Boost Your Metabolism & Lose Weight?
by Johnny Bowden
“Boosting Your Metabolism” is probably one of the hottest
topics for popular magazines. I myself have been interviewed
on the subject at least 9,000 times (OK I exaggerate but not
by much). Reporters (and readers) want to know what foods or
supplements or exercises will “boost their metabolism”.
But they may be asking the wrong question.
Most people who ask “how can I boost my metabolism?” are
actually using the question as a code for “how can I lose
weight?” There’s not a great answer to the first
question, but there are many good answers to the second.
Having a “slow metabolism” isn’t always the culprit when it
comes to excess weight. Many “fat” people have very rapid
metabolisms. Think Newman, on Seinfeld. Always darting
around, always sweating, always in motion. That’s a fast
metabolism in an overweight body if I’ve ever seen one, and
I’ve seen plenty.
So the better question might be this: “How can I help my
metabolism function optimally, and, in the process, how can
I lose some body fat?”
Ah, now you’re talking.
The first thing you can do is to eat foods that will not
raise your blood sugar too high or too fast, and will
therefore not boost your body's production of the
fat-storage, sugar-chasing hormone insulin higher
than it needs to be. That would create less of a metabolic
environment geared to fat storage, and more of a metabolic
environment geared to fat loss.
The second thing you can do is plug the holes that are
slowing you down. Let me explain.
A guy in a rowboat who wants to go faster should first check
to see if the bottom is leaking water. If it is, plugging
the holes is the first order of business; buying the best
titanium oars in the world won’t do much good if the boat is
Many people who ask “how can I boost my metabolism?” are
just like that rower. They want to know what magic foods to
eat, what terrific supplements to take, what exercises to do
to “boost their metabolism” but they’re like swimmers with
heavy weights attached to their legs. The answer to “how to
swim faster” is not necessarily in changing your freestyle
stroke, or getting better space-age material Speedos (or
searching for the top ten “metabolism boosting” foods or
supplements). These strategies pale in comparison to simply
dropping the weights from your feet.
That’s where nutrients, whole foods, stress management,
water and rest come in.