7 Ways to Get a Faster Metabolism
Posted 3 months ago by Doug Ratner
Growing up, almost every single one of my friends was skinny. They could eat Oreos, drink soda, eat cake, and never gain a pound. Me on the other hand, not so much. I wasn’t fat, but definitely not skinny. And that was always one of my biggest wonders in life:
why is someone naturally skinny and why is someone naturally fat?
The more I read, experimented, and interviewed people, the real answer came down to science. The mere statement of “faster metabolism” just doesn’t tell you anything. What does that actually mean? And why is it that I have a fast metabolism at 26 but didn’t at 13? The answers my friends, all has to do with hormones.
Having a fast metabolism is often defined as the speed/rate in which your body metabolizes all the food you take in. So you ask yourself; great, how can I get my body to use everything I eat more efficiently and NOT GET FAT?
It’s quite simple. Insulin.
Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas, and its primary job is to regulate glucose in the body. It’s also known as the “fat storage” hormone.
The way it works is like this; when you eat an apple (which is primarily sugar) insulin is called upon in order to regulate all of the sugar from the apple. It needs to figure out what to do with it.
Someone with a fast metabolism uses insulin efficiently, so the insulin will take that sugar, find what cells can use it and essentially deliver it to them. This is called insulin sensitivity. Someone with a not so fast metabolism is often associated with insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance is the opposite of insulin sensitivity. What it means is, when insulin is trying to regulate the blood sugar, it tries to deliver it to your cells, but because your cells are not sensitive to it, they resist it. They essentially are going “sorry insulin, we can’t take any more sugar right now, go somewhere else.”
Insulin NEEDS to bring the sugar somewhere, and guess what will always take in more sugar, no matter what? Your fat cells.
The biological process of “getting fat” is literally insulin delivering particles into your fat cells, making them grow. And when fat cells grow, you get fat. It’s a wildly beautiful process. But it sucks.
That explains why Johnny can eat 5 pieces of cake, 20 doughnuts, and 8 sodas and not get fat. He is so insulin sensitive that no matter how much sugar he eats, insulin will be able to deliver every bit of it to his cells and they can use it for energy.
In order to speed up you metabolism, you need to get your cells sensitive to insulin. Below are seven ways to do this:
1. Eat a low-carb diet
The less sugar/carbs you bring into your body, the more efficiently insulin can do its job. You’re not overloading your cells with glucose, and therefore they won’t resist insulin when it tries to deliver the goods.
The longer you eat low carb, the more insulin sensitive you will become, and thus you can start introducing the RIGHT carbs back into your diet.
2. Lift weights
Insulin’s cool uncle that lives like a rock star is Testosterone. The more T you have in your body, the better insulin will be able to do its job. Lifting weights is the #1 ways to raise testosterone.
Plus, the act of building muscle requires lots of energy, and when your body is trying to build, your cells will be more SENSITIVE to insulin delivering the goods.
3. Eat more protein and fat
Carbs raise your insulin, protein and fat do not. The idea that eating lots of fat will make you fat is actually not true.
Fat storage is stimulated by insulin, and fat does not raise insulin, in fact, it is a more potent source of energy for the body than carbs. Healthy fat. Not “fake fat” like margarine, fake peanut butter, etc.
4. Take fish oil supplements
All cell walls are made up of fatty acids that coat them and allow for fluid motion throughout the body. Omega 3′s in particular make up a large portion of our cell walls, and unfortunately, many people are deficient.
By taking fish oil, you will strengthen your cells, and also help your body mobilize fatty acids in the body and use them for energy rather than fat storage.
5. Power trio: cinnamon/garlic/turmeric
These three spices are notoriously good at increasing insulin sensitivity. They also provide joint pain relief, hormone balance, and taste damn good.
6. Sleep more
The more sleep you get, the less cortisol you will produce throughout the day. If cortisol is high, insulin is high.
7. Eat more fiber
Fiber has endless benefits, but from a metabolism and insulin perspective it’s great. Fiber will slow down and sometimes blunt the insulin response of high carbohydrate foods. If you were eating a piece of cake and added 10 grams of psyllium to it, the insulin response would actually be a lot lower. 30 minutes before a high carb meal, take a fiber supplement.
*This post originally appeared on DougRatner.Com.
Broke & Fit: How to Survive Your First Bikram Yoga Class
Posted 8 months ago by Amanda Raye
I recently did something bad…I got into Bikram yoga. It’s bad because it’s not a budget-friendly form of exercise, but it has honestly changed my life and I’m willing to sacrifice going out to dinner, clothes shopping and going to the movies for my love of hot yoga. Yeah…it’s that serious.
Why do I love it? I have more energy, I’m eating better by choice, I drink more water, my skin is glowing and overall…I’m happier. I highly recommend you give it a try. Here’s what will go on inside your head during your first two classes:
- - It’s not that hot, I can do this
- - Why did I decide to do this?
- - I didn’t know I could sweat there
- - I feel sick
- - Am I dying?
- - Where did this boost of energy come from?
- - I didn’t know I could do that!
- - I’m lightheaded and dizzy. Is that normal?
- - Am I dying?
- - Yay, I survived! I’m NEVER doing this again.
- - Omg! I feel amazing! Can I come back tomorrow?!
If you decide to give hot yoga a try, here are some tips on how to make it easier for you:
1. Drink enough water
This is by far the most important tip on the list. You HAVE to drink enough water. If you don’t drink enough water, don’t go to class that day. According to Bikram Yoga Vancouver:
“A good formula is to take your body weight and divide by 2. This is how many ounces of water you should consume daily.”
So, if you weigh 140 lbs, you need to drink 70 oz of water which is a little over a half gallon.
2. Eat right
I got my boyfriend into it too, but his first class was hell. First, he didn’t drink enough water. Second, he ate a burger and french fries about an hour before the class. He felt terrible.
Eat something healthy about four hours before your class. (oatmeal, chicken and steamed veggies, a hearty salad.) If you’re hungry on your way there, have a piece of fruit or half a Clif Bar.
3. Introduce yourself to the instructor at the beginning
Before class starts, make sure the instructor knows it’s your first time. They’ll help you and give you advice throughout the class if they see you struggling. They’ve been there too; they know how you feel.
4. Wear the right gear
There’s no need to be self-conscious in a hot room. Everyone will be so concerned about themselves that they won’t even notice how much or how little you’re wearing. It’s 105 degrees in there, so wear something that wicks away moisture. Aka…not cotton.
My first class I wore stretchy cotton capris and a white t-shirt…it wasn’t fun. My clothes became heavy and made everything harder. I recommend the stuff below:
The shorts below, from Under Armour, are both affordable and made to stay dry.
If you want something more sassy, these shorts from Fox are perfect!
Breathable Sports Bra
The ones from Old Navy are great!
Breathable Tank Top
Both Forever 21 and Under Armour have great selections. Again…avoid cotton. Think swimwear.
5. Don’t leave the room
You’ll make it so much harder for yourself. You’ll also disrupt everyone who’s trying to focus. Only leave if you honestly feel as if you’re going to be sick. Noa, at Bikram Yoga Vancouver says:
Leaving and re-entering the hot room can cause your body temperature to fluctuate, when the key is to keep it steady. Even if you need to sit out several postures – or lie on your yoga mat the entire time – it’s better to stay put and let your body adjust to the heat than flee and have to start all over again from scratch.
6. Sit it out
If you’re not feeling well, sit out a posture or two. It’s okay.
After class is over, make sure you replace all the electrolytes you lost. I personally recommend drinking coconut water! Believe me; it makes a difference.
8. Do some research
Before heading to your first class, look at a diagram of the 26 postures so you can have a vague idea what to expect.
We hope you consider giving Bikram Yoga a try. If you go in prepared, we think you’ll love it! For more Bikram Yoga advice head on over to Bikram Yoga Vancouver’s blog!
‘Tis the Season for Your Holiday Winter Weight Mission!
Posted 1 year ago by Jacob Chavez
For most of us, our New Year’s Resolution always has to do with health, fitness or weight loss. Why? Because we over indulge every holiday season. From Halloween all the way until New Year’s Day we’re munching on Kit Kat bars, turkey, stuffing, cookies, pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks and of course…candy corn.
Instead of gaining 10 pounds during the Fall with the goal of losing it before bikini season hits, why don’t we just control ourselves? Read this great guest post from Jacob Chavez, a health and fitness writer from California! He’s going to teach us how to not only control ourselves during the holiday season (yep, Starbucks just put out their holiday cups yesterday so it’s official!) but to actually lose weight along the way!
Amanda Raye | Editor-in-Chief
With diet fads, workout trends, and a world of organic, gluten-free, low-carb and antioxidant labels, the upcoming holiday season is likely to serve as a test of will power for the health-conscious. Losing weight before the holiday season comes is a goal that many people will attempt to work toward before seeing out-of-town friends and distant relatives.
Of course, when Christmas or Hanukkah dinner comes along, and it’s time to get your grub on, the weight loss thing kind of phases out. Time to eat! But what about for those who don’t want to gain weight, but still want to enjoy the holidays? Here are a few tips that will help keep you motivated to stay fit when you’re facing those decadent dishes of November and December:
Jot Down a “Winter Weight Mission Statement”!
“I will maintain 165 pounds from November 1st through January 1st,” or “Lose 10 pounds by Christmas Eve.” Whatever your immediate fall/winter weight goals are, write them down on a piece of paper. Don’t use your smart phone notes or Facebook wall, as the goal will easily get filed away in the back of your mind to be forgotten about. Post it on a bulletin board or calendar on your wall, along with some seasonal motivational visuals. Maybe you want to send holiday photo cards to friends and relatives, and are working on maintaining or improving your physique so you can look stylish! If you have visual goals to look at every morning, it will help you focus and achieve that winter weight goal!
Eat Reasonable Portions During Holiday Meals
Only 10 percent of people end up gaining five or more pounds from the pre-holiday period up to the post-holiday period, according to a study released by the New England Journal of Medicine, explains FYILiving.com. However, the study also reports that on average, most people gain only around a pound throughout the holidays. You can relax a little bit; a plate full of turkey and stuffing and some brownie indulgence isn’t going to wreck your life. Just go easy on anything deep fried or doused in sugar. Egg nogs and margaritas can set you back quite a few calories. On Good Morning America, Dr. Oz reported that a glass of Eggnog contains 450 calories!
Find A Partner!
One great way to stick to a winter weight goal is to pair up with someone and motivate each other. It won’t be tough to find other friends or relatives with similar nutrition and fitness matters on their mind during the holidays! Challenge one another with a daily push up contest, increasing the quantity of push ups each day until Christmas or Hanukkah. Whoever does the most at the end of the challenge wins money or a special prize under the Christmas tree. But remember, don’t reward yourself with food!
Another great way to include friends or family in your mission is to text or email each other everything you ate and drank over the course of the day. The fact that someone so close to you is going to see everything you ate that day will make you want to focus on eating healthy as your teammate is relying on you to stay motivated. Regardless of how much weight you put on or off, hit the gym after the holidays, as most of us tend to forget about the weight and cardio between office parties and family dinners of the season. A little sporting will do you well!
What happens to be your favorite holiday treat? Let us know in the comments below!
12 Diet Tips to a Healthier You
Posted 2 years ago by Amanda Raye
The holidays are officially over. Cookies, cakes, champagne, chocolate and of course the sweet potato casserole has all happened and you’re one week into your “eat healthier” resolution. You won’t fail if you follow these 12 amazing diet tips!
1. Drink plenty of water.
No, Diet Coke doesn’t count. Many people confuse hunger with thirst. Before you grab those Doritos, grab a bottle of water first. If you still feel hungry go for it, just not the whole bag.
2. Think about what you can add to your diet, not what you can take away.
Start by making sure you’re getting the recommended daily 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables. Make veggies the star of the plate, not just the side. Ratatouille anyone? Don’t have time to cook? Make a daily stop to your local juicer for a green juice. Don’t worry, they actually taste good. Try the Supa Dupa Greens at Juice Generation. It’s filled with kale, spinach, cucumber, romaine, parsley, celery and apples!
3. Be choosy about your midnight snacks.
Don’t be a mindless eater. Most snacking occurs after dinner, when your relaxing on the coach in front of the television. You could down a whole bag of cookies if you’re not paying attention. End the eating amnesia by just not buying unhealthy snacks. Buy yogurt, granola bars and apples instead of potato chips and candy. Even better, substitute late night snacking with a cup of decaf herbal tea.
4. Enjoy your favorite foods.
Everything in moderation is the key to a long healthy life. If you swear off cookies forever, your diet will last less than three weeks. It’ll end with a sprint to your local bakery out of sweet deprivation. Don’t eat 20 cookies, eat three instead. Actually pay attention to the serving size on the back. Your best bet is to NOT buy in bulk. Just get a slice of pizza for dinner — not a whole pie.
5. Enjoy your treats away from home.
If you’re kitchen is filled with ice cream, candy and cakes…it’ll be eaten. If you want something sweet, leave the house for it. Even better, ask for that ice cream sundae in a kid size instead of the famous and fattening 5 scooper!
6. Try eating several little “meals” a day.
If you consume less calories than you burn, you’ll lose weight. Instead of having 3 large meals a day, have several fist sized meals throughout the day. You’ll be able to control your appetite better.
7. Only shop in the outer area of the grocery store.
If you pay attention, all the processed foods are in the center, while all the fresh and healthy items are on the outside. Don’t even let your self wander into the middle.
8. Have protein at every meal.
Protein helps to keep your body fuller for longer. Plus, it’s way more satisfying than carbs and fats. Think yogurt, tofu, almonds, skim milk, lean meats, hummus and edamame.
9. Get your body moving every day.
Gym memberships are expensive. If you can’t afford one at the moment, there are tons of other alternatives to get your heart pumping. For one, stop taking the elevator. All buildings that have elevators are required to have stairs…take them. Hiking up 6 flights of stairs a day will do your lungs, heart and legs some good. Also, don’t fight with the other drivers for that parking spot right in front of the door. Opt for that lonely spot way at the other end. Your car could benefit from this too. If no one’s parked next to you, no one can slam their door into yours. Double win!
10. Buy some cute workout clothes.
You’re more likely to go for a jog outside if you have a cute pair of hot pink sneakers to put on. Don’t opt for drab workout gear, make it colorful and stylish. Check out your local Target for some affordable and stylish gear.
11. Instead of going out for milkshakes, go out for smoothies.
Not only will you be getting some of your much-needed daily fruit servings, you’ll also avoid the 500+ calories in that milkshake. Just make sure it’s a healthy smoothie. Some places add sugar infested sorbet and sherbet to their smoothies. Really pay attention to the ingredient list on the menu. You want it to have soy, whey or hemp protein, fruit, ice and perhaps fat free yogurt or milk. Have to have that milkshake? Ask them to make it with skim milk instead of whole, or just ask for the kid size.
12. Don’t reward yourself with food.
If you do loose weight, reward yourself with a new pair of shoes, or a new dress. Not with a big greasy burger.
These are just a few Broke & Fit tips for you to start 2012 off right. If you have any more to share, feel free to leave them in the comments! Happy New Year!