For too long you have been told all the ways to lose weight and get in shape in the fastest possible way. It works some of the time, or the results are only temporary, and it never gets the full results you deserve. And there's a reason why. It's time to unlearn everything you have always been told to be true about how to get in shape. It's time to stop listening to the pundits and get a metabolic reset.
Here are the most important factors to rev your metabolism:
1. Get proper sleep.
For every two hours of sleep you lose you impair your weight loss by roughly half a pound! Worse than that, if you don't get at least seven hours of sleep you can kick up ghrelin, your hunger hormone, into overdrive. There's a reason you're reaching for the office candy jar! So get your Zzz's. The best part? Your body does deep repair when you sleep, which burns more calories than exercise.
2. Drink enough water.
I know if you loved water you would drink all you need. But most people are dehydrated, which slows weight loss and optimal health. In fact, you need to drink half of your body weight in ounces. Here's a tip to get your hydration on point: If you weigh, say, 160 pounds that's 80 ounces. The easiest way to stay hydrated is to simply drink five pints: Drink a pint when you get up, another at 11 a.m., one at 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5 p.m., and you are done for the day!
3. Manage stress.
I can't stop your boss from driving you crazy or shorten your long commute to and from work, but I can tell you right now that stress is slowing your weight loss, affecting your hormones and attacking your thyroid. Here are three easy tips to de-stress your day:
- Take 4 to 5 minutes to meditate or breathe deeply to reset your stress hormones and prime you for best weight loss and a positive mood.
- Exercise 8 to 10 minutes in the morning or at lunch, this will boost your serotonin (feel-good hormone) and decrease cortisol (your stress hormone that packs on the pounds and slows your metabolism).
- Brew yourself a nice cup of herbal tea and say aaaaaaah. Lemon balm, an herb in the mint family, is the best de-stresser in aiding a deep, restful sleep, which means—you guessed it—better weight-loss results
4. Eat the right foods that work for your chemistry.
Do you ever feel bloated or gassy after a meal? That's your body saying loud and clear, "Please don't feed this to us!" Skip the calorie counting, and instead eat the foods that make you feel good. You can use my book, The Metabolism Plan, to find the foods that make you 110 percent.
5. Stop exercising so darn much.
Though you may have found an exercise routine that you think works for you, you could be exercising too much and at the wrong times. Exercising too intensely can affect hormones that slow your thyroid function like cortisol, estrogen, and testosterone. These skewed hormones affect your thyroid, the master gland of your metabolism. Overexercising also affects your endocrine system, which creates even higher levels of cortisol. Does all of this sound like one big negative feedback loop? Well, yes, right now it does. But that's OK because now you are going to be in charge and find what works for you.
Pairing these tips with a customized meal plan can kick your metabolism into high gear.
Your One-Day Metabolism Reset Diet
These are all foods that are anti-inflammatory, which is essential for boosting your metabolism. Inflammatory foods raise cortisol levels and cause hormonal imbalance and rampant yeast growth, which disrupts thyroid function, your master gland for your metabolism.
Breakfast: Flax Granola
Makes 4 Servings
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups flaxseeds
- 1 tablespoon agave nectar
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ cup raisins
- If you can soak the flaxseeds overnight, great—they will produce more mucilage and be even better for digestion. But if you're in a rush, you can simply combine water and flaxseeds in a medium bowl, mix well, let sit for 30 minutes, and mix again.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 275°F. Add agave, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, and raisins to flaxseeds and mix thoroughly.
- Spread the granola in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake for 50 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 225°F as you remove the baking sheet. Chop up the sheet of granola into clusters, flip them over, and bake an additional 30 to 40 minutes, until all moisture is gone and granola is crispy. For women, serve with ½ an apple; men should serve with ½ an apple and some coconut or almond milk.
Lunch: Cream of Broccoli Soup
Makes 3 to 4 Servings
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon dried sage
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried celery seed
- 1 quart chicken stock or hot water
- 2 cups water
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 8 cups broccoli, chopped—about 4 heads of broccoli
- 4 cups zucchini, chopped—about 2 medium zucchini
- 1 small cayenne pepper or 1 tablespoon Sriracha
- 1 medium avocado, peeled and pit removed
- In a medium skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, cumin, sage, and celery seed, and sauté until the onion is tender.
- To a medium soup pot, add the stock or water, water, coconut milk, broccoli, zucchini, cayenne pepper, avocado, and finally the sautéed onion mixture. Bring the water to a boil and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Blend the soup. This recipe freezes well, so it's great to double the recipe to last for two weeks!
Serve with: baby romaine with grated carrots, ¼ of an apple, sliced, and sunflower seeds, dressed with extra-virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice and whatever fresh herbs you have lying around.
Snack: Raw Pumpkin Seeds
Dinner: Chicken With Roasted Vegetables
For women, have 4 to 6 ounces free-range, pastured chicken. Men can have 8 to 10 ounces of the same, with as much of the roasted vegetables (see below) on the side as they wish. Serve with: baby romaine with ¼ avocado, dressed with extra-virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and whatever fresh herbs you have lying around.
Makes 4 servings
- 3 large carrots
- 1 large zucchini
- 1 yellow squash
- 1 head broccoli
- 1 medium onion
- 4 to 5 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Italian herbs, fresh or dried, to taste
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375°F. Chop the vegetables and toss them with the olive oil, herbs, salt, and pepper. If you have time, let the mixture stand for 30 minutes before baking for 30 minutes.
Lyn-Genet Recitas is the New York Times and international bestselling author of The Plan, The Plan Cookbook, and her latest book, The Metabolism Plan, which offers an effective way to lose weight, improve health and reverse the aging process. A sports and holistic nutritionist, Recitas has helped hundreds of thousands of men and women reach their best health by finding their chemical responses to food, not counting calories. Recitas has been featured on Dr. Oz, CBS New York, and Fox News Insider, and in Women’s Running and Fitness.