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Step By Step Guide For Skyrocketing Your Metabolism

By Christopher Walker

At this point, you have seen the in-depth articles for how a metabolically stimulating diet should look, and seen how eating for metabolism is really about eating in a way to switch your body into the abundant, healthy metabolism and away from the stressed, famine state.

I want to recap everything that we have learned to help it sink in, and give you a definitive, actionable plan to start telling your body that times are good.

Table Of Contents: 

The sooner you get started on this stuff, the better. When you feel your body churning out heat, it feels pretty incredible, almost euphoric.

It is a level of health that so many people are missing out on.

The Power Of Sugar:

sugar is good for you

Carbs are essential for proper metabolism, since they are required for the energy production pathway that creates the most energy and the most CO2: the oxidative metabolism.

And while all carbs are metabolic, fructose is the type that maximally stimulates this energy production pathway and creates more CO2, because it does not depend on insulin to be absorbed like glucose does.

Because of this, we want our diet to be primarily carb based, with a very large portion of that coming from sugar that contains fructose - fruits, honey, syrups, agave, coconut sugar, and cane sugar.

Starches are of course okay as well, but since fructose lowers the insulin response from increased cellular absorption, try to include some fructose with each meal.

We also want to make sure we get enough choline to allow the liver to properly export any fat it creates from fructose into beneficial cholesterol. This can come from eggs, beef/veal liver, or a supplement.

In Depth: The Power Of Sugar For The Metabolism

PUFA Detoxification:

pufa detox

Polyunsaturated fats, or PUFAs, have many double bonds, which easily peroxidize into free radicals when exposed to heat, light, or oxygen, and are only meant to be in organisms that have lower core temperatures.

Because we have a high body heat and lots of oxygen moving through us, eating PUFAs will have negative effects, like decreased thyroid production, increased mitochondrial damage, higher inflammation, higher cortisol, higher estrogen, higher prolactin, and many other negative effects.

On top of this, PUFA often messes with the metabolism of sugar, making it look like the culprit of certain negative health effects.

In order to help your body stay metabolically healthy, avoid all sources of PUFAs, like vegetable oils, soybean oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, peanut oil and fish oils.

Saturated fat, on the other hand, is protective because it contains no double bonds.

In addition, the short- and medium- chain fatty acids found in coconut oil and butter have many pro-metabolic effects, stimulating the oxidative phosphorylation pathway.

Monounsaturated fats, or MUFAs, should be limited, and never used for cooking.

Since PUFA can be stored in your fat cells, your body will slowly burn through them over the next few years after switching to a low PUFA diet. If you know that you are probably dealing with stored PUFAs, going slightly higher in total fat can help limit the negative effects, while still allowing the detox to take place. Vitamin E can also help mitigate the damage.

If you think that you are relatively free of stored PUFAs, you can go much lower in fat to allow your body to fully shift into the oxidative metabolism of glucose.

Learn More: How To Detox PUFAs

Rebalancing Amino Acids:

rebalancing amino acids

Muscles in both humans and other animals contain a higher proportion of the anti-metabolic amino acids, tryptophan, cysteine and methionine.

During a famine, your body creates glucose by breaking down muscle tissue, essentially “eating” your muscles and flooding your body with these amino acids.

This causes more tryptophan to get converted to serotonin, which in reality is a stress hormone associated with hibernation and decreased energy expenditure.

In times of abundance, however, we would get our protein from whole animals, of which 50% comes from gelatin/collagen.

Gelatin contains the pro-metabolic amino acids glycine, proline, and alanine, which balance out the anti-metabolic amino acids when eaten together.

By eating only muscle meats from animals, we are mimicking the internal environment of a famine.

To fix this, we want to add more of the pro-metabolic amino acids from gelatin, collagen, organ meats, and bone broth, and especially when consuming the muscle meats from any animal.

Read More: The Benefits Of Sugar

Mineral Reconcentration:

mineral replenishment

Because minerals are lost quickly during the stress/famine state, your body releases a hormone called aldosterone to retain the most important mineral, sodium, and also calcium.

However, it does this at the expense of potassium and magnesium, which ends up reducing the ion concentration within cells.

This reduces the strength of the ion gradient and allows more sodium and calcium to enter the cell, which damages the mitochondria and slows energy production.

In order to fix this, we want to eat more of these 4 minerals, especially sodium, which will help our bodies’ hold onto the other minerals better by reducing aldosterone.

In addition, we want to limit fluid intake in order to not dilute and excrete the minerals. Too much water will immediately activate the aldosterone response in the body, which has tons of negative long-term effects.

Aiming to pee around 4-6 times per day and drinking based on your thirst should be a good measure that you are consuming the right amount of fluid.

Micronutrient Replenishment

micronutrient replenishment

Several micronutrients are critical to energy production and a deficiency in any of them can impair your metabolism.

Specifically, we want to ensure adequate levels of the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K, K2), the B vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, copper, and choline.

Eating beef or calf liver 1-2x per week will go a very long way in improving the micronutrient status of your body while providing different forms of vitamins that we would not get from supplements, and possibly nutrients we have not even discovered yet.

Of course, eating other foods high in these vitamins is important as well, and generally, supplementation can help for specific deficiencies.

Your Calorie Targets And Macro Split:

calorie targets

Your macro split is essentially the amount of carbs, protein, and fat that you will aim to eat each day.

Since glucose and fructose are so important for stimulating the oxidative metabolism pathways, I recommend going pretty high in carbs, specifically sugar.

Protein should always be around 0.8 grams per pound of lean body mass.

This means that fat will end up being much lower.

How low you decide to go in fat and how high you go in carbs will take some experimentation, but in general, I find that lower in fat is better.

As a starting point, I recommend that between 10-20% of your calories come from fat, but if you are really aggressive, you can try going below 10%.

Of course, if you know that you are dealing with stored PUFA, and if going too low in fat makes you feel worse, it is much better to stick around 20-30% for fat in order to protect against the PUFAs coming out of your fat stores.

Now the obvious question: How many total Calories should you eat?

As a very broad, very general guideline, I recommend eating around 15x your bodyweight in Calories.

This is a starting point.

As you see your temperature climb and feel your metabolism improve, you will be able to eat even more Calories without seeing any weight gain (although you may or may not want to).

At the same time, I have also seen improvements in my metabolism while losing fat in a calorie deficit.

However, here is the point that I think is crucial: you should be eating to your hunger.

If your body is hungry, it is telling you it needs more food, so eat.

When I saw improvements in my metabolism with a Calorie deficit, I was eating around 2000 calories daily, without feeling hungry. If I happened to feel hungrier on a certain day, I would eat more.

Your body knows best, so listen to it.

Read More: 5 Supplements To Reduce Cortisol

Introducing Intermittent Sugar Fasting:

intermittent sugar fasting

When eating for metabolism, I recommend eating pretty regularly throughout the day.

However, for years I was a huge fan of intermittent fasting, and I loved the structure of the day.

I am just not a big breakfast person. It makes me feel heavy and bogged down.

So I created a system that has been working absolute wonders for my metabolism and productivity.

It’s called “Intermittent Sugar Fasting”.

This is basically where I will eat only fruits and sugar during the day and then have 1-2 bigger meals at night that contain protein from meat and gelatin, and possibly some starch.

By only eating fruit and sugar during the day, I can feel my body churning out heat while my brain gets hyper-focused on whatever I am doing.

On top of that, there is some evidence that our digestive system was designed to handle fruits separately from meat and starch. Whether or not this is empirically true, it certainly feels true from my experience and that of my clients.

It is an amazing alternative to regular daily intermittent fasting and you still get the convenience of not being overly focused on food and preparing meals all day - just snacking on fruits and sugar.

I even notice better focus than I did with regular intermittent fasting, as my brain is supplied with glucose to help it function all day.

Example Of My Day

example day

Now that we have covered everything and recapped it so that it really sticks with you and sinks into your brain, let’s look over what a typical day might look like.

First thing upon waking, I take my temperature using a digital, underarm thermometer, and my heart rate using my phone. Later I will describe exactly how to take your temperature and heart rate, and how you should track them over time.

After my morning Fire Rituals, I will eat a bowl of salted mixed fruit with a glass of orange juice or Naked juice (I love Blue Machine personally). I also add choline powder to my juice, to make sure that my liver is creating cholesterol from any fat that it might create.

Then I will head to the office and drink 2 cups of my Metabolism Coffee during the mid-morning, containing sugar and salt (I like coconut sugar best). See the bonus guide for more details on this.

Around lunch, I will snack on 2 pieces of fruit. These always change based on what I have, but the typical fruits that I buy are oranges, mangoes, peaches, apples, grapefruit, grapes, bananas, nectarines, and pineapple.

I will also usually have a carrot salad, which is just shredded carrots with apple cider vinegar, a little salt and optional coconut oil. The carrots have many medicinal and digestive benefits, and the acetic acid from vinegar and the salt help to activate the oxidative pathways.

That will be my lunch, and if I get hungry during the afternoon, I might eat a gummies or jello to snack on. While these are typically seen as “junk food”, they are actually just sugar and gelatin, both of which are highly metabolic. They do not have many nutrients in them, so they are only supplementary to the diet and used as a “quick fix”.

If you are trying to stay away from artificial coloring and flavors, there is a natural way to make jello yourself, using powdered gelatin and fruit. See the Bonuses for more.

When I get home, I will either eat a few more pieces of fruit (if I do not work out), or I will drink a pre-workout protein shake consisting of whey protein, sugar, creatine, and salt. This gets my body hot immediately and has enough fructose to prevent my liver from running out of glycogen during my workouts and activating a full blown stress response.

Then for dinner, I will make a big dish that includes a big chunk of animal protein, which is usually steak or chicken, but sometimes eggs and/or liver as well.

This will be paired with some fruit, like grilled pineapple, and/or a starch like white rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pasta, or bread.

I will also usually drink some OJ, Naked juice, or all-natural cola (made with real sugar of course).

To balance the amino acids, I will add collagen powder to any meats that I am eating (it makes them taste incredible), and I will usually end the meal by sipping on a cup or two of hot, spiced bone broth to further shift the amino acid balance and help my body unwind for the night.

If I am hungry later on, I might have some sort of higher carb snack, like frozen yogurt, ice cream, Jell-O, or even just more fruit - whatever I am feeling, really.

Likewise if I did not get all of my protein in the main big dinner, I might include more protein, either from more bone broth, eggs, or a Greek yogurt snack.

In general, I do not track my calories. I eat based on my hunger and try to listen to my body’s cues, since thousands of years of evolution knows better than I do. Any cravings that I have, I satisfy (within the guidelines of this program), since the body has many built-in mechanisms to make you want to eat the foods and nutrients you need.

However, if I am chasing some specific fitness goal, like fat loss, I will track my calories and try to keep a slight deficit. By eating in this style, your metabolism tends to stay pretty high, even while dieting (the fructose especially helps preserve metabolic rate and muscle mass while dieting100,120).

The important point here though is to make sure that your body temperature is recovered before you start dieting. It may work if you try to lose fat while you restore your metabolism, but it will probably just keep you feeling like crap and operating off of the stress metabolism.

Having said that, by shifting your body into the state of abundance, fat loss tends to happen slowly anyway, even without a deficit.

My friend Christopher Walker calls this the “morphing effect”, and it is probably the healthiest way to lose weight. Of course, if you have a lot of fat to lose, you might be better off by specifically focusing on fat loss at some point as well.

Weekly Metabolic Meal Plan:

weekly metabolic meal plan

The following meal plan is a general guideline to help get you started and give you some ideas.

A few points on the plan that follows:

First, you will notice there are a couple of things that do not change between the days.

For example, every day has 2 Metabolism Coffees in the morning, a carrot salad for lunch, and bone broth after or with your big dinner meal.

This is because these are staples that I personally use in my diet, and try to eat them every day. Of course, if something comes up and I do not get around to eating it, that is fine as it is just a guideline. The point is to get into a routine with this stuff.

Each day has fruit and sugar all day with a big dinner at night, which are the main meals that rotate out with a variety of foods.

On workout days, I have included my pre-workout shake, which is very simply just whey protein and sugar with some added salt and creatine. I work out 3x per week, so I have included 3 days here.

As far as the amounts that you should eat, that will depend on your personal situation and hunger. Eat enough of the protein foods to hit your protein targets, then simply eat based off of your hunger.

As a reminder, this is just a guideline. I do not want you to follow this exact plan, I just want to give you an idea of how eating for higher metabolism looks, so that you can start thinking of similar ideas and creating your own diet based on what we discussed in this program.

And as always, track your progress and experiment! While the science points towards this style of diet being optimal, play around with adding or subtracting different foods and see how it affects things like your morning temperature, post-meal temperature, heart rate, strength in the gym, well-being, sleep, etc.

Maybe you will find certain foods work really well for you, while others do not. Having that autonomy and self-responsibility for your diet is paramount to not only your lasting success, but also your health (mindset has big effects in your body).

And with that, here is your sample Metabolic Diet Plan for one week:

Monday - Workout Day

7 AM - Mixed fruit bowl with salt, fruit juice w/ choline

9 AM - Metabolism Coffee #1

10 AM - Metabolism Coffee #2

12 PM - Carrot salad, peach, salted orange

4 PM - Pre-workout shake: Whey protein + Sugar + Creatine + Salt

7 PM - Cheeseburgers w/ gelatin, natural cola

8 PM - Bone broth

Tuesday: Rest Day

7 AM - Mixed fruit bowl with salt, fruit juice w/ choline

9 AM - Metabolism Coffee #1

10 AM - Metabolism Coffee #2

12 PM - Carrot salad, apple, banana

2 PM - Gummy snack

4 PM - Veal Liver, coated in flour, cooked in coconut oil, w/ grilled onions and pineapples

7 PM - Baked chicken breast w/ powdered collagen, white rice cooked in coconut oil, Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce & salt; Pineapple juice

8 PM - Bone broth

930 PM - Frozen yogurt

Wednesday: Workout Day

7 AM - 2 bananas, fruit juice w/ choline

9 AM - Metabolism Coffee #1

10 AM - Metabolism Coffee #2

12 PM - Carrot salad, peach, mango

4 PM - Pre-workout shake: Whey protein + Sugar + Creatine + Salt

7 PM - Egg sandwich on bagel w/ powdered collagen, cheese and PUFA Swapped Bacon; Orange juice

8 PM - Bone broth

930 PM - Ice Cream

Thursday: Rest Day

7 AM - Fruit Smoothie w/ choline

9 AM - Metabolism Coffee #1

10 AM - Metabolism Coffee #2

12 PM - Carrot salad, orange, pineapple

2 PM - Jello snack

4 PM - Cereal w/ skim milk

7 PM - Ribeye Steak w/ powdered collagen, grilled pineapples; Natural Cola

8 PM - Bone broth

Friday: Workout Day

7 AM - Mixed fruit bowl with salt, fruit juice w/ choline

9 AM - Metabolism Coffee #1

10 AM - Metabolism Coffee #2

12 PM - Carrot salad, kiwi, sweetened coconut water

4 PM - Pre-workout shake: Whey protein + Sugar + Creatine + Salt

7 PM - Beef liver pate w/ Tortilla chips; Pineapple juice

8 PM - Bone broth

930 PM - Drinks w/ friends

Saturday - Rest Day

9 AM - Fruit Smoothie w/ whey protein and Greek yogurt

10 AM - Metabolism Coffee #1

11 AM - Metabolism Coffee #2

2 PM - Carrot salad, peach, apple

4 PM - Toast w/ honey & salt; 2 soft-boiled eggs

7 PM - Steak burrito w/ white rice, cheese, sour cream, pico de gallo, pineapple chunks; Add collagen and salt

8 PM - Bone broth

930 PM - Drinks w/ friends

Sunday - Rest Day

10 AM - French Toast w/ Maple syrup and powdered sugar; Orange juice

11AM - Metabolism Coffee #1

12 AM - Metabolism Coffee #2

3 PM - Carrot salad, pineapple/mango snack pack

7 PM - Baked chicken breast w/ collagen, cheese & sweet potatoes w/ brown sugar and cinnamon; Natural Cola

8 PM - Bone broth

930 PM - Frozen yogurt

How To Track Your Progress:

how to track your progress

As you follow this program, you are going to want to track your metabolism to know for sure that it is increasing, so that you are following the right path.

The 3 main metrics that we will be using are underarm waking body temperature, waking heart rate, and body weight compared to Calorie intake.

These metrics are the most important ones you can have, even more than blood tests for TSH, T4 or T3.

The reason is that these measurements are end-point measurements, meaning that they are looking at the end result, not a step in the middle. What good are "healthy" thyroid levels if your metabolism is still low?

I have seen cases where people have low TSH, indicating higher thyroid function, yet still have a low temperature and heart rate, along with all the low metabolism symptoms. This can sometimes be true even for people taking supplementary T3.

The reason is that elevating T3 is only one step in the process. If that T3 can’t get into the cell or activate the “receptor” because of elevated free fatty acids (especially PUFA), then you will not get the results. Your body will still sense elevated T3, and yet your metabolism will still be low.

But by using these end-point measurements, you can get a clearer picture of what is actually working or not, which will help guide your personal diet and experimentation.

Not only are these metrics convenient and inexpensive, they are actually the best metrics to use.

It is a win-win.

Waking Body Temperature

waking body temp

Body temperature is one of the most important measurements for metabolism.

The key is to take your waking body temperature to make sure that physical activity or digesting food is not elevating it.

I recommend getting a standard digital thermometer in the $10-15 price range, to ensure that it is reliable and relatively accurate.

Each morning, stick the thermometer in your armpit and close your arm around it.

Let it sit for 2-3 minutes to warm up, then press the button to take the reading.

Once it is finished, take a reading in your other armpit in the same way (there’s no need to warm it up again though since it’s already warm).

Finally, repeat the process again, once more for each arm.

You will take the highest temperature you got and record that number.

Obviously, over time, you will want to see this number go up, with the goal of hitting 97.8-98.2 degrees F, or 36.5-36.8 degrees C, consistently.

Why do I recommend underarm as opposed to oral temperature?

Simply convenience.

Sticking a thermometer in your mouth every morning is messier and requires more cleaning than the underarm reading does, but it is perfectly fine to use as well.

If you choose to go this route, you will want to aim for a waking temperature of 98.4-98.6 degrees F, or 36.9-37.1 degrees C, since oral readings typically run about half a degree warmer than the underarm readings.

Waking Heart Rate

heart rate

Similar to body temperature, you will want to take your heart rate each morning.

By combining waking temperature and heart rate, you will be able to get a much clearer picture of what is going on.

Many people with low metabolism will have heart rates in the 40 - 50 bpm range, but we want to get it up into the 80s. This usually strongly correlates to feeling amazing, since the blood is able to supply more oxygen and glucose to the brain.

Ray Peat, PhD, even talks about people that he has seen who temporarily go hyperthyroid during their recovery and have heart rates up around 125 bpm. These people often say they had never felt better than during that temporary period of elevated heart rate.

Low heart rates have typically been viewed as “healthy” since many endurance runners have low heart rates, but really this is just a sign of metabolic impairment. Since long endurance exercise causes massive increases in the stress hormones, it makes total sense that they would have lower heart rates - not from a “stronger” heart, but from a weaker metabolism.

The easiest way to measure is to use an app like “Heart Rate” which uses your phone’s camera and flashlight to record the pulse in your finger.

It is quick and relatively accurate, so I take readings in the same way as body temperature (two per hand, recording the range of measurements).

Another option is to take it old school style, with fingers on your aortic artery on your neck, or ulnar artery in the wrist, counting for 15 seconds, then multiplying the result by 4.

However you decide to measure, stay consistent with it.

Body Weight Compared To Calorie Intake

The final method that we will use is a rougher, more long-term measurement.

Every morning, weigh yourself on an empty stomach and record the reading.

As you continue eating for metabolism, you will be able to compare the number of calories that you are eating each day to your weight.

Ideally, you will be adding calories without seeing much weight gain.

If you weigh the same but you are eating 600 more calories than you were when you started, you will know that your metabolism has increased.

Other Metrics To Measure

Finally, I also recommend keeping an eye on sleep quality, strength in the gym, body composition, libido (and morning wood for men), and well-being.

If these are all improving, you can be pretty sure that good things are happening to your metabolism.

Where Measuring Can Go Wrong

There are two things that I want you to be aware of in regards to what the measurement numbers might mean.

First, some people will wake up with an active stress response that can falsely elevate body temperature and heart rate.

How do you know if this is happening?

If you eat a high carb breakfast and then re-measure 20 minutes later, you should see that your body temperature went up.

If it does not go up or it drops, that means that it is likely that your morning temperature was elevated because of stress.

You do not have to measure this every morning, but it is a good idea to do it periodically to see what is happening with your body.

I recommend taking readings occasionally throughout the day when you are first starting out, in order to get an idea of the patterns your body temperature takes throughout the day, before and after meals, etc.

Secondly, your body weight may or may not fluctuate due to initial water weight gain from increased carbs, weight from muscle gain, or just good ole random fluctuations.

These are all fine, and should not be a concern. We really want to just look at your average weight and body fat change over time.

I recommend an app called “Happy Scale”, which uses a rolling average of your daily weight to give you a clearer picture of what is going on.

The Rest Is In Your Hands

the rest is up to you

With all of the information laid out in this article as well as our other articles on metabolism, you now have the power to not only increase your metabolism through simple shifts, but to understand why you are getting the results that you are getting, and troubleshoot any barriers that might come up.

By understanding the Metabolism Spectrum and how body temperature and heart rate are indicators of metabolism, you will be able to keep track of your progress and realize where you are on the spectrum.

Then, you will be able to start implementing the diet, doing Intermittent Sugar Fasting, and seeing how your body responds.

As you go on your metabolism journey, you will realize how simple tweaks can completely shut down your stress response and help your body recover back to the youthful, high metabolism state it was meant to exist in all the time.

But knowing all of this information is pointless if you do not take action.

That is precisely why I added the specific meal plan and action steps to get this done. I do not want this information to simply be something you log away and never use.

I want you to see your body temperature and heart rate increase, your metabolism shoot through the roof, and your health improve in ways you never even knew was possible.

These steps are easy and simple – it is just a matter of showing up and consistently following the steps.

Use this information and above all experiment to learn what will work best for you.

It is all in your hands now. Let’s get it done.

If you would like an in depth course on exactly how to eat to stimulate your metabolism, make sure to check out The Thermo Diet only inside of UMZUfit!

the thermo diet