Losing weight can be tricky at the best of times, but it can get super tough when you need to strip away more and more calories to get the weight loss you want if you haven’t taken the time to build up your metabolism beforehand.
Surviving on a very low calorie intake is not necessary or healthy for any man or woman trying to lose weight and change their body composition, and can be avoided by simply increasing your metabolism so that you can avoid any unnecessary calorie cutting, and minimise the amount of calories you need to reduce your intake by to lose weight.
Increasing Your Metabolism
There are two main ways that you can increase your metabolism, both of which require a bit of work and patience.
However, they make getting lean a whole lot more fun – especially not having to cut out any of your favourite foods!
#1 Increase your lean muscle mass
This is the best way to increase your metabolism and ensure your body is burning the maximum amount of calories even at rest.
Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, this means that muscle uses up energy even when you are not exercising and so burns more calories than fat.
Lifting weights and ensuring you are getting enough protein and other macro and micro nutrients in your diet will ensure that you increase your ratio of lean muscle mass and increase your metabolism in the process.
This will also have a positive impact on your overall health and reduce your risk of certain chronic illnesses such as certain cancers and type 2 diabetes.
#2 Increase your macronutrients
By gradually increasing your macros including carbs, protein and fat, you will also increase your metabolism as your body becomes accustomed to the increase in food.
Gradually is the key word here as too large an increase will result in you storing unnecessary calories as fat.
Give your body ample time to adjust to any increases you make and don’t make any huge jumps in calories in one go. Doing this will ensure you slowly build up your metabolism and lean muscle mass without any extra fluff.
The more calories that you have to play around with before dieting down, the easier it will be and the less effort that you will have to put in to lose fat.
It is also crucial to ensure that you are including ample fibre in your diet and drinking enough water.
If you are dehydrated, your body will hold onto water making you bloated and hiding your progress!
Getting To It | Dieting down
When you decide to diet down, gradually is still the key word and the secret to getting as much fat loss as possible without having to take away many calories. If you have built your metabolism up enough, you should have plenty of calories available to chip away at until the desired weight loss or body fat goal is obtained!
It is important to take away calories slowly as too many calories in one go will mean you will have less calories to play around with later on when you hit a sticking point. The bigger the calorie cushion you have to play around with the better when you are dieting down! It is also crucial to ensure that you are getting enough protein to minimise any muscle loss from operating in a calorie deficit.
Dieting Down | The Tips
✓ Ensure you still weight train and don’t overdo the cardio sessions as too much cardio and not enough weight training will mean more muscle loss, and the less muscle you have the weaker your metabolism will be and the tougher it will become to achieve fat loss.
✓ It’s also important to remember that the lower you reduce your calories, the longer it will take to get your metabolism up and running on full throttle again, this is why ideally you will do the minimum reduction in calories possible to maintain continuous fat loss or weight loss so that you will be able to maintain your goal weight/ body fat level at a higher amount of calories.
The exception to this would be competitors who compete at very low body fat levels that are unhealthy for them to maintain year around. This group may increase their levels after competitions to maintain good health and simply diet down as necessary.
By putting the work in off season, these athletes will also find it significantly easier to prepare for competitions!
Take Home Message
Less is not more when it comes to building a healthy metabolism. Starving your body of the nutrients it needs will make it extremely tough to lose body fat and to stay healthy.
It is worth building your metabolism up in the off season so that it is strong before you begin to diet. Give it a try and you will find fat loss much easier!