Are you wondering of ways to jumpstart weight loss?
Below are 5 ways that you can increase your metabolism, without changing your diet, thus allowing you to set the stage for faster weight loss. These methods will work for you whether you are female or male, young or old, and of course without changing your diet! Start incorporating these into your life today!
Jumpstart Weight Loss – Sleep
Getting enough sleep is one of the most important ingredients for losing weight and to jumpstart weight loss. When you don’t get enough sleep, your metabolism slows down.
According to Psychology Today, your body burns quite a bit of calories during the REM phase of your sleep which occurs between the 6th and 8th hour of your sleep. If you miss those 2 hours, you are missing out on increased metabolism!
There are other things that occur as well that prevent you from losing weight when you are sleep-deprived.
Lack of sleep reduces the hormones in your body that tell your brain that you are full. As a result, you will need to eat more to achieve the usual feeling of fullness. Lack of sleep also increases the hormones in your body that make you hungry. So you will be feeling more hungry more often when you don’t get enough sleep!
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Sleep deprivation also puts your body in a state of “stress” which typically leads to further weight gain.
As you are probably familiar, not sleeping enough makes you tired, which compromises your judgment making you make bad food choices, as well as reaching for sugary snacks for a quick energy boost.
Some people experience constipation when sleep-deprived, leading to accumulation of waste in the body.
Did you know that your immune system needs sleep to function optimally? If you are constantly deprived of sleep, you will be at higher risk of getting illnesses such as high blood pressure and heart disease. And any existing illness you have may be worsened by not sleeping enough.
Lastly, growth hormones are normally produced during sleep. So, if you don’t get enough sleep, you may also experience premature aging. They don’t call it “beauty sleep” for no reason!
Start getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep every day to boost your metabolism! Getting enough sleep will also give you enough energy to incorporate some exercise in your life to boost your metabolism even more!
ACTION STEP: Go to bed early tonight, so you can get at least 8 hours of sleep.
Jumpstart Weight Loss – Build Muscle
You probably have heard this one many many times, and yes it’s true, building muscle will definitely increase your metabolism. Contrary to what some people think, building muscle is not hard and even a small amount of muscle makes a difference.
According to some experts (Dr. Oz, Dr. Mercola), for every pound of muscle you gain, your body will burn about 50 to 70 calories more per day.
If you weigh 140 pounds, 1 pound is only 0.7% of your body weight. By turning just 0.7% of your body mass into muscle, you can burn 50 to 70 calories more per day (up to 490 calories per week)! Gaining 2 pounds of muscle will allow you to burn up to 980 calories more a week. That’s a whole additional meal you can eat. Or you can skip the meal and accelerate your weight loss if that is your goal.
Another way muscle can help with weight loss is that, according to a study, it has shown to improve insulin sensitivity. Having good insulin sensitivity means your body produces less insulin after meals, which leads to less FAT being stored in your body.
An added benefit of building muscle is that it is also an effective way to prevent osteoporosis. As you age, your bones are prone to losing density and becoming brittle. What if you can constantly create new bones? That is what resistance training can do for you. By putting tension on your muscles, it puts pressure on your bones, and your bones actually respond by generating new bones!
If you are intimidated by muscle exercises, an easy way to start is to buy some dumbbells and start doing some simple exercises, such as lifting them up and down. Those simple exercises will make a huge difference! You can expand the exercise routines if you like later on to incorporate heavier weights and/or lower body exercises.
Here are some other ideas to easily start muscle training today.
- Use dumbbells, kettlebells, or resistance bands
- Use your own body weight (push-ups, sit-ups, squats, and lunges)
- Try any of the machines at the gym
- Join a strength training class
- Buy a strength training DVD
Start doing muscle training today to boost your metabolism! And make sure to consume protein after your work out, ideally 30 to 60 minutes afterwards, to maximize fat burning and muscle building.
ACTION STEP: Do 1 type of muscle training today. It can be anything! (5 push-ups, 5 sit-ups, 5 squats, etc.)
Jumpstart Weight Loss – High-Intensity Interval Training
Do you dislike exercising for a long time, or do you simply not have the TIME or ENERGY to exercise for 1 hour 3 times a week?
What if you can get better results and boost your metabolism by exercising only 20 minutes at a time, 2-3 times a week?
As a matter of fact, doing this only ONCE a week is enough to boost your metabolism therefore jumpstart weight loss, and help you lose weight faster.
The exercise is called high-intensity interval training. The idea is to do short bursts of intense exercise followed by a longer period of recovery time.
The wonderful thing about high-intensity interval training is that it not only boosts your metabolism, it also makes your body naturally produce human growth hormones!
Did you know that loss of growth hormones is what partly contributes to our aging process? The fact that high-intensity interval training produces growth hormones means that it is not only great for fat loss, it is also great for anti-aging.
Here is a typical high-intensity interval training routine you can do on the treadmill. Ideally, you should repeat the exercise routine a total of 8 times.
1. Warm up for 3 minutes, by walking slowly.
2. Run as fast as you can for 30 seconds. A funny example typically used is to imagine you stole something and you are trying to get away ☺
3. Walk as slowly as you need to for 90 seconds. This period is the resting/recovering time.
4. Repeat step 2 and 3 seven more times.
That’s it. Total running time is only 4 minutes.
However, this exercise is actually intense, and some people may not be able to do the 8 repetitions. That is perfectly ok and just incorporating any bursts of intense exercise will help you boost your metabolism. Especially in the beginning, it may be exhausting and you should start with 1 or 2 bursts of intense exercise.
For optimal metabolism boosting and weight loss, the above routine is ideal, but you can alter the above routine to suit your preference too. The key is to make sure you incorporate short bursts of intense exercise. For example, you can certainly increase your warm-up time or increase the resting/recovering time in between the intense exercises. If you feel uncomfortable running so fast, you can run not as fast but increase the length to 60 seconds or so. Just make sure to still run very fast!
You can actually use any form of exercise to do the high-intensity interval training. Following are some examples:
• Elliptical machine
• Sprinting outdoors
However doing this outside may be a bit challenging due to all the potential obstacles (other people, cars, kids, etc.).
If you use the treadmill, make sure to securely tie your shoelaces to avoid tripping and injuring yourself.
20-minute exercises 3 times a week is said to be the ideal length and frequency for optimal results. However, even once a week will allow you to reap the benefits of high-intensity interval training! That is why this exercise is perfect for busy people ☺
On the other hand, the 20-minute high-intensity interval training should not be done more than 3 times a week, as your body and muscles need to rest and recover.
ACTION STEP: Do 1 routine of high-intensity interval training this week (3 minute warm-up, 30 seconds of intense exercise, and 90 seconds of recovery).
Jumpstart Weight Loss – Calorie Shifting
Another effective way to boost your metabolism is calorie shifting.
Calorie shifting (also called calorie cycling or calorie zigzagging) is a concept used in a variety of ways in multiple diet plans including the 17 day diet by Dr. Mike Moreno, 4 hour body diet by Tim Ferriss, and the 7-day calorie confusion meal plan introduced by Dr. Oz.
When calorie shifting, you alternate your calorie intake periodically. This is typically done every day or every few days. For example, on Monday you consume 1400 calories, on Tuesday 1600 calories, on Wednesday 1200 calories, and so on.
You can also maintain a steady low-calorie diet and have a “cheat” day once a week. Once-a- week cheat day is the method introduced by Tim Ferriss in his book The 4 Hour Body.
A type of calorie shifting called carb cycling is actually a well kept secret in the competitive bodybuilding and fitness world. It apparently is very effective in building muscle and losing fat. In this particular method, a small serving of high-starch carbs are added to 2 or 3 meals per day on the weight training days.
Another type of calorie-shifting is introduced by Chris Powell, the trainer on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, who suggests a diet which cycles between low-carb days and high-carb days.
In Dr. Moreno’s 17 Day Diet, calorie shifting is incorporated in cycle 2 (the Activate cycle), during which the dieter cycles between 1200 calories and 1500 calories. So one day the dieter consumes 1200 calories and the next day 1500 calories.
Dr. Mike Moreno writes in his book that calorie shifting:
“… keeps your body and metabolism guessing. I call this “body confusion.” … you’re changing your calorie count and the foods you eat. By varying these things, you prevent your body from adapting. The scale is less likely to get stuck.
… reset your metabolism through a strategy that involves increasing and decreasing your caloric consumption to stimulate fat-burning and to help prevent plateaus.
It keeps your body guessing, as opposed to letting it get accustomed to one particular way of eating day after day. Just as you need to change things up in workouts for continued progress to avoid plateaus, you mustn’t let your body get too comfortable with the foods you eat. It’s all about shocking the metabolism to elicit a positive response.”
According his book, scientists at the University of California have found that alternating the amount of calories you consume have been found to keep your metabolism elevated, burn body fat, and prevent weight loss plateaus.
Calorie shifting is especially helpful when you are on a diet. When you restrict calories for an extended time, your metabolism adjusts to the lower calorie intake and slows down. What happens is your body adjusts its metabolism (to ensure your survival) by reducing the amount of calories it burns. By periodically increasing your calorie intake, you make sure that your metabolism will never slow down.
Another added benefit of calorie shifting is the psychological aspect. Many people find that strictly adhering to the same calorie intake every day is limiting and difficult to follow. Since your body is not a machine, on some days you are more hungry and with calorie shifting, you can eat more on those days. This leaves more room for flexibility and variety, which is exactly what some people need to stick to their diet.
Whichever method/pattern of calorie shifting you choose (shift calories every day or incorporate a once-a-week cheat day, etc.), just make sure to stay reasonably close to your weekly calorie allotment. In other words, on the days you increase your calorie intake, don’t go too crazy. With calorie shifting, instead of managing your calorie intake on a daily basis, you are essentially managing your calorie intake on a weekly basis.
If you are already at the lowest recommended daily calorie consumption level (typically 1200 calories for women and 1500 calories for men), this means that you will have to increase your weekly calorie intake. With the increased metabolism, you should be able to eat more and still lose weight, and keep losing weight!
For other people, it simply means shifting around your calorie intake, but staying within your weekly calorie allotment.
People report success and weight loss with calorie shifting, so it is absolutely worth trying! Every person is different, so try different methods and calories to find the perfect combination for your situation.
ACTION STEP: Incorporate some type of calorie shifting this week.
Jumpstart Weight Loss – Green Tea
Do you drink coffee every day? This may be a good opportunity for you to switch some of those cups of coffee to cups of green tea.
Unlike many contradictory research results on coffee; some say coffee is great for you, others say coffee is bad for you, almost all research on green tea uniformly agree that green tea is good for you in many ways.
One of the benefits of green tea is increased metabolism and fat loss!
The secret ingredient in green tea that helps with weight loss is called catechins. Catechins are naturally occurring antioxidants, which have been reported to also have anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties.
In a study presented by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, two groups of people were studied, each given a different dose of catechins. The group that was given the higher dose of catechins lost more weight, fat, and bad cholesterol than the other group.
Years of research on catechins have shown that they also:
– Protect against brain and liver damage
– Slow viral and bacterial infections
– Improve digestion
What is great about green tea is that it contains the most powerful type of catechins called the epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).
In one of many studies, EGCG was shown to aid in weight loss by:
– increasing metabolism
– increasing fat oxidation
– increasing fat excretion, and
– blocking fat cell development
EGCG is said to have other wonderful health benefits, including helping to:
– fight Alzheimer’s
– fight cancer
– fight AIDS
– fight autoimmune diseases
– lower your blood pressure
– lower you cholesterol
– prevent heart attacks
You may have noticed that there are many types of green tea that you can buy. The 4 basic types of green tea are: matcha, sencha, gyokuro, and genmaicha.
If you are curious which one is the best one to drink, matcha is probably the best one. This is because when matcha tea is being made, the entire leaf is being dried and grounded, and subsequently consumed in its entirety. So no nutrients are lost or diluted when you drink matcha tea.
However matcha can be quite expensive, so a good alternative is sencha, which is the type most produced in Japan.
The recommended amount is 1 to 3 cups per day. Be careful not to drink too much in the afternoon since this could disrupt your sleep, which is essential for maintaining your metabolism. Also do not buy products that have any other ingredients. The only ingredient in the product should be green tea.
ACTION STEP: Buy green tea today at your local supermarket or online.
Please share your experience and thoughts below!