in your metabolism.