The Paleo diet is a popular diet, there’s no doubt about that. If you want to lose weight and achieve the body you’ve always dreamed about, you’ll likely need to make several lifestyle changes overall, not just switching to the latest diet.
Of course, you probably already realise that if you’re looking to get in better shape, changing eating habits isn’t the only piece of the puzzle. If you have decided to take up the Paleo diet, here are some strategies to fire up your metabolism at the same time!
Try these strategies for speeding up your metabolism:
- Sleep more
Not what you were expecting to see first? Sleep deprivation lowers your resting metabolic rate, makes you less likely to complete—or even start—your workout and increases your susceptibility to junk food cravings.
- Eat simple food
When you’re starting on the Paleo diet it’s fun to try all the complex and delicious meals you can make on the Paleo diet but sticking to simple food makes you less likely to overeat. After all, who doesn’t love gorging themselves on a large gourmet meal?
- Choose dark greens
Dark leafy greens contain more nutrients than regular lettuce. A high water content also means that you don’t need as much to get full. Eat a small salad of darker greens before dinner to stop yourself from overeating when it’s time for the main course.
- Eat more
Severely restricting your calories is not a great strategy for losing weight and it’s an even worse strategy for gaining muscle, which automatically increases your metabolic rate. It varies depending on your height and build but most people should be eating at least 1800 calories worth of high protein food if they’re working out frequently.
- Drink a lot of water
Your body needs water to do anything properly and burning fat away is no different. Being even slightly dehydrated can slow your metabolism right down. Drinking a lot of water also makes your stomach feel full so you won’t want to eat as much.
- And green tea
Green tea is a miraculous drink that cleans toxins out of your system, fills your belly so you won’t overeat and even speeds up your metabolism. Drink three large cups of green tea (or more) every day to enjoy its full benefits.
- Make your own fruit juice
The juice you buy at the store has almost as much sugar as pop (some actually has the same amount) and retains only a tiny percentage of the nutrients from the original fruit. If you really want juice make it yourself with fresh fruit.
- Be smart about your cheat day
Pretty much any list of diet suggestions will tell you to have a cheat day if you want to stick with it—the goal here is lifestyle change, not total deprivation—but many people take this as a carte blanche to do whatever they want and gorge themselves. Choose one or two treats to have on your cheat day each week. If you’re missing a lot of things pick something different every week, but remember that one day of pure junk food will undo a lot of the hard work you’ve done throughout the week.
- Switch to interval training
Interval training is when you alternate between short bursts of intense exercise and slightly longer bursts of moderate exercise for 15-30 minutes. It’s the best way to train if you want to permanently boost your metabolism. Longer, more moderate cardio routines burn about half as many calories in twice the time.
- Add movement breaks to your day
When you spend a long time sitting your metabolism slows down. A 10-minute break to stand up, stretch and move around a little bit is all it takes to get the metabolism moving again. These movement breaks will also help improve your circulation.
- Choose an intensive strength training program
Muscle speeds up your metabolism and burns fat, so if you really want to speed up your metabolism and you’ve already cleaned up your diet your main focus should be building muscle. Start with something manageable for your fitness level and then work your way up to an intensive program like CrossFit.
- Do something active even on rest days
Rest days are essential for muscle recovery and growth but they aren’t meant to be completely lazy days spent on the couch. Do a few warm up exercises and some stretching to keep your metabolism active.
- Give up alcohol
Alcohol is hard for your body to digest and it tricks your metabolism into dealing with the alcohol before you can digest any of the food in your stomach. Many people can lose a significant amount of weight by making this simple change. If you drink a lot you might not even have to give alcohol up completely to see amazing benefits—try cutting down to one night of drinking every month or two and see how much you lose.
- Opt for the original
Fat free, low sugar and sugar free versions of regular food usually contain a host of nasty preservatives and chemicals. If you’re going to drink alcohol, mixing it with pop, juice or tonic water will add hundreds of calories per drink. Stick to the original version of whatever you’re eating or drinking.
- Remove stress from your life
The thing nobody likes to admit is that overeating and weight gain are often symptoms of deeper problems, especially chronic stress. An abundance of the stress hormone cortisol actually cues your body to create more fat for storage in case there’s danger ahead. It also makes it difficult to sleep and stay focused on your health.
You don’t have to do everything on this list to see results, but the more you’re willing to change your lifestyle the closer you will get to the body of your dreams.