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How to Rev Your Metabolism

How to Rev Your Metabolism
Seven steps to help you burn calories and burn fat

Transformation Nation

Happy 4th of July everyone! I hope everyone had a safe and fun holiday. I spent my holiday with my dad in Chicago, watching the Cubs at legendary Wrigley Field. The weather was perfect, not too hot and not too cold. You couldn't get a better environment for a sporting event on the 4th of July. To begin the game, they had 30-40 servicemen and women from all branches of the military come onto the field carry the largest American flag I have ever seen. Before the national anthem, all those military personnel stretched the flag so it hovered the ground and made for a very patriotic scene in a very proud American city. As the game neared the end and the Cubs had the victory in sights, the crowd started chanting, "USA, USA, USA." It was awe inspiring to say the least.

Now that the holiday is over and most of us will be going back to work tomorrow, its time to focus. We may have indulged on a few "holiday" treats and beverages and our eating and workout schedules could have been altered. Plus, we are half way through the year and I'm sure we are still pushing for those end of year goals we set in January...right?

So this leads me to our topic for this week, metabolism. And more importantly how do we increase it. But first we must cover what metabolism actually is. Scientifically, metabolism is the amount of calories you burn everyday without doing anything. This is referred to as resting metabolic rate or basal metabolic rate (BMR). So essentially, it is the amount of calories you would burn while laying in bed for 24 hours. It is impacted heavily on the following: the size of the individual, the amount of muscle on the individual, hormonal factors such as T3 and T4 conversion and amount of testosterone and growth hormone release, also environmental factors such as sleep, foods we eat and alcohol we drink. Some of these you can control (amount of toxins you put in your body and sleep you get) and some you cannot (hormone factors).

So how do I increase my metabolism?

Eat more

When someone wants to lose weight, the first thing you try to do is cut their calories. Unfortunately,this can back fire and crush your metabolism. For women, eating less than 1200 calories a day will kill your metabolism. It will put your body into a state of shock and at some point, everything you eat will be converted to storage because your body thinks it is starving. I'd say 1800-2000 calories for men is a baseline. If you are eating smart and eating the right whole foods, this will increase your metabolism and have a dramatic effect on your body fat.

Drink Water

Researches have found that drinking water (at least 64 ounces a day) can help boost the metabolism to burn at least 50 more calories a day. That is 5lbs per year. I advise everyone to drink as much water as they can, at least 100 ounces per day, everyday.

Eat Breakfast

Women who skip breakfast are 4 1/2 times more likely to be obese. That in itself is a reason to eat breakfast, everyday.

Eat Fiber

Research has shown that eating at least 25 grams of fiber a day can increase the metabolic rate as much as 30%. Pick foods that are green vegetables like broccoli and kale over whole grain and wheat. Quest bars also have a ton of fiber in them.

Eat Organic Food

Canadian researchers report that dieters with the most organochlorines (pollutants from pesticides, which are stored in fat cells) experience a greater than normal dip in metabolism as they lose weight, perhaps because the toxins interfere with the energy-burning process. Other research hints that pesticides can trigger weight gain. Always choose organic when buying peaches, apples, bell peppers, celery, nectarines, strawberries, cherries, lettuce, imported grapes, and pears; non-organic versions tend to have the highest levels of pesticides.
* From Prevention Magazine

Eat Protein in Every Meal

Protein increases metabolism because it takes longer to digest (in most cases). Researchers have found that eating protein can increase post meal calorie burn by 35%.

Lift Heavy Things

Best way to boost your metabolism is picking up heavy sh*t. Men and women should both be doing more lifting and spending less time on cardio machines. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, so therefore the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism is. You don't build muscle tissue from the elliptical. Lift heavy things.

Bonus!

Cut out the alcohol

Alcohol KILLS your metabolism! When you drink you burn less fat and more slowly than normal, not matter how hard you workout or focus on weight loss. You can't train hard and drink and expect to lose weight, your body won't let it happen. Drinking the equivalent to two martinis you can decrease your metabolism by 73%. Something to think about here.

Yours in Fitness,

JB