Fuel that Fire within: 5 crucial steps to boosting metabolism
Let's talk about the "F" word.
What do you think of when you hear the word "metabolism"? I think of that fire within that can get so hot it burns....burns what? Well I don't want to say the F word here but ok I'll say it...FAT.
We all have it, tucked away in those pesky pockets of pestilence. Ok, I know I'm being dramatic but seriously, we need to talk about how we can leverage our metabolism, or better yet, our "metabolic rate" to truly burn the extra cushion that is known as the underlying cause of SO.MANY.DISEASES (Talk about pestilence lol).
So let's just re-start with that "M" word again, metabolism. Without it we can't even begin to imagine the furnace inside of you, hot enough to torch anything around it (including muscle if you're not careful).
In a snapshot, metabolism is how you take in oxygen and food and use them for energy, heat, and storage (that's fat storage btw). By now you should be feeling warm and toasty yet? Or is that my workout talking ;)
Ok, what's really more important here is how efficient your metabolism is, which leads us to your "metabolic rate." In other words, the efficiency or rate at which our body burns calories/the food/drink we consume.
What you really want to know is what affects your metabolic rate, right? And how the heck you can use that to your advantage...to burn...let's all say it together: fat.
So, how do we get our metabolic rate to increase enough that we can get to the firey portrait that helps me encourage my clients to work harder, get better results and see and feel the difference in just 6 weeks time (if you're up for it).
Well, if you're asking what I think are the most crucial steps to boosting metabolism, as a fitness trainer of course I'm going to say "exercise"! But, I'm smarter than that and I have Dr. Momma Naturopath as my teacher and I know more than I even realize sometimes... so here it is: 5 crucial steps to boosting your metabolism and torching that adipose!
#1 HIGH INTENSITY INTERVALS
"Exercise" is a complex word these days- full of outdated "research" with underachieving steady state cardio. Don't be fooled, there is so much more to it than running on the treadmill, or elliptical. Honestly that is not what is going to get you the results you really want unless you do it for a million hours uphill in the rain on young healthy knees (Ain't NObody got time for that!)
Ya know that intimidating 40 shades of grey "exercise" room in your gym, the one with the straps and the balls and the rope? Well, all the new and updated research on cardio inducing exercise is where it's at. It's called HIIT (high intensity interval training).
Yep HIGH INTENSITY are the main key words here peeps. It's not meant to be easy. Results don't come when its easy.. Nothing worth it forms when it's easy!
The Grand Canyon comes to mind: vast, beautiful, absolutely incredible. But that took a LONG time to create, with rivers rushing through it, carving the mountainsides into a beautiful creation.
Ok, ok, we're not the Grand Canyon (although we may feel like it sometimes). But we are in need of patience, discipline, energy pouring into us to help us create something vibrant, healthy, sculpted.
This is the hard part, creating a timing scale where you are safely and effectively getting your heart rate up, pushing yourself to the extent that is safe, efficient and results driven. High intensity is just that, intense, so be careful here.
But coach, how in God's great Earth are we supposed to do this? What are the intervals best suited for our bodies? How do I know if I've pushed hard enough, long enough? What about my ankle injury or my back injury or my...? Well, that's my job! So leave it to me.
There are a variety of interval timings depending on your target heart rate, so it is tricky without knowing your resting heart rate. Generally, if you're just beginning a regimen, you want to hit about 75% of resting heart rate for 30-60 seconds of any cardio type exercise (treadmill and elliptical best for beginners). However, that won't suffice for long, and you will need to increase your target heart rate and the variety of exercise (muscle confusion) to get real results.
If you want to know more about how this works for your individual body, reach out to me for a FREE Fitness Consult and I can get you on a personalized HIIT/cardio/fat blasting program fit for your body and goals. (You can simply reply back to this email to get a hold of me).
#2 THYROID EFFICIENCY
Speaking of furnace, your little thyroid gland, located at the front of your throat, is responsible for the fuel that burns the fire and the fat.
This gland releases hormones to tell your body to “speed up” your metabolism. On the flip side, if the thyroid is inefficient, it doesn't speak up and that's when you may experience the plethora of low-thyroid symptoms: sluggishness, weight gain, moodiness, skin irritations, etc.
It is well known throughout the medical community that thyroid hormone (TH) regulates metabolic processes essential for normal growth and development as well as regulating metabolism in the adult.
Unfortunately, sometimes our little thyroid doesn't work very well, and many of you know that first hand. You may experience sluggishness, weight gain, moodiness, skin irritations, etc.
This is where you talk to an anti-aging physician and have them advise next steps.
#3 WEIGHT TRAINING
As you can imagine muscles that actively move and do work need more energy than fat does. So the more lean muscle mass you have the more energy your body will burn and the higher your metabolic rate will be. Even when you're not working out.
This is exactly why weight training is often recommended as a part of a weight loss program. Because you want muscles to be burning those calories for you.
The thing is, when people lose weight their metabolic rate often slows down which you don't want to happen. So you definitely want to offset that with more muscle mass. Plus, aerobic exercise also temporarily increases your metabolic rate. Your muscles are burning fuel to move so they're doing “work”.
This is why programs that combine both weight training and high intensity interval training (HIIT) are the best! My Bootycampers can attest to that... my specialty! Check out my small group training program "FitBooty Bootcamps" for more info. Start with 2 weeks of training for just $29 and come find your fitness tribe: www.cura-vida.com/fitbootybootcamps.com
#4 SLEEP/MIND-BODY CONNECTION
And don't forget the mind-body connection. There is plenty of research that shows the influence that things like stress and sleep have on the metabolic rate.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to metabolism and how so many different things can work to increase (or decrease) your metabolic rate.
According to a recent sleep study, "Sleep deprivation, sleep disordered breathing, and circadian misalignment are believed to cause metabolic dysregulation through myriad pathways involving sympathetic overstimulation, hormonal imbalance, and subclinical inflammation." (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2929498/)
This is why yoga is so important to me. Not only does it help me stay limber, lean and curb the road rage, but I sleep like a baby every night, post hot yoga. I mean, when else do you find yourself on all fours with your bum in the air, swinging your legs to your head, to your feet to your elbow and back again? This surely must confuse the brain into slumber.
#5 FOOD COMPOSITION
We probably know about calorie counting, but macronutrient composition is important depending on your goals.
As much as it's good and all to count calories, they're not the only thing that matters when it comes to how much you weigh and how much energy you have.
The type of food you eat also affects your metabolic rate!
Your body actually burns calories to absorb, digest, and metabolize your food. This is called the “thermic effect of food” (TEF).
You can use it to your advantage when you understand how your body metabolizes foods differently.
Fats, for example increase your TEF by 0-3%; carbs increase it by 5-10%, and protein increases it by 15-30%. By trading some of your fat or carbs for lean protein you can slightly increase your metabolic rate.
Another bonus of protein is that your muscles need it to grow. By working them out and feeding them what they need they will help you to lose weight and keep it off!
Try this recipe!
RECIPE (Lean Protein): Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken Breasts
2 lemons, sliced
1 tablespoon rosemary
1 tablespoon thyme
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
4 chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
dash salt & pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive old
Preheat oven to 425F. Layer ½ of the lemon slices on the bottom of a baking dish. Sprinkle with ½ of the herbs and ½ of the sliced garlic.
Place the chicken breasts on top and sprinkle salt & pepper. Place remaining lemon, herbs and garlic on top of the chicken. Drizzle with olive oil. Cover with a lid or foil.
Bake for 45 minutes until chicken is cooked through. If you want the chicken to be a bit more “roasty” then remove the lid/foil and broil for another few minutes (watching carefully not to burn it).
Exercise often, eat well, check your thyroid and set yourself up to get great sleep.
Make it happen and let me know if ya need me!
Cheers to boosting the metabolism and getting results!
Tip: You can add a leftover sliced chicken breast to your salad for lunch the next day!