An Excerpt from Ben’s Book: “100 Ways to Increase Your Metabolism”!

The following is an excerpt from Ben Greenfield’s book released in 2007 from Pacific Elite Fitness:

10. Digest Some Pancreatin

Digestive pancreatin is actually a supplement. I don’t condone heavy use of supplements, especially as an excuse to not eat correctly, but this particular compound is interesting enough to mention.  It is actually a mixture of enzymes that have been extracted from a pig or cow pancreas. In the human body, there are two forms of pancreatin: pancreatic amylase is the name for the enzyme that breaks down complex sugars into simple sugars during digestion, and pancreatic lipase is the enzyme that breaks down fats.  Theoretically, higher levels of digestive
pancreatin will speed metabolism by allowing you to process sugars much quicker.  While there’s no hard research to support this fact, supplementing with pancreatin is a notable suggested method to increase the metabolism, especially if your body is not producing enough.  Pancreatin can also be used as a digestive aid.

11. Eat Saturated Fat

Huh? Isn’t the stuff bad? But remember than an important part of maintaining a high metabolism is ensuring that the cells are operating properly – and saturated fats are a major component of your cell’s membranes, which are crucial in the flow of nutrients in and out of the cell, as well as maintenance of proper cellular function. Not only that, but the heart and muscles use saturated fat as a fuel. Many of the modern day replacements for saturated fat, such as margarine, mayonnaise, most of the fats in packaged foods like crackers, and pretty much anything fried, are quite damaging to the metabolism when compared to saturated fats found in items like animal meat, dairy, and butter. Why? Because the processed compounds in these foods contain a high degree of trans fats, which are factory-produced fats that your body has a very difficult time metabolizing. Trans fats are heavily associated with heart disease, obesity, and metabolic damage. So you’d be better off choosing butter over margarine, string cheese instead of boxed crackers, and steak instead of chicken salad with mayonnaise. But be careful because saturated fats are very calorie dense, and just a small pat of butter can have as many calories as the entire potato you put it on!

12. Avoid Vegetables

Vegetable oil, that is. But how can an oil that comes from a vegetable (such as corn based oils, sunflower oil, sesame oil, soybean oil, safflower oil, and canola oil) be dangerous for our bodies? Because the naturally occurring vegetable oils must be extracted from the vegetable, and this is a process that occurs in factories where the oil-containing seeds are heated to enormous temperatures under massive pressures, while being exposed to heavy amounts of light and oxygen, as well as toxin-containing extraction chemicals and pesticide concentrating compounds. This results in an oil with a high amount of free radicals and damaged or destroyed cholesterols and vitamins, which are are non-beneficial for the body. Free radicals damage the cells and slow cell metabolism. In contrast, an oil such as extra virgin olive oil is produced by crushing olives between two stone rollers – a relatively non-stressful process. In addition to extraction, many of the vegetable oils undergo hydrogenation, a process in which an oil that would normally be a liquid at room temperature is converted to a solid. This is accomplished by mixing the oil with metal particles, hydrogen gas, emulsifiers, starch, and bleach. This process, applied to margarine and shortenings, makes these fats even more dangerous than the  vegetable oils. Hydrogenation results in the formation of trans fats, a toxic and metabolically unusable fat that can build up in the body and significantly increase risk of cancer, heart disease, and other metabolically damaging conditions. You’ll find these type of fats in cream cheese, peanut butter, shortening, and other solid spreadable fats, often described on the food label as “partially hydrogenated” fats. Used to give food a longer shelf life and preserve the flavor, hydrogenation also blocks the body from being able to actually use the fatty acids as energy – which makes them end up on your waistline. Extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, and flax seed oil are three of the best oils you can use if you want consume fats but avoid the damage.

13.  Two Minute Tango

As you probably know, the metabolism stays elevated for a significant amount of time after exercise. Unfortunately, by the time we actually get around to exercising again, our metabolism can be back to a slower pace, and getting “back into the groove” for the next day’s bike ride, run, or aerobic session can feel difficult. Wheezing, gasping for breath, coughing, stumbling or feeling sleepy, lethargic, or fatigued are sometimes associated with starting back into exercise after that 24 hour hiatus. This is because our body must be warm, our lungs must be stretched, and our blood must be actively flowing before our body begins efficiently utilizing oxygen. For most individuals, it takes about two minutes for this process to begin to occur, after which you actually start feeling good. But rather than struggling through the first two minutes at a snail’s pace, your post-exercise metabolic rate will be higher if you simply jump into the cardio at a moderate pace and hang on for the first 120 seconds. In addition, you’ll not only warm-up faster, but the rest of your exercise routine will burn more calories. Just keep telling yourself, “Get
through the first two minutes!”.

14.  Unplug the Mouse
Sure, pointing and clicking to add items to your shopping cart may be quick, convenient, and perhaps slightly less expensive, but don’t let this form of procuring your shopping needs take complete precedence. Up until the advent of modern technology, people had to hunt, gather, and foray for their daily needs – not sit in a chair and wait for it to arrive at the front doorstep.  So as much as possible, try to get out and about, even it it’s less convenient. The simple act of hitting the power-off button on your computer, jumping into the car, walking through the parking lot and navigating around the department store or shopping mall will boost your metabolism much higher than a mouse and keyboard ever will. Plus, you just might find an excuse to stop by the gym on the way home!

Until next time, train smart,

Ben Greenfield

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