Simple Steps for Boosting Your Metabolism

Many folks think they have a slow metabolism because of low energy or difficulty losing weight. But you won’t truly know until you have the right tools to test. In this episode, you’ll learn about using a Bod Pod and body composition scale to get an accurate picture of your metabolic health, plus the role your thyroid plays in all of this. JJ also shares some quick tips on how you can kick up your basal metabolic rate (BMR) to get a faster metabolism and burn more calories throughout the day.

Mentioned in this episode:
TANITA’s Body Composition Scale

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ATHE_Transcript_Ep 510_I’m Doing Everything Right So Why Is My Metabolism Still Slow?
JJ Virgin: [00:00:00] I'm doing everything right, so why is my metabolism still slow?
Hey, this is JJ Virgin four time, New York Times bestselling author, celebrity nutrition expert and fitness hall of famer. You know, I've been on a lifelong quest for answers to the toughest health questions, and now I'm sharing what I found with you. Welcome to ask the Health Expert. each week, I answer big questions directly from you, the people in my community, and chances are there are topics that you've been wondering about as well.
If you'd like to submit a question for me to answer on a future episode, please do by going to
Brittany from Instagram asks, I'm doing everything right, so why is my metabolism still slow? Okay, Brittany, here's the bigger question. [00:01:00] What is making you think that your metabolism is slow? I'm gonna be right back to really unpack how we can get your metabolism working well and kind of what the bigger question might be here.
So when I hear this question, I'm wondering what your indicators are when you say that it is because you can't lose weight. Is it because you're not energetic? Like what is going on that's making you think that your metabolism is slow? Because really the only way to know how your metabolism is really working, or one of the ways, is to do something called a BOD Pod, where you get into this BOD pod.
And it's going to test what your metabolism, how many calories you're really using when you are at rest, right? So then you can tell, hey, if, if my [00:02:00] calorie intake is lower than it should be at rest, I've got a slow metabolism now. There are a couple things that really are going to impact your metabolism.
So a lot of this, thankfully, is really under our control. The first thing that you've gotta check on with your metabolism is, is my, is my thyroid working well? Not is my thyroid. In the range that the lab test says, because that may mean that you're low thyroid, but is my thyroid working well? So you wanna check your thyroid numbers, your tsh, your free T3 and t4.
And if, if those things are not looking quite right, dig deeper into free T3 or into reverse T3 and thyroid antibodies and work with someone who really understands the subtleties of thyroid disease and how to optimize. Because if your thyroid's not. You're not gonna have a great metabolism and you're also not gonna be able to do the second thing that's key important in your in your [00:03:00] metabolism, and that is hold onto our build muscle.
I'm a big proponent of using a scale not to tell your overall weight, but to get on the scale to see what your weight is made up of. I find that for so many people, it's not that they're overweight, it's that they're under muscled and muscle is your metabolic Spanx. It holds everything in. And it supports a great metabolism because muscle requires more energy to be on your body and muscle also, after a workout requires more energy to get repaired, to do something called muscle protein synthesis.
So we have two ways to look at metabolism. What's your basal metabolic rate? What's your metabolic rate at. And then what can we do throughout the day to kick it up? And one of the things we can do throughout the day is to move more. Now there's exercise, but there's also something called non-exercise activity, thermogenesis, i e fidgeting.
And what they've found is that [00:04:00] people who are leaner tend to be, tend to just move more. They fidget, they move around. And so this is where if you're not a fidgeter, if your neep's low, This is where something like an Apple watch or a garmin or something that just kinda alerts you and says, move, stand up, move around, get moving can be super helpful.
I try to make sure that if I'm at an event, which is where you're, you know, where we have to sit and listen to something that I'm like in the back, moving around, fidgeting etc. I'm not just sitting on my tush. Right? So that's one thing. Now, of course, exercise that really, that requires recovery. So walking is great.
We should all move more, but that doesn't really require recovery. Like your body doesn't go, holy smokes, she just walked down the block. I'm gonna have to do a lot of work here to repair that, but if you go to a gym and you work out hard and you lift heavy weights, your body's got some recovery to do. It's gotta repair.
Replace the oxygen debt, it's gotta do muscle protein synthesis, and this is costly. It's metabolically costly, and we want that. [00:05:00] Then the final thing digestion requires energy, and specifically protein requires more energy to digest than fatter carbohydrates, 20 to 30% more. So again, I always like people to build their diet protein first, and then the non-starchy vegetables come in and the healthy fats, and then we see what else you might need.
But protein comes first. And then one other thing, I've gotta. Is making sure that you've got good water intake so that you, you know, you can raise stress hormones if you don't have enough fluid and drinking more water can boost your metabolism. So those are some simple things that you can do. And again, bigger question is if you believe your metabolisms slow, what's the evidence?
Is that like, You've done a BOD Pod or is it because you feel like you just can't lose weight? And then let's really address the situation at hand. Those things I just told you though are great starting points, so let me know how it goes.[00:06:00]
This is JJ with Ask the Health Expert. I answer your questions weekly. Plus I interview the top experts in health and wellness, so make sure you never miss a show by going to Yep, it's that easy. I'll see you next time.


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