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Getting cut and defined is not all just calories. It’s not. I promise. When it comes to getting ripped, calories certainly play a major role. However — and this however is huge — you need to use and implement a few strategies that alter your metabolism. Most people think of altering the metabolism as “boosting it,” but there are things you can do that also change the way the body handles food. Here are five ways to do so.
#1 INCREASE PROTEIN
Stress the protein: more chicken, egg whites, fish and whey-based protein powder. Why? Not all calories — from carbs, protein and fat — are equal in their efficiency to be stored as bodyfat. When you eat a high-protein meal, it exerts a greater metabolic-boosting effect than carbs or fat. Eating protein while on a lower-calorie diet saves muscle, which helps keep the metabolism elevated. You should get at least one gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. If bodyfat is a problem for you, aim for 1.5 g of protein per pound daily.
#2 PLAY WITH CARBS
Carbs help retain metabolic-boosting muscle, yet they can stimulate fat storage. Following a lower-carb diet — three consecutive days at about 100-125 g per day — by a single day of 300-400 g of carbs offers muscle support minus the fat storage. How so?
When you eat fewer carbs and replace those carbs with protein, in general, the body ramps up fat mobilizing enzymes and hormones resulting in accelerated fat loss. However, a prolonged period of taking in fewer carbs can lower levels of the hormone leptin, which leads to a drop in metabolic rate. A higher-carb day thrown in every fourth day or so boosts leptin levels and, therefore, metabolic rate, back up.
#3 EAT SMALL MEALS MORE FREQUENTLY
The typical American diet consists of three meals — breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some guys may eat an additional snack, while some often skip breakfast or lunch. There’s a huge problem with only eating two to four meals each day — it can lead to fat gain. Any hardcore bodybuilder wanting to put on lean muscle and drop bodyfat should be eating six to nine smaller meals per day. Research shows that eating more frequent, smaller meals keeps metabolic rate elevated higher than when eating fewer meals throughout the day.
#4 FIBER UP
Taking a fiber supplement can alter the way your body handles carbohydrates. Fiber stimulates carbs to bypass fat-storing pathways by slowing down the rate at which they are digested. This in turn means the carbs ultimately head down muscle fueling or building pathways. Most bodybuilders should shoot for about 30 g of fiber per day.
#5 GO FISH
When calories are controlled, the inclusion of omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, trout and sardines may promote speedier fat loss. One study revealed that dielers who ate fish on a daily basis 10st more weight than those who ale fish just once a week. One of the main mechanisms by which omega-3 fatty acids work to reduce bodyfat is through their conversion to beneficial prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are hormone-like substances that can promote thermogenesis. A study from Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond) found that omega-3 fatty acids also help prevent fat from the diet from being stored at bodyfat.