Metabolism is a word that is often thrown around when discussing diet and exercise. Most people know that a slow metabolism results in a slower burn off of your food which means weight loss is going to be more difficult. Those with a fast metabolism easily burn off their food with little effort.
People with a slow metabolism often use this as an excuse for being overweight, for overeating (or under eating) or for being unhealthy.
While it can be somewhat of a health issue, it is not one that cannot be altered. But before learning how to speed up metabolism, you first need to understand the way your body’s metabolism works.
What is Metabolism?
When you talk about metabolism it basically refers to all the chemical reactions that break down complex molecules (known as a catabolic reaction) with the production of energy.
That energy is then used to build up these complex molecules (known as an anabolic reaction), so the body can take care of itself and new tissue can develop. Every time you consume and digest food, your body is going through a metabolic reaction.
For instance, digestion is considered a catabolic reaction because food molecules are large and need to be broken down in order to go through your digestive system and into your body’s bloodstream. Once they are broken down into these much smaller molecules, they can now easily go into the bloodstream and then carried into your body’s cells.
Now taking this process even further and understanding where these nutrients go, and how they are broken down is another part of metabolism. The metabolic pool refers to all these smaller molecules whereby the nutrients are broken down.
This pool includes simple sugars (the breaking down of complex carbohydrates), glycerol and fatty acids (from lipid conversion or fats) and amino acids (formed from protein break down). All these broken down nutrients are used to create new tissue—the anabolic reaction of metabolism.
This understanding of how your food is broken down and then used to sustain you as well as building up new tissue is important when it comes to finding ways to speed up your metabolism. Yes, you can speed it up, but it comes with some patience, persistence and a lot of hard work and commitment.
One way to speed up metabolism is by building muscle. All those grunts and groans from people lifting heavy weights can actually have a boosting effect on your metabolism. It may be difficult to fathom, but your body is always burning calories whether you are exercising, sitting still or sleeping.
However, the rate at which it burns those calories differs. If you have muscle, your resting metabolic rate is higher. Why? Science proves that muscle is more metabolically active than fat. In other words, having more muscle increases your caloric burn while at rest.
Now when you weight train with a variety of rep ranges, your muscles are being challenged and you set a turbulence in your body. This turbulence forces your body to burn more calories to recover, increasing your resting metabolism and burning more fat. In other words – start lifting.
Walking on a treadmill or riding a stationary bike is will not do much for speeding up your metabolism and can lead to overuse injuries. Metabolic resistance training has been scientifically proven to increase your metabolic rate.
This type of training program utilizes supersets and/or circuits so that your rest time is minimal, which keeps your heart rate elevated. With this type of workout, you are going from one exercise to another incorporating incomplete recovery and weight training to produce an increase in your resting metabolic rate.
Much research has been spent in figuring out which foods can speed up a person’s metabolism. The truth is that nothing compares to eating whole, natural foods. Sure, there are studies that are trying to prove the cold water effect as well as using hot spices to rev up metabolism, but these little things don’t compare to a diet of natural foods. These types of foods are beneficial for the short and long term.
Increasing your protein has been shown it takes more energy to digest compared with fat and carbohydrates. You certainly don’t have to obsess about it, but increasing your protein intake while still in a calorie deficit can help you with burning more calories. Proteins include fish, eggs, chicken or low fat dairy.
Black coffee with its high caffeine content provides more than just a morning energy boost. It can also create an increase in your metabolic rate, although it is only a short-term benefit.
Drinking two to four cups of green tea can also give your metabolism a boost that can last for several hours. Research has shown that drinking that much green tea each day can make the body burn seventeen percent more calories than usual. Again, this is a short-term boost, but if you do it every day, it will certainly start adding up.
If you do not like green tea or want to try something new, oolong tea is supposed to provide the same metabolism boost as green tea.
According to Dr. Oz, “Oolong tea contains polyphenols that help block fat-building enzymes. This young tea is low in caffeine so you can drink it throughout the day for continued results. Research shows that your metabolism will be raised for two hours after every cup of oolong.”
There are many safe and effective ways to speed up your metabolism. By incorporating all these methods, you not only give your metabolism a boost, but you are also creating some healthy new habits in the process.
And in the end, that is what your ultimate goal should be—living the healthiest life possible.
Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer
There is a bird that has been trying to fly through my kitchen window for over 4 days now…if you are half as persistent as that bird, you’ll succeed. Never ever, EVER give up. Not even when someone yells at you to stop – like I’ve been yelling at that bird all weekend.
Stay strong, and join us in the 11th TT Transformation Contest here.
Let’s get started with…
Monday – May 16th –
Transformation Tip of the Week: “The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.” – M. Scott Peck
If you are struggling, do not worry, but instead stay strong and commit to positive action. Remember that every day we keep working towards better tomorrows.
Training Tips – Workout A from my new 4-week program
Reference: Obesity (Silver Spring). 2011 Mar 31. Behavioral Transitions and Weight Change Patterns Within the PREMIER Trial.
Bartfield JK, Stevens VJ, Jerome GJ, Batch BC, Kennedy BM, Vollmer WM, Harsha D, Appel LJ, Desmond R, Ard JD. Department of Nutrition Sciences, University of Alabama, Birmingham, Alabama, USA.
Researchers from the University of Alabama wanted to see if short-term weight loss behaviors led to long-term weight loss.
The behaviors that increased weight loss and helped weight maintenance were:
Participants lost an average of 5.3 ± 5.6 kg at 6 months and 4.0 ± 6.7 kg (4.96% of body weight) by 18 months.
Conclusion: Behaviors associated with short-term weight loss continue to be associated with long-term weight loss, albeit at lower frequencies. Minimizing the decline in these behaviors may be important in achieving long-term weight loss.
Wednesday Workout Tip
Trainer Thursday -
First, you’re probably wondering, “What exactly is metabolic resistance training?” And the answer is that almost every Turbulence Training program falls under this definition. Anytime you use supersets or circuits and train with an elevated heart rate and insufficient recovery, you are doing metabolic resistance training.
And that’s what you’ll get in this month’s TT MRT program at TT members.
But this program is different. We’ve modified the heavy metabolic resistance training and also incorporated metabolic resistance conditioning using lighter resistance, and less rest. So you’ll get 4 workouts, broken down into these two components. Two workouts of heavy metabolic resistance training and two workouts of metabolic conditioning. The heavy workouts are done first, and are followed immediately the next day by the conditioning workouts.
Question: Craig, what should be our rule of thumb when we reach the limits of our equipment?
For example, my treadmill only reaches 11.2 mph, but I feel like I can run faster (or keep that pace for longer than 1 minute). Should I add an additional wo…rk interval or increase the speed on the the recovery interval (now at 5.4)? Also, for exercises where we reach our max weight, should we add an extra rep?
In this case, I can complete 3 sets of 6 reps at 85 pounds on flat bench and 3 x 6 @ 85 on DB squat with pretty strict form and slow eccentric phases (i.e., 3 second negatives). Finally, if we reach the targeted number on a body weight exercise (e.g., chinups), should we add reps or weight?
Answer: For intervals, you can run longer and use shorter recovery periods. Yes, you can add reps with the weight. For lower body, switch to single leg . For chins, you can add wt or reps. Thanks. You got your money’s worth there.
Question: Do you have any online follow-along videos?
Answer: You bet. Try this => http://www.turbulencetraining.com/15MinuteWorkouts/
Great question…please ask yours at: www.TurbulenceTrainingFanpage.com
Social Support Saturday!
I dedicate this issue to my friend Yuri, who passed away suddenly at the age of 49 last week.
He first lived on the streets in Italy, eating thrown-out table scraps and washing windshields for spare change. Eventually, he made his way to New York City, then the pinnacle of civilization. He became a taxi driver, saved his money, and put himself through Columbia Business School.
He was a real James Bond type…
Too many people underestimate their ability to change and design their lives and make them better.
Each day make your life a little (or a lot) more awesome. Eliminate the toxic, negative, and harmful influences and circumstances from your life.
Sunday – Plan, Shop & Prepare –
Myth: Negative Calorie Foods Cause You to Lose Weight
According to the “experts”, a negative calorie food requires more energy to digest than it provides you when you eat it. Often included in the negative calorie food list are apples and bananas, which other “experts” claim are bad for you, based on the ridiculous “fruit stops fat loss” argument.
Sheesh… There is no such thing as a negative calorie food. It’s a shame “experts” are out there promoting this stuff, and that so many people fall for it.