10 Ways to Speed Up Your Metabolism

Have you hit a plateau with your current diet and exercise lifestyle, or lack of? Try these 10 simple lifestyle and training modifications to boost your metabolism and start burning more calories at rest!

1. Get 7 hours of sleep - Sleep boosts immunity, decreases stress, and stimulates the release of human growth hormone, which helps rejuvenate the daily toll of activity and stress. It keeps your cells young, helping you feel and look younger, longer. A sure fire way of accelerating the aging process, increasing the stress hormone cortisol, and decreasing your productivity, is cutting rest short. Add a nap mid day, if you are lucky enough to afford one.

2. Start your day off with breakfast - Research shows those who start there day off with a balanced meal, eat fewer calories the rest of the day. The act of eating, alone boosts your metabolism. It takes energy to digest and metabolize food. Not eating sends your metabolism into a dormant mode, setting you up for over-eating later, when your blood sugar is on the floor, and more prone to storing that over consumption as fat. Start your day with a balanced meal of healthy fats, high fiber carbs, and lean, heavy metal free :) proteins. Failing to combine all three macronutrients can have a negative impact on insulin release, fat utilization, and satisfaction before your mid morning snack.

3. Eat 4 - 6 smaller meals per day, every 3-5 hours - Stoke your metabolic fire by eating regularly. Burn calories, while consuming them, by maintaining a steady blood sugar level. Your muscles are metabolically active tissue. They burn calories at rest, but they need to be fed. Starve them, and they will atrophy, killing your metabolism and increasing your fat stores.

4. Drink plenty of non alcoholic, low calorie beverages - We drink far too many of our daily calories. Liquid calories are deceiving and often unsatisfying. Fruit juice is one the biggest offenders. A seemingly natural and healthy beverage loaded with way too much SUGAR. Eat an orange, grapefruit, or apple instead of that glass of juice in the morning, and add some fiber to your diet. Soda is by far the worst, and that includes diet sodas. There is nothing in soda that sustains life. A 12oz can of regular soda contains 10 packets of SUGAR! And diet soda is loaded with artificial sweetener, which has been linked to metabolic problems, cancer, and an increased sweet tooth. In fact the only beverages anyone really needs is water. To mix things up, add tea or coffee to the list. Studies have shown they have little impact on dehydration, despite common thinking, and they aid in fat utilization.

5. 30 mins of activity EVERY day - The American College of Sports Medicine (ASCM) recommends 30 mins of accumulated activity each day for health and weight maintenance. They recommend 60 mins or more for weight loss. A combination of both resistance training and aerobics are best. How much are you getting?

6. Get out of your chair - More and more healthy problems are being linked to excessive amounts of sitting. So much so we now refer to specific problems as the Sitting Disease. Many of us go from our beds, to the breakfast table, to the car, the desk, and then the couch at night. Get up and out of your chair as much as possible. Simply standing burns more calories than sitting. Small caloric changes day to day add up over time. The average adult gains 2 pounds a year.

7. Walk and take the stairs - Walk or bike to your destination when appropriate. Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. You would not have to spend extra time working out, if you added simple light activity throughout the day. Technology and modern conveniences are allowing us to be lazier.

8. Mix up your workout routine - Breakout of your routine. You become increasingly efficient doing the same mode of activity each time. Burning calories requires inefficiency. Get your hands off the treadmill or stepper, use an upright bike instead of a recumbent. Take a new running/walking route. Train your weaknesses. Mix it up!

9. Hit the weights - Many of us accumulate enough light aerobic activity, walking, climbing a flight of stairs, etc, to maintain heart and lung health. High volume aerobic activity compromises metabolically active muscle tissue. Skip your 3 mile steady state cardio routine, and add some fat scorching muscle to your body with resistance training.

10. Manage your stress - At this point, if you are managing 1-9, your stress is in check. If its not, return to number 1 and start over. Stress releases cortisol, cortisol stimulates fat storage. Stress effects your sleep, disrupts your diet, gets in the way of your workouts and absolutely has an impact on your waistline.

Hitting the Wall - Bonking

How often have you ambitiously started a new training regimen, only to find yourself crashing half through your workout? After a sedentary period in your life, you motivated yourself to become active again and went full throttle on day one of your program. You feel great, strong, pushing yourself, when suddenly you are hit with a feeling of nausia, diizziness, and exhaustion. The wind has been sucked right out of your sails, and with it, your motivation and confidence. Why are you feeling this way, what can you do to feel better immediately. and avoid this in future workouts?

This feeling of nausia and vertigo is exercise induced orthostatic hypotension. In layman's terms, your muscles are hogging your blood supply, decreasing the supply to your heart and brain. Temporary and not serious, but it feels terrible and can hinder your motivation. Its caused by several factors. Your newly active muscles require alot of blood, demanding your body to share the supply, compromising flow in othe areas, like your heart and brain. This demand is compounded by he fact that your body is deconditioned to supply the body with quantity of blood it needs, you are probably dehydrated, just made it worse with perpiration, and if you were dehdrated to begin with, your electrolyte balance is probably off too. What we have is a perfect storm, although all too common, combination for "bonking", or hitting the wall.

So what can you do to avoid this? Start by staying hydrated all day everyday. By the time your are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Low hydration, decreases blood volume, and disrupts your electrolyte balance. A low calorie sports drink will help restore your body's blood volume and electrolyte balance, and consumed during your session may avoid bonking all together. Avoid alcohol and excessive amounts of caffeine before working out. Ease into your workout. Slowly build your stamina, and your body will adapt to the new demands.


Often Im asked about specific supplements or what is THE best supplement to take. My answer is, WATER. I follow up by asking, why do you want to supplement, what are your goals? Athletes use supplementation to enhance performance for a specific goal, short term, on the scheme of athletic careers. Most of my clients are amateur fitness enthusiasts who want to maintain lean mass and strength as they age. Your body is 70% water, so is muscle mass. If you want to maintain and fuel that mass, it needs to be hydrated. Many people consume too much salt, caffeine, and sugar. All of which dehydrate and starve your muscles of their most important nutrient. Before you shell out your hard earned money on unconfirmed supplements, start drinking 2 liters a day of the worlds most abundant, and free, natural resource. And then ask yourself, have I been sleeping 7-8 hours a night, weight training 3 times a week, eating 6 balanced meals a day? Start supplementing these habits into your routine and watch the results come faster than ever, then we ll talk about supplementation.