Imagine you can eat anything and never gain weight. Some animals can do this. We call them “teenagers.” You know you have teenagers when you run out of food and you’re not finished unloading groceries from the car, a comic once quipped.
Oh, how I long for those days.
I remember merely thinking I wanted to lose five pounds and BAM! I’d be a size smaller in two days.
Now when that happens I wake up.
So what changes between then and now? In short: a lot. We’re older, wiser, and, well, older. And not everyone gets wiser, unfortunately.
But we do age.
As part of that process, metabolisms slow down, estrogen drops, and we move less, creating a perfect storm of mass destruction that attaches fat to our hips, thighs and bellies.
It’s not pretty. In fact, it would make an excellent horror film, far worse than anything Stephen King can conjure up.
The good news is you can fight back. It’s the basis for this entire website and the sole reason for my existence. (Okay, I’m exaggerating a little but not by much.)
Before I get to metabolism boosters, let’s review a few basics.
In order to lose a pound of fat you need to create a deficit of 3,500 calories.
You can do this by burning that many calories, eating that many fewer calories (much easier to do than the former), or a combination of the two.
Every weight-loss diet comes down to this principle.
Whether you’re eating Girl Scout cookies, candy canes or drinking eggnog (not judging! Just sayin’…), if you’re taking in 3,500 fewer calories than you need, you’ll drop a pound. Even Stephen Hawking recently said, “It’s not rocket science.” If you expect to lose a pound a week, this involves eating 500 fewer calories a day.
That’s a lot. In fact, that’s about the calories in a healthy dinner. I’m not advocating skipping dinner, but want to emphasize the gravity of the calorie situation.
Having said that, some things DO work to speed up the process. Try a few of these scientifically-proven tactics to burn more fat faster.
1. Whirl a whey
Adding 20 grams of whey protein to shakes throughout the day does several wonderful things: it keeps you full longer and bumps up your metabolism. Ideally, research showed best results with three times a day intake for a total of 60 grams. My favorite is Designer Whey.
2. Drink like a fish
I actually don’t know where this saying came from, since I would think if fish drank their swimming water I imagine they’d drown. But in reality, a study shows drinking two glasses of water before every meal helped people lose an average of 15.5 pounds over three months compared with non-water drinkers. Be one with the fish.
3. Skip the pesticides
Preservatives in produce called “obesogens” can slow metabolism and make it more likely you’ll gain weight. Pick organic fruits and veggies whenever you can. (And sorry, but it’s no excuse to stop eating vegetables altogether since the pros still outweigh the cons.)
4. Go Greek
A lot of talk in the news lately talks about intestinal flora (my apologies if you’re reading this while eating lunch). Seems obese and thin people have different IF. Apparently eating some foods, such as yogurt, provides the right microbial balance to help you lose weight. Twice as much, in fact. There’s your incentive to replace that afternoon Snickers bar with a Greek yogurt.
You know that annoying coworker who’s always tapping her pen and pacing around the room? Be that person. Seriously. People who fidget and move around during the day burn up to 350 more calories than those who sit still. It’s called NEAT for “non-exercise activity thermogenesis.” Be annoying!
6. Grab a mug of Joe
I admit, I’m a bit of a coffee addict. I love it, the darker the better. And much research shows coffee improves energy levels during exercise, which helps you work out harder and longer, which, therefore, burns more calories. So no, it won’t do a heckuva lot if you’re hanging out on the couch, but a cup or two before your walk or workout could kick things up a notch. Just stay clear of calorie-laden add-ons such as cream, flavored syrups or you may as well order a milkshake.
7. Some like it hot
Not everyone enjoys spicy food, but if you do you may be heating up your metabolism at the same time as your taste buds. A chemical in chili pepper called capsaicin increases the body’s heat, which boosts metabolism) and can trigger an addition 90 calorie burn immediately following a meal. Keep in mind we’re talking about a hefty amount of heat here, though, as it takes about 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne per sitting to crank things up.
And, of course, you also have to do some sort of resistance training. But you knew that, right? Muscle burns more calories at rest than fat, which burns virtually none. So the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism.
You want that.
Need more help in this department? Make sure to check out my latest 90-Day Ageless Body Plan. If you’re looking to dip your toe in the waters, start with my free 7-Day Ageless Body Challenge. Either way, you’ll end up in better shape in the end.
There you have it: seven things you can do right now to start weight loss.
Which ones will you do? Tell me in the comments below… and please forward this to your Ageless friends!
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Got questions? I got answers. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll get back to you ASAP!
Keep up the good work!
Your Ageless Body Coach,