I’m in a conversation with someone the other day who is trying to lose weight.
She admittedly wanted to lose just 15 lbs, so she was clearly not obese…but she’s struggled with that same 15 lbs for years.
Lose 10. Gain 8.
Lose that same 8. Gain 12.
And from what she said, this pattern has gone on since she had her first daughter, 10 years ago.
She was concerned that as she continued to get older, her metabolism would slow …
…and wanted to know how she can speed up a seemingly slow metabolism.
We hear this regularly — my metabolism is slooooooow, I eat virtually NOTHING all day, yet can’t lose a pound!
So how do you speed up a "slow" metabolism?
One, keep in mind that the larger a person is, with muscle OR fat, the higher their metabolism. That being said, muscle does increase metabolism more than fat, but not by much.
Build muscle. But, don’t get too excited about this — for every 1 lb of muscle, research shows there’s just about a 9 calorie/day increase in metabolism — that’s not much. But that shouldn’t discourage you; the benefit comes from shaping those muscles as you’re losing fat through changing your diet. Of course it all adds up, though, so while 1 lb of muscle doesn’t offer a huge calorie benefit, adding on more muscle than that does. And there are a million other benefits to building muscle as well, so keep training!
The other way to speed metabolism is to eat. More. When you eat, your metabolism increases to digest and use the food. Particularly when you have some protein with each meal. Protein does more to boost metabolism than either carbs or fat. So make sure each meal includes a little protein — fish, eggs, chicken, turkey, nuts, beans, etc.
Eat breakfast. Simple and it stokes your metabolism in the AM. Combine this one with #2 (including protein) and you’ve got a win win. In fact, there’s some solid data suggesting eating eggs in the morning boosts weight loss above and beyond choosing a bagel.
Increase the intensity of your workouts. Long, slow cardio sessions do little to nothing when the workout is done. On the other hand, shorter, harder intensity exercise bouts cause a much longer increase in metabolism, even hours after your workout is over! In fact, a study out just this week showed a 14+ hour increase in metabolism after a high intensity bout of exercise. This boost burned an additional 190 calories! Now that will add up. There’s a reason sprinters are in such fantastic shape! They train properly!