7 Ways to Kick Your Metabolism and Fat Loss Into High Gear

Have you ever been in the following situation?

You feel like you’re giving 110% in the gym, you’re doing cardio, and you’re eating clean…but you’re still a bit soft in the middle.

What gives?

Well, what many people don’t know about getting shredded is it is really nothing more than a slow accumulation of doing a bunch of little things right. If you do only some of them right, you probably won’t get there.

At its core, all effective weight loss methods do two–and only two–things:
1) They limit the amount of food you eat.
2) They increase the amount of calories you burn.
In this article, I want to share with you 7 tips on how to better accomplish #2.

Do HIIT Cardio
Long, low-intensity cardio sessions tend to negatively impact muscle growth and burn relatively few calories, thus rendering them ineffective in helping with fat loss.
Studies such as those conducted by Laval University, East Tennessee State University, Baylor College of Medicine, and Florida State University have shown that shorter, high-intensity sessions, however, not only cause less muscle breakdown than low-intensity, steady-state cardio, but they burn more calories and stimulate more fat loss.
Therefore, I recommend doing HIIT for all cardio, and keeping your sessions between 20 – 30 minutes long. Here’s how it works:
  • You start your workout with 2 – 3 minutes of low-intensity warm-up.
  • You then go all-out, as fast as possible, for 1 minute.
  • You then slow it down to a low-intensity recovery period for about 1 minute.
  • You repeat this cycle of all-out and recovery for 20 – 30 minutes.
  • You take the last 2 – 3 minutes to cool down at a low intensity.
You can apply the HIIT style to any type of cardio that you would normally do. You can head outside and walk and sprint, or you can hop on the elliptical trainer or recumbent bike to get it done.

Lift Heavy Weights

Research shows that training with heavy weight (weights that allow for 5 – 8 reps) increases your metabolic rate over the following two days, burning up to as many as 600 more calories than training with light weights (12+ reps).

Research also shows that training with weights in that range maximizes testosterone and GH production, which further accelerates fat loss and preserves muscle, too.

Avoid Consecutive Days of Rest

Doing no exercise for two days in a row can slow your metabolic rate down.
Instead of training for 5 or 6 days straight and then taking two days of complete rest, train 3 or 4 days and then take a day off, followed by another 3 – 4 days of training.

Split Up Your Weight Training and Cardio

Instead of lifting for an hour or so followed by a half hour of cardio, split them up. Lift in the mornings and do your cardio after work, or vice versa.

Not only will this rev up your metabolic rate twice per day, keeping it constantly elevated, it can help preserve muscle.

Researchers from RMIT University worked with well-trained athletes in 2009 and found that “combining resistance exercise and cardio in the same session may disrupt genes for anabolism.” In laymen’s terms, they found that combining endurance and resistance training sends “mixed signals” to the muscles.
Cardio before the resistance training suppressed anabolic hormones such as IGF-1 and MGF, and cardio after resistance training increased muscle tissue breakdown.
Separate to the study are two other factors to consider. Cardio before weightlifting saps your energy and makes it much harder to train heavy, and cardio after weightlifting further postpones your post-workout nutrition, which further accelerates catabolism.

Eat Spicy Foods

Spices such as red pepper and cayenne can actually increase your metabolic rate. They also go great with chicken and other lean meats, and veggies too, which makes them perfect for making cutting a bit more enjoyable.

Don’t Drink Your Calories

Liquid calories are a disaster when you’re cutting.
They’re way too easy to consume when you don’t even have an appetite, they don’t fill you up when you do, and most are full of sugar, which keeps your insulin spiked (which in turn leads to more fat storage).
Instead of drinking juice, sodas, sugary teas or coffee drinks, etc., stick to water, plain tea (or sweeten it with a natural sweetener like stevia or Truvia), black coffee, or other no-calorie beverages.

Don’t Eat Carbs at Night

There’s no scientific evidence that eating carbs at night or before bed will lead to gaining fat, but it can hinder fat loss. How?

The insulin created by the body to process and absorb carbs eaten stops the use of fat as an energy source. Your body naturally burns the most fat while sleeping, and so going to sleep with elevated insulin levels interferes with fat loss.

Related to this is the fact that studies have indicated that the production and processing of insulin interferes with the production and processing of growth hormone, which has powerful fat-burning properties. Your body naturally produces the vast majority of its growth hormone while sleeping, so again, if your body is flushed with insulin when you go to sleep, your growth hormone production will suffer, which in turn robs you of its fat-burning and muscle-building benefits.

So, as a general rule, when you’re cutting, don’t eat any carbs within 4 – 5 hours of bedtime. You should only consume lean proteins after dinner. I follow this rule when bulking too, not because I’m worried about fat burning (you don’t burn fat when bulking), but because I don’t want to stunt my growth hormone production.

If you’re planning on losing weight or are currently struggling with it, try incorporating each of the tips above. As long as your diet is in the right place, your body won’t be able to do anything but  melt away the fat!
Mike Matthews
Mike Matthews is a bestelling health and fitness author that has helped thousands of people get leaner, stronger, and healthier. You can find him at

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