Megan Kober of The Nutrition Addiction & I started DMing through Instagram. The stalker in me likes to go see what you guys are up to. I went & checked her out & it looked like she was building a really cool brand.
So, I was watching her from afar & was thrilled to learn that she won the giveaway with Justin Anderson at the dpHue House. Megan flew to LA from Atlanta to hang out with me, get her hair done by the dpHue team & do an Insta live with Justin. It was so fun & I got to hear more about the brand that she’s building.
Megan decided to go super platinum blonde which was so fun. As you know I went ice bitch blonde recently too ( check out this post if you’re interested in some blonde hair tips ).
Her brand & blog The Nutrition Addiction is such an amazing resource of info & recipes. I love it because it’s full of normal, healthy tips & backed by science. Did I mention she’s a vodka-loving Dietician? Cool, right?! Megan will never ask you to give up the fun stuff.
It’s really cool to watch women that were once TSC readers completely take on their own brand, business, & blog. It’s been so fun for me to watch all these women evolve.
Ok, without further ado, let’s welcome Megan to The Skinny Confidential. She’ll be talking about fasting, hydration & cocktails.
HI GUYS. My name is Megan Kober, I’m a registered dietitian nutritionist, the founder of The Nutrition Addiction, and the creator of the 30-Day Metabolism Makeover. I want to help you lose fat by INCREASING your metabolism, NOT by decreasing your calories – way more fun, right? Our bodies are NOT math equations – they are science projects. Our bodies are crazy complicated and thinking we can just do a little math on an app and know how many carbs and calories we should eat each day to “lose weight” is….kind of insulting to evolution.
I mean…hormones, gut health, blood sugar, sleep, stress, inflammation, muscle mass, when you eat, how much you eat….I could go on. ALL of these factor into how well your metabolism is functioning. Hormones out of whack? You could be doing everything right and not lose a pound. Not sleeping? Good luck regulating those hunger hormones during the day.
So, I wanna break it down for you. There are *lots* of ways to get your metabolism working in tip-top shape, but let’s focus on the ones that rev it up, ASAP.
1. The Holy 12-Hour Fast. The 12-hour fast is truly my favorite fat-burning/weight-loss/healthy digestion/energy/just overall ‘have a better’ life tip. Intermittent fasting is having a big moment right now, and many people are doing 14-16 hour fasts every day. Some people will really benefit from these longer fasts, but some will not. However, just about anyone can benefit from a 12 hour fast, and it’s TOTALLY doable, too.
Your digestive system works so hard; you need to give it a break. When you do this, your body starts to dip into your fat stores to burn energy. It also majorly reduces bloating (makes sense right? Your digestive system isn’t working overtime). And bonus – This practice majorly curbs nighttime snacking. Why would you shove a handful of Cheetos in your mouth at 10 PM if it means you can’t eat until 10 AM?
2. Hit your system with caffeine in the AM. Coffee and matcha are my personal faves (just skip the sugar!). Caffeine increases norepinephrine, a neurotransmitter that keeps your nervous system – and metabolic rate – buzzing. You can actually increase your metabolism by up to 15% during the first 2 hours after consuming caffeine.
I’m a BIG fan of a protein coffee in the morning. I like to sort of “wake up” my digestive system by starting with something liquid. I always include protein, healthy fat, and fiber (reason why coming in a sec). So, I’ll do a scoop of collagen peptides, 1 Tbsp Cinnamon Omega Power Creamer (literally obsessed with this stuff – full of anti-inflammatory omega 3s), 1 Tbsp acacia fiber, and maybe ½ scoop of a vanilla protein powder if I want a little extra flavor. This keeps me full for a few hours and gives me a TON of energy and focus. Your digestive system works really hard, so when you give it a break, you just naturally feel better.
I also HIGHLY recommend buying organic coffee and matcha. Both are pretty “dirty” when they’re not organic, and you will absolutely tell a difference in your energy levels when you buy cleaner products.
3. Go to bed. The effect adequate sleep has on your metabolism is crazy. Not getting enough sleep messes with your blood sugar (which you now know messes with your fat burning ability) and it gets your hunger and satiety hormones totally out of sync.
Ever get a terrible night sleep and wonder why you feel hungry all day the next day? That’s why. Shoot for 8 hours/night.
I’m a night owl. I’m usually up until about 2 AM, and people think that’s crazy. But I *never* compromise my sleep. I won’t take a meeting before 10:30, ever. My best tips to fall asleep are: make sure the room is completely dark (or use a sleep mask), use a sound machine to drown out sounds, drink some Calm tea before bed, and most importantly, make your bedroom a sanctuary. Spend a little money on getting gorgeous bedding you wanna sleep in. Keep your room spotless. Make your bed. Get some essential oils going. You will be shocked at how much better you sleep.
4. Stay hydrated. 80% of us are walking around in a state of mild dehydration. So, chances are, you’re dehydrated right now. And even just being SLIGHTLY dehydrated can decrease your metabolic rate drastically. Not only that, but it can make you more tired and unmotivated (read: you’re taking the elevator instead of the stairs).
A good rule of thumb? Take your weight in lbs divided by 2, and that’s the minimum number of ounces you need every day.
Also – as humans – our thirst mechanisms suck. Your body often mistakes thirst for hunger. So, once you start to get a little dehydrated, you think you’re hungry! Slam a glass of water when you’re hungry between meals and see if the hunger goes away.
5. Skip the stairmaster entirely and pick up some weights. Building muscle is the most direct way you can boost your metabolism because more muscle mass = more calories burned while sitting on the couch. And even just one strength training workout will give you an afterburn for hours.
I switch up my routine a lot – I love P.Volve, Buti Yoga, and Pilates Reformer classes. But lately I’ve been really into bodybuilding style workouts. So, I’ll workout 4-5 times a week, training a different muscle group each day. I’m not strict about it – I just kind of do what feels good. I love to follow Whitney Simmons on IG and YouTube – she’s hilarious and she has the BEST not-intimidating-at-all strength training workouts.
The key is to pick something you love so that you’ll stick with it. But really focus on your muscles when choosing a workout over “burning calories at spin class.” I promise you’ll see quicker results.
6. Eat PHFF. Protein. Healthy Fat. Fiber. Stay with me here. This one is important.
Protein keeps you FULL. It’s the most satiating macronutrient there is, so it’ll keep you fuller, longer. And that’s great. But protein also has a high “thermogenic effect,” meaning it really revs up the metabolism when you consume it. Getting at least 20g at a meal can boost your metabolic rate by 15-30%. Protein also helps repair and build muscle, which you now know is super important for metabolism boosting.
Healthy fat and fiber both slow down the uptake of sugar into your blood. And this is important because when you experience a blood sugar spike, your body releases insulin. Insulin comes out and scoops up all the sugar and shuffles it into cells (muscle, liver….and fat cells). We need insulin to live, but it’s also a fat-storing hormone and when it’s hanging out, we can’t burn fat.
So, the goal is to keep blood sugar nice and steady so that your body can release glucagon, your fat-burning hormone. That’s what healthy fat and fiber do.
Fiber is also ridiculously filling (it expands in the stomach) and pushes toxins through the gut and right out of the body (like, when ya poop).
So, you can see how protein, healthy fat, and fiber is kind of the dream team.
For protein, my favorites are wild-caught fish and shrimp, organic eggs, and organic rotisserie chicken. For healthy fat, avocados are #1, followed by grass-fed butter (YUM – salted of course). And for fiber, obviously any vegetable, but I’m also partial to chia seeds (love Smart Cleanse’s Pineapple Chia Cleanse) and chickpea pasta.
7. Skip the snacks. Of course it’s ok to have a snack if you’re truly hungry. But the idea that you should be eating every 2-3 hours doesn’t actually do your metabolism any favors. I mentioned earlier that your digestive system works HARD and every time you eat, it goes back to work. If you’re consuming carbs in your snack, you’re releasing insulin and your body isn’t able to go into a fat-burning mode.
Not only that, but because your body is working so hard as it digests food, you’ll find that you’re much more tired during the day when you’re eating constantly. And you’ll be much more likely to skip the gym!
The more snacks you eat, the more chances you have to overeat. In the US it’s normal to just eat all day long. Not only is this hard on your body, it’s hard on your mind! It causes you to have to think about food *constantly*. This may not have anything to do with your metabolism, but your mental health is important.
8. Be careful about hidden sugar in cocktails. Ok so I’m cheating a little here – avoiding sugar in your drink isn’t going to “boost” your metabolism, but it’s SURE going to prevent a lot of fat storage.
When you drink alcohol, your body is only focusing on clearing the poison from your body (bc…it wants you to live), so it takes the focus OFF your metabolism. Your body actually doesn’t like to store alcohol as fat, but it LOVES to store sugar. So that agave in your margarita is going straight to your ass. Avoid agave, honey, sugary mixers, simple syrups, and tonic (yes – tonic has a lot of sugar!).
A couple of my faves to order at the bar – vodka, club soda, and fresh lemon juice (instead of lemons); tequila, soda, splash of grapefruit; tequila, Cointreau, and fresh lime.
I also like to count alcohol as a “carb.” So, if I’m out to eat and I’m having 2 glasses of wine, I’m ordering a salad with shrimp and avocado or a steak with veggies. I just skip the starch. That way, I know I’m not storing a bunch of unnecessary carbs as fat. You can absolutely drink alcohol and still lose weight, you just have to be strategic about it.
9. Chill out. Stress raises cortisol, and cortisol encourages fat storage – especially belly fat. I have a tendency towards high cortisol, and when I’m really stressed over a longer period of time, I 100% notice I start to store more belly fat.
Cortisol also causes those “insatiable” cravings. You know when you just CAN’T stop eating something? Even if it’s something healthy, like almond butter? That’s stress. Find what it is that works for you to minimize stress – morning pages, meditation, saging the house, reading, doing an epsom salt bath, going to therapy. I do 4 very slow, deep breaths in the morning (works great) and get outside as quickly as possible to walk my dogs and get into the sun.
Exercise and adequate sleep are also excellent cortisol reducers. Get those 8 hours!
10. Stop eating foods you’re intolerant to. If you know you “can’t do dairy” or that “gluten makes you swollen” but you continue to eat it and just deal with the consequences, you’re doing yourself a serious disservice.
Eating these foods cause an inflammatory response in the body. When there is an inflammation fire happening, your body’s #1 goal is to put out that fire. That means it’s not focused on things like, you know, burning fat. So not only can an intolerance make you uncomfortable, it can prevent you from losing fat as well.
If you have a lot of digestive issues, bloating, and/or skin issues, it’s very possible you have a food intolerance. It’s important to work with a dietitian who can take you through a guided food elimination and reintroduction diet to help you figure out where the problem is. Bloating, constipation, diarrhea and all that fun stuff is NOT normal! But there is something you can do about it. And chances are, if you’re trying to lose weight and can’t, as soon as you eliminate that food that’s causing issues, the weight will start to come off.
+ If you like this post, you’ll love these tips for health, beauty & wellness from Rachel Katzman.