WIAW: How I Improved my Metabolism

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What a refreshing long weekend!  I had Monday off for Presidents Day, and want to take you along for a full day of eating!  This weekend was filled with lots of relaxation, a little bit of working out, watching movies, reading, connecting with new people, sitting outside sipping decaf Americanos working on some exciting upcoming projects (and getting sunburnt!), biking, bubble baths (seriously…), and making homemade pizza for Valentine’s Day!!

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We used THIS recipe for the whole wheat dough and it was incredible.

Also, after many emails regarding how I improved my metabolism while living a life of #balance and also staying lean, I thought I would go over my top tips!

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You can see my physical transformation/progress above which doesn’t show ANY of my mental progress!

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Breakfast on Monday was this gorgeous bowl of protein cream of wheat that I posted HERE.  Sometimes I eat really ugly food.  When I decide to make pretty food, I take pictures…

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20+ pictures of the same bowl of cream of wheat.  SO EXCITING HUH?!

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Snacked on an organic brown rice cake and Trader Joe’s salted peanut butter at some point.

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Also had a slice of my cinnamon swirl protein cake!

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PSA: I GOT A BIKE!!!  And have been trying to ride it once a week.  The man and I did a 15 mile ride down to St. Pete, FL and enjoyed the beautiful weather! Hoping you all can keep me accountable to my goal of doing a triathlon?!

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Lunch was a prepped meal which consisted of garlic and herb tilapia (literally tilapia roasted with Mrs. Dash garlic and herb and pink himalayan sea salt), roasted asparagus, and brown rice.

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Grocery essentials.  Those corn and wheat tortillas are AWESOME and super thick and the kale sprouts are my new favorite side!  I also love that Trader Joe’s carries their own raw and fermented sauerkraut!!

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Had a slice of leftover vegan BBQ chicken pizza (made with almond cheese and mock-chicken!).

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And finished the night with a Cookies n Creme protein cake filled with a peanut butter core and a pool of Enjoy Life chocolate chips, plus one of the new Filled Cupcake Oreos (review HERE).

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Finally, I feel I improved my metabolism because of six main reasons:

  1. I worked with a coach and TRUSTED in him.  I didn’t doubt when he increased my carb intake.  I didn’t doubt him when he had me eating massive amounts around my workouts. I didn’t doubt him when he had me consume simple carbs, complex carbs, and ALL foods in moderation.
  2. I cut out cardio and focused solely on strength training.  All of the workout classes I was taking at the gym combined with the running I was doing was hurting my metabolism.  I wasn’t listening to my body!  That doesn’t mean I wasn’t active in general at my job or taking walks but I stopped taking high intensity classes and spending time on cardio machines.  Now, I do a mix of both but still believe weight training is key!!
  3. I focused on eating all foods in moderation instead of cutting OUT foods.  I could eat a full serving of ice cream if I wanted it. Or a half serving if I wanted it.  I could eat 1 Oreo, instead of a whole sleeve. I learned how to control my cravings and fit any foods in at any time instead of going overboard if I did finally consume those ‘off limit’ foods.  My body finally stopped batting me since I was consistently giving it calories instead of the restriction cycle.
  4. I didn’t give up after a week.  Change takes time. A LOT of time.
  5. I ate more throughout the day, instead of subsisting on protein bars and oatmeal until nighttime rolled around.  I never thought I would be the person who recommends eating 5-6 times per day but this WORKS for me.  And it did wonders for my metabolism as I used to be the 2-3 big meals and 1 small snack (with no protein) type of girl.
  6. I started eating more protein.  I know, it sounds so cliche.  And being a pescatarian, its always been difficult getting in protein.  But once I started focusing on this nutrient more, I realized how it truly keeps me fuller for longer.  So many women think protein powder or eating more protein is meant to BULK you up!!!  UM HI, NO. I aim for 10-25 grams of protein at most of my 5-6 meals.

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And I’m pretty happy with the results :)  As always, ALL things take time and dedication. So I honestly suggest you hire a coach to help you on your path to a better metabolism and end your dieting days!

18 thoughts on “WIAW: How I Improved my Metabolism

  1. rachel @ athletic avocado says:

    I find it interesting how wieght training helps to build metabolism which is contrary to popular belief because most people think that cardio increases metabolism, I agree with you that wright training is key, especially when I have tried it myself. I have been trying to eat more protein too to increase metabolism. Thanks of sharing :)

    • Dietitian Deanna says:

      You’re welcome Rachel!! I know there is SO much misleading information out there! I use cardio for endurance, heart health, calorie manipulation, and even just for mental clarity or because I like it! Cardio doesn’t add on lean muscle (like strength training) which contributes to an elevated calorie burn!!

  2. Stephanie Leduc says:

    I like that you say that you do less cardio, that is interesting, because I like doing strength training more then cardio haha, so maybe I can focus on my strength training without feeling guilty that I only did 20 minutes of cardio? Idk haha. As for your eats, I love the looks of that cinnamon protein cake! I think it is awesome that you are eating in the way that your body needs, and if that means 5-6 meals a day then that’s what works for you and that is what you should do!!

    • Dietitian Deanna says:

      Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment Stephanie!! 20 minutes of cardio is enough for me!!!! Lol. Love that you love strength training s as well :) You can find the recipe for the cinnamon cake on my Instagram!!! Find me there so I can follow you too :)

  3. Emily says:

    Wow, that’s incredible! I actually think that I underestimated weight training for a long time. I admit that I was kind of a snob about it. I thought that it didn’t ‘burn the calories’ I wanted to burn, and now I appreciate it more than ever. I also used to be 3 meals and 1 snack girl, and it was hard to really trust that God was giving me hunger signals more often and that it is okay to eat 5-6 meals a day. I can definitely say that I’ve been learning many of the same things.

  4. Victoria says:

    Loved your WIAW post and the tips on improving your metabolism! I am in the process of doing the same after years of yo-yo dieting. It’s crazy how even as dietitians we still have to heal our own relationships with food, that’s the key to healthy- learning to love yourself and love food!

    • Dietitian Deanna says:

      Yes and I finally feel like I am there and it feels so good!!! Always a work in progress and everyone has their own definition of balance BUT I feel amazing and love helping others find this out as well.

  5. Kerri Mcgrail says:

    Definitely agree that strength training is important in maintaining a higher metabolic rate. For me, eating when I’m hungry and not restricting myself after dinner has made a huge difference. Like you said, the restrictive cycle is never fun. Being the runner that I am, I spend a lot of time doing cardio- but I don’t use it for weightloss. That being said, I don’t really ever do steady state cardio, and you will never see me plugging along on an elliptical lol. No junk miles/ unnecessary cardio for this girl.

    • Dietitian Deanna says:

      Love that girl. I have gotten back into cardio as well because I love boxing and even want to do a sprint tri!! But this was a big step when I first started my journey and what I recommend when working on a reverse diet, WAY less cardio than people think!!!

  6. Nicole says:

    Love this post! I’m trying to help my metabolism get back on track after being super strict on low calories for a couple of months and had rapid weight loss. It was in no way healthy and I feel like I have no control anymore when it comes to food it’s been such a hard process trying to balance everything! I was curious how you found your coach and if it was an online program or in person since I’ve been trying to find one to help me! Thank you :)

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