Absolutely! It is important to note that the metabolism is not a static thing, often you'll hear a statement such as "I have a slow metabolism" or "She is so lucky she has a fast metabolism and can eat whatever she wants". While these may be true, know that they can be temporary descriptions.
We are all different and just like everything else in life we all have naturally above or below average characteristics, so yes some people may naturally have faster metabolisms and some people slower. However these can be changed dramatically by the lifestyle and environment of the individual. This is something I've been able to do with great affect and has meant that I can diet down for a competition at far higher calories than some others, which as you can imagine makes dieting easier as you get to eat more food yet get the same fat loss results.
Unfortunately many people who have spent years yo-yo dieting have very negatively affected their metabolism and it can take many months or even years to repair. However with consistent and conscious effort this can be achieved.
The longer you have been dieting and depriving your body, the longer it usually takes to repair your metabolism.
A popular way to get an idea of your metabolism is by measuring your core body temperature after waking in the morning.
If it’s below 98 (36.6 celsius) degrees you likely have some minor issues.
If it’s below 97 (36.1 celsius) you have some more serious issues.
If it’s 96 (35.5 celsius) or lower you’ve got major issues.
Some symptons of a poor metabolism are:
- low mood / depression
- feeling cold more often
- dry skin / hair
- lack of energy
- low sex drive
A few of the common metabolism killers are:
- Lack of exercise, especially intense exercise
- Extended calorie restriction
- Yo yo dieting
- Extended carbohydrate restriction, especially if also exercising
- A diet lacking in important micronutrients
In contrast some of the best ways to increase your metabolism are:
- Weight train atleast twice a week
- Do HIIT cardio atleast once a week
- Never do any form of extreme calorie restricted diet, extended juice fasts or fad diets
- Eat sufficient protein and carbohydrates to support your exercise
- Make sure you are eating essential fats
- Get sufficient sleep
- Avoid excessive long duration cardio
- Eat a micronutrient rich diet
- Realising that a history of yo-yo dieting will take a lot of patience to repair the body's metabolism
- Finally a tactic I and many competitive bodybuilders use with great success after a period of fat loss and calorie restriction, is to slowly add back in calories each week (50-100 calories), this allows the body to upregulate the metabolism again without putting on body fat. After a period of weeks or months this can result in being able to maintain my body weight while being able to eat over a 1000 calories more each day.
In a nutshell you need to be working with your body and not against it. Living a healthy, balanced life is the best way to increase your metabolism.
While extreme restriction of calories or carbohydrates may promise rapid short-term water and fat loss. Your body will very quickly adapt and down-regulate the metabolism. Your bodies primary goal is to ensure your survival, not to get a six pack. The longer the down-regulation, the longer the recovery will be.
Where possible makes changes to your body in a slow and steady way and you'll avoid many of the negatives that can come from more extreme methods.