6 Steps To Boost Metabolism

March 26, 2022

A study published in the January issue of The Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research and Review reported almost 50% of adults gained weight during the first year of the pandemic. If you have found that your body has gone through some changes over the last two years from the stress of Covid, you are not alone! Today, we share information on what slows down a metabolism and six steps to take to boost it. We have found clients need a metabolic healing plan to reset their metabolism. We teach a simple formula to restore muscle mass, control cravings, and support basal metabolic rate.

Podcast Powered by Podbean

Similar Podcast Episodes:

Print Transcript


TERESA: Welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition. I am so happy to be here today to chat about nutrition with another RD and then, or a registered dietitian, I should say, and with all of you. We try to keep you all in mind when we're creating these shows. When you know, we're, we're talking about nutrition, that's in a way that's easy to understand. And what we try to do is give you some actionable tips so that you can go out and apply some real food nutrition ideas to your everyday life.

Many people gained weight during COVID pandemic


And today we're going to talk about six different steps that you can take to boost your metabolism. If you have gained weight during the pandemic, you are not alone. And I bet you know that because I feel like that's been a topic of conversation amongst well, many of us, right? And there was a study published in the January issue of The Journal of Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome; clinical research and review: it reported almost 50% of adults gained weight during the first year of the pandemic. No surprise there. Right?

And news reports tell us that obesity was considered an epidemic even before the COVID pandemic. And now, of course, it's even worse. This study found that the high stress from the COVID pandemic led to unhealthy lifestyle habits and poor food choices, which in turn resulted in weight gain and in increase in chronic illnesses. I mean, who didn't stress eat or drink? Right? What about entertainment eating? We didn't have anything to do, right? So it was like, oh, I guess we'll eat, you know, might as well go grab a snack.

Or what about loneliness? Did food become a companion for you? Or just the convenience of it. You know, when we were staying at home and working from home, you'd pass by your refrigerator. It was so much more convenient it to just grab something to eat or out of the pantry or the cupboards. You know, I had so many clients that said, you know, when, when I'm at work, it's almost safer because I can't just go get food. You know, I, I bring my food and I eat what I have or I go to lunch and I just eat what I have. And I there's nothing else to have, but at home, there's just all these options that you can, you know, just kind of snack all day.

BRANDY: Free access.

TERESA: Right. So like I said, today, we want to share six steps that you can take to boost your metabolism to help you lose that pandemic weight. And maybe even more.

BRANDY: And normally, maybe we would to string you along throughout the show. But I think we should just give them the six steps now.

TERESA: Right? Yeah. Why not?

BRANDY: Yeah. Let's kick off with these six steps that we think are really crucial to boosting your metabolism. It's not a comprehensive list, but we think these are the most important things that you should start with. So number one, eat real food.


BRANDY: Not a surprise if you've been listening to our show for a while,

TERESA: What does real food mean? You know, when we say real food, cause nobody's eating imaginary food. What is real food?

BRANDY: Well, I think of real food as anything you can find on the farm, anything you can get from the garden, foods that you recognize as foods that you can actually pronounce.


BRANDY: Nothing from like a package or from the drive through window, or just getting back to the basics here. Good proteins, healthy fats, fruits and vegetables.

TERESA: Right. I love it.

BRANDY: Step number two. Eat enough real food.


BRANDY: We're not talking about starving yourself. We need to feed ourselves to have a healthy metabolism. Step number three: eat real food consistently.

TERESA: And I think you could think about that in a couple of ways; consistently over a span of time, but then also consistently throughout the day.

BRANDY: Exactly.

TERESA: So you're feeding yourself at a, at a certain time and then you're eating again at another time. It's, you’re not like, you know, starving yourself all day and then, you know, back-loading all the calories to the end of the day.

BRANDY: Exactly. So just kind of front-loading those calories so that you've got some good energy, good nutrition throughout the whole day. So beyond food, there are some other lifestyle factors that contribute to metabolism. I think the biggest one is sleep.

TERESA: Oh yeah.

BRANDY: So that's step number four. Sleep seven to nine hours. Most nights of the week. Step number five: drink enough water. We need to stay hydrated. And then this last step, number six, move your body. Get out there, move, find something you enjoy. And we'll talk a little bit more about that at the end of the show.

TERESA: Right. We want to build some muscles because muscles are, you know, a really important and part of metabolism.

BRANDY: Exactly.

TERESA: Well, before we go any further, I suppose we should introduce ourselves. This show, Dishing Up Nutrition, is brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. It's a company whose mission is to help people find real health through eating real food. My name is Teresa Wagner. I, I am a registered and licensed dietitian who fell in love with the concept of eating real food for real health by listening to this very podcast years ago. So it's very exciting to be on the show, and joining me today as the co-host is Brandy Buro, who is also a registered and licensed dietitian, who also loves the real food message.

BRANDY: Yes. Loving the real food life; loving being here with you today, Teresa, to spread the message. And with a topic like this, boosting metabolism, I think we need to dial it back a little bit and start our discussion with giving you a few reasons about how our metabolism slows down over time. Research studies have found that it is actually much harder to speed up a metabolism than it is to slow it down, which is really frustrating, but actually not that surprising.

So the question you might be asking is what does slow down my metabolism? And I think one of the biggest things that many our listeners have probably struggled with in the past are crash diets. Those fad diets, we've all tried 1, 2, 10.

TERESA: Them all.

Fad diets slow metabolism


BRANDY: Yes. That's a big reason our metabolism is so out of whack because you know, over the past 50, 60 years, that's really for the formula we've been taught to lose weight. A lot of those fad diets are restrictive. They're calorie restricted, really low in fat. And we've also been taught just to sort of exercise ourselves to death. But you know, that formula really hasn't worked because today over 75 percent of adults are overweight.

TERESA: Yeah. And that it, it makes a lot of logical sense. And we say this pretty often on the show where some things that make logical sense don't necessarily make biological sense. So it makes a lot of sense if you cut calories, cut calories, cut calories, exercise more, or exercise, exercise more that we would lose weight. And yes, that, that can definitely work. But is it long term and sustainable? And will that result in a lifetime of living at a healthy weight? Or is that setting you up to slow your metabolism and gain more weight later? So, and I think like you said, you know, the formula doesn't work and that's why we have this epidemic of obesity today.

BRANDY: Right.

TERESA: So as Brandy had said before, it's easier to slow down your metabolism and it's more difficult to speed the metabolism up when dieters follow a starvation diet. And I've seen diets as low as 500, 800 calories.


TERESA: You know, those weight loss plans, I don't know. They just, that's very low. Rapid weight loss can occur. I mean, of course, right? I mean, there's no energy coming into our body. And Brandy, we like to think that when we're losing weight, we like to think that it's all fat mass, right? I mean, that's what we're envisioning that it's all fat mass, but in actuality with starvation diets, that weight loss is not probably using your fat mass as a priority for energy. It's more likely to be using your muscle stores. And you're probably losing fluids, particularly water as you're losing weight. And so when we're thinking about losing weight that way, yeah, it's fun to lose weight and it's fun to see those numbers come off rapidly, but if it's our muscles.

BRANDY: Right.

TERESA: Well, why are you going to the gym working so hard? Or why are you, you know, getting up extra early in the morning to do, you know, bootcamp or something like that; that we are we're told we should do. When you have less muscle mass, that's a problem because you end up with a slower metabolism. So if you've been a frequent dieter, really low calorie, man, my tongue is twisted today. If you've been a frequent low-calorie dieter, you no doubt have probably slowed your metabolism and you might have a sluggish metabolism.

BRANDY: Yeah. And just to kind of think back to your point about rapid weight loss and losing muscle mass, I often have to encourage my clients that we don't, that's we do not want that, you know, slow and steady wins the race.


BRANDY: It's actually preferred to have a weight loss of maybe one, maybe two pounds a week, because then we have a better idea that we're actually losing fat, not muscle mass.

TERESA: Right. Right. We want to preserve that muscle mass. Well, it's time for our first break. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition, brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. At Nutritional Weight and Wellness, we are all about eating real food for weight loss and health. Let me due to our cooking classes where we will learn about this class is coming up, that we will learn where you can buy great vegetables, and you will learn about how they taste and how to cook them in a way that will make them delicious, such as roasting, steaming or sautéing them. If you want to learn more about this class, when we come back from break, Brandy will tell you how you can get involved.


BRANDY: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Just like Teresa was sharing before break, we have a really exciting cooking class coming up. This vegetable cooking class is led by Marianne, our culinary nutrition educator. And she will be demonstrating how to chop and sauté some of your very favorite vegetables on March 29th. This is at 6:00 PM over Zoom. Join her to get inspired and finally follow your mother's instructions to eat your veggies. Give us a call at (651) 699-3438 to sign up. It's only $25 for a ton of education and lots of inspiration.

Cooking Classes

TERESA: Right. And it's, you know, a really great way to boost your metabolism is to eat vegetables, right? Eat vegetable carbs rather than processed carbs. And when they taste as good as what Maryanne will teach you to make, I mean, you'll love it. I mean, you absolutely will love it.

BRANDY: Yeah. Well, and I think a lot of challenge around eating real food is figuring out how to make those vegetables enjoyable.

TERESA: Right.

BRANDY: Because I don't think of a lot of us have the skill to kind of transform a head of broccoli into something you crave.


BRANDY: Marianne's going to teach you how to do that.


BRANDY: So, well, before break, we were talking about fad diets and how it's a really dangerous formula for boosting your metabolism because one of the side effects of crash diets is often losing muscle mass.

TERESA: Right.

BRANDY: Which can tank your metabolism.

TERESA: Right.

BRANDY: And a clue that you might be losing muscle mass when you're, you know, starting a diet is really rapid weight loss. And you know, it might feel really good when you first get started, but because you're losing muscle mass, you are just sabotaging weight loss in the future because that muscle mass is so important for a healthy metabolism.

So, you know, when I work with clients on weight loss, I really work with them to understand that a slower, more steady weight loss is preferred; maybe half a pound up to two pounds a week, because that really is a clue that we are losing fat instead of muscle. And it's more likely that you're going to keep that weight off. So, you know, if a client at the end of a month has only lost, well, they say only two pounds.

TERESA: Yeah, we celebrate it, right?

BRANDY: I'm like, I love it. That's exactly what I want to see. You're doing amazing. So, you know, that's a perspective, that's a shift in perspective that you need to sort of get on board with because that is sustainable weight loss, and you're doing a favor for your metabolism.

TERESA: Yeah. And it's so hard because we're so used to seeing ads for lose 30 pounds in 30 days, or, you know, something along that line. So our expectations are set really high.

BRANDY: Right.

TERESA: For what weight loss can be. So if it's slower like this, sometimes it, it can be disappointing. So that's why we're there to help be their cheerleader and, and encourage them and let them know that on a physiological level, this is the preferred way to lose weight. Because you know, on those starvation diets, when you don't have any energy coming in through food, your body is going to use your muscle stores for energy, so you're, I don't know if the literal is the right term, but you are eating yourself basically from, and you know, especially that muscle mess, we don't want to do that. We want to be using our fat stores for energy.

BRANDY: Yeah. It's sort of counterintuitive. Like why would my body prefer muscle? But it turns out muscles easier to break down than fat. So your muscles, your body's going to do whatever's easiest.

TERESA: Yes. Path of least resistance goes for the body too.

BRANDY: Exactly. So kind of digging into that concept a little more, let's think about what the research is telling us. So research studies are showing that people that lose weight on those crash diets, those restrictive diets, it's actually lowering, lowering what's called their basal metabolic rate. So that basal metabolic rate is the amount of energy that your body needs just for its basic functions like breathing, your heart rate, making sure like your, your brain is functioning. So really it's the amount of energy you need just to lay on the couch all day.


BRANDY: You know, it doesn't really account for the energy you need to like walk your dog or go to the gym. So when you're on these diets, the amount of energy that your body needs just to survive, it, it lowers. Your body sort of adapts to the energy you're not giving it essentially.

And because we're losing that muscle mass, we do have a lower metabolic rate. And then we think about, well, what is a starvation diet or a restricted diet composed of? What are they getting rid of to make it such a low-calorie diet? Well, usually it's the protein that goes and the healthy, natural fat that goes. And those are pretty crucial elements of our health. So again, the message that we've been told for so long to lose weight is to cut the fat, cut the protein and eat low fat foods. And this message, you know, it seemed logical at the time, but again, it didn't work because here we are with three fourths of adults that are overweight or obese.

TERESA: And you know, if we're thinking, I'm, I'm thinking about what you're saying about the lowering of the basil metabolic rate. And what happens is when that lowers, the amount of energy you need to eat, that requirement lowers as well.

BRANDY: Right.

TERESA: And so if you eat what you ate before, you'll probably gain weight because now you have a lower requirement to maintain your metabolism, right? Am I hearing you right when, when you're saying it that?

BRANDY: Yeah. Yeah, no, thank you for phrasing it that way.

TERESA: It's just, it's such a frustrating thing because now you are in a position where your body requires less to run those daily processes that we would need to just lay on the couch all day.


TERESA: So it gets very frustrating. We want to boost that up so that we're burning more energy at rest.

BRANDY: And this probably explains part of why, you know, if you've went on diets in the past and you know, you return to some old habits, you continue to gain weight. I hear this from clients all the time. “I've changed nothing about my diet. I've changed nothing about my lifestyle, but I, I can't lose weight anymore.” So it's, it's probably looking back to that change in basal metabolic rate.

TERESA: Many of our weight loss clients come to us seeking a solution to their slow metabolism and their weight concerns. Some of them have been on and off low calorie, fat free diets for years and have a very slow metabolism. We have found these clients need a metabolic healing plan to heal and reset their metabolism. We teach them a simple, you know, maybe a magical formula to support the restoration of their muscle mass to control their cravings and to increase their basal metabolic rate.

Eat real food to restore muscle mass


The magic formula isn't all that magical actually. And it's the step one we were talking about in the beginning of the show. It's to eat real non-processed food consistently throughout the day. So maybe four times a day. To break it down, we suggest eating, you know, maybe 80 to a hundred grams of animal protein daily, which that usually equates to eating about four ounces or the size of the palm of your hand, three to four times a day, probably more like four times a day.


TERESA: And then having two to three cups of vegetables with each meal. So that's six to nine cups of vegetables a day. And to include at least two teaspoons of added natural, beneficial fat with each meal, which helps to make those meals delicious and you know, desirable. We want to want to eat what we're, what we're having.

Many of our clients are more successful at restoring their metabolism when they follow a sugar free, gluten free and dairy free eating plan, which sounds like it's very restrictive, but we try not to make it restrictive for you. There are many wonderful foods to eat that follow that model. And we'll talk maybe a little bit more about what we mean by sugar free because in my mind, when I think sugar free, I start thinking about like sugar free Jell-O and sugar free soda and sugar free this and sugar. That is not what we're talking about.

So it's time for our second break. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Today, there are so many chronic diseases in the U.S. And one of those chronic diseases is obesity. 40% of adults are now considered obese. We encourage you to make a change in your health. Join us at one of our six locations for an in-person Nutrition for Weight Loss class. These classes start on Monday, and we have a new class, a class one starting Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. So, you know, join us to meet, you know, once a week, every week for 12 weeks with like-minded people, a who want to improve their health.

Nutrition 4 Weight Loss program


BRANDY: We are so excited to be able to offer in person Nutrition for Weight loss classes starting this Monday, March 28th. It has been two years that our classrooms have been closed and our nutrition educators are thrilled to welcome you into the classroom again to get you back on track, lose weight and get healthy. And there's no judgment here. Like we said, everybody has been going through some stuff the last couple of years, and we all have a little pandemic weight. And now that summer's around the corner, it's time to think about getting into your summer clothes, having some fun. So give us a call. We have a great front desk staff to help answer all of your questions. Our number is 651-699-3438.

TERESA: And for those of you listening to the podcast outside of the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro area, never fear, we are still going to be offering Zoom Nutrition for Weight Loss classes. I believe there's going to be some starting in April, so that's right around the corner. So like I said, that'll be available for people that are outside of an area that maybe couldn't drive to our locations.

BRANDY: Best of both worlds.


BRANDY: Yeah. So before we left for break, we were talking a little bit about sugar free and where that fits in this scheme of boosting your metabolism. So Teresa, you were saying that when you're talking sugar free, you are not talking about like sugar free Jell-O or diet sodas. What do you mean when you say sugar free?

What does it mean to be sugar free?


TERESA: Well, really what I'm talking about is foods that are naturally sugar free. So thinking about things like drinking water instead of diet soda for zero calories. I'm talking about eating proteins and healthy fats, you know, eating proteins from sources, eggs, you know, beef, chicken, those types of things. And healthy fats: olives, avocados, nuts.


TERESA: And then of course, I'm also talking about things that actually do contain some sugar, but it's not sugar that we, as people have added to it, that it just naturally occurs there. So I'm talking about fruits and vegetables and those types of foods as well. So that's what I mean when I say sugar free.

BRANDY: Yeah. I think it's good to clarify that, cause there's so many sugar free products out there.

TERESA: Yes. And that would not usually meet our definition of real food.

BRANDY: Exactly. So we're talking about, you know, ways to boost our metabolism today. And many of the clients we work with at Nutritional Weight and Wellness, they come to us with a very slow metabolism. Most of our clients have already tried all the fad diets. You know, unfortunately we are not their first stop. And over the years they've tried those fad diets, many of which are those calorie restricted diets that promise fast weight loss. And it's true. Maybe they had some success in the beginning, but after a few weeks, they start to feel tired. You know, they're not, they're not fueling their body. They feel irritable. Maybe a little hangry.

TERESA: Right.

BRANDY: And soon they are craving that sugar, you know, cause their body’s sort of screaming for it. So it's not too long. It's pretty inevitable that they fall off the wagon. They cave into those cravings and end up overeating some of those very highly processed high sugar foods and end up gaining all that weight back, maybe a few more pounds. And that's really frustrating for a dieter; someone that's trying to improve their health.

TERESA: Well, it's a lot of work and it's a lot of sacrifice.

BRANDY: Exactly. It is a ton of work and you know, then you end up feeling defeated in a way and almost feel like a failure. Not only did you gain weight back, but even more. You're in a worse place than you started. So if you have had that experience, honestly, I'm here to tell you you're not a failure because those plans are not meant for you to succeed. They're not meant to be sustainable. You know, it's just, you're doomed from the beginning to be honest.

TERESA: Here is some interesting research: a study reported that women who ate more were actually thinner and those who ate less weighed more. Another way to say that is larger eaters, maybe quantity eaters don't necessarily become obese, while eaters who are always on a diet or restricting food or calories seem to gain weight more easily. Could it be when we eat more, we are supporting our muscle mass, our metabolic rate and avoiding behaviors like rebound overeating, or even binge eating that can follow the very restrictive diets that ultimately lead to weight gain?

BRANDY: Hmm. Yeah. That's a really interesting concept. You know, eat a little more. Weigh a little less. But I think that with any research, we really need to consider all the factors that played a role in that study. So when we look at the types of foods that those larger eaters were eating, my guess is those that were eating a little more were not eating fast food or processed food. My guess is if that were the case, they would not have the same results. But we know that eating more of the real good foods that are nourishing our bodies, supporting our metabolism, that’s probably what was going on in this study. And many of our dietitians and nutritionists like to start their day with some real food options. I think many of us are big egg eaters. Three eggs is what I ate this morning: three organic eggs.

TERESA: I know. And some people's jaw probably just hit the floor. I have so many people, if I suggest that they're like three eggs?

Eggs ARE a healthy protein


BRANDY: Yeah. Three, three eggs is a hard sell for a lot of people. But you know, eggs have been on the bad list for so long. There's a lot of misconceptions around eggs and really a lot of misconceptions when it comes to nutrition. But to clear the air around eggs, first of all, eggs are an excellent source of protein. It gives us 21 grams of protein in three eggs. And I just want to note that eggs are a very high-quality protein. In fact I'm thinking back to dietetic school. The egg was used as like the ideal protein. The quality of all the other protein sources is compared against the egg because the egg has all the amino acids we need in the right balance.

TERESA: That's so interesting because we do know that animal proteins do have all the essential amino acids. I didn't remember that it was all compared to the eggs. So that's so interesting. And you know, just a side note since cholesterol isn't today's topic, but talking about eggs can trigger some questions and concerns about cholesterol. If people are worried that eggs will increase their cholesterol, well, that's another myth.

Our LDL cholesterol number on our lab report from the doctor mostly reflects how much cholesterol is being made in our liver. Sugar actually tells our liver to make more cholesterol. If we have high LDL; that's the one that's considered bad cholesterol number, it usually indicates a diet with too much sugar, processed carbs and manmade, highly refined fats. So if you're interested in further explanations on cholesterol, we have plenty of shows that address the topic.

BRANDY: Yeah. And just thinking back to fat, you know, we, as Americans have been told that we eat too much of it. And maybe that's true to some extent, but I think it's more like we're eating too much of that refined and damaged fat from the processed foods, from the fast foods. So yes, I think Americans are eating too much fat, but they're eating too much of the wrong type of fat that supports the good health.

Refined oils slow metabolism


And I think many people understand in general that fast food is not good for their health. But a big reason that's the case is because it's made with those refined oils that can slow our metabolism. Same thing with processed foods. I'm thinking processed foods like potato chips, you know, basically a French fry in a bag when you think about it. So let's think about this: how much fat is in one ounce of potato chips? And to add some perspective, one ounce is really just a few chips. So in one ounce of potato chips, we are up to 10 to 13 grams of that refined, damaged oil. And what happens when you open a bag of chips? Are you going to stop at three chips?

TERESA: No, I absolutely wouldn't.

BRANDY: Yeah. So I think most people are going to, you know, maybe keep going to the bag or maybe sit on the couch with the bag and before you know it, the whole bag is gone. So if you were to do that, we're talking about seven ounces of chips. So doing the math now we're up to 70 to 90 grams of damaged refined fats. Maybe a better visual of that is thinking in terms of like, what does that oil actually look like if you were to measure it out? That adds up to about five or seven tablespoons of oil, of damaged oil, that's all slowing your metabolism.

TERESA: Which is funny because when you're saying five to seven tablespoons, my mind goes to, well, how does that, what does that look like in cups? And that's between a quarter cup and a half a cup of oil.

BRANDY: Yikes.

TERESA: So that's…

BRANDY: Yeah. Think about just guzzling that.


BRANDY: Yeah. So think half a cup of oil when you see a bag of potato chips. Maybe that'll deter you.

TERESA: Right.

BRANDY: So yes, Americans are eating too much of these refined fats. And we know it is slowing our metabolism.

TERESA: So if you have a slow metabolism, what type of oil are you cooking with or are you eating? Are you still cooking with that big bottle of vegetable oil? We are all trained to believe that vegetable and seed oils, such as soy, corn, canola, sunflower and cottonseed oils were good fats to use in place of saturated fats. But in reality, these vegetable and seed oils are all highly refined, damaged inflammatory oils and they slow our metabolism.

So when we think about that too, it's inflaming our body. And when our body is inflamed, our metabolism isn't going to run well. It's got bigger issues to deal with, right? The metabolism is a lower priority. I mean, of course your, your metabolism is always running.


TERESA: But to the degree that we're using our metabolism for weight loss is going to be diminished.

BRANDY: Exactly. So that's one of the reasons, anytime I meet with a new client, one of the first things we talk about is how to stop using those refined oils. Because even if weight loss isn't a goal, usually reducing inflammation is. So get rid of those refined oils. We're not talking about getting rid of the fat, but replacing the refined oils with the healthy, natural fats. Upgrade to healing fats when you're cooking at home in your own kitchen. You have control over the quality of your oil. And that's a really easy switch to make. Start using butter and coconut oil.

TERESA: Yeah. Avocado oil, olive oil. Yep.

BRANDY: Exactly.

TERESA: All the good ones. Yep.

BRANDY: So yeah, cooking at home is another step you can take just to boost your metabolism because you are using higher quality ingredients. You're using natural fats. But think about when you go out to eat. What, what oils do you think they're using?

TERESA: Right; the cheap oils; the seed oils and the vegetable oils.

BRANDY: Exactly.

TERESA: Well, I hate to interrupt you here, but it is time for a third break. You are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Some people like taking classes and some just don't like taking classes and prefer to make monthly appointments with their nutritionist. I have a couple of great stories to share and success stories with weight loss. And we are actually planning a show that will feature two of my clients who have lost a significant amount of weight by following a real food metabolism-boosting plan.


TERESA: Each of these ladies and I have monthly meetings for the last year, of course they do all the work and they're responsible for all of their successes, but I truly believe that the ongoing support helps to keep them dedicated and focused to their goals. So we will be featuring that in an upcoming Dishing Up Nutrition.

BRANDY: Very cool.


BRANDY: Welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Before we get to our topic, six steps to boost metabolism, I have an exciting announcement. We are looking to hire a front desk manager. It's a location coordinator for our Maple Grove location. So if you are passionate about health and real food nutrition, come join us and work with our team and a great group of people; a group of like-minded people. So go to our website for more details or call us at (651) 699-3438.

High sugar foods slow metabolism


TERESA: Today we are talking about steps we can take to help boost our metabolism. And we're going to, we were before the break, we were talking about fats, and now I'm going to give you another idea to try to boost your metabolism. Try giving up sugar and flour for three weeks and then check the scale; both the scale that weighs you, but also the scale that tell you tells you how your moods are doing. You know, are you happier? Do you have more energy? How's your memory? Are you, are you thinking better? Are you coming out of that brain fog? One of our clients stopped sugar for six weeks. So she did the three weeks and then she decided to continue, continue on.

And she lost eight pounds. And her A1C, so that's of how much sugar is floating around your bloodstream on average, over three months. That’s your A1C. It dropped one point, which is pretty significant for the A1C. Sugar slows your metabolism. So when we think about that, what kinds of foods that might be high in sugar are sabotaging your metabolism? As we look at research, grains, especially gluten containing grains have been shown to slow metabolism because of the effects they have on our blood sugar and on our intestinal health.

So that could be another idea to try. You know, and an idea or a breakfast that might seem healthy: yogurt and granola, might be something that could be sabotaging your weight loss goals because of the sugar. Is that a good choice for, for losing weight is having granola and yogurt for breakfast? Well, not so much. Granola and yogurt is an easy breakfast. That's for sure, but it is a breakfast that can slow your metabolism because of the high amount of sugar. It contains too many carbohydrates. And I think that in one of our classes, we compare the amounts of sugar and it's the equivalent of a piece of pecan pie.

BRANDY: Oh my gosh.

TERESA: So we are having dessert for breakfast when we're having granola and yogurt. So let's break it down quickly. A half a cup of granola contains 32 grams of carbs, or that metabolizes into eight teaspoons of sugar. And a half a cup of vanilla yogurt contains 34 grams of carbohydrates or eight and a half teaspoons of sugar or metabolizes down into eight and a half teaspoons of sugar. So together that’s 16 and a half teaspoons of sugar.

And that's if you just have a half a cup each, which if you look at your fist, if you're a woman, a cup is about the size of your fist. So if you're a man listening, think of, you know, think of a woman's fist. That's not very much to eat. So when we think about quantities, that's not, that's not a large quantity, but that much sugar raises your blood glucose, leading to insulin resistance and a slow metabolism.

Now I hate to take things away from people. So there is an alternative. If you want to have yogurt and granola-like breakfast, what I suggest is use plain full fat yogurt, add your own fruit for sweetness, and then add some chopped nuts for that crunchy feeling or that crunchy thing that granola gives, or maybe some seeds or a combination of nuts and seeds you can put on there. And then maybe for a little protein boost throw in some collagen powder, because that will just sort of disappear within your yogurt, not change the texture or consistency or flavor.

BRANDY: Good idea. I love that idea. It's a good metabolism boosting breakfast.


BRANDY: So again, we've got a metabolism problem here. Three-fourths of Americans are overweight or obese, and they're suffering from a lot of chronic health conditions connected to that extra weight. So what are some things that we can do to get our metabolism back on track and make that weight loss possible? Well I always suggest tackling one thing at a time and I mentioned this earlier.

Use healthy, metabolism boosting oils in your cooking


An easy thing you can do today is switch out your cooking oils. If you're still using those refined vegetable oils in the kitchen, I would make a donation to the trash can and start using butter, olive oil, coconut oil, maybe a little bacon grease; my personal favorite; just gives a wonderful flavor to those eggs in the morning or some sauteed vegetables. But one thing I want to caution with using these real beneficial oils: make sure you're not cooking it at a high heat because that can actually damage the integrity of those oils.

TERESA: Yeah. Good advice.

BRANDY: So cook at a lower temperature with those oils and you'll be sitting pretty; yeah.

TERESA: Another thing: buy fresh whole foods and cook from scratch. That way you're controlling the ingredients of the foods that you're eating. At least 50% of processed foods contain damaged, refined oils that slow your metabolism.

Sleep boosts the metabolism


BRANDY: So we've talked about a lot of approaches we can take in our diet to boost our metabolism. But now I want to talk a little bit about some other lifestyle factors we can think about to boost our metabolism. I think sleep is the most important of all of these.


BRANDY: Sleep is so important; getting eight hours most nights of the week; cause a lack of sleep can really lead to sugar cravings and overeating some of those high sugar processed foods that can disrupt your blood sugar, which is very stressful on the body.


BRANDY: And generally speaking, a lack of sleep is very stressful on the body. And when you are in a state of stress, your adrenal glands, which are, you know, they're responsible for releasing hormones. They will produce more of the stress hormone called cortisol, and that can lead to more insulin resistance and a slower metabolism. So sleep is a really great tool to lose weight and a foundational step to boost your metabolism.

Drinking sufficient water boosts the metabolism


TERESA: Yes, it's an important step. Another step to boost your metabolism is to drink at least eight glasses of water per day.


TERESA: Drinking water is a habit that will boost your metabolism. Our bodies are more than half water. So it stands to reason that it functions best when we're well hydrated. So we want to drink enough water in order for our bodily processes, our metabolism to run better.

BRANDY: Exactly. So when you're drinking enough water, your kidneys are supported and that relieves some of the stress on your liver. So it's free to burn fat.

TERESA: Yes. Yes.

BRANDY: And I can't ignore this last step.

Move your body to boost metabolism


TERESA: Right?

BRANDY: To boost your metabolism, you got to move your body.


BRANDY: And especially movements that can build muscle. Remember because muscle is so critical to our metabolic rate.

TERESA: Right. We were talking about basal metabolic rate. And a lot of that has to do with your muscle mass.

BRANDY: Right. So I think it's more important just to find something that you enjoy, even walking your dog or going on a bike ride, maybe dancing.


BRANDY: All of those things can boost your metabolism.

TERESA: Yes, absolutely. I mean, I really feel like exercise is so important. And so many reasons, and I, yeah. And it's funny, because even as I said it, I was like, oh, I shouldn't say exercise. Really what we're talking about is movement. We want to use our body in a way that builds some muscle.


TERESA: Certainly, whatever like to do is what you'll probably do. So that's why we encourage find something that you like and do that thing. I'm not going to tell you to go for a run. I'm not going to tell you to, you know, join a bootcamp. If you like those things; great. Do those things. But we just want to boost our metabolism and even like sometimes women, I find one of the things that boosts the metabolism the fastest when we're thinking about if people are like, well, what should I do?

Strength training, or just working on something that has to do with strength that really concentrates on building muscle is a really good one to consider. Of course, if you don't like that, then you know, find the thing that you like and you enjoy. So to review our steps: the six steps we talked about today is to eat real food. Eat enough of it. Eat it consistently, maybe three to four, every three to four hours, sleep seven to nine hours a night. Drink adequate water and get some movement in each day. Our goal at Nutritional Weight and Wellness is to help each and every person and experience better health through eating real food. It's a simple but powerful message. Eating real food is life changing.

Print Transcript

Back To Top