Eating to Increase Your Metabolism [Pt 2]

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.


Click Here for Part 3…

25 thoughts on “Eating to Increase Your Metabolism [Pt 2]”

  1. Hi Rusty,

    I think I have a problem with my metabolism. I easily gain weight every time I stop doing workouts even I rigidly follow my diet program. Also, I tried this low calorie diet once and I easily get sick. When I got sick for almost a week, I gained so much weight. Right now, I’m going to follow your advice. Thanks a ton!

  2. I have found that avoiding cereal (wheat) related products has been beneficial to weight loss.

    My body temperature does run reasonably high so maybe I am I am fortunate in that respect. But the weight has still gone on gradually until I started a regime of eating only fruit for breakfast and avoiding cereal. Still use a little rolled oats but no wheat based products.

    Since starting this just over a month ago the weight has gradually but steadily reduced from over 195 pounds to 180 pounds with little else in between.

    There is an interesting Kindle ebook on Amazon called ‘Wheat Belly’ by William Davis MD that gives some interesting insights

  3. I think its been said before, but small simple meals are key. and like anything with fitness is all about consistency.

    Really great posts Rusty!

  4. This makes a lot of sense. Regular meals and avoiding hunger are key. I’d also recommend cutting out wheat. This has made quite the difference for me. I get my carbs from potatoes, especially the sweet ones.

  5. Eat to lose weight, isn’t that something great!
    But still I prefer just a good diet and some fitness to get in shape. Always worked and always will work

  6. I know this may work for some, but it just will not work for me. I have tried it this way with no luck, so I have to do vlc atkins to lose any wieght. I know it is not that healthy of a diet, but it helps.

  7. Pingback: Eating to Increase Your Metabolism [Pt 3] | Diet Fitness and Health
  8. Pingback: Eating to Increase Your Metabolism Part 3
  9. When taking temperature, is the 97.8-98.2 range what the thermometer says after taking? Armpit temps run a degree lower than oral temps, so when using a standard thermometer do I need to account for that and add one degree to the reading?

  10. I love this prescription. Especially higher fat and low omega 6 containing fat. This has been the biggest paradigm change that has made a difference for me.

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  12. I loved the way you have explained everything about dieting and metabolism.

    I have also lost 53 pounds in just 5 months. I have achieved this just by more workout and eating healthy. But, when I went from 203 pounds to 150, I lost my strength.. For being healthy, I go for a check up which includes blood test, urine test and other. When the doctor took 10ml of blood from my body. I fainted…!!
    That was a big shock for me and my father..

    Then, I stopped my dieting and eating well from that day and now I am fit and fine but now I am weighing 160 pounds.. But still, I am happy that my metabolism is good..

    So, I would like to say that you must go for regular body checkup to see is everything is alright ? If YES, go ahead!
    If NO, then make a change! 🙂

    Wish u a very happy new year 🙂

  13. Agreed with the above writer. I just recently purchased the book and the cardio book. I am an avid fitness gal at 39, I have been doing HIIT for years. However, I have the extra 5-10 this forever pisses me off. SO…I am preparing to do the intermediate cycle and see how far it takes me. Thinking I will attempt to do this metabolism increasing diet after???? I should say that I eat a mostly no simple carbs, high protien/low cal diet but cant keep to it always as it is very strict and I have cheats. Mostly sugar and diet pepsi. I would love to know if this strategy is recommended.
    Thanks in advaance.

  14. Hey Rusty,

    I purchased your ebook. I dont know if I should follow this blog or first do the diet in the book. I have about 20lbs to lose mostly belly fat. After reading your article I am alittle confused which would work best for me? Should I first do your special occasion diet to lose the weight and then follow this? Any help would be greatly appreciated it!

  15. Hey, I think I’ll give this a try. At 61, a healthy realistic approach to ditching the holiday poundage (as you describe so clearly in your blog), could be attainable!
    Thanks Rusty!

  16. Before I researched and grew in knowledge, I was suffering from leptin resistance. Even though I was already lean, I just didn’t feel as “hard” and delt with major brain fog and low sex drive.

    I recently finished Matt Stone’s book, “Eat for Heat”. It was really well written and I’m definitely using some of it’s philosophies. I remember growing up and being warned about salt and how bad it is for you, as well it’s “bloat” for those who want to look lean. Surprisingly, I consume a lot of salt (pink Himalayan and mineral rock salts) and notice my hands and feet are hottest after salty/carby meals. I also am quite vascular and muscular looking after these meals. Salting my foods at night alone has been huge.

    I even notice that combining it’s philosophies, with stuff from Jason Ferruggia’s renegade diet, and carb backloading, I stay pretty friggin’ lean and feel great even eating quite a bit of “junk” calories.

    Good stuff, Rust! Keep it coming.

  17. Dear Rusty Moore,

    I appreciate all the work and effort what you put in your work. I love your no BS approach! This is very informative and such a great blog post.

    Six meals a day is pure nonsense regarless your diet. I like to eat big satifying meals: when I eat, I eat.

    I’ve read also that old school bodybuilders like Franco Columbu ate fewer but bigger meals consisting high quality fats, carbs and protein and not 6 tiny low-fat bullshit . . .

    My grandparents eat thrice a day and their diet consists only whole foods like meat, potatoes, fruits, veggies and natural fats, yet they have no health problems.

    I’m currenty at 10% bodyfat eating three meals a day but I follow low carb high fat diet (almost paleo) and I’m considering to increase my carbs and balance my macros in order to gain a little bit muscle. Although I’ll increase my carbs and decrease fats, I’d like to eat thrice a day because it fits best to my daily schelude.

    What kind of macro ratio you recommend Rusty? I’m considering to use 40/30/30 macro ratio in this type of diet. For 140lbs guy like me it would be like 140 protein, 60-70 g fat, and 180-200 g carbs and almost 2000kcal/day. Ofcourse calories would come from potatoes, brown rice, meat, liver, fish, fowl, eggs, coconut oil, butter, olive oil, veggies and fruits. I also train with weights 3-5 days a week pretty heavy. 😛


  18. Awesome article, Rusty!

    I often get e-mails, usually from women, that have been on a low-calorie diet for months with cardio almost every day, and haven’t lost an ounce of fat.

    Personally I tell them that dieting for too long at a time can be detrimental. If weight loss slows down too much, stop dieting for a while, work on maintenance and increasing your metabolism and add some muscle. Then a few months later, start dieting again.

    The “bulking and cutting” cycle maybe isn’t optimal when you take it to the extreme and eat yourself fat during each bulk, but it sure as hell works if you do it right.

  19. Sad to say, but this makes complete sense. Back when I lived at home all our meals were meat, potatoes, and a veggie (besides breakfast) and I was always lean and fit! Now that I’ve graduated college (drank a ton of beer) and the big pressure is to eat less and stay skinny I’ve been gaining weight! Now its time to go back to the way I use to eat and work-out and actually enjoy my food.
    Thanks for showing me the light!

  20. It’s great! Actually, I am a kind of dieter who are doing this repeatly… for a certain time, I eat low calories, but sometimes I really feel like high calories. my problem is that I can’t last over 2-3 weeks with one strategy.. I think the part 3 will be for me definitely! I can’t wait! Thank you Rusty!

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