Image by: Deidra Aubrey Gwyther
By Jake Bradshaw
As a man, I understand the need to want to lose a few pounds around the belly. Nothing you try seems to work. In these times, where beauty is worshiped, women have much higher standards in the men they choose. So we need to step it up.
Metabolism is a weird thing to talk about, because a lot of people think it is out of our control. Guess what. It’s not! Think of our bodies as machines. The more time a machine is kept on, the hotter it gets right? The hotter it gets, the more fuel it burns right? In this metaphor, the “fuel” is our fat. We have the power to burn fat constantly, but first we need to know how to work the machine.
Our metabolism is basically the speed at which our body processes food and burns fat. The faster it is, the more you lose weight obviously; and the slower it is, the more we gain because there is less fat burning than is coming in. How do you take care of a machine? You must consider what you are fueling it with and pay attention to the overall maintenance. Only then, will it perform at its full potential. In this case, it’s diet and lifestyle.
Adjusting Your Diet
First of all, when I say diet, I mean the foods you eat – NOT the kind where you restrict yourself from food. You should never do that. This isn’t rocket science. All it takes is some common sense. Fruits, proteins, Vitamin D, caffeine, fiber, and iron are excellent fuel for the body.
The trick is to never give your body a chance to stop digesting. When it does, it slows down the burning rate, which we need to keep working throughout the day. Think about eating a light snack every two hours between meals – be it a protein bar or cup of yogurt with almonds – this way, your metabolism is constantly working and picking up speed. This is where the theory of “Eating More and Weighing Less” came in – and you know what? They’re on to something.
Start out slow by eating a bowl of fruit in the morning every other day – but ONLY fruit, no bread or other carbs. Do this for about two weeks. The natural sugars will speed up the metabolism, causing it to jump start due to the shock. Once the two weeks is up, start having a balanced breakfast with protein, fiber, and fruits. You need a lot of food in the morning to give your metabolism more things to burn as the day moves forward.
Protein is excellent because it’s food for your muscles. The more you feed your muscles, the more it can grow and burn the fat. Include them at every meal, like nuts, low-fat yogurt, and lean meat. In September 2006, a study written by RR Wolf in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition called “The Under Appreciated Role Of Muscle In Health and Disease,” showed that protein also allows your body to burn MORE calories after meals since it is nourishing your muscles. However, you can’t have protein without Iron.
Iron gives oxygen to the muscles, and without oxygen, they can’t burn fat – which is the whole point of Protein. Spinach, cereals, shellfish, and beans are great. Fibers are also famous fat burners – fruits and veggies have a lot, think about this when you are eating your bowl of fruit in the mornings.
Try to go as organic as possible. Yes, they cost a bit more than the usual foods, but think about it… would you fuel your Mercedes Benz with gasoline that is purposely altered to smell and look more like gasoline, but it’s not really gasoline? Then why feed your body crappy fuel? Chemicals and pesticides are physically not supposed to be inside your body. Your body doesn’t know what to do with them once they’re digested, and it messes the machinery up.
It is important to rest your body and exercise for growth and replenishment. Not only can this be one of the most crucial parts of speeding up your metabolism, but it will also deliver you the most results.
Get enough sleep during the night, this causes your muscles to relax. Men hold all their stress in their muscles, especially in the shoulders and neck. When our body is more stressed, it sends waves and sets up shop in certain areas – most likely, our bellies. Don’t let your muscles get too tense!
Exercise is the most important thing you can do. When your driving your car, you’re burning more fuel than when you’re parked and running the engine, right? It’s the same thing. You will burn more calories, build more muscles, and speed up your metabolism the more you exercise.
When you are working at a job that requires you to sit down all day, think of ways around it. Maybe use a headset and get up every half hour to stretch and move, get the cycle moving. Force your metabolism to work.