Do you ever feel like you’re doing everything right – eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly – but you’re still not losing weight? Or worse, you’re actually gaining it?
Adding insult to injury, you meet people everyday who just seem naturally thin, as if they can eat whatever they want and not gain a pound.
The good news is you can have a great metabolism too. You might have to work a little harder than those lucky few do, but you can maintain a body that burns the calories you eat at a faster rate.
And that not only leads to easier weight loss and maintenance, a faster metabolism also contributes to:
- Your immune system and ability to fight disease
- Energy levels
- Muscle mass
- Libido and fertility
- Thyroid and hormone health
- Brain function
This is especially important as we age because our metabolism naturally slows down after the age of 40.
Symptoms of a slow metabolism include:
- Difficulty losing/maintaining weight
- Fatigue and low energy levels
- Trouble sleeping
- Low sex drive
- Sensitivity to feeling cold
- Constipation and bloating
- Anxiety, depression, and/or brain fog
- Frequent common colds and viruses
But here’s the secret about your metabolism that few people understand…
Most diets kill your metabolism!
It’s true. What happens is that your body, on a cellular level, can’t tell the difference between starvation on purpose and real starvation. So as soon as cells start to be deprived of essential nutrients, as most diets do, they send the signal to metabolic hormones to slow down and protect the body from starvation.
This is one of the reasons that diets like low fat, low calorie, low carb, and paleo don’t work. Even if you initially lose some weight, your body will eventually regain it as the metabolism slows.
So what should you do?
Exactly the opposite of what causes the problem – or in other words, go alkaline! By increasing the nutrient-density of the food you’re consuming, you can actually speed up your metabolism and drop weight that was previously difficult to take off.
Here’s an action plan to increase your metabolism and finally lose that weight!
- Focus on nutrient-rich foods.
The higher any food is in minerals, the more alkaline it is. This is part of the reason why meats, dairy products, and processed foods are acidic. Even if they are low in sugar, they are also low in minerals and fiber.
By eating alkaline foods rich in vitamins and minerals, you’re going to be supplying your cells with what they need to ensure that your metabolism speeds up.
The best food sources of minerals include:
- Spinach, kale, watercress, and other leafy greens
Notice anything else about the foods on that list? They’re all proven to help you lose weight. So load up on as much as you want, don’t deprive yourself, and watch the weight come off as your metabolism speeds up.
- Avoid these metabolism slugs.
Some foods speed your metabolism up, and some foods slow it down to a slug’s pace. These culprits fill your digestive tract with inflammation, making it harder to easily digest food, which leads to you feeling sluggish and bloated.
Here are the top foods you need to avoid if you want a faster metabolism:
- Sugar – this includes sugar in supposedly “healthy” foods like yogurt, fruit juices, and granola bars
- Gluten and processed grains
- Trans fat foods like pastries, butter substitutes, and crackers
- Canola and vegetable oils
- Processed meals and snacks
- Artificial sweeteners
- Dairy products
- Exercise every day.
The best thing for your metabolism is to get your body moving each and every day, at least once a day. If you can do two activities a day, like hitting the gym in the morning and taking a walk in the evening, or using the rebounder in the morning and swimming in the afternoon, that’s even better.
Research actually shows that exercise reverses the aging process when it comes to your metabolism. While there is usually a difference between younger and older people’s metabolism, one study found that among physically active men, there was no difference.
- Don’t skip meals.
Remember how your cells sense that they’re being deprived of what they need and go into starvation mode? Well that happens pretty quickly.
So skipping breakfast or letting your blood sugar slump during a long stretch between lunch and dinner is enough to start this negative chain reaction for your cells.
Make sure you start off the day right. I recommend a smoothie for a good serving of vitamins, minerals, healthy fat, and protein to get you going. And then as long as you’re eating alkaline, eat whenever you’re hungry throughout the day.
It is important to eat THREE meals a day, ideally with no snacking in between. While the concept of grazing can boost your metabolism in the short run, in the long run the downsides outweigh any upside.
The major issue with grazing is that it also spikes your insulin levels, and when your insulin spikes, your body stores fat, and ultimately, leads to insulin resistance, leptin and ghrelin resistance. This makes you always feeling hungry, and never full. You will also be craving acidic foods like carbs and grains (bread anyone?) which sets you up in a vicious cycle.
So here it is – 3 meals a day, with 80% consisting of dark green leafy vegetables and healthy fats, 15% protein (plant-based or wild-caught fish), and 5% vegetable carbs (sweet potato, squash, etc.).
Every meal, your goal is to have 2 to 3 tbsp. of healthy fats in the oil form (the RIGHT oils), such as EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), avocado oil, coconut oil, MCT oil, black cumin seed oil, or macadamia nut oil.
- Try a metabolism reset.
If you’ve tried all of the techniques above for a while – at least a month – and your metabolism still isn’t fast enough to lose weight or maintain the weight you want, I’ve got just the thing for you.
Intermittent fasting is a technique where you select a window of hours to eat during the day, and fast the rest of the time. It might sound counterintuitive to recommend this when I just told you not to skip meals, but hear me out.
If you do it correctly, intermittent fasting resets the metabolism, so your body starts to run on fat for its fuel source, and not on sugar or carbs, which just leads to a vicious cycle of craving more sugar and carbs.
However, you have to be very careful about how you do it. People with a slower metabolism (and unfortunately, this includes most men and women over about 40) often crash and burn if they try intermittent fasting every day.
It’s exactly because the metabolism is slower that you have to take intermittent fasting slower, but you can also have the greatest results from doing it right. What it will do for you is switch your main energy source from sugar and carbohydrates to fat, which burns fat your body has previously held onto.
Let’s call it Modified Intermittent Fasting. Try this schedule to properly reset your metabolism:
- Start fasting for 14 hours at a time (eat in a 10-hour window), with a plan to gradually work your way up to a 16 hour fast. So on fasting days, eat between 9:00 AM and 7:00 PM for instance, and after a couple of weeks, adjust that to 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM, moving toward a 16 hour off / 8-hour on window.
- Don’t fast every day. Even after you get started successfully, spread fasting days out throughout the week, so fast on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, taking the other days off in between to give your body a chance to recuperate. This way, your cells won’t go into starvation mode, slowing down the metabolism.
- On fasting days, take it easy. Don’t strain your body with high intensity workouts. Practice yoga, stretching, or meditation instead. The unrestricted eating days are the ones where you can get good workouts in.
- Don’t deprive yourself. Make sure you eat plenty of food to keep yourself full in between fasts. Enjoy lots of nutrient-dense fats and greens like avocado, flax seeds, macadamia nuts, rainbow salads, green juices and smoothies, raw soups, and if you are craving any carbs, go for a healthier source such as gluten-free carbohydrates like quinoa and sweet potatoes. If you drink coffee, add some coconut oil or MCT oil, drink some herbal teas, and have 1 tbsp. of coconut oil to satiate you.
- Drink water even when you’re fasting. Make sure you’re staying fully hydrated with well-filtered, alkaline water at all times, especially when you’re fasting. Continue taking Alkamind Daily Minerals and other supplements with water before going to bed, even on fasting days.
- End your fasting periods with Alkamind Daily Greens, which will replenish the liver after a night spent fighting acid. It’s a mega-dose of the dark greens your body wants.
Even if you’re not doing a full metabolism reset using Modified Intermittent Fasting, make sure you take your Alkamind Daily Minerals every night and Alkamind Daily Greens every morning to keep your vitamin and mineral levels as high as possible, which will keep your metabolism running as fast as possible.