This post was written by Nick Garcia, HN. He believes that everyone can achieve a healthy lifestyle and the body of their dreams. That’s why he is dedicated to helping people eat real food, exercise smart, and transform their habits using simple strategies anyone can do. Follow him on Facebook or subscribe to his Youtube channel.
If you want to burn those “empty” calories you ate last weekend and get rid of your unwanted excess stored fat; you’d better pay attention to this article. You could very well be turning off your fat-burning metabolism even if you’re eating healthy, exercising, and living a healthy lifestyle.
Most people blame genetics, kids, spouses, or lack of willpower on a slow metabolism that causes you to store fat all day long. The hard to swallow truth about your currently sluggish metabolic rate has nothing to do with bad genes and everything to do with a few simple lifestyle habits that are eating away at your metabolically active tissue.
13 Ways To Transform Your Metabolism
In the next 8 minutes, you’ll learn how a few simple tweaks to your daily routine can transform your fat-storing metabolism, into a 24/7 fat-burning machine.
1. You Ate A Fat-Storing Breakfast
“They,” say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Who is “they” anyway? I say the most important meal of the day is your next meal because you are only as healthy as the food you eat. However, breakfast can make or break your weight loss efforts.
You’ve been sleeping (i.e. fasting) for 6-10 hours, so the fuel you choose to give your precious metabolism is critical to how the rest of your day is going to go.
If you choose a high-carb, low-fat, low-protein, caffeine-heavy, processed breakfast, you’re going to cause a surge of insulin, a fat-storing hormone. It will take you all day long to recover from this, especially if you are insulin resistant (if you have weight to lose, you probably are).
To set your metabolism up for success first thing in the morning, make sure you’re getting enough protein (18-24 grams), a healthy fat (egg yolks, coconut oil, avocado, etc…), and an easily digestible carb (fruit, oats, occasional gluten-free bread, and sweet potatoes).
Check out these 16 Delicious Breakfast Recipes!
2. You Tried To Starve Your Fat Cells
Did you know that “dieting” or calorie restriction actually INCREASES the size of your fat cells? That’s right, and since women have more fat-storing enzymes and less muscle, the restrictive calorie diets result in even more STUBBORN fat cells.
Going on ANOTHER muscle-murdering, metabolism-destroying diet will ensure your fat cells survival and strengthening. The more you try to starve your fat cells (diet, restrict calories, skip meals, avoid eating real food with shakes and powders, etc..) the MORE your fat cells will grow, multiply, and become more stubborn.
It’s evolutionary. It’s biology. It’s NATURE. Your body is designed as one giant protective mechanism.
If you starve it of Oxygen, metabolic processes will slow down to preserve oxygen to live longer in hopes of eventually getting more Oxygen. If you starve it of food, your metabolic processes will slow down to preserve calories (fuel) in hopes of eventually getting more food/fuel.
When you stop the diet/starvation and go on a binge for a day or two, guess what? Your metabolism is set on a low setting and needs time to catch up, but you don’t give it time.
Stop trying to starve your fat cells. Eat high-quality food.
3. You Skipped Your Metabolic Workout
You’ve seen that super-fit person at the gym, jumping from exercise to exercise. You might think to yourself “Holy moly, if that’s what it takes to look fit, I’m out!” or “that could never be me.”
What you’ve witnessed at the gym are metabolic workouts.
Believe it or not, that super-fit person probably USED to think the same thing, most likely in a very similar scenario. The great thing about metabolic workouts is that they are “metabolically relative.”
In other words, you might not be able to perform a workout at the same rate or caliber as the super-fit gym goer, BUT your metabolic workout is right for YOU!
If you want to destroy your metabolism, increase your cardio and don’t do metabolic workouts. On the other hand, if you want to boost your metabolism and turn your body into a fat-burning machine do metabolic workouts.
4. You Thought Your Fruit Was “Sugar”
The body’s primary fuel source is glucose. Another very valuable energy source for the body (i.e. cells) is fructose. The sugar in fruit, fructose, provides your body with instant energy. Fructose does not store in your body as easily, preventing weight gain.
Eating fruit speeds up your metabolism, because of the massive amounts of fructose consumed. Fruit also helps moderate blood sugar and regulate the adrenal glands, which in turn, increases conversion of T4 to T3.
Many fruits are often referred to as “disease-fighters, ” but they are really “health-promoters.” Don’t eat fruit to “fight disease,” eat fruit to “promote health!”
Fact: Fruit is loaded with antioxidants, flavonoids, and best of all fructose.
Fact: Fruit is high in micronutrients that help stabilize and improve electrolyte balance like potassium, sodium, magnesium.
Don’t be afraid to eat fruit and if you’re concerned about insulin, make sure to combine your fruit with a protein and/or fat.
5. You Didn’t Sleep Well
Lack of good quality sleep disrupts your metabolism and hormonal balance in many ways:
Too much cortisol. Lack of sleep is a major stress that stimulates cortisol. Too much cortisol cues your body to store fat. Excess cortisol also disrupts your insulin sensitivity, which further promotes fat storage
Insulin resistance. Excess cortisol can throw your insulin out of whack, so your excess hunger is often a craving for sweet, starchy foods – which can then set off a sugar craving.
Not enough glucagon. Just as excess insulin can cause your body to store fat, glucagon tells your body to burn it. Lack of sleep means you don’t have enough glucagon to keep that fat burning.
Decreased adiponectin. Adinopectin is a hormone that promotes insulin sensitivity and helps you break down fat. It also reduces inflammation and supports cardiovascular function. Less sleep means you lose those benefits – and gain weight.
Not enough leptin. Leptin is a hormone that causes you to feel full. When your leptin levels are low, you don’t feel full as soon as you should, and as a result, you eat more.
Too much ghrelin. Ghrelin is the hormones that cause you to get hungry. When your ghrelin levels are high, you feel hungrier than you should and again, as a result, you eat more.
Insufficient human growth hormones. HGH improves your fat metabolism, so when its levels drop, your weight must rise. You make this “fountain of youth” hormone during the deepest stage of sleep. So it’s not enough to get sleep, you have to get deep sleep, which requires a long, uninterrupted night.
Leaky gut. During sleep, your body rebuilds your gut walls. Lack of sleep brings on leaky gut, inflammation, and an imbalanced microflora. All of which lead to weight gain. You rely on your microbiome and gut to make biochemical that you brain needs to orchestrate sleep.
Disrupted body clock. When your body clock is disrupted you develop inflammation, which always leads to fat storage.
The takeaway? Lack of sleep makes you fat. Good, restful sleep keeps you vigorous, energized, and burning fat.
6. You Ate Late At Night
This is a simple and easily avoidable issue: eating late at night can do a real number on your metabolism, and unless you have perfectly balanced hormones, your body is likely storing fat while you sleep.
Many times it’s not THAT you are eating late at night, it’s WHAT you are eating before bed. Things like sweets, wine, milk chocolate, and baked goods are all going to cause inflammation, spike insulin, and lead to overnight fat storage. If you must eat later in the day, stick to protein or make your own late night treats to minimize the negative consequence.
Also, it’s just generally not wise to eat high-energy foods before bed because they will interrupt your circadian rhythm, disrupting your restful sleep.
7. You Sat Half The Day
This one can be hard to avoid, but there are ways to navigate around it. While exposing your body to sitting you can cause irreversible postural imbalances, inhibited breathing, and slow down your metabolic rate.
Tight hip flexors, rounded shoulders, inhibited neck flexion, and tight chest muscles are all consequences of sitting for too long every day.
So either buy yourself a standing treadmill desk or set your phone timer to go off every hour to stand up and stretch.
8. You’re Letting Carbs Control You
While not eating carbs may seem like you’re doing a good thing for your body and weight loss efforts, the toll it can take on your metabolism over time is pretty consequential – especially if you restrict fruit, grains, or starches.
Depriving yourself and your cells of carbs is not only harmful to your metabolic rate, but it’s not sustainable, which usually leads to a failed dieting effort.
Sure, many overly processed carbs cause inflammation and lead to weight gain. The secret to carbs is knowing what carbs to eat to keep inflammation low and how to combine your carbs with protein and fat properly.
There is a unique and breakthrough method I use with my clients to counter the negative effects of carbs and get carbs to work for you, instead of against you. It’s called carb cycling, you can learn more about The 3-Week Metabolism Diet and carb-cycling here.
9. You’re Meals Aren’t Balanced
A lot can go wrong when your food hits the plate, and since many women are too busy counting calories, eating meals with too many processed foods, or too little carbs, or not enough fat, this is one of the most “accidental” ways you are slowing down your metabolism.
Not combining your macro nutrients properly has been linked to insulin resistance, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, and over time a slow metabolic rate that makes it impossible to get rid of stubborn fat.
Always be sure to properly combine your carbs, proteins, and fats to balance your hormones, stabilize your blood sugar, and optimize your metabolism.
Check out this video on how to create a balanced diet:
10. You Destroyed Your Gut Bacteria
You might want to think about the trillions of tiny bacteria floating around in your body, BUT they are keeping you healthy, well unless you are destroying them. It’s possible you could be unintentionally killing your good gut bacteria.
Here are a few common killers of good bacteria:
- Antibiotics and anti-inflammatories
- Chronic stress (physical, emotional, psychological)
- Excess processed, “dead” foods
- Low stomach acid from low-calorie diets, cleanses, detoxes, and poor diet
The good news is you can replenish your healthy gut bacteria by adding in probiotic type foods, eliminating inflammatory foods, and managing your stress.
Restoring gut balance will lead to faster fat loss and an increased metabolism. Remember, everything begins in the gut! Restore your gut health to improve your health.
11. You Reacted Instead Of Responded To Stress
Did you know that STRESS (not just food) can lead to insulin balancing issues? If the main stress response, cortisol, stays elevated for long periods of time, over time it decreases the body’s ability to respond to insulin levels.
This is bad news for you if you are trying to lose weight, borderline diabetic, or interested in maintaining optimal health. Cortisol inhibits protein synthesis, promotes protein breakdown, as well as countering the effects of other fat burning hormones like Growth Hormone.
Cortisol causes weight gain via the effect it has on your appetite.
Cortisol makes your brain less sensitive to the effects of leptin, blunting its satiating signal. This can leave you feeling a lot hungrier than normal, particularly for foods that are high in starch, sugar or fat.
The problem is made worse by people who secrete large amounts of cortisol in response to stress (known as cortisol hyper-secreters). They are the ones who tend to eat more as a way of dealing with that stress.
Given a choice of foods to eat, they will usually pick the stuff that’s high in fat and sugar, mainly because these foods help to calm the body’s response to chronic stress.
If the foods were high in beneficial fats (instead of rancid vegetable oils) and natural sugars like fruit, the negative consequence wouldn’t be so bad. Which is why improving food quality is sometimes an easier first step, instead of trying to influence cortisol levels directly.
12. Drinking Diet Soda
Even though diet soda has zero calories, it is bad news in ways you probably aren’t even aware of.
Did you know, the phosphoric acid in diet soda can destroy calcium from your bones? If you’re over the age of 30 and drinking diet soda, you should probably RETHINK your choice, since your bone density is already declining with age. It doesn’t need help from diet cokes.
That’s not the worst part about diet sodas (and artificial sweeteners).
You think you’re helping your body lose weight, but actually, you’re assisting your body in GAINING weight. Research proves people who drink diet soft drinks, had a greater risk of obesity.
Diet drinks also tend to lead to overeating, because of biochemical disruptions due to the neurotoxic effect of artificial sweeteners and because people think that because they are drinking “diet” they can eat more food.
Replace your diet drinks with stevia sweetened drinks, organic teas, lemon water, coconut water, or plain water.
13. You Let Diets Win
Did you know that over 95% of all dieters gain back any weight they lose within 2 years after a diet?
One reason dieters gain weight is that when they diet, they lose muscle tissue. Instead of utilizing glucose (your body’s primary source of energy/fuel), your body is forced to use muscle tissue instead (this is known as gluconeogenesis).
Since muscles burn fat calories and are responsible for elevating metabolic rate, loss of muscle SLOWS down metabolism, causing any calories consumed to be turned into fat rather than used as fuel.
Caloric restriction also reduces the level of T3 (active thyroid hormone) in the body, which slows metabolism. Low-calorie dieting also increases levels of cortisol, your main stress hormone, causing further muscle breakdown and hormonal imbalances.
Why are women still going on restrictive calorie diets? Learn how The 3-Week Metabolism is the anti-diet approach to dieting. It’s OK if you messed up your metabolism today because tomorrow is a new day and a chance to start restoring your metabolic health.
If you start with ONE habit this week, in one year you can transform 52 bad metabolism-killing habits into good metabolism-boosting habits. Hey, even ONE every two weeks can transform your health and body.
If you’re ready to make over your metabolism, start with the 3-Week Metabolism Diet, where people are losing 8, 13, and even 16 pounds in 21 Days…
Your friend and coach,
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