In today’s post we will show you how to boost your metabolism without going over the top and dedicating your entire life to the process. The key to a better shape isn’t oscillating between intense efforts and the inevitable exhaustion which comes afterwards. This only leads to the dreaded yo-yo effect which so many people suffer through. The key to an easy to maintain fat burning diet is to train a fast metabolism. That’s right: you don’t need to be born with a fast metabolism, you can just train it to pick up the pace. Small hacks can truly rev up your metabolism, in spite of what cards have been dealt to you by genetics.
The most important thing you should remember is that constancy is more important than anything else. The intensity of your efforts doesn’t count for much if you can’t be constant in them (no matter if we’re talking about dieting, exercising or whatever). If you try to be constant in these small efforts instead, even if you tend to be mellow in them, it will make for a much more impressive turnaround on your diet, shape and lifestyle. The trick is to train your system to accept small changes (lifestyle tweaks), which act as metabolism boosters and train you to sustain a fat burning diet without much effort afterwards. With this low-key intensity, but high constancy mantra in mind, here are our top tips on how to speed up your metabolism.
How to Boost Metabolism through Small Lifestyle Tweaks:
- Create a weekly exercise routine and stick to it
This routine doesn’t have to be super intense, otherwise your energy levels will burn out much too quickly, and you will quit for a while and then come back to extreme measures once the negative effects of quitting kick in. This is why you need to choose one of the following:
- 30 minutes of exercise every day;
- 40 minutes of exercise every other day;
- 1 hour of exercise 3 times a week.
We think the best way to go is to stick to the middle approach and exercise for 40 minutes every other day. You can pick mellow types of physical activity (like walking with a steady pace, relatively fast), or even something more intense, and alternate between them according to your mood and energy levels. You don’t have to practice the same type of sport or exercise each day you do workout.
- Within the exercise session, have short exercise bursts (more intense activity)
Even if you’re not exercising per se, but merely walking to work, just boost out your effort for short bursts of physical activity (20-30 seconds). This is meant to make you breathe heavier and activate more oxygen absorbing cells, boosting metabolism throughout the day even if you only have 5-6 of these bursts per exercise session. This is how to boost metabolism burns with minimal effort, on the long run.
- Eat less carbs and more protein and (good) fat
Don’t go for low-fat products and many people looking to lose weight do. Fat is not the problem, carbs are. Furthermore, most low-fat products are loaded with sugar and salt in order to taste decent in the absence of fat, so you’re really getting a worse deal. The key to an efficient fat burning diet meant to activate a fast metabolism is low-carb (but not an excessive carb reduction such as the ones proposed by fad diets). Just make sure the carbs don’t exceed 25-30% of your total intake, and ensure at least 30% high quality protein finds its way into your daily diet.
Besides protein, also focus on iron-rich foods, they definitely help with burning fat naturally. Another great help is omega 3 fats (which you can get from fish oil supplements, linseed oil, flaxseed, raw walnuts etc.).
Basically, no need for any drastic dietary restrictions. You can eat more or less anything you want, with just a little of the ‘bad things’ you may crave occasionally (like sweets). If you don’t overindulge, there’s no need to cut certain foods off your list completely.
- Drink plenty of water, and a little coffee and tea daily
If you could train yourself to take your tea and coffee unsweetened, it would be great. In order to train a fast metabolism, you shouldn’t add to the carbs bill by way of the drinks you have throughout the day. This means no fruit juices either, they may have some vitamins, but there’s definitely too much sugar in them. A piece of fruit is the better choice (at least it contains the fiber of the fruit as well).
Also drink the mandatory 2 liters of water a day. This is perhaps the most important tip on how to boost metabolism activity. In addition to the plain water, you can also drink 1-2 cups of coffee (if you don’t suffer from any condition that forbids it) and 1-2 cups of green tea per day. You can add a little milk to your coffee (and even to tea, if you fancy the combination) to make it less bitter, but refrain from adding sugar or other sweeteners.
- Avoid these common mistakes:
- Fasting: if you don’t eat enough, your metabolism won’t have enough stuff to burn through and go in a crazy savings stance, driving your body into fat storage mode.
- Skipping breakfast: if you do, you will be low-energy and tempted to over-eat throughout the day, sabotaging both your diet and exercise goals. It’s better to have a really light dinner (or just a healthy snack, like a plain yogurt serving or a handful of nuts) in the evening, and have a truly more protein full breakfast in the morning. Go for 2 eggs with a bit of chickpea salad or Greek yogurt with muesli and other such nutritious options.
- Confusing organic or whole-meal foods with healthy. Sure, it’s great to go organic or whole-meal as often as you have the chance, but this doesn’t mean that those foods aren’t loaded with too many carbs and sugar. Just because a supersized pizza is made with whole wheat flour crust and organic cheeses doesn’t mean you can eat one by yourself every day, to give an extreme example. You still have to watch what you eat, within reasonable and flexible limits.
- Over-exercising and then taking a long break to recover: As we said in the beginning, one of the best tips you need to remember on how to boost metabolism is constancy. If you work out for two hours but then take a week long break to allow your burnout and muscle pains to heal, it’s almost as if you didn’t exercise in the first place. It’s better to keep it slow paced and activate a fast metabolism on the long run.