1. Build Lean Muscle – One of the best ways to increase your metabolism is to start building lean muscle, hence the name of the website. Not only is muscle more dense than fat, taking up a mere 1/3 of the space, but it also increases the amount of calories your body will burn in a day. Adding a mere 1 lb of lean muscle will allow you to burn roughly an additional 50 calories per day at REST! For more on these fun facts please visit my past post “Kill Your Bathroom Scale Before it Kills You! – The best way to lose weight and keep it off”. Many people get it wrong when they adhere to starvation-type diets focusing simply on losing weight. With fat weight goes muscle weight, so if/when they start eating a “normal” diet, they’ll plump right up because they’ve decreased the size of their little calorie burning furnaces known as muscle.
2. Eat Less More Often – In earlier times man was a hunter gatherer who had to roam the land searching for food, or he was a farmer who had to toil in the soil under hot summer suns and fierce elements in order to hopefully have enough food to last the winter. Scarcity and physical labor was tough at times, but it kept us lean and thin.
Now days, however, we’re certainly not doing much toiling. We’re sedentary desk dwellers that have access to as much nutrient devoid snack food as we can cram in our mouths, which is all too often since our archaic meal times are based on the 3 daily blasts of the culture clock. Eating 3 large meals creates large insulin spikes throughout the day, which results in your body depositing more fat. In the valleys of the spikes is one you’ll typically experience hunger and be enticed to snack on available treats, even if they’re severely lacking in nutritional value. Instead try eating 5 to 7 small meals each day, which will help keep your body’s metabolism chugging along, and will leave you feeling satisfied with little or no urge to snack between meals.
A Page From My Food Journal
7:00 AM: 1.5 cups of rolled oats, 2 tbs. Natural Skippy Peanut Butter, 1 scoop ground flax seed, Banana
10:00 AM: Protein Shake
12:00 PM: Chicken Breast, Chopped Greens, Vegetables
3:00 PM: Greek yogurt, 20 almonds (unsalted)
6:00 PM: Egg whites, Spinach, Whole-wheat low carb. Tortilla, Natural Skippy Peanut Butter
8:00 PM: Salmon, Steamed Broccoli/Rice
9:30 PM: 20 almonds (unsalted), Rice Cakes
3. Eat More Protein – Establishing and maintaining sufficient lean protein intake is essential for building lean muscle, as it provides your muscles what they need to repair and grow. A number of studies have shown that consuming protein makes people feel fuller than fat, or carbohydrates. The effect was greatest when sufficient quantities of protein were ingested for breakfast, rather than later in the afternoon or evening. When you’re more likely to feel full throughout the day you’re less likely to over consume, and are also less likely to snack between meals. Cut out the toast and have some protein for breakfast.
4. Do Intervals (site football player study) – Interval training involves adding intermittent bursts of sprinting to cardio routines. One of the methods I use is to sprint as fast as I can for the last 30 seconds of each 5 minute period while on the treadmill, elliptical, etc. Not only is this a great way to add variety to your workouts without special equipment, it’s also a great way to jump-start your cardiovascular health.
5. Opt for Caffeine – Results of a study published in The Journal of Physiology and Behavior showed the metabolic rates of those who enjoyed a morning cup to be an impressive 16% higher than those who did not. A separate 2002 study of older adults published in The Journal of the Association of Physiological Science compared the memory ability of a group who drank regular coffee with those who drank decaffeinated. The results showed a significant decline in memory function from morning to afternoon in the group who drank the decaffeinated coffee, whereas no such decline was present in the group that drank the regular coffee. Bottoms up, but also beware of fancy coffee shop drinks that are oozing with fat and loaded with excess sugar! Also beware of adding creamer as many of those decadently tempting little single severing creamers pack 40 to 50 calories each!
“Coffee smells like freshly ground heaven.” ~ Jessi Lane Adams
6. Ice, Ice Baby & Water – Discovery Health conceived that a person who adheres to the recommendation of 8 cold glasses water a day may be inspiring their body to burn an additional 70 calories per day. This practice is discussed by Tim Ferriss in his book “The 4-Hour Body”, in which the subject named Ray Cornise employs several thermodynamic methods in an attempt to jump-start his metabolic rate, and subsequent fat loss. Staying adequately hydrated is crucial to ensure optimum liver function, which is needed for fat loss. Dehydration often causes headaches, and is also a major cause of lower back pain since the inner part of the disks along the spine is primarily water. A trick that I use to force myself to drink more water is to fill the container 1/2 to 3/4 full at a filling slamming it right away before refilling it again and going on with my day. I do this every time you fill up my cup and it forces me to drink an extra 2-3 glasses throughout the day.
7. Breakfast? Bring it! – A 2005 poll by ABC News said that 42% of Americans between the ages of 18 and 64 have absolutely NOTHING for breakfast. Recently I was watching Anthony Bourdain’s show “No Reservations” and his Colombian host recited an old German proverb that’s good advice for us all “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”. I found it absolutely fascinating, and even a little humorous, that the American diet is exactly the opposite. Not eating breakfast is actually a requirement for wannabe Sumo wrestlers, because it reduces their metabolism for the rest of the day. They also eat extremely large meals in the evening and rest for 4 hours after. Sound familiar? Research has shown that eating a more lunch-like breakfast, where the calories are at least 30% protein, increases your resting metabolic rate by about 20%. Tim Ferriss, author of “The 4-Hour Body”, recommends eating some type of protein every day within 30 minutes of waking up. I’ve actually started doing this, and I have to admit that I definitely feel more energized and alert even by the time I get to the office in the morning.
8. Say “No da” to Soda, “Yes” Green Tea - If you take a look at the nutrition label on a can of soda you’ll see 150 to 170 calories and absolutely no nutritional value what so ever. You’ll see that about the only real ingredients are water and sugar. You’re not going to see any vitamins, minerals, or protein on the label. It’s well known that sodas are notorious for A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by the University of Geneva concluded that “green tea has thermogenic properties, and promotes fat oxidation beyond that explained by its caffeine content“.
9. Grab the Weights (They don’t bite) – Strength training is the all important vehicle for building lean muscle, which in turn is your vehicle for burning more calories each and every day. Recall from my previous post “Find Your Six-Pack Body” that adding a mere 5 lbs of lean muscle will allow you to burn roughly an additional 250 calories/day at rest. Also remember that strength training causes your body to continue to burn calories at an increased rate for about an hour after your session.
10. Start Shiver Walking –In the book “The 4 –Hour Body” by Tim Ferriss there is a chapter called “Ice Age” that talks about how Ray Cronise, who was a high-ranking material scientist, uses temperature manipulation like shiver walks to jump start his fat loss by increasing his metabolism. Shiver walking involves walking outside in cool temperatures without excessive clothing in order to get your body to the point where it begins to shiver ever so slightly. The results are astounding! In a 12 week period Ray lost 21 pounds going from 230 lbs to 209 lbs without the use of cold exposure. Compare that to the 6 weeks that followed where he did used cold exposure and lost an astonishing 27 pounds going from 209 lbs to 182lbs! Better to use your head than break your back! For more on shiver walking and other cold exposure techniques please visit my post “Use Thermodynamics to Lose Fat?”