Protein and Carbs
Studies have shown that having the proper amount of protein in your system, can actually increase the speed of your metabolism. It requires more energy to break down protein, than many other foods. The more time it takes your body to break down protein, the more calories that it uses.
Different people will require different amounts of protein on a daily basis. Those who exercise and build muscle will typically need more than the average amount.
The USFDA Food Guide suggests around 50 grams of protein a day for a reasonably active adult.
Keep in mind that some sources of protein are also sources of fat. Fast food burgers may deliver up to 20 grams of protein, but they also deliver a great deal of fat, which makes them almost nutritionally worthless. Ensure your source of protein comes from lean protein. Typically, protein from some fish and chicken is lean.
If you’re a vegetarian, or simply looking for non-meat lean protein alternatives, low-fat cheese, legumes (lentils), and yogurt are all good sources. Simply check the food labels to determine if the source of protein is lean or fatty.
When the body digests carbohydrates, it require spikes in insulin. When insulin is released into the system, it promotes the storage of fat and some experts believe it also pushes down metabolic speed.
The good kinds of carbohydrate to consume are those that are high in fiber, and those from fruit and vegetable sources. These sources of carbohydrates don’t score high on the glycemic index, so they don’t cause a spike in insulin levels, and therefore, they don’t promote fat storage.
Congratulations. You know more about metabolism, and how to increase metabolic speed, than most people. You’ve learned that metabolism is a process and not an actual body part.
It harmonizes two essential bodily functions: converting food into cells/tissues, and breaking cells down to provide energy. We learned that the former process is known as anabolism, and the latter is catabolism.
Indeed, it’s this latter process that influences our ability to lose weight, and to keep it from coming back.
And going beyond the biological basics, we also learned the 3 integrated aspects of speeding up metabolism and losing weight, exercise, lifestyle, and diet. And within each of these 3 categories were a total of 11 important, practical, and quite easy ways to boost your metabolism.
Now it’s time for action. The next step to boosting your metabolism is up to you. Good luck, have fun, and enjoy your better, leaner healthier life.
Common Metabolism Boosting Myths
The SparkDiet resource center has consulted fitness experts to find the 4 most prevalent myths concerning metabolism and metabolism-boosting.
Since this book has been about reality and not myths, we didn’t cover any of them in the actual book. Yet, considering how common these myths are, it can indeed be useful for you to know them; and to know that they’re myths.
That way, if you come across them in a magazine, at a fitness club, or just from the well-intentioned but misguided advice of a friend, you can confidently say (or at least just think): sorry, but that’s a myth; I’m not going to fall for that one!
Myth #1: Diet Pills
The general consensus on diet pills are contained in two powerful words: BUYER BEWARE.
The problem here is that many makers of diet pills offer claims that simply aren’t realistic; and if you read the fine-print of most of these advertisements, you’ll see that they’re really too good to be true. Little notes like the claims made in this advertisement are not typical should be enough of a wake-up call to realize that there’s more to the story.
In some cases, diet pills can help boost metabolism temporarily. This, however, can be risky and generally shouldn’t be done without a doctor’s say-so. Unfortunately, people can become somewhat addicted to diet pills, and this can lead to disaster.
And before we go onto myth #2, remember that some diet pills are water loss pills. That is, they are diuretics that promote water loss, usually through excess urination. The jury on water-loss diet pills is somewhat less open-minded than diet pills in general: THEY DON’T WORK!
Seriously: water loss diet pills are built on the premise that you’ll lose weight through water. And, yes, that’s true: if you urinate 15 times a day, you’re physically going to weigh less.
But this is not actual weight loss! This is merely unhealthy temporary weight loss, and it will come roaring back the minute that water stores are replenished through diet.
Or, even harder to comprehend, if a person taking these water pills fails to restore their body’s fluid needs, they can actually suffer dehydration; which can, and has, led to coma and death.