Rev Up your Stubborn Metabolism—and Keep it Up!

Believe it or not, increasing your metabolism is easy—but maintaining it can be a major problem. Maybe it’s already happened to you: you reached your ideal weight and felt great; everything you ate just melted away. Then, after awhile you looked at yourself and wondered when you started gaining the weight back. The good news is there are simple steps you can learn to help boost metabolism and keep it up—after all, it is easier to stay up than it is to get back up after you’ve fallen down.

Kick start your metabolism

Step #1: Combine strength and cardiovascular training in every workout
Cardiovascular training and strength training offer different benefits. Cardiovascular training in approximately 65 to 85% of your maximum heart rate range improves the efficiency of your heart and lungs and burns many calories. Strength training shapes and tones your body and boosts your metabolism by increasing lean muscle mass.

Have only a few minutes a day? Try our eight-minute workout. If you have a little more time, attempt one of our 20-minute workout routines, moving from one exercise to the next as quickly as possible. For added benefit, run on the spot, climb stairs or perform jumping jacks for one minute in between each strength training exercise. Not only will you feel better and look better, but you burn more calories while you sleep!

Step #2: You’re sweet enough, so cut back on the sugar
Do you think about dinner before sitting down for breakfast? What and when you eat can work with you or against you. One of the main culprits in weight gain is sugar. Sugar is a primary fuel source that our bodies need to function. However, when we eat too much sugar, it can lead to unstable blood sugars which cause energy to spike and the overproduction of insulin. Unfortunately, insulin suppresses fat burning and encourages fat storage. By eating the right foods, you can lessen the blood sugar response when the food enters the body. This is achieved by combining the right percentages of carbohydrates, protein and fat. Our nutrition plan allows you to eat two snacks and three meals throughout the day to keep the furnace burning and your metabolism high. Yes, you have to eat to spark your metabolism!

Step #3: Boost your metabolism with sleep
Finally, something we all love to do can aid in our quest for lean muscle growth and weight loss. The drawback is that most of us do not get enough sleep, and sleep deprivation can actually lead to increased fat storage and a depressed metabolism. Most people require six to eight hours of sleep to properly function. Our bodies require more time for recovery. If sleep is a commodity during the week, try to devote some time during the weekend to recharging your batteries and stimulating that metabolism.

How to keep your metabolism up
Now that your metabolism is up, you need to keep it up. Our bodies need constant motivation to burn fat. Break through the plateau with the following two steps.

Step #1: Overload your fitness
The principle of overload simply states that in order to achieve greater gains in fitness and health, the body must be continuously challenged. The problem with many exercise programs is that you eventually hit a plateau and limit the fitness that you can derive from the workout. Our phase-based programs gradually shift you from one phase of training to the next to shock the muscle system and train the muscle fibers that stimulate metabolism. Without overload, there would be no progression, and while your fitness level may not change, your metabolic rate will stagnate. Keep your metabolism motivated by periodically changing your program.

Step #2: Add vitamins and supplements to your lifestyle
Vitamins and supplements offer tremendous preventative benefits to the mind and the body. The food we eat is often stripped of vital nutrients that can only be replaced though proper supplementation. Fortunately, research has shown that certain supplements, such as green tea extract and CLA, can aid in fat loss and assist in increasing lean muscle mass. As you may already know, lean muscle mass is metabolically active, so the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism.