How To Boost Your Metabolic Rate Part 1: Nutrition

20 Minute Fitness Episode #049

On this episode of 20 Minute Fitness we dig into the world of metabolism. More specifically how you can boost your metabolic rate in the long term. There are a lot of tips floating around the internet about eating spicy foods or drink six gallons of green tea. All promising to boost your “metabolism” and torch calories. So we are here to offer you advice on how you can boost your metabolic rate in the long term.

Three Things You’ll Learn

1.) Boost Your Metabolic Rate Starting With This

The first step to boost your metabolism is to actually understand what is. This may sound a bit boring but your metabolism had the power to change. In fact, it can change a little bit every day. So find out in this episode!

Avoid These 7 Metabolism Killing Habits

2.) It’s All About The Long-Term Burn

When it comes really kicking your metabolic rate into high gear it takes more than a few sips of caffeine or drinking ginger juice. The best way to change your metabolic rate for the long term is to start from the inside out. Essentially, the more muscle you are packing the higher your metabolic rate is. Meaning that increasing your protein intake in order to build that muscle is a top priority. Find how to make your protein work for you by clicking play!

3.) Everyday Habits For A Fast Metabolism

Although your metabolism won’t drastically change from a couple of quick fixes. You can help your metabolic rate by incorporating some easy daily habits. By adjusting your water intake and incorporating the appropriate amount of caffeine in your daily diet you can torch a few more calories. Which can add up over time!


This episode of 20 Minute Fitness is brought to you by Four Sigmatic! Four Sigmatic is a superfood company founded by a group of Finnish friends. It is based on their belief that health can be vastly improved through simple dietary tweaks. The easiest way to do this? Mushrooms, the most scientifically studied and proven superfood. Four Sigmatic wants to popularize medicinal mushrooms by incorporating them in their yummy products, like coffee, hot cocoa, and turmeric latte.

For 15% off your entire Four Sigmatic purchase, visit www.foursigmatic.com/SHAPE15 or enter the discount code SHAPE15 at the check-out. 

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Full Transcript

00:03 Speaker 1: Hey everybody, what is up? Thank you so much for clicking on this episode of “20 Minute Fitness.” We are so excited to share these next 20 minutes with you talking about all things fitness, form, or specifically about your metabolism. So, this is part one of a two-part series in which we’re talking about your metabolism. Today, we’re gonna hit on what your metabolism exactly is and what it does. And then later on, we’re going to be talking about how you can help your metabolism burn more calories, be a little bit faster through your nutrition, so how you can help your metabolism along through your diet. And then, not next week but the week after, we are going to be talking about how you can help out your metabolism through training. So, how you can use exercises to get those calories burning and how you can burn more calories in the long run. And if you are a long-time listener, then you know the spiel. The 20 Minute Fitness Podcast is powered by ShapeScale. ShapeScale is a 3D body scanner scale and fitness tracker all rolled into one. It digitizes your body composition in photorealistic 3D and you can preorder it today at shapescale.com.

01:09 S1: So, like I said, and like the title of this episode insinuates, we are going to be talking about metabolism and metabolism and its relationship to nutrition. So, to start off with today’s episode, we are going to be talking about what exactly your metabolism is. So, when dieters or people in general talk about metabolism, they usually aren’t talking about a long list of physical or chemical processes that it actually is. We often use the word “metabolism” to describe the rate at which our bodies burn calories. This is the rate at which your body converts food into energy, and then uses the energy to perform essential and non-essential daily functions. The rate at which you burn those calories and you burn that energy is called your metabolic rate. So, your metabolic rate might change from day-to-day, depending on your activity level. Your metabolic rate might change from one day, you’re laying in bed to the next day, you’re on a hike. Those are two different metabolic rates. But your a basal metabolite rate, also known as your BMR, which you might have heard of before, stays fairly steady. So, your basal metabolic rate is the number of calories needed to fuel your body’s essential functions, like breathing and circulating blood. Basal metabolic rate is the most significant component to your total metabolic rate. And if you are curious as to what your BMR is, there are several ways to determine your basal metabolic rate.

02:24 S1: The most accurate way to measure your BMR is to have it tested in a lab. Some health clubs also do metabolic testing for a fee, but you can also calculate your metabolic rate using an online calculator. Also, if you like to do math, you could also use the Harris Benedict Equation to calculate your BMR. But in case you don’t like math, then there’s a link to a BMR calculator in our show notes and in our description of this podcast, so feel free to click on it and figure out your baseline BMR. So, if you think about your metabolism as your metabolic rate, so how active you were on any given day in combination with your BMR, then you kind of see your metabolism as a whole or how your metabolism operates on a whole. So, there are plenty of different factors that affect your metabolism as well. As some of you may know, your metabolism might grow slower with age, your gender can affect your metabolism, being pregnant can really up your metabolism, your overall body size, and other factors also contribute to how efficiently your metabolism works. However, there are two areas that affect your metabolism that are actually in your control, which is nutrition and exercise, which is what we are going to be talking about today. We’re going to be talking about nutrition.

03:33 S1: So, there are plenty of articles out there on the internet talking about ways to boost your metabolism by eating spicy food, drinking six gallons of green tea, all this kind of crazy stuff, but it only kind of offers sharp spikes in your metabolism, so how you can get your metabolism burning for one day or just like one metabolic shock that will maybe up your metabolism a little bit. But today, we’re going to be focusing on how you can alter and change your metabolism for the long-term, how you can change your metabolism to be more efficient for years to come, not necessarily just for one day. The first step in doing that is to make muscle building a priority. So, when you think about creating a greater metabolism, in reality, you want to create a very lean machine of your body. Your muscle, obviously, it burns more calories than fat. So, the more muscle you have, the leaner the muscle you have, the more your metabolism will become efficient. And a great way of growing that muscle and facilitating that muscle is to consume a lot of protein or a substantial amount of protein.

04:38 S1: In fact, there was a study presented at the Obesity Society Annual Meeting in Boston, which touched on this very topic. So, to determine how protein intake influences metabolism, researchers with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center put 16 healthy adults on a high-calorie diet that were composed of different amounts of protein. So, one was 5% protein, 15% protein, and then 25% protein for a total of eight weeks. All of the participants ate 40% more calories than they needed to maintain their weight, and all gained similar amounts of weight. So, the big silver lining though in the study, is that those who ate normal to high amounts of protein, so that was the 15 and 25%, stored 45% of the excess calories as muscle. While those on the low-protein diet, which was the 5% protein diet, stored 90% of that excess calorie as fat. So, essentially, what you can get out of that study is that when you eat and you choose to eat more protein versus, let’s say, carbs or anything like that, carbs, sugar, you’re offering your body a chance to build that into muscle, and then from that muscle, you’re building your body into a healthier more efficient machine, and that will then up your metabolism.

05:53 S1: So, we’re talking about a long game for your metabolism. So, by ingesting that amount of protein, you’re really setting yourself up to be healthier in the long run. And as many of you probably already know, eating protein has also shown to help you feel more full and prevent you from overeating. And one small study found that people were likely to eat 441 fewer calories per day when their protein made up about 30% of their diet.

06:19 S1: So this leads us to the question, how much protein should you be eating regularly? One study suggests that for a supercharged metabolism, you should consume between 25 and 45% of your calories as protein. So each gram of protein contains about four calories. So if you’re on a 2,000 calorie diet that comes out to about 125 to 225 grams of protein a day, which is similar to the Academy of Nutrition and dietetics recommendation to consume between 20 and 30 grams of high quality protein, after exercising and every four hours while you’re awake to increase your muscle growth. We have also written a blog post on this topic. So if you would like that laid out a little bit more so you could read about it, that link will also be in our show notes. So the next step in supercharging your diet to meet a higher metabolism is actually fiber, which might not be a super obvious choice to supercharge your metabolism, but there are tons of benefits when it comes to fiber. Soluble fiber can help reduce blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Your body needs some cholesterol to produce bile acids that aid in the digestion of fats. So when soluble fiber cruises through small intestine, it binds to bile and blocks the absorption of excess cholesterol and ushers it out of your body.

07:36 S1: In addition, it slows down absorption of carbohydrates and keeps blood sugar levels super steady. Insoluble fiber helps move material through your digestive system and boost the volume of stool. So high fiber foods can require more time to chew with the benefit of keeping you fuller longer. So it’s really a win win when it comes to consuming a pretty good amount of fiber. So again, your question might be; well, how much fiber are we looking at? The recommended daily fiber intake is 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women. So oats, apples, citrus fruits, carrots and barley, peas and beans provide an amazing source of soluble fiber along with green beans, cauliflower, potatoes, wheat bran, nuts and whole wheat flour again are also great sources of insoluble fiber.

08:24 S1: And fiber can be a little bit tricky, because I’m never really sure when I should be eating fiber, whether it’s kind of in the morning, at night. Also, if I consume too much fiber at once I find that it really upsets my system. So, experts again recommend 25 to 35 grams of fiber more than double the 12 grams of fiber that we usually consume on average. Again, fiber can be a bit tricky because if you consume too much, it might run into the common feeling of bloating or cramping. So to pace fiber properly, you have about five to seven grams of fiber in each of your three meals, and in between two snacks with three to five grams of fiber in each. Also an extra boost of fiber towards the end of the day. So maybe right after dinner or maybe as a late night snack will kind of prevent those late onset feelings of needing a sugar fix before you go to bed.

09:18 Speaker 2: This episode of 20 Minute Fitness is brought to you by Four Sigmatic aka the Shroom Guys. Most people are actually unaware of this but mushrooms are the most scientifically studied and proven super foods that have benefits like boosted energy, strong immune system and more glowing skin. Which is why the guys behind Four Sigmatic, a bunch of Finnish friends, who actually grew up consuming mushrooms, are on a real mission to make mushrooms popular among everyday people like me and you. How? By simply bringing you functional mushrooms and other super foods blended in their delicious drinks, this way making the consumption of mushrooms not just convenient, but also enjoyable. And you guys should really trust me on this one, because I’ve had the chance to try most of their products, trying everything from their mushroom coffee to mushroom matcha with Lion’s Mane, and Golden Lattes, I really started to wonder why I was not on the shrooms before.

10:05 S2: My personal favourite was their Reishi Chai Latte, besides being absolutely yummy, it really did help with my pretty bad insomnia. So if you’re someone with sleeping issues as well, I 100% recommend you to try one of their blends with Reishi, or go straight for their Reishi elixir. And leaving the best news to the end, the Four Sigmatic team was kind enough to give you a special offer of 15% off your Four Sigmatic purchase. All you have to do is visit foursigmatic.com/shape15. That’s F-O-U-R S-I-G-M-A-T-I-C.C-O-M/S-H-A-P-E-1-5. Or you can simply use the discount code shape15 at the checkout. So, are you ready to get on the shrooms?

10:48 S1: Alright. So we covered protein and we covered fiber. And the next thing that will help boost your metabolism for the long run is actually taking some probiotics and supporting your microbiome. So the microbiome is the guts ecosystem which rules a majority of our internal homeostasis. So processed foods, environmental toxins and heavy dose antibiotics can completely wipe out entire colonies of beneficial bacteria, which is just a nightmare for your microbiome. So when the ratio starts tipping in favour of the bad bacteria in your gut, the gatekeeper of what our body takes in or leaves out. A variety of unwanted effects can also occur everything from thinning hair and nails to an increase in your in relation to allergies, sinus infections, gas and bloating, dental decay. All of this can just result from an imbalance in your gut bacteria, essentially just throwing your whole body out of whack.

11:45 S1: So probiotics and prebiotics can help bring your microbiome back to balance which is the key to how we digest, absorb and metabolize food, feed the gut with the right stuff and all the metabolic processes will begin to fall into place and operate more efficiently. So foods rich in these probiotics can be anything from asparagus to artichokes, leeks, onions, garlic, whole grains and leafy vegetables and vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli. So aim to consume at least four cups of high fiber vegetables like peas per day. So it’s kind of a two for one, you get some really great fiber and then you also get an amazing dose of natural, not antibiotics, prebiotics, so consuming those probiotic and prebiotic rich foods on a regular and daily basis have a host of amazing benefits for your body. And the two among them are reducing body fat.

12:38 S1: So, a recent study found that the treatment with probiotics help to further metabolize bio-acids, whose purpose is to break down fats. So this means that prebiotics can change how much fat a body actually absorbs and stores, which also goes back to what we mentioned about fiber. And the second amazing benefit is that these ProEM prebiotics can help balance your hormones. So gut bacteria regulate the secretion of hormones that control blood sugar and hormones that control how satisfied you feel. So, when a unbalanced microbiome you might have big swings in how satisfied you feel, you might over-eat, you might under-eat, not feel hungry at all.

13:17 S1: So, by consuming these ProEM-prebiotics again on a regular and daily basis can really help balance these hormones, balance that microbiome, and help you regulate how much food you’re actually eating and help you tune into your body to see how much food you actually need. And all of those benefits to go back into creating again a metabolism that is just a leaner machine than what you may have been working with before, and that’s the whole goal, is just to help your metabolism become as efficient and help the machine of your body become as lean as efficient as possible. And to finish up today’s episode, we are going to be talking about two other topics that come up a lot when people talk about metabolism or when you might read an article about metabolism, and that is caffeine and water.

14:01 S1: So, to begin with caffeine in the form of coffee, green tea has long been kind of touted as a great way to rev up your metabolism, and we’re gonna dive into whether that’s a wives’ tale or not. So I actually found a study done in Harvard. So, it was a Harvard study of more than 19000 men found that those who consume 200 milligrams of caffeine a day, which is about the equivalent of drinking eight ounces of coffee, were less likely to gain weight over a 12-year period than those who didn’t. So this may point to say that caffeine, helps stimulate fat use, especially during exercise. So I think that we’ve all kind of felt that metabolism, your metabolism might react a little bit differently or you might feel a little bit more energized obviously, when you drink coffee, or consume caffeine, but it is a great way to wake up your system in the morning. But definitely don’t put all of your hopes into caffeine, you really have to look at the whole process and your whole diet in order to really get your metabolism functioning for you.

15:00 S1: And then we’re going to be moving on to water. So, water is so so important. My goal lately has been to drink 2.5 to 3 liters of water a day, which I’m working on. And so, what I’ve noticed from drinking that much water is that my whole system just feels a little bit more balanced and a little bit more awake and aware. So, there was this flagship study done on water and metabolism that was published by the Journal of Clinical endocrinology and metabolism. So researchers tracked 14 healthy men and women to study how much energy they were expending after drinking about 17 ounces of water. And those results were that the subjects’ metabolic rate jumped by 30% for both men and women. In fact, that increase in metabolic rate actually happened within 10 minutes of drinking water and reached its peak 30 to 40 minutes after drinking and lasted over an hour. So the researchers estimated that drinking 1.5 litres more of water than you normally would, would translate to increasing your daily energy expenditure by 50 calories, which may seem small, but when you’re trying to lose weight over a extended period of time, or you’re trying to be on a longer fitness journey that definitely could add up to a few pounds in the long run.

16:14 S1: So, just to recap, if you want to really rev up that metabolism and create a efficient machine of your body and your metabolic rate, you want to consume protein, and to maybe replace some carb or sugar-heavy snacks with something that contains a nice dose of protein. And then also make sure you get that fiber in and then also take care of your microbiome. I think that a lot of people overlook their microbiome, and then they turn back and say, “Hey, I’m having all of these digestive problems.” And it’s really important to be aware of what you’re eating and how that is affecting your digestive system. Also, caffeine may provide a little bit of a boost overall to your metabolic rate, but it most likely will wake you up in the morning, [chuckle] which is pretty obvious, but then what is a great way to rev up your metabolism for the long run, is to be drinking about 1.5 litres more than you normally would a day. And again, if you want all these numbers written out for you, we have a wonderful blog post posted on our website that you can feel free to check out. So, you can find all of the stuff that we’ve just talked about in hard copy on that blog post.

17:23 S1: So that wraps it up for this episode of 20-minute fitness. Thank you so much again for sitting down, whether you’re in your car, on your way to work, at the gym, at your desk, doing your laundry, doing the dishes, whatever you may be doing, it really means a lot to us that you just spent this 20 minutes with us. So, if you want to hear the second part of this episode, we are going to be releasing it soon. That’s going to be talking about how you can change your metabolism for the long run with training, so how you can implement certain training and exercise notions into your routine and you can really make your metabolic rate, a lean machine. [chuckle] So we’re so excited to share that with you and again, if you have any ideas for us, you can tweet at us on Twitter at @shape_scale, you can find us on Instagram at @shapescale. And yeah, thank you so much for joining us. Have a good day. Bye.

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Lesley George

Lesley is a content writer and community manager at Shape.
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