Healthy Living Advice

Tips for health, strength, weight-loss, and nutrition

Tips of staying in shape over the holidays and boosting your metabolism

When you cut your calories drastically it’s actually very restrictive on your body, and prevents your body from loosing fat. Your body goes into ‘starvation mode’ and starts protecting its fat stores making it very difficult to shift any weight! If you continue in this way your body will start using your muscle stores, and we know that the less muscle we have the fewer calories we require, all contributing to slowing your metabolism down!

I will give you some easy tips on how you can fire up a slow metabolism at any age!

Firstly... as mentioned our metabolism is somewhat measured by how much muscle we have, generally if you have more muscle mass you will have a faster metabolism. Muscle also burns more calories than fat! So, a good first step would be to start a weight-training program. An intense weight training session can burn far more calories, and obviously engage many more muscles than what you would train if you were opting for a cardio workout only.

Try planning 5-6 meals per day, little and often. You should never let yourself feel hungry, and eating every few hours will prevent this. Be mindful that if you do start eating like this you must exercise portion control with your food. But keep in mind that portions should be small!

Eat breakfast! This is a sure fire way to kick-start your metabolism! I take on the majority of my carbohydrates during this meal, and add some protein. It’s normally my largest meal of the day and one I would never consider missing!

Eat more protein and fiber, ditch the empty carbs. Protein contributes to building muscle and fiber will help you feel full – which is a feeling that many people dislike about ‘diets’, that they never feel full! If you start eating protein and fiber with every meal you will definitely feel fuller for longer. 

Protein it actually helps the body release the stored fat so that the body can use it as energy!

Remember juices from concentrate, alcohol etc are all packed with calories and sugar.

However a coffee in the morning can help increase your metabolism.

Chill out... increased stress levels give rise to cortisol, and too much can slow your metabolism. Stress can also cause cravings, and you might find yourself wanting to eat fatty and sugary foods.

Ensure you’re getting adequate sleep each night; sleep helps our bodies repair and grow. You’ll burn more calories while you sleep.

If you were looking to speed up your fat loss my best tip would be to exercise on an empty stomach before breakfast. There is a huge body of research to support this tip but in short, upon waking from sleep your body is depleted of glycogen (energy stores), so in theory if you do some form of exercise before breakfast you can utilise your fat stores. This method seems to promote more effective weight loss, although I’ve read other theories that contest this. Some steady low impact exercise like a morning walk before breakfast will certainly help!

Happy Holidays

Dave

Harbourside Fitness


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