In part 1 I introduced the idea that leptin resistance is a key reason why people seem to have a problem with their metabolism.
Increasing leptin is easy and can be accomplished in the short term with things like cheat days. Unfortunately it takes quite a bit longer to fix the problem of leptin resistance.
I’m convinced that most overweight people are just a few consistent habits away from being slim.]
Stuck at Current Weight On a Low Calorie Diet?
Being unable to lose weight while eating 1,200-1,800 calories per day is a rough spot to be in.
Where do you go from there, especially if you are already exercising? This is a common problem for people who go into a diet and exercise program when they are leptin resistant, insulin resistant, and have a chronically slow metabolism.
Life Isn’t as Colorful With a Slow Metabolism
Here’s are some of the potential issues.
- Lower testosterone levels / lower sex drive.
- Slowed digestion causing problems like gas and bloating.
- More likely to store body fat when eating in excess.
- Lower body temperature.
- Lower energy levels.
- Moodiness and or depression.
Prepping the Body to be Able to Lose Fat Easily
My advice to anyone who gets stuck losing those final 10-15 pounds of fat before summer is to spend the next two months repairing your metabolism.
With a raging metabolism it is possible to create a strong calorie deficit while eating many more calories than you have in the past. Wouldn’t it be cool to drop body fat eating 2,500 calories per day instead of 1,500?
[“You’re coming in too low Cougar! You’re too low!” – Top Gun]
Measuring Your Metabolism With a $10 Tool
The way to test your metabolism is to measure your body temperature first thing upon waking in the morning. It supposedly is most accurate with an armpit thermometer.
- Warm the thermometer in your hand for 30-60 seconds.
- Stick the thermometer in your armpit for 30 seconds, then turn on.
- Take a couple readings in each armpit.
- The highest reading will be your basal temperature for the morning.
The ideal range is between 97.8 and 98.2 degrees when measuring temperature first thing upon waking.
The 2 Month Gameplan to Get Your Metabolism Raging
- Eat 3 Meals Per Day: I’m a big fan of intermittent fasting, but I recommend taking a break for 2-3 months. When you reintroduce it, it will work like gangbusters. Eat 3 meals per day. Eat as soon as you wake up, eat at lunch time, and eat at dinner time. If you are someone who is accustomed to eating small breakfasts and lunches, you should make those meals larger than normal.
- Eat Plenty of Carbs With Every Meal: Eat yams, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, rice, corn, etc. This isn’t the time to follow a paleo diet. When your metabolism is boosted and your morning temperature is consistently in the ideal range, you can cut back on carbs at that point.
- Eat Until You Are Full and Avoid Hunger: Let your body know that there will always be a constant supply of food, so it will eventually store less and less of this food as fat. Your body will burn at a faster rate (increased metabolism) to meet the increased calories coming in.
- Limit Caffeine and Alcohol: Try to reduce coffee and alcohol intake for these 2 months. This will speed up the time it takes to get your metabolism burning more calories per day.
- Lift Weights With Minimal Cardio: You want to minimize cortisol if your metabolism is below optimum levels. Ditch the cardio until your metabolism is back to a normal level.
“Won’t I Get Fat By Increasing Calories?”
You most likely will gain a bit of fat at first when increasing your intake of calories. You are taking a step back to make it easier to lose weight when you do finally reduce the calories a bit.
I’m not a fan of bodybuilder style “bulking and cutting”. I do like how their bulking period resets their metabolism, but believe the same positive benefits can happen without adding tons of excess fat.
Chronic Low Calorie Diets Can Age People
The problem with staying lean by consuming 1,000-1,500 calories per day is that you simply lack nutrients to keep your body working properly. Problems occur like dry skin, thinning hair, lack of sex drive, brain fog, cold hands and feet, etc.
Wouldn’t it be better to be able to maintain your ideal body weight at 2,500 calories instead of 1,500? With a healthy metabolism this is possible.
Eat Like Your Grandparents Did for the Next 2 Months
- Protein, Carbs, and Fat with every meal.
- 3 meals per day.
- Limit omega 6 fat sources like vegetable oils and peanut butter.
- Cook with coconut oil, butter, or olive oil.
- Limit sugar and high fructose corn syrup.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
[Omega 6 rich vegetable oils are a food you are going to want to limit as much as possible. I’m trying to ween myself off of chips and fries, since they are cooked in vegetable oil.]
2 Foods to Avoid To Correct a Damaged Metabolism
The main two foods to avoid during these two months are vegetable oils and high fructose corn syrup. You also want to limit foods containing these ingredients.
The problem with both of these foods is that contribute to inflammation which contributes to leptin resistance, insulin resistance, etc. Olive oil, butter, or coconut oil are your best choices for cooking.
For Those Who Want a More Detailed Explanation
Matt Stone is the go-to-guy when it comes to increasing your metabolism through diet. His 170 page $19.95 ebook, 180 Degree Metabolism, explains all of this in much greater detail than I can in a blog post. That being said, the game plan I outlined above will work well.
Note: In part 3, I will cover how to ease you way into a calorie deficit to lose fat without messing up your metabolism. I still believe in short term low calorie diets to lose the last 5-10 pounds, but nothing over 1-2 months long.
25 thoughts on “Eating to Increase Your Metabolism [Pt 2]”
Small simple meals and consistency sticking to that is key, I’ve been guilty of skipping meals thinking i’ll lose weight, where in fact my body stockpiled instead! Small regular meals.
Really great post Rusty!
Hi Rusty. Thanks for sharing with us some great tips re nutrition. I tried the IF diet for one month and dropped 3.9% BF so I know that it does work and produce reaults. For anyone looking to lose those last stubborn few pounds I highly recommend it. They key to my success has been eliminating all sugar, refined and processed, all cereals, wheat products and dairy with the exception of eggs and egg whites. I eat 3 clean meals a day. Breakfast is small only protein – lunch a bit bigger with protein and non starchy carbs with dinner being a feast of protein and carbs 1:1 including one type of starchy carb. No snacks. The bulk of this comes from the traditional Japanese diet.
Excellent post, the little tips build the bigger picture to a faster metabolism.
Drink ice cold water, your body uses calories heating it up!!
Hi Rusty, great post! I’m one of those annoying people who have a great metabolism. As I’m getting older though, it’s getting worse. I’ll share your post now with my readers, keep up the great work! Paul
Thanks for the article.
I’m slightly confused by the point Eat 3 Meals Per Day. Should not the number of meals be increased to improve metabolism to 6 or more?
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