6 Steps to Boost Your Metabolism
Feel completely confused about where to start?? Hint #1….Eating smaller frequent meals has nothing to do with ramping up your metabolism. Meal frequency or meal timing can have different effects on your body, but has nothing to do with increasing your RMR (resting metabolic rate).
The first thing to do is to stop what you are doing, which is probably just more of the same, and think differently. It might be time to SLOWLY start adding calories back into your diet, release the hormonal brakes on your metabolism and focus on anabolic (aka. muscle building) activities.
Start a Food Log
If you haven’t ever kept a food log now is the time. It’s not hard, download MyFitnessPal and get started.
You might find that on your average week or day you are actually taking in FAR MORE calories than you previously thought. This might actually be the reason for you stalling out on your fat loss.
If you’re hungry, have low energy and your cravings are high however, I guarantee you that eating too much isn’t your problem. Keeping a food log is going to be your tool to help you understand where you are now and how to SLOWLY increase your calories.
Intelligent Macro (carbs, fats, proteins) Approach
Arguing for or against a certain macro percentage or eating style is not the focus of this post and could be a much larger discussion but I would just say make an informed decision about what your plan will entail and follow that in relation to your calorie budget.
Balance is key.
If you haven’t had a macro plan previously I would suggest starting with one of these approaches:
50% carb / 30% protein / 20% fat
40% carb / 30% protein / 30% fat
Get a coach who knows their stuff to calculate specific macros for you, which will change as you change!
You still get to diet! Just in reverse! This is not a free for all. This is still eating with goals and guidelines in mind. This is the part however where you get to start adding more calories back in on a weekly basis. Again the key word on adding calories is SLOWLY.
If you have been eating 1,200 calories for quite some time and you just start adding in tons of extra calories you are just going to put on a lot of extra weight which isn’t the goal.Find out eating more could help you finally start to lose the weight! #personaltrainer #macros Click To Tweet
Your goal is to increase as much as possible but have your body still maintain homeostasis. I.E. Your weight and/or your body shape should remain fairly close to where you started. That said, if you are very under weight or have been treating carbs like they are the spawn of Satan you most likely will see an initial WEIGHT fluctuation.
That’s ok though! Remember not to let your emotions run away with you and start associating WEIGHT with FAT. It’s not the same thing.
On a weekly basis you are going to add in 50-100 calories or 2-3% of your body weight. Follow the plan for a week, check in at the end of your weekly cycle and EITHER increase again if your body is relatively close to your starting point OR hold steady for another week and check back in after your body has reached more of a point of homeostasis. Remember your metabolism slowed down over time it’s going to take a bit of time to build it back up. Enjoy eating more and having more energy!**Amanda’s Note: I have to admit this was hard for me! I wasn’t always hungry, but was needing to eat to help my body get enough calories and start restoring my metabolism! It also takes a mental shift of knowing you CAN and SHOULD eat.
Muscle Building Workouts
Building up muscle requires energy both to build and more importantly to maintain when at rest. IE. You get to eat more and still look awesome.
Muscle building activities stokes the anabolic hormones of the body and revs your metabolism up. This is not sex dependent! This goes for both men AND women.
You don’t need to train like a pro body builder, but you should be incorporating some heavy, challenging weights (for you) into your week and continuing to add challenge week to week.
If you’re lifting the same weight over and over you aren’t stimulating the muscles or the anabolic (building) process the same way after a certain point. Again if metabolism is your focus, strength training should be as well.
Get Adequate Sleep
Remember how we talked about chronic stress having a detrimental effect on your hormones and your nervous system? Well getting enough sleep is part of how your body recovers and recoups itself.
Your general aim should be to get about 7-9hrs a night. Getting enough sleep in our busy world is seemingly harder and harder to do but just make it your aim to improve it if you are currently getting way less then you should.6 tips to boost your metabolism, right now! They might surprise you... eat more, stress less, sleep more! #weightloss Click To Tweet
Suffering from low motivation? Low energy during the day? Low sex drive? Feeling depressed? Have no energy to do your workouts? Feeling run down often? Unreasonably anxious?
Surprise! You’re probably dealing with chronic stress at some level.
Stress is fine. Chronic stress is not. It wrecks havoc on your nervous system, your hormonal balance let alone your quality of life. Remember balancing hormones is also a part of healing your metabolism or at least getting your hormones more willing to play the fat loss game or improve sports performance.
A constant state of stress is not going to let your body recover the way it should. First step is to identify what is causing your stress and then working on it like your health depends on it…because it does. What you need to do to improve stress will be different for everyone. For some it actually might mean exercising less. For others it could mean incorporating yoga and a hot bath into their week. Or maybe just more time with friends and loved ones. Work to find strategies to improve your current stress status and not just hoping it will go away.
In the end, remember progress not perfection is the goal.
If you are moving in the right direction and taking steps forward you will feel like a success. Focus on the journey and the big picture. Don’t get caught up in the craze of quick fixes or just repeating the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Sometimes the way forward is for you to stop, breath and refuel your body so that you can continue making progress on your big long term goals.
Chris Hale is a personal trainer and online training coach and has been training clients for the better part of 10 years. He’s passionate about teaching others how to get the physiques they’re after and helping them reach their health and fitness goals. In an industry driven by fads and hype he strives to be a sound voice helping to filter the noise out for his clients so they can focus on just the things that matter.
Have you ever tried following macros?
Have you ever reverse dieted?
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