Real fitness and weight loss results come from hard work. There are no short cuts when it comes to lasting results. They come from consistently hitting the gym and eating clean.
But what if I told you there are some simple things you can do to make sure you get the most out of your efforts?
Maximizing your healthy habits and boosting your metabolism naturally is easier to do than you think. It comes from making sure your metabolism (the sum total of the chemical reactions taking place in your body every day) is functioning optimally. These five tips will help keep your metabolism humming along and help maximize your hard work.
Drink a minimum of 64 oz. water daily. Being dehydrated doesn’t just impact athletic performance; it impairs the body’s ability to do many critical functions. Water works as a mineral source, temperature regulator, transporter, lubricant and a catalyst. Since almost every reaction in the body, including fat burning, needs water to happen your metabolism will slow down without proper hydration.
Do full body strength training three days a week. It’s not just about the increased calorie needs of muscle tissue vs. fat tissue. It’s about the rebuilding process: the body’s need for extra nutrients to repair the damage created when lifting weights. The rebuilding process can keep your metabolism elevated up to 8% for as long as 72 hours after your workout. If you do your strength training every other day, your metabolism is consistently in overdrive!
Eat protein at every meal or snack. The thermic effect of feeding (TEF), how much energy it takes to digest the food you eat, makes up about 10% of your daily caloric needs. Protein is the macronutrient with the highest TEF rate with up to 30% of the calories ingested burned during the digestion process. This doesn’t mean cut out carbs and eat only bacon. Just make sure every meal and snack includes a quality source of protein like eggs, salmon, Greek yogurt or edamame.
Take your fish oil. The omega 3 fatty acids found in salmon and tuna are inflammation fighters. The Standard American Diet is heavy in omega 6 fatty acids that promote inflammation. Our ideal balance is 1:1 but the average ratio is 1:14 to 1:16. When the omegas are out of balance cellular health and function is less than optimal. Dose recommendations vary based on your individual health status so always consult your doctor before taking any supplement or medication. Cutting back on corn oil, safflower oil and feedlot meats can reduce the omega 6s and help the balance as well.
Drink green tea daily. Green tea contains a compound called ECGC that has been shown to improve fat oxidation. While you can take a supplement, I prefer to drink 2 – 4 cups of brewed loose-leaf tea to enjoy all of green tea’s health benefits.
There is nothing more frustrating than doing the work but not seeing the results. If you’re faithfully following your plan and still don’t see results, consult your doctor to make sure there isn’t something else slowing down your metabolism, for example hypothyroidism. Also check in with a qualified fitness professional to make sure your plan is the right one for you!