I used to think I had a slow metabolism, but actually I just had a number of bad habits.
At 5’1 and a very small frame, I thought I was destined to need to eat under 1,200 calories in order to lose weight. And let me tell you, I tried. But even at my small stature, 1,200 calories was not only completely unsustainable, but it also wasn’t even helping me lose weight.
Not until I learned how to actually increase my metabolism through new and better habits did things start to shift for me. I was able to finally eat until I was satisfied without putting on weight, and I actually started losing weight.
If you want to know my exact approach to losing weight, be sure to check out my Fat Loss 101 Course, where I go into more detail and give you the step-by-step system you need to finally lose the weight.
In the meantime, let me give you a few quick tips to boost your metabolism:
Muscle is metabolically active, so it’s advantageous to have more of it. The more muscle you have on your body, the more calories your body will burn at rest. Yes, cardio burns calories too, but the thing with cardio is that your body adapts. So that same hour of cardio you were doing now takes an hour and a half to burn the same number of calories. You can tack on an extra half hour of cardio every few weeks or you can build some extra muscle to do that work for you.
Yes, protein will help you build muscle, which, as we’ve learned above can help increase your metabolism. But the amazing characteristic of protein is that it’s very thermogenic. It takes about 25-30% of the calories you ingest to digest it. To give you some comparison, the thermogenic effect of carbs is only 6-8% and for fat it’s 2-3%. So, essentially you can get away with eating more food if you eat protein!
I’m not a big proponent of cardio for the reasons in tip #1, but we’re also not designed to sit around all day in front of our computers or televisions. You want to move in a way that’s low stress and sustainable and in way that helps retain muscle - think: nice, long walks outside in the sunshine, a low-key bike ride with your kids, moving around doing chores and home projects, taking a walk while you take a phone call instead of sitting or laying down - you get it. The less you move, in general, the less you’ll be able to eat without gaining weight - just do it in a way that feels good and is sustainable.
Good and plentiful sleep is essential to optimizing your hormones, your thyroid, and of course, fat loss. After a bad night of sleep you’re more likely to overeat and to crave foods higher in carbohydrates and sugar, and your body is not able to balance your blood sugar as well. Talk about a set up for failure. Even if you were able to elicit willpower to eat the same foods and amount you usually do, any weight loss is more likely to come from muscle. So, strive for 7-9 hours of quality sleep by getting morning sunlight, limiting blue light exposure, especially before bed, and closing the kitchen once the sun has set.
I hope these tips help! Hit reply and let me know if you have any questions!