No gimmicky spicy foods on this list, only proven and measurable ways to boost your metabolism. Incorporate every idea into your fitness lifestyle and you will realize the true potential of your metabolism.
Just as the name implies, reverse dieting is basically dieting in reverse. Whereas when you diet you slowly cut your calories as your weight loss plateaus, reverse dieting does just the opposite – effectively raising your calories on a week to week basis so as to maximize your calorie intake.
This takes patience and the ability to objectively measure your progress. You must differentiate the difference between fat and water weight. Increasing calories means you inevitably increase muscle glycogen capacity, and glycogen carries water with it. However, water is not fat, and glycogen is fuel for high-intensity exercise. Be slow and methodical as you raise your calories and your metabolism will increase as you go.
Eat More Calories
Eating fewer calories results in a slowing of your metabolism. This is a natural adaptation for your metabolism. To increase the rate at which your body produces metabolism-boosting hormones, you must feed it enough nutrition to carry out these functions.
This is why it’s so important that you always try to eat as many calories as possible that still enables you to lose weight. Keep your calorie deficit small and you will maintain a good metabolism all through your weight loss program. A 15% deficit is about all you need to get things going.
Create an Afterburn with HIIT
The afterburn effect, scientifically known as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), is your body’s way of returning itself to homeostasis after exercise. Your body uses extra calories after you finish working out to erase its oxygen debt, replenish fuel stores, and to repair muscle tissue.
While EPOC occurs after most exercise protocols, it is most elevated after intense bursts of exercise. If you push yourself in the gym or do intense intervals, you have the potential to have an elevated calorie burn for up to 48 hours after your workout.
I’m a big fan of refeeds. Cheat meals are similar, but I no longer set aside specific times to have them. Instead, I incorporate about 20% my calories to come from “free” foods. Doing so enables you to get in plenty of nutrition, and if you pay attention to your portion sizes and calorie intake, you will still make great progress.
For people with highly-adaptable metabolisms, refeeds are a must at least once a week and sometimes twice. Simply eat the same foods as you always do and increase your calories to maintenance levels. This sends strong signals to your metabolism to up-regulate its fat-burning and muscle-building hormones.
Increase Your Protein Intake
No other macronutrient has as strong of an influence on your metabolism as protein. Protein is highly thermogenic, which means it produces heat through metabolic stimulation. Protein uses about 25% of its calories for the digestion process.
Aim to get at least .7-1 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass. If you don’t know your lean body mass, you can eat .6-.8 grams per pound. However, if you have a high body fat, the latter method can be misleading, as muscle is much more metabolically active than fat tissue.
Last on the list but probably the most effective method for boosting your metabolism is strength training. Everyone should be incorporating some form of strength training into their fitness program. The benefits are just too many to ignore.
When it comes to your metabolism, strength training builds metabolism-boosting muscle. This muscle tissue uses calories at all hours of the day to maintain itself. That means a single workout can pay dividends long after you’re out of the gym.
Try to strength train at least once per week. You don’t need a gym either. You can get an effective workout with nothing other than your own body weight. Combine strength training with some HIIT, all while keeping your protein and calories up and incorporating refeeds, and you will soon find out just how powerful your metabolism can be.