It’s a simple equation, the more calories you burn the easier it will be to lose weight and keep it off. It’s just too bad that managing your metabolism isn’t as easy as talking about.
Or is it?
It turns out there are a number of incredibly simple, no-sweat tricks, you can use to nudge your metabolism just a bit higher into the burn zone. Any one trick alone could have you burning through a bit more calories and shedding some extra fat. Try a few together and your loss could be even more dramatic.
Use coconut oil:
We’ve recommended coconut oil many times before. There are a ton of good reasons to adopt this healthy fat. But one of the best is its ability to give your metabolism a little goose, while suppressing your appetite.
Because unlike other saturated fats (which aren’t the devil the mainstream has made them out to be, but that’s a story for another day), coconut oil has a bunch of medium-chain fats, or MCTs. And those MCTs are the key to the metabolism tweak we’re looking for.
A number of studies have shown that medium-chain triglyceride fats lead to a speedier metabolic reaction than long-chain fats.1,2,3 Which means by replacing some of the other fats in diet with coconut oil could help you shed a few pounds, or maintain a healthy weight.
In fact, research has revealed the unique MCTs in coconut oil could both cause you to eat fewer calories to begin with, while helping you burn up to an extra 120 calories a day, with no extra effort.4,5
Coffee brings a bunch of benefits to the table too. But the one we’re interested in today is this delicious drink’s ability to bump up your metabolism, helping you shed some extra fat.
Studies have revealed coffee can temporarily tease your body into burning up to 20 percent more fat, while briefly revving up your metabolism by 11 percent.6,7,8,9 According to experts it’s likely the java’s caffeine content that we have to thank for this little trick.10,11
A regular coffee habit could help you keep the weight off.12,13 Just be sure you’re not undoing the good by dumping a bunch of sugar and syrupy “creamers,” into your mug. Drink it black to reap the most benefits.
Try intermittent fasting:
Researchers say occasional fasting can be a very effective way to kick start a sluggish metabolism. And studies show it could help you lose weight and reduce your risk of a number of diseases.14,15
But if you’re like a lot of folks the idea of going entire days without eating falls somewhere between impossible and crazy talk. That’s where the mini-fast comes in handy. It turns out you can still get the benefits of fasting without facing entire days without eating using the 16/8, or intermittent fasting, method.
With the 16/8 method the goal is put 16 hours between eating. So, for example, on an intermittent fast day you could skip breakfast, eat a light and healthy lunch and dinner between the hours of one and nine, and then fast again until morning.
For many folks this type of fasting is much easier to stick to, and less likely to leave them feeling headachy and out of sorts. But, of course, fasting isn’t for everyone, especially if you have blood sugar issues or other health problems. So if you want to try the 16/8 method check in with your doc to get his thumbs up first.
Head to bed:
This has got to be, hands down, the easiest and most pleasant metabolism trick of them all. Simply head to bed a bit earlier and settle in for a good, solid night’s sleep.
Because, it turns out, burning the candle at both ends doesn’t just leave you feeling groggy, it also messes with your metabolism, which can cause you to pack on extra pounds too.
Studies show there’s a link between obesity and not getting enough shuteye.16.17 In fact, according to experts, after just one night of not getting enough sleep your cortisol levels spike, and your body stops processing glucose as effectively.18
Chronic sleep deprivation can cause insulin resistance to kick in. Instead of moving the glucose into your muscles and other tissues where it gets burned as fuel, it sits in your bloodstream raising your blood sugar, risk for type 2 diabetes and slashing your ability to maintain a healthy weight.19,20,21
And if you’ve noticed that when you burn the midnight oil you tend to snack more, there’s a reason for that. Lack of sleep causes ghrelin, your hunger hormone, to spike while leptin, the hormone that makes you feel full and satisfied, plummets.22,23 Translation? Snack attacks and overeating are likely.
So stop shortcutting your sleep. Commit to tucking in earlier and getting no less than seven hours or quality shuteye a night to help get your metabolism back on track.
Have any weight loss tips of your own? Share them, and your weight loss success stories, with us in the comments below.
1. “Medium-chain triglycerides increase energy expenditure and decrease adiposity in overweight men,” Obes Res. 2003 Mar;11(3):395-402
2. “Thermogenesis in humans during overfeeding with medium-chain triglycerides,” Metabolism. 1989 Jul;38(7):641-8
3. “Postprandial thermogenesis in lean and obese subjects after meals supplemented with medium-chain and long-chain triglycerides,”
4. “Covert manipulation of the ratio of medium- to long-chain triglycerides in isoenergetically dense diets: effect on food intake in ad libitum feeding men,” Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1996 May;20(5):435-44
5. “Twenty-four-hour energy expenditure and urinary catecholamines of humans consuming low-to-moderate amounts of medium-chain triglycerides: a dose-response study in a human respiratory chamber,” Eur J Clin Nutr. 1996 Mar;50(3):152-8
6. “Comparison of changes in energy expenditure and body temperatures after caffeine consumption,” Ann Nutr Metab. 1995;39(3):135-42
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8. “Effects of caffeine on energy metabolism, heart rate, and methylxanthine metabolism in lean and obese women,” Am J Physiol. 1995 Oct;269(4 Pt 1):E671-8.8
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11. “Relationship between basal metabolic rate, thermogenic response to caffeine, and body weight loss following combined low calorie and exercise treatment in obese women,”Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 1994
12. “Normal caffeine consumption: influence on thermogenesis and daily energy expenditure in lean and postobese human volunteers,” Am J Clin Nutr. 1989 Jan;49(1):44-50
13. “Caffeine intake is related to successful weight loss maintenance,” Eur J Clin Nutr. 2016 Apr;70(4):532-4
14. “Could Intermittent Energy Restriction and Intermittent Fasting Reduce Rates of Cancer in Obese, Overweight, and Normal-Weight Subjects? A Summary of Evidence,” Adv Nutr. 2016 Jul 15;7(4):690-705
15. “Fasting: molecular mechanisms and clinical applications,” Cell Metab. 2014 Feb 4;19(2):181-92
16. “Impact of insufficient sleep on total daily energy expenditure, food intake, and weight gain,” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Apr 2; 110(14): 5695–5700
17. “Meta-analysis of short sleep duration and obesity in children and adults,” Sleep. 2008 May;31(5):619-26
18.”Sleep loss results in an elevation of cortisol levels the next evening,” Sleep. 1997 Oct;20(10):865-70
19. “Sleep and Metabolism: An Overview,” Int J Endocrinol. 2010; 2010: 270832
20. “Relationships between sleep quality and glucose regulation in normal humans,” Am J Physiol. 1996 Aug;271(2 Pt 1):E261-70
21. “Sleep loss: a novel risk factor for insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes,” J Appl Physiol (1985). 2005 Nov;99(5):2008-19
22. “Short Sleep Duration Is Associated with Reduced Leptin, Elevated Ghrelin, and Increased Body Mass Index,” PLoS Med. 2004 Dec; 1(3): e62
23. “The Metabolic Consequences of Sleep Deprivation,” Sleep Med Rev. 2007 Jun; 11(3): 163–178
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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