I frequently have people writing me how this or that diet’s not working for them. How they can’t build muscle or get rid of their love handles despite doing everything by the book.
They’ve been restricting their food intake and following absurd workout protocols for months (years, in some cases) only to suffer from metabolic slowdown, muscle loss and even fat gain.
When I ask them about their stats the picture immediately clears up.
Listen here, if you’re 6 ft+ tall and weigh 140 lbs, you don’t need to go on a low-carb ketogenic diet to burn that stubborn layer of abdominal fat. You don’t need to increase your cardio investment from 5 to 10 hours a week. You don’t need to hunt down a new bench press record every time you step into the gym.
In fact, you need to do the opposite if you want to look and perform better. You need to step away from the treadmill and start eating more. You need to allow your metabolism to recover and reset itself.
You need to maximize your energy turnover.
High energy turnover = fast metabolism
What’s the first thing most people do when trying to lose weight?
They eat less and exercise more.
While this idea is inherently correct, it’s not a card you can play over and over again. Certainly not without suffering adverse effects.
Your body is primed for survival and equipped with a host of delicate systems to make sure you live to see another day. When you restrict your food intake and hitting the gym hard, you’re triggering an emergency response.
And when your body senses a reduction in energy influx and a drastic increase in energy expenditure, it slows its metabolic rate to avoid imminent death. This primitive survival mechanism has kept the human race alive for millennia. But this very mechanism is also responsible for countless frustrated dieters.
To build your best body from the inside out you have to turn the tables. You have to become the master of your metabolism, using food and training strategically to maximize muscle growth and fat-loss.
You have to, periodically, increase food intake and exercise volume and, periodically, restrict food intake and physical activity. You cannot eat like a hamster while killing yourself in the gym, certainly not long-term.
The key to building a body is to maximize energy turnover and metabolic rate. More energy coming in, more energy going out. More muscle, less fat. That is the goal.
The “slow metabolism” myth
You know how your aunt Susan always complains about having a slow metabolism (“It runs in the family…”)? Next time she starts telling you about her “condition”, calmly but unapologetically educate her on the facts.
A slow metabolism is nothing more than a downregulated system, waiting to be rebooted. It’s not a genetic fate. It’s your body’s response to your lifestyle choices.
A slow metabolism has been made slow. It has been conditioned to survive on less food. It has been conditioned to expend fewer calories and to store any excess as fat.
A slow metabolism is an efficient metabolism. But it is not necessarily a healthy metabolism.
If you routinely eat less than your body expends (and/or exercise without adequate nutritional compensation) you will foster a sluggish metabolism, regardless of your genetics, the type of diet or training routine you follow.
Listen, you can and you must incorporate weeks of eating less (= calorie deficit) and training with unrelenting intensity. But that is not a viable long-term strategy. At some point, you’ll have to give your body what it needs. You’ll have to stop dieting and start building your metabolism back up.
You’ll have to start listening to your body or pay the consequences.
Turbocharge your metabolic engine
While an efficient metabolism might sound good on paper, it’s not efficiency we’re after. It’s performance, it’s metabolic integrity, it’s power.
You want a powerful metabolism that hums smoothly like a V8 engine. You want a metabolism that effortlessly burns through large amounts of fuel and always boasts top-tier performance.
In order to turbocharge your metabolism, you have to eat accordingly. You have to maximize your body’s capacity to digest and assimilate nutrition by eating at regular intervals throughout the day, getting in enough protein and avoiding overly restrictive diets.
Furthermore, you need to start training properly. More muscle equals a higher metabolic rate, so do some push-ups and/or lift some heavy weights. Bodyweight training is my weapon of choice, but any form of progressive resistance training will get the job done.
Carrot sticks and detox teas won’t get you there. The tools for a fast metabolism are your fork and knife, and a pair of dumbbells, not some diet elixir from the tropics.
Eat more, burn more. Simple as that.
Supercharge your metabolism:
- Eat breakfast (no intermittent fasting)
- Eat at regular intervals (every 2-4 hours)
- Eat enough protein (1 gr per lb of bodyweight)
- Don’t overeat at individual meals
- Don’t chronically restrict calories, carbs or fats
- Eat more, burn more
What if you’re overweight and have a hard time getting lean? Is it because of your slow metabolism?
It’s because you’re focusing on the wrong things. Download and read your copy of the Lean Machine Diet and get in the best shape of your life. The time is now.
Thank you for reading