Updated: Apr 2
Shhh! Wanna know a little Health Coach secret? You can increase your metabolism and bust through those stubborn weight loss plateaus by following a few simple tips of mine. No longer do you have to be frustrated by your friends who seem to eat all the wrong foods, and never gain a kilo. Break through your weight loss plateaus with ease and keep burning belly fat as you apply these 7 insanely sneaky weight loss strategies.
1. Drink Ice Cold Water
Yep that's right, ice cold water is a metabolism booster--and best of all, it's totally free! I cannot stress enough how important keeping hydrated is for a number of health reasons.
Water not only satisfies thirst, it also supports gut health and the entire digestive tract, improves cognitive thinking and boosts your mood (feel depressed, drink up), and most of all it helps with weight loss.
Consuming ice cold water is nothing new. Fashion models use this sneaky trick all the time to slim down before a show. Why? Well, when you consume ice water, it forces your body to heat up the water once it hits your stomach in order to assimilate it properly. This requires extra energy and burns bonus calories because it is beyond your body's basic function.
Anything you do that burns extra calories will help to naturally boost your metabolism.
My suggestion, boil the kettle and make some lemon water. Chill this in the fridge to have one hand, and drink midday and in the late afternoon. Learn who to make lemon water correctly here. I love having mine in my glass amethyst Stonevalley water bottle. Amethyst is known for its purifying energy and ability to remove negative thoughts. Boost your fat burning capacity while purifying your spirit energy!
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2. Start Your Day With An Afterburn
Exercise increases metabolism during the period of activity and also long after you’ve stopped the working out. This afterburn effect can mean your body can continue to burn calories at an increased rate long after you stop exercising depending on the activity.
If you haven't already, I recommend you try HIIT and interval style exercises to get the most from your efforts and really boost that metabolism. Intervals are easy to do even for beginners. Choose an activity such as cycling, treadmill, walking or a skipping rope.
To begin, start off leisurely and warm up the body--this is so important! After a 5 minute warm up, start to increase your pace with the activity. Do this for 2 minutes, then give it everything you have in you at your maximum pace. See how long you can go. There is no set time, just go all out for as long as you can muster. When you can't go anymore, scale back to a easy leisurely pace and catch your breath. Once you're breathing is normalised enough you could carry a conversation (the breath test), ramp it up again for 2 minutes, then go all out again. Repeat this as many times as you can.
You are only competing against yourself, so keep track of the time it took you to expire and try beat that each round. It'll get harder and harder as you exhaust your body's natural energy supplies with each round. But this is where the magic happens--your body will go hunting for more fuel, and guess where it goes looking? That's right, once your natural energy stores are used up it grabs energy from stored fat cells. Bingo!
You can do this sequence as many times as you can manage. On a bike, this might look like a leisurely warm up ride, 2 minutes of fast riding, then an all out dash. Same as the treadmill, rower or other gym equipment such as elliptical or skip rope. You realistically don't even need a gym for this workout style; running laps between two trees or poles leaves you no excuses not to get out, get moving and feel the burn!
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3. Sneaky Fat Burn With Caffeine
Many people baulk at the idea of purposely ingesting caffeine but let’s be honest - it’s in many supplements and drinks we consume already, and most of us ingest it without ever realising it.
Caffeine stimulates the nervous system and provides us with a temporary boost in mood and energy. It has been consumed for centuries across countless cultures for many uses including medicinal. It definitely has its place in holistic medicine, but before you run to fridge for the chocolate or indulge in that extra afternoon cappuccino, the caveat here is that, the quality and source of the caffeine is key.
According Medical News Today, there are two magic weight loss compounds found in green tea that can aid weight loss. Caffeine is one one of them, and the other is a type of flavonoid called catechin, which is a powerful age-defying antioxidant. Both of these compounds can stimulate the body to produce heat by revving up the metabolism. This in turn, burns more calories, and aids the breakdown of stagnant body fat. In fact, there have been several studies that indicate regularly consuming pure green tea can help you burn as much as 75–100 calories per day.
Pretty amazing! However there is a small catch...
In order to reap these natural fat burning benefits, you'd need to drink a fair bit of green tea. For those with no medical conditions or who are unaffected by caffeine, adding 2-5 cups a day can provide a little metabolic boost. I recommend you do this 15 minutes before main meals which will also aid digestion and help you regulate your appetite. However, to really get the full fat burning and metabolic effects, you'd need to consume 6-7 cups per day.
I don't know about you, but there's no way I can take that much caffeine, nor would I want to either. A standard cup of green tea contains between 30 and 50 mg of caffeine. Coffee contains 100 to 150 mg. For most people, 210 to 350 mg is a lot to take every day just to burn fat. In my opinion, it is far better to include a cuppa before your main meals 2-3 times and day and supplement if needed. This way you are getting the full health benefits of pure green tea and boosting your body’s thermogenesis process.
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4. Eat Healthy Lean Protein
A well balanced diet of lean protein, high fibre carbohydrates and healthy fats is the key to natural weight loss and your ongoing weight management moving forward. Protein is referred to as a "macronutrient", and is essential every day as the body cannot produce it, we must get it from our diet. The main dietary sources are animal products such as meat, dairy and eggs, as well as fish, soy and vegan substitutes, legumes, nuts and seeds, some fruits, and of course through supplementation.
When your body is fuelled by the healthy, lean proteins found in fresh vegetables, fruit, legumes, fish, and lean meat, losing unwanted fat becomes almost effortless. Be sure to include a 10 - 25 gram serving of lean, clean protein at every main meal and use a protein-based snack to help maintain blood sugar levels and squash food cravings.
Healthy snack ideas include hummus and celery, nut butter on rice cakes or celery, a handful of berries and a few nuts and seeds. For mains, choose a palm size serving of protein and pair it with fresh or steam veggies, a salad with plenty of high fibre greens, or stir fry vegetables.
If you choose to supplement your diet with protein, you can choose from casein, whey, soy or vegan sourced protein powders and add them to your smoothies, chia pudding, overnight oats or just have them straight up as a shake. For those with dairy intolerance, or who wish to improve gut health, it is best to avoid dairy or soy protein powders which are often common allergens. Instead opt for a blended pea and brown rice (must include both) vegan protein like this one, which is super easy to digest and still contains the full amino chain found in animal proteins. A scoop with fresh berries, spinach, banana and plant-based milk makes a fabulous fat burning breakfast, lunch or dinner!
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5. Drink Green Tea & Lemon Daily
We discussed the health benefits of green tea above, so you now know green tea leaves are super loaded with antioxidants, natural caffeine and EGCGs which boost the metabolism.
Lemon is also of benefit for weight loss as it is a natural gut repair that boosts digestive juices and helps flush toxins from the entire digestive system. Combined in a steeped tea, lemon and green tea can be a powerful tonic you can drink every day to aid your weight loss efforts. Follow my guide here on how to make lemon water properly and just add a green tea bag to the mix. Drink warm or chilled.
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6. Eat Omega 3 Rich Foods
As you might be noticing in this blog post, you actually need to eat to lose weight effectively. It's not about deprivation or starvation, that just throws your hormones and body systems into a tailspin. Instead the focus is on fresh, healthy foods and natural supplements in their most natural form. Think from farm to plate, if not, don't eat it.
Interestingly, foods naturally rich in omega-3 such as salmon, hemp seeds, flax and chia seeds, are all fantastic weight loss ingredients. Omega-3 fatty acids, improve heart and brain health, help reduced the risk of depression, and improve skin health. Researchers have also suggested that omega-3 rich foods, in particular fish oil, may help people lose weight more easily. I love using chia seeds because they not only provide omega-3s but also a hearty serving of dietary fibre and trace protein. Check out my collection of chia seed recipes here.
7. Try A Nourishing Juice Fast
This is something I highly recommend people do (if no underlying health issues) every 3-6 months. A nourishing juice fast made up of freshly juiced vegetables and fruit is a real health booster. Try it for 3-5 days.
The benefits of a periodic juice fast are many as it provides a quick hit of essential nutrients and the opportunity to really deeply nourish every cell of your body. Juicing also gives the digestive tract a bit of rest and allows for deep nutrient absorption.
There are a few guidelines to follow before you begin. The idea behind this is to nourish, so having freshly squeezed orange juice for 3 days is NOT a healthy juice fast. The goal is to consume a wide variety of nutrients from fresh vegetables such as chlorophyll-rich bok choy, celery, romaine, kale, spinach, watercress; colourful produce like cherry, carrot, beets, lemon, grapefruit, watermelon, pear, green and red apple, and herbs such as ginger root, mint, basil, coriander, and parsley. You can find juice recipes on my Pinterest, click here.
While on a juice fast, it is important to ensure that you drink the juice whenever you are hungry (and still get in your normal 3 litres of water each day). Juicing can help you feel more energised and improve gut health thus helping you be more active and process food more efficiently. A juice feast is a good way to jump-start your metabolism in a way that fills your body with real, wholesome nutrition.
Whichever methods you chose to incorporate into your life, it is important that you talk to your health care provider to make sure that you are generally healthy. Adding supplements and even exercise can be dangerous for some people, especially if you’ve been sedentary for a long time. So it’s important that you go to your GP, get a clean bill of health, and then work toward revving up your metabolism in the healthiest ways that you can find.
Keep it REAL... ...what are you going to try from this article?
Wishing you health + happiness,
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