Even if you are convinced that you are cursed with a slow metabolism, you can do something about it. In fact, basic lifestyle changes can give you a revved up metabolism capable of burning a lot more fat and calories 24 hours a day.
And your metabolism does not have to suck just because you are over 30. I am often asked if there is anything that can be done about the decrease in metabolism that happens as we age. Well, the following tips will help you increase your metabolism as much as possible. Eating properly and exercising can keep your metabolism at optimal levels for several decades - you are never too old to lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean.
1. Interval training
This type of exercise is far superior to traditional cardio for boosting metabolism. Once you stop moderate aerobic training, your metabolism quickly returns to normal. But the turbulence from interval training helps your body burn more calories for hours after the workout.
2. Gain muscle and lose fat.
Now while it is true that putting on muscle mass will help your metabolism at rest, it is NOT true that each pound of muscle will help burn an extra 50 calories per day. That is a pipe dream. But having more muscle will allow you to exercise harder and create more turbulence in your body. Plus, muscle looks good on men and women.
3. Eat more protein.
No surprise here, bodybuilders have known this for a long time and have been using protein to help them achieve their lean bodies. A recent study showed that a high-protein, low-carbohydrate shake led to a greater increase in metabolism than a low-protein, high-carbohydrate drink.
Scott, C., and R. Devore. Diet-induced thermogenesis: variations among three isocaloric meal-replacement shakes. Nutrition 21: 874-877, 2005.
4. Don't starve yourself or skip meals to lose weight.
Reducing your food intake could lead to a slower metabolism. That will stop your fat loss program and will lead to rapid weight re-gain when you return to a normal eating pattern.
5. Eat 6-8 mini-meals per day, rather than 2-3 large meals.
A new study showed that eating 6 times per day was associated with eating fewer calories per day, lowering cholesterol levels, and lowering post-meal insulin levels. Eating several small meals per day might even help you burn more calories.
I recommend combining an increased meal frequency with an increased protein and fiber intake. That's a guaranteed way to lose fat and gain muscle. I cover how to make these changes in Get Lean, my most advanced fat loss manual.
Farshchi, H., et al. Beneficial metabolic effects of regular meal frequency on dietary thermogenesis, insulin sensitivity, and fasting lipid profiles in healthy obese women. Amer. J. Clin. Nutr. 81: 16-24, 2005.
Do all of these simple steps and you'll increase your metabolism and succeed on your weight loss program.
Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Men’s Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines and all over the Internet, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit http://www.TurbulenceTraining.com