You have been eating well and exercising hard to get your results, but is there more you can be doing to ensure that you can burn more calories and speed up your metabolism?
The truth is everyone is different and you all have different goals. If you are training all day every day you are going to probably need to be eating a little more than others and you may want to consider reaching out for personalized advice, but in general, here are some of my top tips for burning more calories and speeding up your metabolism.
While I am a trainer and believe that everyone should be training, the truth is that you can’t out-train a bad diet. Even if your metabolism is one of the best, you still won’t be feeling your best if you eat poorly.
Below are some of my top tips when it comes to nutrition.
To fast or not to fast: some people swear by intermittent fasting, others find it makes them tired and gain weight. Regardless of what side you are on and no matter how you like to eat, if you are looking to burn more calories the key is that you want to consume fewer calories than you are burning. If you are fasting to skip breakfast and reduce those calories that’s fine, if you like breakfast consider having your dinner a little earlier in the evening so you have some time to digest the food before you sleep.
Reduce your calories: Most of us are eating too much whether it be in portion sizes or by snacking. For some of us, we need to cut our portions in half, especially if you are someone who goes for seconds. I also suggest reducing your carb intake towards the end of the day unless you have a specific goal and plan in mind. I would swap out the pasta for sweet potato or pumpkin OR if your goal is fat loss then swap that all out for green veggies and protein. In general, with clients who are wanting to lose weight, I would suggest they eat their carbs in the morning and reduce them in the evening -unless they are training towards a particular goal or need the extra energy to run a marathon or something of that nature
Cut your snacks: Lots of people are not mindful of the calories they consume when snacking. Whether you are snacking on chips, crackers, biscuits, nuts etc. be aware of how much you are eating, the fat intake and the ingredients are within your snacks.
My best snack suggestions would be fruit, veggies, a healthy dip (read the back of the packet if you are not making it) such as hummus or tzatziki with carrot sticks or a healthy cracker
Eat foods that are good for your metabolism: Try to make sure half of your plate is always green. Green veggies are great for your health due to the diversity of nutrients each veggie has and for speeding up your metabolism. I like to add chili and lemon to my food too as lemon is known for being great for digestion and chili has also been known for speeding up metabolism.
Some people also swear by hot water and lemon in the mornings as well.
I like to include a mix of cardio, strength, and stretching to my workout week. For most of my clients, it is generally best for weight loss as you don’t want to overdo cardio or strength work as it may spike your cortisol for an extended period of time which may have the opposite effect if you are looking to lose weight. This would be especially true if you also have a stressful job and don’t sleep well.
Cardio is great for boosting your metabolism and helping you raise your endorphins, so either lock in some HIIT/ cardio sessions or even consider blending some cardio bursts into your resistance training workouts.
Resistance/weight training is one of the best things you can do for fat loss however as studies have shown that weight training can help you burn fat for up to 38 hours post-workout due to the boost it gives your metabolism. Therefore you are getting a lot of value for your time.
I also find a good stretching session or two per week is great just for helping your learn out your muscles, get the blood flow going, and also to help you reduce cortisol. Cortisol is the stress hormone that is released when you are stressed, getting chased, and also when you are exercising hard – such as doing cardio or HIIT. It is not a bad thing at all but if it is heightened for a long period of time you may find that you have some issues, especially with fat loss. If you are feeling stressed or tired for example, sometimes it may be better to do the lower intensity fitness class.
As mentioned above, factors such as stress can reak havoc on your metabolism so make sure you are sleeping and doing things that calm and nurture your body as well as eating well and exercising.