With Spring officially here (at least according to the calendar if not yet the weather), there’s a certain level of excitement to ditch the Winter clothing and get your mojo going for the season. Here are four sure-fire ways to boost your body’s thermogenic rate so you can get your metabolism working like a fine oiled machine.
Kick your thyroid into gear: The thyroid controls the metabolic rate of every single cell in the body and also maintains body temperature. Without enough thyroid hormone, all our bodily functions slow down. We feel tired and lethargic, gain weight, experience constipation, feel cold and are prone to depression. Nutritional deficiencies may prevent the proper manufacture or function of thyroid hormone in the body. Iodine and tyrosine are necessary for the formation of thyroid hormone, while selenium is necessary for the normal function of thyroid hormone. Many individuals with decreased thyroid hormone levels also have a zinc deficiency. Both low iron and vitamin D will also contribute to reduced thyroid levels. Bottom line – ensure that you are taking a comprehensive multivitamin daily to avoid any deficiencies. You may also want to top up your levels of tyrosine (500 – 1000mg/day, however avoid this if you have high blood pressure), vitamin D (4,000 – 5,000iu with breakfast) and zinc (50mg/day). And of course, following the above points to eat balanced, high protein meals in regular intervals will keep things running smoothly.
Get things revving in the gym: There’s another metabolic benefit of protein; eating it also helps to support metabolically active muscle growth, especially if you are using strength training. That’s right – strength training helps to increase the thermic effect. A study published in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise Journal found the thermic effect of the same meal was 73 per cent greater after even a single bout of resistance training. This certainly helps to illustrate why strength training is so important for optimal calorie burning. And those who are do regular cardio and in turn have a high aerobic capacity (known as VO2 max) burn more calories after eating, particularly after a large meal, than individuals with a low VO2 max. Keep this in mind – if you have more muscle your resting metabolic rate is higher, which means you burn more calories at rest. So, get in your protein and your workouts.
Love your liver to love your stomach: While your muscle is your primary fat-burning tissue, your liver is your master fat-burning organ. Compromised liver function not only interferes with the body’s ability to burn fat, but it also hinders the elimination of toxins. To keep your liver healthy be sure to get in eight glasses of water a day (preferably from an alkaline filter) – adding freshly squeezed lemon for a cleansing effect, along with a dash of cayenne pepper for an enhanced thermic effect. You can also add a liver support product from your health food store that includes any combination of these nutrients: artichoke extract, milk thistle, cysteine, methionine, curcumin and N-Acetyl-Cysteine (NAC). My favourite liver detox supplement is my Hormonal Health Clear Detox Capsules which help to cleanse the liver of toxic hormones while boosting fat burning potential. Since both alcohol and many medications, such as Tylenol, are processed through the liver, keep these to a minimum when possible.
Feed your stomach fat-burning foods: While it sounds high tech and scientific, thermic or “thermogenic” foods literally heat you up and raise your metabolism. The thermic effect happens as your body burns calories, simply by digesting and absorbing the food. Yes, even the very act of eating stimulates your metabolism, especially when you consume protein, which has the highest thermic effect of any food group. In general, the typical thermic effect of protein is 20%–35% of energy consumed and for carbs, this number usually falls between 5% and 15%. That’s quite a difference! Cruciferous veggies, (such as broccoli, greens, etc) also burn calories in the digestion process. Certain spices and condiments, such as cayenne, mustard and even hot salsa will also keep your metabolism revving. One recent study found that ginger consumption enhances the thermic effect of food and promotes feelings of fullness in overweight men. Don’t like eating ginger, we have Clear Ginger at the boutique, you can get all the benefits from a few capsules a day. On the opposite spectrum, here’s another great reason to opt for whole foods versus processed foods – it’s associated with a 50% decrease in post-meal energy expenditure.
In addition to these tips, I highly recommend coming to my clinic in Toronto to try personal training with trainers Heather Chapman and Mitch Crispe, their metabolic training technique is some of the best I have ever tried and they are wonderful at strengthening areas that need it without causing injury. Our clients are achieving amazing results and trainers are always great for maximizing your unique potential.
Heather Chapman offers one on one training and nutritional counseling as well as semi- private training for up to 2-4 people. Semi-private training is a fantastic way to train with friends and family at a 40% discounted rate each. Mitch also offers assessments, one on one and semi-private session. Mitch is happy to offer a free half-hour movement assessment to new clients.
Give us a call at Clear Medicine today to set up an initial training session with either Heather or Mitch. 416.579.9105