I know how you feel. It’s the same way that millions of people feel every day:
“I need to lose weight. I need to be more active and exercise more. I hate having to get up in the morning because I’m just so tired.”
Day to day life can be full of stress and things that sap you of your energy. A full day of work is something that most people aren’t able to avoid. Your body’s ability to function throughout the day comes from the energy your body generates. That energy comes from your metabolism.
So, why not give your metabolism a boost?
How the Metabolism Works
The metabolism, or rather, the metabolic processes in the body, is highly complex. It’s a whole big knot of interrelated processes that play a part in everything from your heart beating and your breathing to how your body heals from wounds, replaces cells, and grows.
I’m not going to try to explain everything in the metabolism here. You don’t need to know about it in minute detail for this post. You can read about it in more detail on your own time if you wish.
Suffice it to say that you have two kinds of metabolism.
1. First, you have your basal metabolism. This is all of your standard bodily processes, from heartbeat and breathing to the energy necessary to run your brain and walk around throughout the day. Your basal metabolism is primarily determined by your age, your biological sex, and the size of your body. That’s right; overweight people have a higher metabolism than the average person because the body needs to burn more energy to keep all that mass going. That holds true whether the weight comes from fat or from muscle; bodybuilders have fast metabolisms too.
2. The second kind of metabolism is the one most people talk about when we talk about energy-boosting smoothies and “metabolism boosters” and so forth. This is made up of two main factors: your thermogenic rate and your physical activity levels. Your thermogenic rate is the number of calories you burn just in the act of digestion.
Fun fact: about 10% of the carbs and protein you eat – or rather, the energy gained from breaking them down – is used directly to fuel digestion.
It’s this second category that you can boost through foods. By tweaking your diet (your fuel source) to be more efficient, you increase your secondary metabolism and burn more energy throughout the day.
When you do so, it leaves you feeling energized. You have more fuel to go about your day, keep track of the kids, walk the dog, run errands, or work without feeling like you need a nap at 2 p.m.
You have more energy to put into exercise by boosting your metabolism, and you burn more calories passively to help you lose weight. You also eat more efficiently, giving your body fuel that takes more work (and burns more calories) to digest, so less of that energy is stored as fat. Adjusted correctly, you’ll lose weight.
How to Boost Your Metabolism
Your basal metabolism is essentially unchangeable. You can’t adjust your age, and while you can change your weight, it takes a lot of work and is above and beyond what you can do with a smoothie. In some ways, you’re accountable to your core genetics, and there’s only so much you can do to your metabolism.
That said, many people feel trapped by their genetics—far too many end up using it as an excuse. “I just have a slow metabolism” is almost always a cop-out answer. I’m here to tell you that while you can’t change your basal metabolism rate, you can change your active metabolism. Using the slow metabolism excuse is easy, where exercise and making improvements to your diet are both challenging. Through an adjusted diet and exercise, you can lose weight with relatively minor, incremental changes, which you can carry through to more significant adjustments in the future.
What you should do is boost your daily metabolic processes. Exercising more is one way to do it, but you’re looking for something a little easier. Something like a smoothie you can drink in the morning as a replacement for breakfast that will leave you energized throughout the day. After all, that’s why you’re looking into metabolism-boosting smoothies in the first place.
Before we go much further, have you heard of the Smoothie Diet? I’ve engineered the Smoothie Diet to help anyone – and that means you – gain more energy, burn more calories, and lose weight in as little as three weeks. I’m going to give you one recipe below, but this book is full of recipes, as well as a complete three-week schedule and a whole host of other weight loss tips and tricks.
There are no supplements in my recipes, no strange products I’m trying to sell on the side, and no exercise plans attached. It’s purely a diet, which can go nicely with any workout plan you like. If you want to take supplements, feel free to do so, as long as you’re careful. All you need to follow my program is a blender, a glass, and access to fresh, whole fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other delicious foods.
So, how can you boost your metabolism with a smoothie?
- Give your body more fiber. Fiber is a carbohydrate, but it’s difficult to digest, so your body spends more energy breaking it down, generating more energy but avoiding the spikes of high-low energy caused by things like sugar and caffeine.
- Give your body more vitamins and minerals. Your metabolism (and indeed the function of your body as a whole) results from thousands of tiny chemical reactions happening simultaneously. These reactions use vitamins, minerals, and amino acids as fuel. Using whole fresh ingredients in your smoothies gives you more of these to keep your body on track.
- Replace unhealthy foods. If you’re used to eating a fast-food sandwich or a Starbucks latte for breakfast energy, you’ll probably have noticed how the energy you get dissipates by lunchtime and leaves you feeling exhausted. That’s your metabolism working! If you replace these sugar and salt-filled foods with a healthy smoothie, not only will you feel full longer, but your energy will be more stable throughout the day.
Remember, a smoothie like this replaces a meal. You aren’t drinking a smoothie on the side of your typical breakfast or lunch and losing weight. Instead, you’re replacing worse nutrients with better ones and drinking a healthier meal in smoothie form. As I said above, the recipe I’m giving you below is only one of many options. Check out the complete smoothie diet program for more.
A Metabolism Boosting Smoothie Recipe
A strong foundation is the core of every good smoothie, especially those you use for energy and weight loss.
- A liquid base. I generally recommend something like coconut water, coconut milk, or almond milk. Plain water is fine but doesn’t add any nutrients. Dairy milk can work, but you don’t want to go too overboard with it. Fruit juices tend to have too much sugar and not enough fiber; these should be avoided. Substitute with fruit instead.
- Greens. Almost all of my smoothie recipes use some greens, like spinach, arugula, kale, or bok choy. When mixed with other ingredients, they don’t have an overpowering flavor, and they add a ton of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to your smoothie recipes.
- A source of fiber. In addition to the fiber you get from your greens, you want more to help give you long-term energy and keep your energy levels stable throughout the day. I usually recommend something like rolled oats or wheat germ.
- Flavor! You can customize smoothies to add or remove fruits and vegetables you may or may not like. Fruits, in particular, are a great way to make your smoothies taste different every day while still maintaining a solid nutritional profile.
So, here’s a recipe for you to try. This recipe is packed with antioxidants naturally found in fruits. It’s high in potassium, which your body needs for a lot of different metabolic processes. It has plenty of fiber to slow your digestion, sate your cravings, reduce your appetite, and give you long-term energy. And, of course, it’s delicious.
- 1 cup almond milk (8 oz.)
- ¼ cup rolled oats
- 1 cup spinach (about 1 oz. or 30 g.; a handful.)
- One banana (medium-sized)
- 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks (5 oz.)
- One ripe kiwi (peeled)
- Add the almond milk and the oats to your blender and sit for 3-5 minutes to soak and soften the oats.
- Add the spinach and blend for about 30 seconds to begin breaking it all down.
- Add the banana and pineapple, and blend for another 30 seconds to integrate those ingredients.
- Add the kiwi and blend until thoroughly mixed, and the consistency is what you like it to be.
This smoothie is bright and tangy, with kiwi and pineapple as the dominant flavors. You can always customize it to add some berries, change the green you use, or adjust the proportions for a thicker or thinner smoothie.
If you like this recipe, be sure to check out the complete Smoothie Diet for many more like it!
A Note on Medical Issues
I need to mention here that a smoothie like this can help you boost your metabolism and energy levels, but it’s not meant to diagnose or treat any medical ailments or issues. Medical disorders do not cause most weight gain and weight issues. If you think you have a legitimate metabolic problem, such as hypothyroidism or Cushing’s Syndrome, you should consult a doctor. You may need a more regulated program of nutritional control, hormonal control, and lifestyle changes to properly treat that kind of ailment.
That said, most people do not suffer from metabolic disease. Adjustments to your lifestyle, such as more exercise, healthier eating, and meal replacement smoothies, can help you get your weight and activity levels on track. They can also give you more energy and help you make it through each day with a better mood and attitude.
Making Positive Metabolic Adjustments
Weight loss is hard! The math of calorie counting can be frustrating and tedious, especially when you’re hungry but you’re out of calories. Exercise is difficult and time-consuming. Crash diets work for a little while, but most people rebound and end up gaining weight back. What can you do to lose weight and make it stick?
My number one tip is to make changes incrementally. Make one small change and turn it into a habit. For example, skip breakfast and replace it with a smoothie. It takes some adjustment in your morning habits and your shopping, but it’s one relatively minor change you can make. You don’t need to worry about lunch or dinner yet, and you don’t need to find space for three hours at the gym every day. Just start small by replacing breakfast, and go from there.
With every small change that you make, give yourself some time to adjust. As you go, you’ll adapt to the new habits, and then you’ll feel ready to make the next change. Ideally, this will happen after you’ve proven you can lose a bit of weight and keep it off but are starting to plateau; the next change helps you push past and make another healthy adjustment to your lifestyle.
If the slow-and-steady approach doesn’t work for you, smoothies are a great jumping-off point for future lifestyle improvements as well. If you don’t want to adjust your breakfast, join the Smoothie Diet program and follow every tip I have; replace lunch, change your dinners and snacking habits, and more. I give you a full rundown of the program in an easy-to-follow way. You’ll be amazed at how much progress you can make in a short amount of time.
Do you have any questions for me? Do you have any metabolism-boosting tips you’d like to share with everyone? Please let us know in the comments section below! I’d love to hear from you, and I make an effort to reply to every constructive comment I receive.