The Plan to Reboot Your Metabolism

Take your metabolism out of the slow lane with these steps from author and nutritionist J.J. Virgin.

Step 1: Say No to Mini-Meals

Eating smaller meals more frequently is bad for boosting metabolism. Snacking keeps insulin levels elevated, which makes your body more readily able to store fat. Instead, eat by the clock. That means eat within an hour of waking and then every four to six hours after. You also want to stop eating three hours before bed.

Step 2: Flavor Your Meals With Metabolism Revvers

Bonus: You already have most of these ingredients at home. Try:

  • Lemon: A few tablespoons of lemon juice during your meal may help lower your blood sugar response from that meal. Squeeze some lemon onto your salad, chicken or fish. Plus, adding a little sour to your food will help combat your sweet tooth.
  • Cayenne pepper: Cayenne can help burn more calories and curb hunger. Try hot chocolate with chocolate protein powder, coconut milk and a quarter teaspoon of cayenne pepper. 
  • Coconut oil: Coconut oil helps to keep the good bacteria balance in your gut. Use it to stir-fry your veggies.

Step 3: Drink Water 30 Minutes Before Meals

Drinking water may boost your metabolic rate up to 30% within 30 minutes of drinking. Aim to drink half your body weight in ounces. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be drinking 75 ounces of water a day. Start with 16 ounces in the morning and make sure to have a glass before bed as well to shut down hunger pangs. Bonus tip: Add a few teaspoons of freshly ground flaxseed or chia to a tall glass of water 30 to 60 minutes before a meal to curb your appetite. 

Step 4: Eat a Better Breakfast

Swap out options with hidden sugars (like nonfat yogurt) with ones high in protein like the Total Choice Cheesy Egg Sandwich. It will jumpstart your metabolism and keep it humming all day.

Step 5: Burst to Blast Fat

Doing high-intensity exercises for 30 to 60 seconds separated by a minute of active recovery will stoke your fat burn all day long. Try stair running or jumping jacks followed with a recovery walk to turn your body into a fat-burning machine.

This plan was originally created for Dr. Oz's Truth Tube. Get past expert Truth Tube plans here.

Q: I end up overeating because it makes me feel better and I never really get full. I'd like to lose weight but this makes it hard. Any suggestions?

A: Being persistently hungry can cause big trouble. So can overeating for comfort/pleasure. These two behaviors, say researchers from Baylor University's Children's Nutrition Research Center, are controlled deep within your brain by serotonin-producing neurons, but operate separately from each other — one in the hypothalamus, the other in the midbrain. They both can, however, end up fueling poor nutritional choices and obesity.

Eating for Hunger

When hunger is your motive for eating, the question is: "Does your body know when you've had enough?" Well, if you are overweight, obese or have diabetes you may develop leptin resistance and your "I am full" hormone, leptin, can't do its job. The hormone's signal to your hypothalamus is dampened, and you keep eating.

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