A strong metabolism is the secret to easier progress with your fat loss goals, but it DOESN’T mean you need to:
-eat every 2-3 hours
-never skip breakfast
-avoid eating sugars and breads
-do fasted cardio each and every morning
-stay away from any and all processed foods
-perform HIIT cardio sessions after each lifting session
Before I give you actionable advice that will ACTUALLY improve your metabolism, let me briefly explain what your metabolism does and why it’s important.
To keep it as simple as possible…
Your metabolism is the process in which your body breaks down calories and uses them as energy to survive and thrive.
Meaning the faster your body breaks down and metabolizes calories, the more calories you can eat and still lose or maintain weight.
I’m sure you know a person or two who is quite slim yet eats everything under the sun.
Because they have a fast metabolism.
You also might know someone (or you) who tries to be very aware of their diet, yet can’t seem to lose any weight no matter how hard they try?
I’ll bet you thought I was going say because they have a “slow metabolism.”
In some cases… yes, absolutely.
But in MOST cases… it’s not that their metabolism is slow… it’s that they (or you) don’t know how to optimize the metabolism and keep it running at full steam to make fat loss easier and less complicated.
(this is where I show you how)
Strength training isn’t going to show an immediate impact to a faster metabolism like most people say. You don’t burn more calories from a strength training session than you would from a cardio session necessarily, but with time, your RMR (resting metabolic rate) will be higher due to having more lean tissue on your frame. Meaning you’ll burn more calories due to having more muscle. Strength training is the long-term investment to a stronger metabolism in the future to continuously make things easier for your future self.
Eat More Protein
Protein takes the most amount of work out of all the macronutrients to break down and digest inside the body. Meaning, if you were to eat 100 calories of protein vs 100 calories of carbs, the net balance of protein calories would be lower because your body burns more calories to break down and digest the protein. Eating between .7-1.2 g of protein per pound of body weight is usually just the right amount. I’ve worked with people in plateaus where we’ve left calories alone without any adjustments while just focusing on a higher protein intake and the scale immediately started dropping week after week. Don’t underestimate this one!
Increase Your NEAT
NEAT stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. If you have an active job where you’re on your feet all day, you’ll naturally have a higher NEAT. If you have a desk job where your eyes are glued to a screen for the majority of the day, you’ll naturally have a lower NEAT. Now, it isn’t practical to switch jobs just to burn more calories for a faster metabolism… so how can you increase your NEAT? Simple… Park further away from the stores that you walk into. Take the stairs rather than the elevator. Take 5-10 minute walks every couple hours to walk around the block or the office. These things sound minimal but being conscious and getting in more steps throughout the day can have a significant effect on your NEAT, which will have an overall effect on your metabolism.
Periodize Your Nutrition
What does nutritional periodization mean? It’s simpler than it sounds. It just means you don’t sentence yourself to a chronic calorie deficit. If you’ve listened to any of my podcasts around fat loss, you’ll know that the metabolism learns to adapt. The longer you eat low calorie… the more your metabolism slow down and adapt and you’ll encounter a lot more frustrating plateaus. To mitigate this… you need a “periodized” nutrition plan. Meaning your taking time blocks out of each year to eat at a maintenance level of calories and even at a surplus of calories in some instances to make sure your metabolism stays at a faster rate. Think of periodization as one step backwards every now and again to continue taking two steps forward.
Rotate Your Cardio
Don’t take this out of context and think you need to step on a treadmill or go for a run every day. But adding in different types of cardio here and there can really help in terms of speeding up your metabolism due to the extra calorie burn. One thing to keep in mind here… always doing the same cardio over and over will produce less and less of a result when it comes to burning calories. Just like your metabolism is efficient and adapts to the calorie intake it’s receiving… your body is efficient and adapts to the cardio it is doing as you build your work capacity to it. Don’t get confused by this but doing different forms of cardio every 3-4 weeks can help keep your body from adapting and getting “too good” at the cardio you’re doing. I’d recommend some LISS, HIIT, and different forms of metabolic training sprinkled throughout each week.
This doesn’t mean go and stim your brains out each day just to have a faster metabolism, but caffeine has been proven to help. Why? Because of the thermic effect it has on your body as well as the additional energy it provides which leads to more movement. I’d recommend no more than around 200 mg per day for novelty users and 300-400 mg per day for intermediate-experienced users. Also, to help with sleep, I wouldn’t suggest digesting caffeine within 6-8 hours of going to bed. Even if you can fall asleep after consuming caffeine, studies show the quality of your sleep isn’t as good which will affect your mood, energy level, and overall quality of life.
Notice I didn’t mention any supplements, extremes, or complicated theories here.
There isn’t a magic pill to a faster metabolism, or a well-kept secret for that matter.
It comes down to being consistent at the simple things above.
If you have further questions with your metabolism… feel free to leave them in the comments!
If not, execute on these six principles and I guarantee you’ll notice an improvement.
But like with anything else when it comes to your body… only if you’re consistent with it.