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Best Way To Increase Metabolism When You Don’t Have An Appetite

Most everyone knows that when you don’t consume enough calories to meet basal metabolic rate and energy demands, your metabolism slows down. This is a common obstacle that keeps people stuck in a weight loss plateau.

You’ll often hear fitness professionals and nutritionists recommending the practice of consuming several small meals during the day as a way to help boost back up metabolism and stabilize blood sugar levels.

They know that when an individual’s metabolism has down-regulated, they’ll have to EAT to bring it back up.

The problem for a lot of individuals though is how do you consume more calories to boost up your metabolism when you don’t have an appetite?’

In today’s post we’re going to address that very issue.

More after the jump…

Pitfalls with traditional recommendations on increasing metabolism…

While it’s sound advice to recommend the 4-6 small meals a day strategy to help clients boost back up their metabolism, what a lot of coaches don’t take into consideration is the suppressed appetite that accompanies a lowered metabolic rate.

The two factors go hand in hand. A decrease in appetite is a natural result of reduced T3 production by the thyroid. It’s very difficult to say the least to go from eating 1-2 meals a day to switching overnight to consuming 4-6 meals a day.

The expectation is often unrealistic and this results in unwarranted feelings of failure when the individual struggles to get in even that first mid-morning snack.

Instead of setting the bar so high, a better approach would be to take things slowly and allow the body to naturally increase appetite so more meals can be consumed. After all the last thing you want to be doing is trying to force food down.

Solutions for increasing metabolism when you just don’t have an appetite…

There are some very simple steps you can take to speed up the process of increasing metabolism when the appetite is just not there yet.

Here are my top recommendations that I’ve found to be helpful when consulting weight loss clients over the years.

1. Start small with breakfast and increase calories over time.

Breakfast as everyone knows is the most important meal of the day. You’re coming off a fasting state and your body needs energy to meet demands. Skipping breakfast is obviously the last thing you want to be doing, but don’t feel you have to consume a set number of calories in the beginning if you simply don’t have the appetite for it.

A lot of people will see guidelines where they should be eating 300-500 calories at each meal to balance out energy over the day. While in principal this has some merits, there are no hard and fast rules.

Yes you want to make changes, but you’ll also want to listen to your body and let appetite be your gauge.

Even 200 calories at breakfast is better than nothing so look to start with something you can manage and over time increase calories as appetite and metabolism increases.

2. Opt for easy to digest meal options in the beginning.

It frustrates me when I see nutritionists or fitness coaches recommending a large breakfast of eggs, oatmeal, and a handful of almonds for example, when their client isn’t currently eating breakfast at all!

Don’t get me wrong this would eventually be a great supportive nutrition breakfast, but it’s ok to take things slowly and build up to it.

I’ve personally seen better results by recommending easy to digest substrates and nutrients then building up to a broader base of food combinations.

For example, if you don’t have much of an appetite try consuming one of the following:

- a peice of fruit or small serving of berries, etc

- a green juice or combination greens and fruit juice

- whey protein/ meal replacement shake

These options all contain easy to digest and assimilate nutrients without being heavy. They’ll all be easier to get in than a bowl of cereal, bagel, etc.

Bottom line is in the beginning you’ll probably fare better without heavy starches and complex carbohydrates if your appetite is in the tank.

3. Try drinking your calories and nutrients instead of eating them.

This is quite possibly the most effective strategy I’ve found when appetite is suppressed. While it’s often difficult to eat calories when you don’t have an appetite, it’s much easier to drink them.

This is one of the main reasons I’m so big on green/fruit juices and whey protein/ meal replacement shakes. The Advocare meal replacement shakes for example are ideal in this case and work extremely well.

You can get the same nutrition as 8 egg whites and a half cup of oatmeal in one Advocare meal replacement shake mixed with water. Plus you won’t have to force it down or spend a lot of time on preparation.

Throw it in a shaker cup and add water while going out the door and drink on your way to work. This is way better than going without breakfast altogether or eating a few crackers with your cup of coffee.

Learn more or to order Advocare meal replacement shakes.

4. Protein….Protein….Protein (three times for emphasis!)

I think you get the point here, but seriously protein is the MOST impactful nutrient to help increase metabolism. The reason is because it’s several times more thermogenic than carbs or fats. No other nutrient will have as much of an impact on helping to increase appetite.

The FIRST thing I recommend to my clients when they’re not meeting calorie needs or their metabolism has slowed is to consume more protein. Sure eggs and animal proteins from whole foods are great, but if you don’t have the appetite try a whey protein or meal replacement shake.

If you don’t like the taste of a particular brand of whey protein powder or meal replacement shake, keep experimenting until you find one you like.

Likewise if you get burned out on the same shake or flavor mix it up. Add some vanilla whey protein powder to some frozen berries, water, and yogurt for a smoothie as an example.

I’m CONVINCED with all my years of research and experimentation working with clients that increasing protein consumption is one of the best things you can do to increase metabolism and appetite simultaneously.

For as long as I can remember I’ve done (2) protein shakes, one mid-morning and one mid-afternoon for snacks. They’re easy to get down, quick to drink, and help to keep metabolism and energy levels at their peak.

Whether you use whole foods to get in additional protein or shakes is your call, but don’t miss out on the benefits that protein provides with helping to boost up your appetite and metabolism.

The power of protein + fiber…

If there’s anything that comes close to a “weight loss secret” as far as food combinations are concerned, it’s protein and fiber. All things considered, this combination is the best one-two punch for boosting metabolism, stabilizing blood sugar, controlling hunger, and providing steady energy.

Bottom line…

A suppressed appetite is simply a sign that your metabolic rate has decreased either due to prolonged caloric restriction or a heightened immune response (your body is fighting an infection, virus, etc).

It’s true that you’ve got to “feed the muscle to burn the fat,” but you’ll want to be patient and allow changes to happen naturally.

Don’t get overly caught up in the numbers (calories, grams, etc) in the beginning, but rather focus on eating quality nutrients from whole, natural foods and protein supplements.

Fitness training, especially resistance exercise will help to increase metabolism and appetite. Simply look to add more nutrients and energy (calories) as your body requires to meet demands over time.

Remember, the better the quality of nutrients, the faster the response will be. Eating a Pop-Tart or cereal bar for breakfast won’t be providing the quality of nutrients you’re looking for.

Either will snacking on 100 calorie snack packs of pretzels or other processed foods during the day. The nutrient quality of foods is just as important (arguably more important) than the caloric content.

Give it all you’ve got with your workouts and follow a clean diet and things will fall into place.

If you’d like several supportive nutrition meal and snack options download a FREE copy of my Lean Code Method Quick Start Nutrition Guide.

And of course if you have questions or if I can ever be of assistance feel free to drop me a line.

Shane Doll is a certified Charleston personal trainer, fat loss expert, speaker, and founder of Shaping Concepts. With a staff of over 10 certified fitness professionals, Shaping Concepts provides fitness consulting in Charleston with a specialty on weight loss and body transformation. See our success stories from numerous Lowcountry residents then sign up for a no-obligations consultation today.

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Category: Fat Loss.