LIst: Ten simple steps to increase your metabolism, Part 1.


A ten step program to a higher metabolism, Part 1.  

Weight loss

Weight loss – Pinch an inch

Weight loss is not easy.  The first step in raising your metabolism is defining it.  To fully understand how to increase your metabolism, you must understand the inputs and output of metabolism and then you will be able to come up with your own plan to maximize calorie expenditure.  In the following test, will summarise the basics of your metabolism so that you can use the tips below and develop a plan that works for you.  Basically, your metabolism is a combination of all the energy processes in our bodies.  We use energy to maintain order in our bodies.  Metabolism is the combination of the energy we acquire from food, the energy we use for all our daily activities, and the excess energy that we store for later use.  So, basically, we store energy, and we use energy.   Without metabolism, our bodies would quickly break down, and we would just be blobs of goo.  

A balanced metabolism is a key to healthy weight loss.  You must create an energy balance that will produce, store,  and use energy as required by our bodies.   In the perfect world, we would maintain an ideal balance in which there is zero energy over the balance, and we would not store energy.  There is no perfect world, so we have to monitor and maintain the balance to maintain a weight.  For weight loss, we have to create an energy deficit that will require us to lose stored energy from our fat deposits; there will be just the right amount of energy for storage, therefore, maintaining a healthy weight.  If you end up with excess calories due to poor dietary decisions, we end up with excess energy that will be stored as fat and results in weight gain.  Although it is not entirely a concept of calories in and calories out,  once you fully understand the sources of your metabolic excesses, you will be better able to make a lasting change.

I want to stress to you that your metabolism cannot be permanently changed.  A lot fo you metabolic rate is predetermined by your genetics, but that being said, you can impact your weight dramatically by increasing it modestly or at least maintain it through the below steps.  

Ten step program for weight loss:

  1. Huge Steak

    Huge Steak

    Eat enough protein.  Protein is the building block of our cells, enzymes, and muscle.  We would not exist without it.  You should have a protein source at every meal.  Eating protein has a lasting effect on your metabolism.  It can increase your metabolism for hours after the meal has ended.  Including as more protein in your diet will increase your metabolism. Protein requires more energy to digest than other macronutrients, and thus it increases your metabolism.  Also, protein promotes satiety.  Protein also has many other weight loss promoting qualities but most notable is that it increases the feeling of fullness after a meal.  If you do not get enough protein, not only will you feel hungrier, but you will lose muscle mass, and your metabolism will slow.  I recommend a diet moderately high in protein with o.5 to 1 gram protein per kilogram body weight per day.  That would be 40-100 grams per day.   Research has shown that a diet higher in protein burns more calories to create sugar for the brain([1],[2]).   Not only does it burn more calories, but it also results in higher levels of satiety and thus less snacking([3],[4]).  By adding protein to your diet, you will not only add flavor, but you will add one easy and effective way to lose weight.

  2. Green Tea

    Green Tea

    Drink green tea.  Green tea is a miracle from the East.  I have to admit that I am more of a coffee person, but green tea truly helps, and green tea is research proven through many studies to help with fat loss.  It is less dehydrating and appears to help with weight loss.  If you always reach for that cup of joe, you might want to reconsider it and have a cup of green tea instead.  Green tea appears to help you lose weight by increasing the mobilization fat from fat cells[5].  It is a minor effect but a small change over time can result in lasting weight loss maintenance.  Once the fat is released, it appears that green tea also increases both the resting metabolic rate and the utilization of fat during exercise, so green tea is a double whammy toward increasing your fat weight loss.   The best part is that this increase in fat metabolism lasts at least 24 hours after consumption[6].  Although it is magnified by caffeine consumption, it appears to be independent of caffeine through natural catechins or antioxidants that triggers the release of fat from fat cells and increase the liver’s capacity for turning fat into energy.

  3. Lifting Weights

    Lifting Weights

    Add a little muscle.  Resistance training is what we have to do to add or maintain our muscle mass[7].  Muscle is the center of how we burn more calories.  Fat burns very little energy when compared to muscle.  The more muscle you have, the high your metabolic rate.  Even when at rest, our bodies are constantly burning calories.  Over three-quarters of the calories that we burn every day are being used up just keep us alive.  The resting metabolic rate is the rate of caloric burn that occurs when we are not exerting ourselves.   This rate is significantly higher in people with more muscle mass.  Muscle mass increases metabolic rate because every pound of muscle uses about six calories a day just to maintain itself.   Six calories may not seem like much, but if you add as little as five pounds of muscle, you could burn the off three pounds of fat over the course of a year.

  4. Water


    Drink a glass of cold water.  Water is over two-thirds of your body by weight.  Without enough water, you will fail to operate efficiently.  It is required to properly rid yourself of toxins and maintain healthy body temperature.  Amazingly, drinking more water will also help you lose weight, but the effect is higher if the water is cold.  This effect is further than just adding water in place of the calories from sugary drinks.  It appears that water increases your metabolism and this might be from increased warming the water.  It also may be a satiating effect caused by water and hydration.  Regardless of the mechanism, people who drink more water are more successful at weight loss and maintenance[8].  

  5. Get enough sleep.   Believe it or not, rest can help boost your metabolism.  There is a well-proven link between a properly functioning metabolism and getting an adequate amount of sleep.  A study from Finland looked at sleep in identical twins and found that the siblings that slept less had more visceral fat[9].  As little as a half an hour of sleep made a difference in body fat.  This increase in sleep makes sense because sleep reduces stress and cortisol which have both been tied to central obesity and increased appetite.  I suggest that you make it a priority to get six to eight hours of sleep every night.   
  6. Scoop of chocolate whey isolate protein

    A scoop of chocolate whey isolate protein

    Have a smoothie with whey.  Adding whey protein to your smoothie or by itself can help with weight loss.  Whey is the water-soluble part of the milk protein, and it is a complete form of protein that has a diverse group of amino acids.  You could eat on its own, but it does not taste very good without flavoring, so toss in some fruit and make a smoothie.  Research indicates that whey is superior to other forms of protein at promoting satiety and reducing food intake[10].  Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that fat oxidation and the thermic effect was greater with whey than with soy or casein[11].  Clearly, if whey protein may make you feel full and burn more fat, thus whey protein can help with fat loss

  7. Have a cup of Matcha.  Matcha is derived from the Japanese evergreen shrub in the Theaceae family called Camellia sinensis.  The leaves of this shrub are stone-ground into a bright-green powder.  This powder is often brewed into a tea.  Research indicates that the powder is high in the same active ingredient as green tea. In fact, it has higher levels of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).  Some estimate matcha to be 137 times higher in EGCG.   As I pointed out in the green tea article, studies have shown that EGCG can simultaneously boost the breakdown of fat and block the formation of belly-fat cells.  The same appears to be true with matcha([12],[13]).  Instead of adding a supplement, pick out a matcha green tea you can enjoy.  It is especially tasty with a little cinnamon powder added.  
  8. Thermostat


    Turn down your heat.  Reduce the temperature in your home can cause you to burn more calories.  This makes sense because lower temperatures will cause you to expend more energy to keep your body temperature at body temperature.  It is believed that sleeping in a cool room seems to increase a subject’s percentages of brown fat. Although, there is limited research to back this belief.   A 2014 study looked at this question in a small group of subjects[14].  The study in question looked at subjects exposed to a lower temperature of 66 degrees for four months.  After as little as a month, the subjects increased their amounts of brown fat and calories burned.  It would appear that keeping your surroundings cooler might help with weight loss.  

  9. Snack on something spicy.  Spicy foods assist with weight loss.  Spicy foods and peppers contain capsaicin which is the active ingredient that causes the burn.  Capsaicin has been shown to increase body temperature and speed up the fat loss.   Spicy foods and capsaicin increase your calories burned and appear to decrease food intake through increased satiety[15]
  10. Coffee


    Have a cup of coffee.  Coffee is the nectar of the gods.  You really do not want to be around me until I have had at least one cup in the morning.  Research is growing to show multiple benefits of coffee consumptions.  Increased coffee consumption has been linked to lower all-cause morbidity and mortality risk.  In addition to the improved risk of mortality, increased caffeinated coffee consumption has been linked to an increased metabolic rate[16] and fat burning through increased oxidation of fat[17].  This increase in metabolism makes sense because it appears that coffee also reduces the rate of metabolic syndrome[18] and type 2 diabetes[19] which are both associated with increased central obesity[20].  In fact, the average metabolic rate of people who drank caffeinated coffee was more than 15% percent higher than that of those who drank decaffeinated coffee[21].  I recommend that you consider adding 2-4 cups per day, but you need to watch your hydration level if you plan to be active or outdoors.  

The bottom line: None of these tips will make a massive difference in your weight without time.  Repetition over time will make a dent in your weight.  I recommend that you pick a few and give them a try.  I will post another list in a couple of weeks.  See you then.  


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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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