Most people have a very hard time keeping up a fast metabolism which ultimately causes fat burning and staying lean to be more difficult. And as anyone who has knowledge of what it takes to lose weight and maintain a fit body would tell you, the efficiency of your metabolism is critical to your fitness success. Some professionals in the fitness industry believe that using strategies for accelerating the metabolism should be a top priority when a person is trying to lose weight and improve their body shape.
One of those people is Dr. Jade Teta, an integrative physician and personal trainer with over 25 years of experience. Dr. Teta knows from his work with thousands of clients he worked with and his own personal experience, along with his formal education, that it’s important to address the metabolism through the right diet strategies and practice what he’s coined “Intelligent Exercises” — an approach to working out for fat loss that does more than just burn calories. Scientific research shows that certain exercise helps people not only burn calories but also help boost metabolism.
To learn more about how to help your metabolism accelerate at a high rate, what causes metabolic slowdown and fixing metabolism problems, I looked through archives of Dr. Teta’s written and video content where he touched on these concepts which allowed me to put together the information you’ll learn below. For the full program that works to build your metabolism at a higher rate, check Dr. Teta’s Metabolic Prime program.
Top 3 Causes Of Metabolism Slowdown
The metabolism is changeable and always adapting. What this means is if you are not using a flexible approach, one that works with the way the metabolism works, you may be working against it. There are many factors that contribute directly or indirectly to metabolic slowdown. Some natural and unpreventable such as aging. However, Dr. Teta believes that the top 3 metabolic killers are things people do every day that they can control.
- Eating frequency – Are you eating too infrequently or too frequently? Both high and low daily meal frequency can work fine, and both can fail miserably depending on the person. The mistake most people make is having one set number of meals they stick to forever, which is a major cause for the metabolism to adapt and stay stuck.
- Carbohydrate intake – Are you eating too many or too little carbs? Both too much or too little carb intake will almost always get you in trouble with your metabolism.
- Eating window – Are you eating within a narrow timeframe or a wide timeframe? This one is not often talked about, but the amount of time you spend eating in a day impacts metabolic function. Both wide and narrow window eating can slow metabolism. For example, a narrow window eater is someone who may skip breakfast and have their first meal at noon, and their last meal may be at eight in the evening. They eat in a more narrow 8-hour eating window. An example of a wide window eater is someone who has their first meal at 6 am and their last meal at 8 pm. They eat in a much wider window of time, consuming their food over 14 hours.
Here’s How To Accelerate Your Metabolism
The key to increasing the rate of your metabolism is to avoid doing the things that are making it slow or stuck in the first place. As Dr. Teta said: The trick is to recognize your issue and correct it by doing the opposite of what you normally do. This forces the metabolism to respond. Also, there are additional strategies you can use to help accelerate your metabolism.
1. Change Your Eating frequency Accordingly
According to Dr. Teta, eating only a few times a day or eating multiple times a day is not superior over the other. “I have seen very lean and healthy people using both meal frequency approaches,” he said. “Some eat 4-6 small meals per day. Some prefer 1-3 bigger meals per day. Contrary to what you may have heard, both science and my clinical experience say neither is superior to the other”.
However, if you are experiencing a stagnant or slow metabolism, altering your meal frequency approach to work with, rather than against the metabolism, would help improve results. Having one set number of meals you eat all the time contibutes to metabolic adaptation. According to Dr. Teta, changing it up by switching from less frequent to more frequent meals or vice-versa, is an effective strategy to get your metabolism responding again.
2. Start Eating More Or Less Carbs
According to Dr. Teta, it’s a mistake to get trapped in a single mechanism of either high carb or low-carb intake. He said the trick is to become smart when it comes to carb intake – not too much, not too little but just right.
Both too much or too little carb can contribute to metabolic slowdown. So if you are doing one or the other and your metabolism is not running fast as you want, adjusting your carb intake up or down may be the thing that finally gets you moving again.
3. Adjust Your Eating Timeframe
Changing the window of time you eat meals may also help improve metabolic function. If you are a wide window eater, such as consuming your food over 14 hours a day, you may benefit from adopting a more narrow window eating pattern. If you are a more narrow window eater, you eat all your meals in 8 hours a day or less, you might benefit from going more wide with your eating.
4. Let Yourself Loose With Eating Occasionally
If you usually follow a strictly clean diet you may want to let loose from time to time to eat and drink foods just for the purpose of enjoying yourself. You could eat some good chocolate and drink some beer occasionally like Dr. Teta says he does.
“You may be surprised to learn that taking this approach can actually be good for your metabolism every once and awhile, as long as it is short lived”, said Dr. Teta.
And of course, it is important to avoid overdoing it. “Don’t do it longer than a week and preferably just a long weekend”, Dr. Teta recommends, “Otherwise you risk gaining too much fat and causing the reverse effect you were after”.
5. Consistently Adjust The Way You Create Your Calorie Deficit
As you already know, to lose weight you need a calorie deficit. And there are different approaches to exercise and diet that can be manipulated to create a calorie deficit. For example, you can eat less and exercise less or eat more and exercise more. Once you are consuming fewer calories than you are burning you would be in a calorie deficit.
However, the thing to understand about the metabolism is that it is always compensating and adapting. Metabolic compensation means the metabolism is slowing down and that typically means calorie burning will be slower.
One great way to slow or reverse this metabolic compensation is to alternate between the different approaches for creating a calorie deficit. If you are following one approach such as eat less and exercise less, and your metabolism starts compensating, switching to another approach can sometimes be helpful. This is a way of tricking your metabolism to keep it high.
6. Choose Metabolic Moves Over Long-Slow Cardio
While all exercise is healthy, it has been shown that certain exercise methods have a bigger and better impact on the metabolism. If you exercise the right way you can revitalize your metabolism, bring it back to its prime, and burn fat efficiently again.
You may have heard about the metabolic after-burn effect. The idea behind this is that exercise of sufficient intensity elevates the metabolism and efficiency of fat burning for many hours after the workout.
Traditional aerobic exercise is not very effective for creating this effect. Rather, the intensity of exercise may be the real key to the metabolic after-burn effect. Dr. Teta’s program, Metabolic Prime, is specifically designed to create this effect.
The bottom line is the natural action of the metabolism is to adapt and compensate. What you want to do is minimize this adaptation and compensation the best you can. You can keep the metabolism from moving into conservation mode or get it to work faster by making appropriate changes to your diet and exercise approach.