No matter what you do, no matter what you eat, the scale just doesn’t want to budge. You feel like you’re doing all the right things, but for some reason, you’re just not losing the weight fast enough, or even at all. Years of poor nutritional habits and inconsistent eating patterns create metabolic lethargy, burning just enough calories to keep your body operational. The first step in any weight loss plan or diet is cutting calories, which oftentimes creates added stress and inevitably more weight gain. It’s time to hit the metabolism reset button.
How To Restart And Reset Your Metabolism
To break free of this vicious cycle and reset your metabolism, it’s important to confront what type of food your diet consists of and identify your eating habits. More often than not, your metabolic dysfunction is a product of not eating enough calories throughout the day.
I had a client, that was an emergency room nurse. She worked four, twelve-hour shifts a week. Her normal diet routine consisted of two eggs with half an avocado for breakfast, a high-protein dinner consisting of either steak or chicken with vegetables, and sweet potatoes, and a dessert. Overall, she was eating less than 1200 calories per day. Sounds like a pretty solid diet right? Wrong! For years, she had been trying to lose weight, but the problem was that her diet was so restrictive, that her body literally held onto everything she ate, and stored it as body fat because she wasn’t eating enough calories. One fad diet after another and eating one meal essentially per day put her metabolism into disarray.
Eating more consistently and not skipping meals is key to your overall success and resetting your metabolism. Your body needs to feed, in order to burn and increase its thermogenic effect. Depriving your body of vital nutrients, will only increase cortisol levels and create more body fat.
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Shifting Macros (Refeed Days)
Building better nutritional habits is the first step. The second step is including a refeed day. Refeed days, or macro shifting, are not the same thing as a cheat day. Believe me, I know the difference. Cheat days are used to fulfill cravings and usually consist of eating foods high in fat and refined sugar... junk food. Compared to refeed days, a cheat day is an all-out assault on your diet, with no restrictions, or limitations. Refeed days are still tracked and controlled to be above your normal caloric restriction, without going into a food coma.
The purpose of a refeed day is to increase leptin levels after a long period of calorie restriction. When you’re in a caloric deficit over a long period of time, refeed days can boost your metabolism, to get things moving again. Refeed days consist of an increase in caloric intake to refuel your body after being in a depleted state.
A study conducted at the Institute of Physiology, in Switzerland found that during a 3-day carbohydrate refeeding window lean female study participants were able to increase basal metabolic rate by 7%, along with leptin concentration by 28% [R].
Leptin is fundamental in weight regulation, specifically satiation, or your body’s response to fullness. Higher leptin concentration can aid in appetite suppression and make it easier to lose weight.
So what types of foods do you eat during a refeed day? Carbohydrates. Sounds completely backward from everything you’ve been taught, doesn’t it? Shifting your macros to a higher carb intake can actually enhance your weight loss and reset your metabolism. Of course, we’re not talking about refined sugars and simple carbohydrates. Your refeed day should consist of high-quality complex carbohydrates that won’t spike your blood glucose levels.
Complex carbohydrates are found in whole grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruit which are composed of longer-chained sugar molecules.
Refeed Day Foods
gluten-free whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fruit
REFEED DAY FOODS
· Brussel Sprouts
· Sweet Potatoes
· Brown Rice
· Green Beans
· Whole Wheat Pasta
· Black Beans
Hydration (Lemon-Purified Water)
Drinking purified water and staying hydrated is an essential part of restarting your metabolism. If you’re dehydrated, your metabolism will naturally slow down, leading to increased weight gain and added body fat [R].
If you feel like it’s impossible to lose weight, then you should definitely start drinking more water. Part of the reason why some people ingest so much food is because they’re actually thirsty, not hungry. Drinking more water will help keep you satiated, and full in times when you’re body needs to hydrate.
Water distributes vital nutrients and removes toxins and waste. Most tap and bottled water have contaminants such as chemicals, chlorine, fluoride, bacteria, antibiotics, etc. Purified water has an equal number of +/- ions, is rich in minerals, is free of common contaminants, and has a 7.0 pH or higher. A 100-gram serving of lemon provides you with nearly 90% of your Vitamin C intake requirement for an entire day! Lemons are power-packed with electrolytes such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium as well as several antioxidants. One antioxidant, in particular, that is found in lemons is called D-Limonene which helps detoxify the liver. In order to reap the full, fat loss benefits of your meal plan, you must have a clean healthy liver as a starting block.
Getting an adequate amount of quality sleep, could, in fact, be the most important thing to resetting your metabolism and maybe the reason why it feels impossible to lose weight.
It’s proven that decreased sleep duration and poor sleep quality are directly linked to obesity and increased body fat. Sleep is a restorative process of the brain, and without getting enough quality sleep you make poor decisions, including decisions about when what, and how much you eat [R].
When you’re tired you skip workouts; you get takeout for dinner, or you have an extra cookie before bed to satisfy your late-night cravings. Eating is directly correlated with synchronizing circadian clocks and when you eat late because the kids were kicking and screaming when it was time for bed, well you’ve just desynchronized your central and peripheral circadian clock, which leads to increased body fat [R]. Nice work.
To date, there have been over 50 epidemiological studies that have examined the association between sleep duration and obesity. The majority found a direct relationship between shorter sleep duration and increased body fat.
“There’s a direct correlation between sleep, our hormones, and our metabolic processes in the body and without sleep, we throw these processes out of balance, says Alexandria Best, Founder of The Swole Kitchen. “When we don’t sleep, our blood sugar levels increase, our insulin resistance increases, our testosterone production slows, and our hunger hormones (ghrelin & leptin) increase, disabling our body’s natural ability to tell when we’re too full or not hungry. This is why people who are sleep-deprived feel disconnected from their body’s natural signals, feel hungry, and struggle to lose weight.”
How To Restart And Reset Your Metabolism: Takeaway
Years of poor nutritional habits have turned your body and calorie-burning abilities against you. With a few simple steps, you can supercharge your metabolism and get back on track to hitting your goals. If you don't know exactly where to start or feel like you need more help, schedule a free consultation with a nutrition coach to help you create a custom nutrition plan, so you can take the guesswork out of it, stop wasting your time, and burn that body fat.
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