I am hoping you used the tips in my last article to prevent holiday weight gain. The key to maintaining a healthy weight, fat loss, reducing your waistline, or getting in shape, is stoking your metabolism. Exercise, especially strength training, is an effective way to increase your metabolism and burn unwanted fat. Here are other effective ways to increase your metabolism so once you reach your goals, you can sustain them over time.
Fast To Metabolic Fitness: Time Restricted Eating (TRE) and Intermittent Fasting (IF) are amazingly effective tools to stoke your metabolism. Time restricted eating involves fasting for 14-18 hours daily and eating your calories within a 6–10-hour window. It has been shown that the amount of cellular cleanup increases with an increase in fasting time which gets rid of toxins that bog down your metabolism. It has also been documented that women respond best to fasting between 14-16 hours. Intermittent fasting in comparison is fasting for 24-72 hours (about 3 days) once weekly. If you are new to time restricted eating, I recommend first picking the time when you normally eat your last meal of the day then add 12-14 hours to determine when your eating window should begin. Over days or weeks, you can increase your fasting time to 14-18 hours. If you have not done a fast before I recommend doing it on a weekend starting Friday night after your last meal and choose a 24–32-hour window for your fast where you consume only water and clear liquids like bone broth and tea and do only light exercise. You should always consult your doctor before fasting.
Protein is Powerful: Eating more protein is an effortless way to increase your metabolism which means you will burn more fat even when resting. Protein is used for building and repairing muscle tissue among other things and is not stored as fat. Protein also keeps you satisfied longer and helps in blood sugar regulation. Enjoy 3-5 three-ounce servings of protein daily and have protein with every meal and snack. Protein is found in fish, chicken, beef, pork, wild game, eggs, nuts, seeds, legumes, quinoa, and cheese.
Water is Your Friend: Drinking water increases your metabolism, which increases your energy and ability to burn fat. Drinking water will improve your mental focus, memory, and concentration. Work at drinking half of your bodyweight in ounces of water every day. If you enjoy caffeinated beverages, you need to consume an equivalent amount of water for every ounce of caffeinated beverage.
Say No to Sugars: Sugar is readily converted to fat and is highly addictive. After the holidays I recommend you avoid sugar in any form for 1 month. Avoid foods in boxes or packages, baked goods, starches, fruits, and alcohol.
Eat More Fat: Good fats are your friend and are an asset to your metabolism. Break your fast (breakfast) with good fats from nuts, seeds, avocado, whole eggs, coconut oil, and grass-fed butter. Good fats are essential for hormone production, they make up your cell membranes, brain, and nervous system, and aid your metabolism. They also keep your appetite satisfied.
Whether the holidays were a friend or a foe to your waistline, use these tips to reset your metabolism and start your year off on the right foot. Remember, it is never too late to make a Shift in Health.