How to get a fast metabolism
How to get a fast metabolism
Growing up, almost every single one of my friends was skinny. They could eat oreos, drink soda, eat cake, and never gain a lb. Me on the other hand, not so much. I wasn’t fat, but definitely not skinny or even inclined towards being muscular. And that was always one of my biggest wonders in life is “why is someone naturally skinny and why is someone naturally fat?”
The more and more I read, experimented, and interviewed people, the real answer came down to science. The mere statement of “faster metabolism” just doesn’t tell you anything. What does that actually mean to have a faster metabolism? And why is it that I have a fast metabolism at 26 but didn’t at 13? The answers my friends, all has to do with hormones…
Having a fast metabolism is often defined as the speed/rate in which your body metabolizes all food that you take in and thus uses it for different biological, chemical, hormonal, etc. uses in the body. So you ask yourself; great, how can I get my body to use everything I eat more efficiently and NOT GET FAT?
It’s quite simple. Insulin.
Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas, and it’s primary job is to regulate glucose in the body. It’s also know as the “fat storage” hormone. When I say “fat storage” I don’t mean fat from avocados or beef, I mean it is responsible for storing fatty acids and other molecules into the adipose (fat sites) of the body. The way it works is like this; when you eat an apple (which is primarily sugar) insulin is called upon in order to regulate all of the sugar from the apple. It needs to figure out what to do with it. Someone with a fast metabolism uses insulin efficiently, so the insulin will take that sugar, find what cells can use it and essentially deliver it to them. This is called insulin sensitivity. Meaning someone with a fast metabolism has cells in their body that are sensitive to insulin delivering glucose to them. Now someone with a not so fast metabolism is often associated with….insulin resistance!
Insulin resistance is the opposite of insulin sensitivity. What it means is, when insulin is trying to regulate the blood sugar, it tries to deliver it to your cells, but because your cells are not sensitive to it, they resist it. They essentially are going “sorry insulin, we can’t take any more sugar in right now, go somewhere else.” What then happens is insulin NEEDS to bring the sugar somewhere, and guess what will always take in more sugar, no matter what? Your fat cells. The biological process of “getting fat” is literally insulin delivering particles into your “fat cells” making them grow. And when fat cells grow, you get fat. It’s a wildly beautiful process. But it sucks.
That explains why Jonny can eat 5 pieces of cake, 20 doughnuts, and 8 sodas and not get fat. He is so insulin sensitive that no matter how much sugar he eats, insulin will be able to deliver every bit of it to his cells and they can use it for energy. It has nothing to do with calories in calories out, it’s all a matter of hormones and biology.
What can I do to speed up my metabolism?
Pretty simple actually. You need to get your cells to be sensitive insulin. How do you do this?
1. Eat a low carb diet– the less sugar/carbs you bring into your body, the more efficiently insulin can do it’s job. You’re not overloading your cells with glucose, and therefor they won’t resist insulin when it tries to deliver the goods. Believe it or not, over time, the longer you eat low carb, the more insulin sensitive you will become, and thus you can start introducing the RIGHT carbs back into your diet.
2. Lift weights– insulin’s cool uncle that lives like a rock star is Testosterone. The more T you have in your body, the better insulin will be able to do it’s job. And vice versa is true, too much circulating levels of insulin will result in lower T. Lifting weights is one of the #1 ways to raise testosterone. Plus the act of building muscle requires lots of energy, and when your body is trying to build, your cells will be more SENSITIVE to insulin delivering the goods.
3. Eat more protein and fat– carbs raise your insulin, protein and fat do not (actually protein does a TINY bit, but nothing to be concerned about) the idea that eating lots of fat will make you fat is not actually biologically realistic. Fat storage is stimulated by insulin, and fat does not raise insulin, in fact, it is a more potent source of energy for the body than carbs. Healthy fat. Not “fake fat” like margarine, fake peanut butter, etc.
4. Take fish oil– all cell walls are made up of fatty acids that coat them and allow for fluid motion throughout the body. Omega 3’s in particular make up a large portion of our cell walls, and unfortunately people are so deficient in these amazing guys. By taking fish oil, you will strengthen your cells, and also help your body mobilize fatty acids in the body and use them for energy rather than fat storage.
5. Power trio- cinnamon/garlic/turmeric- these three spices are notoriously good at increasing insulin sensitivity. They also provide joint pain relief, hormone balance, and taste damn good.
6. Sleep more- the more sleep you get the less cortisol you will produce throughout the day. If cortisol is high, insulin is high. Remember that I said the more stressed you are the more likelihood your body will store everything as fat. Now you see why. High cortisol. More insulin.
7. Eat more fiber– fiber has endless benefits, but from a metabolism and insulin perspective it’s great. Fiber will slow down and sometimes blunt the insulin response of high carbohydrate foods. If you were eating a piece of cake and added 10 grams of psyllium to it, the insulin response would actually be a lot lower. You’d throw up because that’s a gross combination, but you get the idea. Before any high carb meal, 30 minutes prior take a fiber supplement.