Ok, so you’ve finally figured out the secret to effective weight loss. You’ve finally found the keys to the kingdom. Learned that in order to lose weight, you need to feed your body less calories than it can burn. You’ve also learned to speed up the process by incorporating exercise into the mix. So, you’ve created a meal plan and a work out regiment for yourself. You’ve stuck with the plan, and for a few months, everything seemed like it was going according to plan. Then all of a sudden, you’ve realized something is wrong. The weight on scale hasn’t changed and you’ve haven’t seen any noticeable improvements in your body for a few weeks. At this point, you’re wondering to yourself “What’s going on? I’ve been working out really hard, and stuck to my meal plan as closely as possible. So what gives? Why have I stopped progressing?”
At this point, you need to do a self – evaluation. If you have stopped noticing results, you may be eating too much. Figure out your weight and body fat percentage, and do your calculations to make sure you are eating the right amount of calories, protein, carbs and fats. If you know for certain that your numbers are on point, and you’ve been sticking to them, then you may just need to speed up your metabolism.
Speed Up Your Metabolism
First off, what is metabolism? Metabolism is defined as the body’s ability to use chemical processes to break down, produce and maintain numerous substances and to make energy available for cells to use. The faster your metabolism is, the more energy your body burns. The slower your metabolism is, the less energy your body burns. Do you happen to know someone, or remember some people who were able to eat whatever they want and not gain any weight? More than likely, they’ve been blessed with a fast enough metabolism. Their bodies are able to burn more food (aka energy) than other people. This is why your metabolic health is essential in your weight loss journey. When you’re in a calorie deficit for fat loss, your metabolism burns through your fat stores to make up for the energy deficit. However, there is a catch.
Whenever you are in a calorie deficit, your metabolism begins to slow down. The longer you stay in a calorie deficit, the slower your metabolism becomes. At this point, you begin to notice that your weight loss has stalled, so you restrict your calories even further and try to push harder in the gym. Which in turn slows your metabolism even more.
Another downside for being in a deficit for too long is that you begin to feel tired, cranky, unmotivated and increased hunger. Any longer, and you’ll develop the urge to binge and eat everything in sight. This has been shown to cause rapid fat storage in the body due to it being in a very strict calorie deficit for so long. I don’t want you to ever get to that point, so let’s look at some ways to resolve this situation. Here are some tips to speed up your metabolism.
1) Include Heavy Resistance Training In Your Gym Routine
If you do a search on Google, you can most likely find a ton of gym routines. I recommend ones that have you do heavy weight lifting 3 – 5 times a week. Especially the ones that include the 4 major compound lifts. Engaging in heavy weight training gives you a two for one deal: 1) You burn an outstanding amount of post workout calories in the short term. 2) You build muscle, which speeds up your metabolism in the long term.
2) Slowly Increase Your Caloric Intake Weekly Until You Reach Your TDEE
When you’re in a calorie deficit, your metabolism begins too slow down. Stay in the deficit long enough, you’ll eventually reach a state of homeostasis. Homeostasis, in short, is defined as a state of equilibrium. In this case, your metabolism will eventually match with amount of food you eat. To illustrate, let’s say your metabolism allows your body to burn 4000 calories, and you’re dieting for fat loss by eating 2500 calories. Eventually, your metabolism will slow down to match your 2500 calorie intake. Here, we can implement something called “reverse dieting”. Reverse dieting is the slow increase in calorie intake until you reach your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). Just like how your metabolism slows down when you eat less food, it speeds up when you eat more food.
Slowly increase your food intake weekly by about 100 – 200 calories until you reach your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure). This process should take up to 3 – 5 weeks. Taking this process slow, as opposed to all at once, allows your metabolism to keep up and match energy output with food intake. This results in little to no fat gain. Once you’ve reached your TDEE, you can go back to your cutting diet the following week. Stay on the cut for 10 – 12 weeks and then examine your results. If you want to lose so more fat, repeat the reverse dieting process and then back to your cut. If you’re happy with your results, repeat the reverse dieting process until you’ve your TDEE and then stay there until you decide what your next step is. This called “maintenace” or “maintaining”.
3) Eat A Lot Of Protein
As I mentioned in a previous post, A high protein diet is king. The Harvard School Of Public Health found that a high protein diet was linked to increased fat loss and weight loss compared to a low protein diet. A high protein diet also helps you build muscle, as well as preserve it while in a calorie deficit. Try to aim for a least 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.
4) Eat Enough Dietary Fat
Studies show that a high fat diet produced an increase in testosterone than a low fat one. The increase was not big, however, an increase in testosterone has been shown to increase your basal metabolic rate. When working to speed up your metabolism, try getting 30% – 35% of your daily calories from dietary fat (preferably from polyunsaturated fat and monounsaturated fat)
As much as we want it to be, weight loss is not a simple road. It’s a lot like the game of life. It’s a road filled with bumps, detours and obstacles. However, if you know or learn how to navigate the rough terrain, you will be able to succcessfully reach your destination.
As I mentioned before, once people realize that being in a calorie deficit is the way for effective weight loss, they figure they can spend as much time as the need in their deficit in order to reach their goals. They don’t realize that their bodies will eventually get used to the deficit. The metabolism will slow down to a standstill and weight loss will stall. They will,in turn, cut out more calories and worsen the problem. They will feel cranky, unmotivated and eventually give up or turn to another direction.
By slowly increasing your food intake weekly until your reach your TDEE, your mood levels and motivation will be improved. More importantly, your metabolism will retun to normal and you will have a 2 to 3 month window to lose weight when you go back to a cut. You can keep repeating the process of cutting and reverse dieting until you’ve reach your desired body composition.
Did you know about the importance of your metabolism early on or is this all new to you? Have any other ways to speed up your metabolism? Tell me in the comment section. Would love to hear your thoughts.