Your Body Is A Fat-Burning Machine!
How To Turn Your Body Into A Fat-Burning Machine!
I’ve been getting a lot of questions about metabolism lately, so I decided to put together a few thoughts on how you can turn your metabolism into a metabolic furnace!
The secret to a fast metabolism.
Having a “fast” metabolism means that you’re burning calories efficiently all the time, whether you’re resting, watching TV, or training. When you have a slow metabolism, your diet and your training program are less effective than they could be. Having a slow-metabolism is why it’s possible for a person who diets and eats a low amount of calories while “aerobicizing their brains out,” sees very little results.
The goal is clear: let’s find a way to speed up metabolism, and keeping it revved up as fast as possible, 24 hours a day.
Strange as it may seem, the secret to fat loss is to eat more and use exercise to burn off the fat. Unfortunately, most people do the opposite – they cut their calories to starvation levels and don’t exercise at all. All this does is slow down the metabolism which then turns on the body’s starvation response. People who sit too much, don’t exercise, and try to diet with low-calorie diets, actually have a painfully slow metabolism. They are literally shutting down their metabolism, and turning on their body’s starvation protection mechanism, instead of teaching their body how to burn calories.
When you starve the fat, you also starve the muscle. And when you starve the muscle, you lose it. And when you lose muscle, your metabolism slows down and your body enters the “starvation mode.” It’s a vicious cycle!
You see, when your body enters “starvation mode,” fat loss comes to a screeching halt as your body tries to conserve its energy. When the fat loss stops, you either gain back the fat you lost, or you must starve yourself (drop calories) even more. But if you drop your calories, your metabolism slows down even more! You see what I’m getting at? You can’t keep dropping your calories forever. You can’t win the low-calorie-diet game! I repeat, “dieting” is not the method of choice for creating a calorie deficit.
The good news is that a slow metabolism can speed up, but it takes time. If your metabolic rate has slowed down as a result of past bad habits, then be patient…. it can increase over time by developing good habits.
So, what can you do? I’m glad you asked.
- Muscle is your secret weapon in your war against fat. Muscle is your “metabolic furnace,” and it will burn calories – even as you sleep. Muscle is active tissue and it’s the catalyst for a fast metabolism.
- Raise calories at regular intervals using the “zig-zag method.” This will trick your body and prevent your metabolism from slowing down when you have a large calorie deficit. “Using a “zig-zag” method of dieting (when you eat 1-3 days of higher calories/high carbs followed by 1-3 days of lower calories/low carbs. On the low calorie/low carb days, you will quickly lose body fat, but before your body can adapt, you raise the calories back up, which increases your metabolic rate and keeps you out of starvation mode.
- Weight training exercises that utilize large muscle groups (like the back and legs) are extremely effective for stimulating the metabolism and burning fat. Leg exercises with high reps (squats, lunges, leg presses, etc.) are extremely effective for this exact purpose.
- Increase your G-flux. If you’ve never heard of G-flux, don’t worry about. Just worry about increasing it and here’s how: eat more and exercise more. Pretty simple, eh? Exercise and eating are metabolism boosters. The trick is learning to balance the two so that you still create a negative calorie balance. When you combine eating more with a high caloric burn (like high intensity exercise) you get the best of both worlds. For example, if you’re use to eating 2000 calories a day, you can lose weight by cutting your calories down to 1500, right? BUT…. like we’ve been talking about… that’s the WRONG way to do it!! Instead, increase your calories to 2300, and then burn an extra 800 calories through exercise. You still get the 500 calorie deficit, but you do so while increasing your metabolism through eating and exercising more. That’s the power of G-flux!
- Of all the nutrition strategies out there, the best one is eating small, frequent meals (one approximately every 3 waking hours) is by far, the most effective way to speed up your metabolism. It’s so effective, in fact, that when you see the results, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing this for the last 10 years!
Oh, and let me mention this while we’re on the topic….. While yoga and pilates have some fantastic benefits, they are NOT the ideal way to lower body fat. Activities like this are a great supplement to your regular weights and cardio routine, but don’t strictly use yoga as your answer to burning calories.
Exercise (weights and cardio) are without question, the most effective way to create a calorie deficit and burn fat without slowing down the metabolism.