#193 Fire It Up
Tell a friend


"You have to stay in shape. My grandmother, she started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She's 97 today and we don't know where the hell she is."

Ellen DeGeneres


6 Ways to Fire Up Your Metabolism
By Monica Ciociola

It can be discouraging when our results don't seem to match the efforts we're putting in. But instead of giving up on our fitness program, or worse, diving into the Twinkies (trust me, you'll regret it!), try making just a few, easy changes to your diet and lifestyle. Sometimes the smallest things—like getting more protein in the morning or enough rest at night—can lead to the biggest weight loss surprises.

  1. Don't skip breakfast. Eating lean protein in the morning will get your metabolism revved up for the day ahead. Protein from egg whites, for instance, will stabilize your blood sugar, make you feel full, and prevent you from overeating later in the day.

  2. Resistance training. Working out with some form of resistance—resistance bands, weights, or a stability ball—helps build your muscles. And because one pound of muscle burns almost nine times more calories than a pound of fat, the more muscle you have on your body, the quicker your metabolic rate.

  3. Interval training. Short 10-minute explosive cardio sessions followed by less intense cardio for the same amount of time will rev up your metabolism. For some of the best interval training workouts, check out Tony's all-new Power 90® Fat Burning System.

  4. Get your beauty rest. Human growth hormone works directly on cells to increase your metabolic rate by 15 to 20 percent and can only be produced during the hours of deep sleep. So make sure you get a good night's sleep!


  5. The Magic Mix. At mealtime, try consuming lean proteins from chicken and white fish along with complex carbohydrates from fruits and veggies. This magical combination will speed up your metabolic rate as food is transformed into usable nutrients and you'll build muscle and burn fat during the digestive process.

  6. Ay, caliente! Studies show that hot peppers, spices, green teas, and caffeine can give your metabolism a sudden surge by stimulating the release of stress hormones. If jalapeño and cayenne make you wince, turn to our all-natural Slimming Formula supplement, which contains green tea, for the same metabolism-boosting effect.

For questions and/or comments on this article, please email us at mailbag@beachbody.com. Responses to your questions may be seen at Steve Edwards' Mailbag.

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The Secret to Faster Fat Burning
By Anna Eriksson

I'm Beachbody's Success Story Manager. I open all the envelopes, marvel at your "before" and "after" photos, and read your stories. Make no mistake—I, too, want to do a great Beachbody program, jump into a sassy bathing suit, and look ripped and fab. And though I've done Slim in 6®, Power 90®, Yoga Booty BalletTM, Power Half HourTM, Kathy Smith's Project: YOUTM, and Turbo JamTM—and I'm 40 pounds lighter than when I started working here two years ago—I still have that little bit of jiggly fat around my tummy. What are our Success Stories doing that I'm not doing?

Cranking up the intensity.

It wasn't until I strapped on my first heart rate monitor a few days ago and did Long Lean from Project: YOU that I realized I'd been babying myself for quite a while now. I was helping with a section of a pamphlet that Beachbody Fitness Advisor Steve Edwards was writing about training in your heart rate zones. I knew I was in far better cardiovascular condition than when I'd begun, but I was still working out at the same level as when I first started—nowhere near my target heart rate. Meanwhile, my body had become much more efficient, so I wasn't getting nearly the physical payoff from my cardio workouts that I believed. I wasn't burning fat like I thought I was.

Hmmm. All of our guidebooks explain how to push past a plateau by increasing the intensity, but I'd never applied this concept to myself.

Then last week, Lara Ross, our VP of Development, asked me to try a couple of our newest Turbo Jam workouts using a particular resistance band. It's a heavier band than I normally use, and at times I wanted to stop, but I was supposed to see if I could do the whole workout. So I concentrated on my form like never before. And what do you know? When I stopped, my arms felt . . . not sore . . . but worked. I could feel the difference in my muscles when I touched them and in their appearance! Hard to believe, but there it is.

By babying myself for so long, first for fear of injury, and then out of habit, I'd really done myself a disservice. Here I'd been doing some serious creative scheduling—changing clothes, exercising, showering, and making up new hairstyles so that I could go with wet hair from Beachbody's gym to dinner with friends—and for what? I was serious about scheduling, but not about the intensity level of my workouts.

No more. I'm still going to listen to my body, and I'm going to modify when needed, but I'm not going to wimp out and grab the little baby-rattle dumbbell when I'm strong enough now to lift an 8-pound weight. And I'm going to really listen to the trainers. When Kathy Smith tells me in a Project: YOU workout to pick up a heavier weight if I feel like I can do several more reps, I'll go for the 10-pound dumbbell. When Chalene Johnson tells me to "Work it, baby!" in a Turbo Jam video, I'm going to squat deeper, kick harder, and punch stronger.

I'm already seeing the very beginnings of a 6-pack—just by Pushing Play and ramping up the intensity. Like Tony says, you gotta "Bring It!"

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