Have you ever had a really heavy meal that left you sweating and drowsy? Think back to your most recent Thanksgiving dinner–you ate all the stuffing and turkey and had an amazing time. The thing is, you couldn’t help but notice that some of your family members were starting to sweat!
Don’t worry, this isn’t a bad thing, but it’s a really good example of the thermal effect of food. When you eat such a large meal, you force your body to work extremely hard, which causes your metabolism to spike in order to try and handle that load.
However, does this mean we should be eating dense, calorie-rich meals all the time to spike our metabolisms? Absolutely not (though we’d probably like to)! That being said, we do have 3 ways for you to immediately optimize that thermic effect and cause your body to expend a lot of calories.
1. Track Your Macronutrients
The first way you can spike your metabolism is obviously going to be by manipulating the macronutrients in the meals you eat. Did you know that it takes about 5% of the energy in a carbohydrate to really break it down?
Alternatively, it takes about 30% of the energy of a protein to actually break it down. So, if you theoretically have 100 calories of protein, you might expend 30 calories to break it down, while if you’ve had 100 calories of carbs, you might only use 5 calories to metabolize it.
That’s why you should make sure to have a higher proportion of protein in your meals, because it’s going to increase that thermic effect and spike your metabolism. The thing is, not all proteins are equally thermically active.
The highest thermically active protein sources are meat-based proteins. If you’re thinking of supplementing with a thermically active protein, your best bet would be hydrolyzed whey protein.
This is why we recommend having hydrolyzed whey as a post workout, it’s one of the best ways to take advantage of the thermic effect of food. If you take it pretty much every single day, you can spike your metabolism every single day.
2. Consume the Right Types of Fats
We’ve covered two of our three main macronutrients: protein and carbohydrates. What about the third macronutrient: fats? Essentially, it’s best to consume a higher proportion of fats that speed up your metabolism.
Studies have shown that your metabolism increases more when you use butter that’s higher in medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) than when you use normal butter, which suggests that MCTs can raise your metabolism.
Other studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids, primarily found in fish, will spike the metabolism, causing you to lose more fat. So, consuming fish and taking omega-3 fatty acids directly with your meal will increase the thermic effect of anything you eat.
One example of how to do this is to cook with coconut oil instead of vegetable oil. It’s high in omega-3 fatty acids that will spike the thermic effect of your food. This is great way to help you lose weight by changing virtually nothing at all in your routine.
3. Try a Ketogenic Diet
The third and probably the most extreme way you can spike your metabolism is to go on a ketogenic diet. Not only do people on a ketogenic diet burn fat and use ketones as a fuel source, going on a keto diet when you’ve been on a regular fat-loss diet will spike your metabolism drastically.
So, let’s say you’ve been dieting for a long time, and you’re still trying to regain your lost metabolism, yet it seems like no matter how low your calories get, you just can’t seem to lose any fat.
Well, switching to a ketogenic diet seems to stimulate something called brown adipose tissue, this is especially important to you because this tissue is high in mitochondria, which boost your metabolism.
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning all about the top 3 ways you can spike your metabolism using food!