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8 Habits That Boost Your Metabolism And Get Your Body In Good Shape

8 Habits That Boost Your Metabolism And Get Your Body In Good Shape

When encountered with unwanted weight gain many people tend to blame it on their slow metabolism and they are right to some extent since metabolism is responsible for all chemical processes in our body that provide our cells and organism with energy and nutrients. The problem usually occurs when we take more calories than we burn, causing our metabolism to slow down which results in weight gain.

When it comes to speeding up our metabolism, we are well aware that it is something we should all strive for, yet so many of us try to take the easy way by going on strict diets and consuming aggressive and unapproved dietary supplements. It seems that we have completely forgotten one simple truth – our bodies came from nature, and, as such, they follow a certain natural course.

Therefore, it usually turns counter effective when we try to force natural processes by artificial means. Instead, we should slightly alter our daily habits by going back to basics if we want to boost our metabolism and at the same time, get our body in a good shape.

1. Ease up

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    It is a widely known fact that stress is a number one cause to a large number of diseases, yet for a long time, the popular false belief was that stress actually helps to speed up the metabolism. According to the study conducted by the researches at the Ohio State University, stress is in direct correlation to weight gain and the decline in metabolism speed.

    In order to unblock the natural flow of energy through your body, you should make it a daily habit to find a quiet place and relax for at least fifteen minutes by doing deep breathing exercises, yoga, or meditation. This way, your body will get its daily stress relief and enough oxygen to keep your metabolism healthy and running.

    2. Don’t wait till you are thirsty

      Without enough water intake, our metabolism gets “depressed” as the research by the University of Utah shows. Water requirement depends on your age, level of activity, weight, etc., yet an optimal amount of water intake for an adult (aside from water which you get from food and other drinks) would be eight glasses of water per day. Additionally, it is highly advised to drink one glass of water before a meal, instead of after since water consumption before the meal helps enhance your metabolism speed.

      3. Eat often

      Food is not your enemy that turns into your body fat right after you eat. When done properly, eating can actually boost your metabolism and help get you in the shape of your life. To do so remember to eat smaller/lesser meals more frequently. Ideally, you should have five small meals every three hours. Also, try to eat at the same time every day, and avoid late dinners.

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        4. Get a goodnight sleep

          Irregular sleeping habits can harm your metabolism causing stress and craving for sugar and bad carbs. Quality sleep requires sleeping in a well aired room without artificial light for at least eight hours. To keep your metabolism from slowing down you should try to go to bed at the same time and wake up early each day.

          5. Raw it up

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            Raw vegetables are rich with fibers that prolong the digestion process and decrease appetite. When combined with low calorie value, raw vegetables provide a great solution to metabolism enhancement and weight loss. Unprocessed vegetables should be included in your every-day meal plan.

            6. Switch to green tea

            This alternative to coffee rich in antioxidants helps your body burn fat much faster turning it into energy unlike the short-lived stimulus you get from coffee. Drink at least two cups of green tea per day to keep your metabolism and weight in check. Avoid drinking it on an empty stomach and before sleep.

              7. Increase your iron levels

              Iron helps to transform blood sugar into energy that fuels the muscles in the human body. Including foods rich in iron such as fish, red meat and beans into your daily eating regiment, can help boost your metabolism during physical activity.

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                8. Stay active no matter what

                Stop making excuses for not working out regularly and use your busy schedule to your advantage. Physical activity is known to help speed up our metabolism as it burns calories and builds the muscles, yet not everyone can fit a regular exercise routine into their daily agenda. Luckily, there are a few simple habits you can alter or add it to your normal, day-to-day life to not miss out on another chance to get fitter and healthier. Use any chance you have to increase your activity level by

                • taking the stairs instead the elevator at every chance you get
                • getting off the bus one stop earlier and walking
                • standing in a public transport
                • stretching at the office

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                  Published on January 3, 2020

                  The Best Weekly Workout Routine for Beginners

                  The Best Weekly Workout Routine for Beginners

                  Whether you’re looking to either lose weight, build strength, or develop muscle, I will be detailing the approach for each objective in the proceeding article.

                  Before we get into it, let me preface by saying that you will be asked to perform cardio if wanting to lose weight, and for each objective, I HIGHLY suggest adopting Intermittent Fasting for at least 2 days of the week, if not all days, if you want amazing results for either weight loss, muscle development, strength gains, mental clarity, and overall health.

                  I have written many previous articles on Intermittent Fasting, and if you are unfamiliar, I encourage you to pause for a moment to have a read.

                  Identifying Your Goals and Objectives

                  I often get a tad philosophical in these articles, and you can expect the same here. One of the best ways you can get started into exercising is by identifying your goals, objectives, and intentions.

                  Simply put, what do you want to achieve and why? Do you want to lose weight, get stronger, or build muscle?

                  You may be thinking ‘well those all sound great!’, but the best approach is to identify a single primary objective. The reason being is because different styles of training will affect your body differently. For example, when I was losing weight to shed body fat, my approach heavily focused on that and utilized caloric restriction, macro nutrient calculations, and intermittent fasting.

                  One of the main reasons I suggest identifying goals for yourself is because now, you can start to support those goals with visualization, and then begin to develop a plan of action or strategy to reach your goal.

                  Your goals will always be changing, and using myself as an example, after I lost the weight and reached my initial goal of 8% body fat, my new goal became to develop more muscle with a focus on getting stronger. My training shifted from high repetition body building with lots of cardio, to low repetition strength training (on strict programming) and practically no cardio. I also increased my carbohydrate intake to support the muscle building and strength gains.

                  Muscle Mass vs Strength

                  Many get these two mixed up or convoluted; thinking that with one comes the other, which is not always true.

                  I’ve personally witnessed a small/skinny 155lbs adult male squat twice as much weight than a muscular 200lb+ male. How? Because the smaller person had trained their strength, which heavily revolves around the central nervous system (“CNS”) and the method of training.

                  The style of training is vastly different if one wants to focus on muscle building vs strength. If one is interested in building muscle, the training modality would be of a higher repetition range and more volume. More volume means doing more sets and reps overall. There is a simple way to calculate total weekly volume, and that is to take the total sets and reps for all exercises of that week, and multiply it by the weight lifted during that same week. The equation looks like this:

                  Training Volume (V) = Sets (S) x Reps (R) x Weight (W)

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                  or simplified: V = S x R x W

                  For example, if I worked out 3 days of the week and performed 5 sets of 5 squats with 315lbs then my total weekly volume is 3 x 5 (S) x 5 (R) x 315lbs (W) = 23,625lbs of total volume.

                  Powerlifters and strength athletes are generally more focused on volume as it develops the working capacity for how much one can lift and how strong one can be. There is periodization involved with this process for a powerlifter as strength tends to come in waves – we can’t be lifting heavy all the time, it simply won’t work.

                  Bodybuilders are generally more concerned with lots of sets and reps, but keeping the weight much lower. The objective of a bodybuilder is to establish a ‘pump’, which in essence means “damaging” the muscles of the body during exercise and in the process driving blood to the muscles to encourage regeneration, repair, and growth.

                  Bodybuilders tend to tear down the muscle, in order to build it back up stronger. This of course needs to be supported by a protein and carbohydrate rich diet. Likewise, powerlifters also need high protein/cab intake to support training.

                  The difference between the two is that bodybuilders are more likely to count the macro nutrients and calories when compared with strength athletes. This is because bodybuilders have set an objective of reduced body fat and more muscle, whereas powerlifters are simply looking to get stronger.

                  Creating a Plan or Strategy

                  So now that you’ve identified your goal, let’s dive into the recommended strategy for each. I will keep this organized under the heading of each objective so it’s easy to follow along.

                  Exercising to Lose Weight

                  If you’re new to exercising, I honestly suggest you workout every single day, or 6 days with 1 off, and the reason is simply that you get such amazing results in the early stages – capitalise on it!

                  When you’re looking to lose weight, be prepared to do some cardio. If you don’t like cardio, too bad, suck it up and do it anyways. You can start with 3-4 walks a day of 15min (up to 60min total walking time), or you can reduce this to only doing cardio for your workouts.

                  If you opt to only perform cardio during your workouts, that works fine, and I’ve covered it in the below approach:

                  Simple Breakdown

                  Perform these movements in a pyramid where you start with light weight and work your way up to heavier.

                  Example: 2 x 15 light weight, 2 x 12 moderate weight, 1 x 10 slightly heavier weight but not where you’re struggling to perform the last rep – you should be able to theoretically perform up to 2 more reps but stop at 10

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                  • Warmup cardio 15min (moderate pace first 10min, faster pace last 5min)
                  • Superset Bicep Curls with Tricep Extensions, this can be done with dumbbell or cable machine
                  • Superset Bench Press with Bent Over Rows, or Pushups with Pullups, this again can be performed with a barbell or dumbbell
                  • Superset Front Squats with Still Leg Deadlifts or Standard Deadlift, and keep these light
                  • Overhead Press with Dumbbells or Barbell

                  You may also opt for standard Barbell Squats on some days of the week, and the difference between the two is that you are training anterior chain a bit more so in the front squats.

                  Overall, however, the High or Low Bar back squat could be argued as a superior movement, but I won’t get into that. The above exercises give you a very basic template to build off.

                  Now let’s get into the more detailed explanation below.

                  Detailed Explanation

                  Warm up each workout with 15min cardio at a moderate pace (jogging, or a very fast pace walk). The goal here is to increase your heart rate beats per minute (“BPM”).

                  Now that you’ve warmed up, you can get into your workout. The great thing about being a beginner to working-out is that you can get massive results very quickly! You can perform your workouts targeting the total body, whereas a seasoned athlete often needs to split workouts by various muscle groups, also known as a “workout split”.

                  An example of a workout split would be Monday – Chest, Tuesday – Back, Wed – Legs, Thurs – Arms..etc.

                  Another example of a split would be training the anterior chain on one day, and posterior chain on the next. Anterior chain would cover chest, abs, arms.. whereas posterior would be hamstrings, glutes, back..etc.

                  I highly suggest as a beginner, you ignore this stuff and focus on performing full body workouts for at least the first few months into training. Full body workouts could include, for example, a bench press workout, and immediately after the set going over to a machine or equipment for back-training.

                  By going from one exercise to the next, you are ensuring an elevated heart rate, which is great for burning fat and losing weight. This is also known as a ‘superset’, and I have made several videos on Superset Training. Here’s one of them:

                  When you’re done with weight lifting for the workout, it’s time for cool-down cardio — 10min at a less than moderate pace (quick walk) – this promotes circulation.

                  Generally speaking, your workout can be kept to 1-hour if you follow the above approach, and it would look something like this:

                  15min Warm-up Cardio, 30-40min training, and 10min cool-down cardio

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                  Because you are utilizing supersets during the 40min training, your heart rate is kept elevated and you are burning maximum fat for the workout.

                  Now you can top it off by training in a fasted state to really shed the weight.

                  Exercising to Build Muscle

                  Building muscle will not require as much cardio as weight loss training, however, it will require more weight lifting with higher volume. Your warm up can be limited to under 10min, and cool-down to 5min, leaving more time for weight lifting in between.

                  As a new lifter, you can still perform full body workouts and achieve amazing results; simply rotate through the muscle groups during your training each day.

                  After a few months of full body training, you may need to switch over to a training split, which I covered earlier in this article.

                  If you are interested in a detailed breakdown of a bodybuilding training split, hit me up on social media (comment, or DM) and let me know! I’ll be happy to accommodate if the interest in bodybuilding training is there.

                  Exercising to Get Stronger

                  Training to get stronger doesn’t totally require cardio, however, for general health purposes, I still recommend cardio to the extent of that mentioned above for ‘exercising to build muscle’.

                  Cardio aside, the training approach for getting stronger should be supported by proven programs. Some great examples of strength programs, and I encourage you to research each one specifically to determine which is best for you!

                  I personally have ‘run’ a few different programs, including Conjugate training, and the Texas Method Powerlifting program, which I created a YouTube video series/log detailing.

                  It looks like this…

                  Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1

                  Each training cycle lasts four weeks and the rep schemes for each week (and each exercise) look like:

                  • Week 1: 3 x 5
                  • Week 2: 3 x 3
                  • Week 3: 3 x 5, 3, 1 (get it?)
                  • Week 4: deloading

                  This is how the percentages for each set are broken down:

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                    Reg Park’s 5×5

                    Phase One

                    • 45-degree back extension 3×10
                    • Back squat 5×5
                    • Bench press 5×5
                    • Deadlift 5×5
                    • Rest 3-5 minutes between the last 3 sets of each exercise.

                    Train three days per week for three months.

                    The first two sets of 5 are meant to be heavier warm-up sets before moving into 3 sets at the same weight. Once you can do the last three sets of five reps, you move all weights up approx 5-10 lbs.

                    Louie Simmons’ Westside Barbell Conjugate

                    The basic breakdown of the week:

                    • Monday – Max Effort Squat/Deadlift
                    • Wednesday – Max Effort Bench
                    • Friday – Dynamic Effort Squat/Deadlift
                    • Saturday – Dynamic Effort Bench

                    Executing

                    Don’t just read this article.. DO!

                    Get up and do, make it happen, take action, what ever goal you have identified. Especially in the early stages of exercising, you need to begin to allow that rolling snowball to turn into an avalanche of success.

                    Look deep within yourself and ask what it is you want to achieve, now execute!

                    Tracking Results

                    I always speak about keeping yourself accountable and supporting your own journey in the process byway of tracking results! There are so many great mobile apps, wearable devices and fitness trackers including heart rate monitors, and more.

                    Personally I’ve had great experience with MyFitnessPal for tracking calories and macro nutrients while losing weight, and StrongLifts for tracking training. There are again many more apps you can explore and the take away, here is that you should be keeping track of your results because that in itself is motivation to keep crushing it.

                    Get at it fitfam!

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                    Featured photo credit: Jonathan Borba via unsplash.com

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