With the spring and summer approaching, the results of our hard work in the gym during the winter (or the lack of it) start showing. For those who haven’t been diligent enough with their diet, this is also the time when people start some weight loss programs which are usually just diet fads. No matter what they choose it has been shown numerous times that the most optimal way to get rid of the excess fat in a safe and permanent manner is to boost the metabolism. It’s been repeatedly ranked among the most effective fat loss methods.
Besides diet, the level of physical activity is just as essential. By exercising either for strength or for hypertrophy or doing any fitness activity you are able to boost the metabolism by up to 15%. A good starting point is two times per week while taking a day of rest between training sessions. Doing cardio certainly helps, but not any kind of cardio. There is a particular type, which you’ve already heard of by now, called HIIT (High-Intensity interval training) that can turn your body into a calorie-burning furnace for up to 36 hours after finishing your workout. HIIT is comprised of short “burst” intervals where you train at the highest intensity.
Some people have tried skipping their breakfast as a purportedly helpful weight loss tactic, but it’s been shown to deliver an ambiguous result, that’s why just to be on the safe side eating more instead of skipping meals has proven to be a better strategy when it comes to boosting your metabolism. And you should always strive to eat quality healthy foods, like veggies, lean meats, and nuts, practically anything that isn’t processed and eat them in small portions. Various spices can also help you. Scientists have proven that one can increase metabolic rate by up to 8% just by adding some hot peppers, jalapenos or cayenne on your food.
And it goes without mentioning that protein is one of the most powerful ingredients when it comes to weight loss. When you eat products that have large amounts of protein like, eggs, meat, beans, cheese, nuts, your stomach burns more calories just to digest them, which further boosts the overall caloric expenditure. Coffee is also a good metabolic booster, but for coffee addicts out there, see to it that you lower the consumption to one or two cups a day.
If you are addicted to the sweet stuff and can’t imagine your life without them, but you know it sabotages your weight loss goals, the best alternative for you is chocolate. But it isn’t any kind of chocolate. The thing is that foods actually stimulate the body to release certain types of hormones. Some of the hormones released to force the metabolism to start burning more fat, while other hormones slow the metabolism down and make it prone to storing fat. One of the foods that make the metabolism prone to burning fat is dark chocolate. It’s been shown that 1 ½ oz of dark chocolate a day reduces cortisol levels, otherwise known as the stress hormone, and that helps your metabolism to function in a more effective manner.
Another study was done where two groups of adult participants were compared. The first group ate moderate amounts of chocolate and the second skipped it altogether. The first group turned out slimmer and leaner, despite eating a lot more calories in general and doing the same volume of training. So the next time you go to the marker to get some dark chocolate, check its label and ensure that it contains a minimum of 70% cocoa.
Apart from dark chocolate, sesame seeds, eggs, whey protein smoothies, peanuts, yellow bell peppers and drinking large quantities of water have been proven to be effective in increasing weight loss. For the more impatient, research is coming up every day proving the fasting can be a beneficial strategy too.
Studies including diets where participants fasted on alternate days have shown that, even though many people believe that dieters actually eat more when they are told they could eat anything they want on the days off, they actually ate around 10% more, which is not that much. It was concluded that people lost around 10-30lbs in a duration of 8 weeks. Additionally, it was shown that fasting has other benefits besides getting rid of the excess fat, like reducing the levels of bad cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglycerides.
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This doesn’t necessarily mean that fasting is supposed to be utilized as a general method to achieve weight loss. A certain percentage of people cannot endure the process and can be counterproductive. There have been some issues in regards to fasting and women, one of them being that fasting on alternate days can cause problems with their metabolism and lower the tolerance to glucose. Despite all of this, the ones who have experienced great results keep praising it.
Some people have trouble losing weight and they do it extremely slowly, unlike some with more effective metabolisms. They try every type of diet with minimal results, even with experienced nutritionists advising them. That’s why intermittent fasting has been proven to be a very effective strategy for them. They can stuff their mouths with whatever foods they enjoy and then limit their caloric intake to around 500 calories the next day.
It is usually advised for those people on intermittent fasting that they still keep their protein intake high so as to keep the metabolism revved up on their feasting days and limit their carb intake on their fasting days.