Boost Your Metabolic Rate

Three tips for staying lean while bulking up.

Your metabolic rate -- the speed at which you burn calories -- has a major effect on whether you make great gains or just pretty good gains without adding much bodyfat. If your metabolism tends to be on the slow side, you'’ll likely struggle to build mass without putting on bodyfat. On the other hand, those with superfast metabolic rates can find adding muscle mass extremely difficult. These three nutrition tips can put a mild boost in your calorie-burning engine. If you'’re trying to bulk up yet remain lean, these recommendations are a sure bet for a more muscular physique.


You can throw a curve ball into your nutritional approach by reducing your total daily carb intake for three days. Cut back to 100-150 grams (g) of carbs per day, emphasizing low-glycemic carbs such as oats, rye cereal, rye bread, red potatoes, yams and yogurt. Trimming your carb intake facilitates a small metabolic shift, coaxing your body to rely on bodyfat as fuel.

Lower glycemic carbs also contribute to a smaller insulin surge than other carbs might generate. Although insulin is anabolic, it can increase the storage of fat. Three days of consuming fewer carbs can help prevent fat storage without forcing the body into nutrient deprivation. On the fourth day, carb up! Eat 200-250 g more carbs than you regularly ate before the three-day cutback -- in other words, if you consumed 300 g daily, take in 500-550 g on the fourth day.

The high-carb day following three days of lower carbs helps fill the muscles and liver with glycogen (stored carbs). Bodybuilders have learned that this leads to greater growth. Such glycogen loading can also support growth factor (IGF) and thyroid hormones that contribute to a leaner physique. Also, rotating from a mild reduction in carbs to a single-day boost in intake can improve your body’s ability to manufacture glycogen so that you have fewer carbs available to store as bodyfat. Examine your physique after trying this form of carb rotation; use it periodically if it works for you.


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