Jeff Nippard provides insight on the research behind metabolic rate
When it comes to your metabolism, this plays a large role in your fitness goals. A faster metabolism helps people lose weight more rapidly, while a slower one helps keep the pounds on. Well known strength coach and internet personality, Jeff Nippard, uploaded a video to YouTube on June 11, 2023 that dives into the science behind human metabolism. He explains what actually works and what doesn’t when it comes to boosting your metabolism.
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If you have made an attempt to lose weight or drop body fat in the past but not had the results you desired, then perhaps utilizing one or more of these strategies just might be what you need to start getting that progress and shedding that unwanted body weight.
What is Your Metabolism?
Before we dive in on Jeff Nippard helping you boost your metabolism, it should probably be defined. The term “metabolism” refers to all of your body’s active regulatory processes. These processes can include things such as chemical reactions like digesting food, utilizing oxygen, or burning calories.
In the fitness industry, a person’s metabolism refers to their basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is how many calories they burn just by being alive combined with how many they burn through exercise.
Everyone’s metabolism will differ from someone else’s, sometimes more severely than others. For example, if you weigh 180 pounds and consume 2,000 calories a day, the reactions you have may be completely opposite of what someone of the same weight would experience if they ate the same amount. The reason for the difference is chalked up to a few things, such as genetics, sex, diet, or exercise.
How to Boost Your Metabolism
Throughout his video, Nippard shows the studies and then breaks down the available research into three different categories:
- What (probably) works
- What might work
- Which practices aren’t well-supported
Now, let’s explore the options that he believes have actual evidence-based support when it comes to boosting metabolism.
Gain Muscle Mass
Just one pound of lean skeletal muscle burns roughly three times more calories per day, and that is by simply existing, than a pound of fat does. With that knowledge on the table, Nippard states that one of the most reliable ways to increase your daily metabolism is to build some muscle mass.
Nippard throws out some math suggesting that adding 30 pounds of muscle mass would increase your metabolic rate by almost 200 calories per day. 30 extra pounds is a staggering amount for some folks, particularly women, and especially because it is muscle. But, keep in mind that muscle mass does a lot more than just burn a few extra calories.
How It Can Be Done
An increase in muscle mass will improve your body composition, improve your strength, and even help to stabilize your joints.
So how can you put on that extra muscle mass?
- Start a resistance training program
- Employ progressive overload to continue challenging your body and promote muscle growth
- Eating a caloric surplus will speed up the muscle gaining process (but can also increase fat)
If you’re new to hitting the weights you more than likely do not need to consume massive amounts of food to add muscle. As long as you stick to a solid diet and workout routine, hitting the weights a few times per week, you are able to get the “newbie gains” and put on muscle pretty quickly. Proper supplementation can also greatly help.
When you restrict your food intake for an extended period of time, your metabolism actually tends to slow down a bit. Less food coming in means the body has less “work” to do in terms of breaking food down and utilizing it for your energy. This process is commonly referred to as “metabolic adaptation”.
Nippard argues that by dieting down slowly you can actually combat the effects of slower metabolism. Eating more food than you otherwise might and aiming for a moderate rate of weight loss rather than a quick and drastic drop should help you keep your metabolism up and running as usual.
How It Can Be Done
Nippard encourages that when you are trying to lose weight, you should lose no more than 1% of your total bodyweight per week.
Here’s how to precisely measure your weight loss:
- Use a calorie calculator to see how many calories you burn daily
- Subtract a specific amount from that number to create a caloric deficit (this depends on how much weight you can lose in a week)
From here, you’ll need to do some quick math.
- For a person that weighs 150 pounds, one percent of body weight is a one-and-a-half-pound weekly ceiling
- One pound of fat is said to be 3,500 calories, so a pound and a half pounds of fat is made up of 5,250 calories
- To lose one percent of your body weight over a week, divide that number by seven and get a 750-calorie daily deficit as your metabolic “ceiling”
While it may not literally elevate your BMR, taking a slower and careful approach to your energy balance can help you to avoid the negative effects of metabolic adaptation (starvation mode).
Losing weight too quickly can yield many negative effects such as:
- Muscle loss
- Chronic fatigue
- Hormonal dysfunction
Your metabolism is made up of internal factors that are out of your control, combined with your overall activity level. That activity is then divided into two different categories: dedicated exercise and something else known as non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT).
NEAT can be thought of as the energy that your metabolism burns to physically keep your body up and running. Something as simple as playing video games will burn these calories.
How It Can Be Done
You may not have the bandwidth to spend more time in the gym in an attempt to boost your metabolism, training for hours upon hours like the Golden Era bodybuilders, or honestly you just do not want to do that. However, Nippard suggests you can boost your metabolism by enhancing your NEAT.
Enhancing your NEAT can be done through small, simple lifestyle adjustments to your daily habits. These adjustments can include:
- Parking as far away at the store
- Taking the stairs rather than the elevator
- Pacing around while on a phone call instead of sitting
- Opt for a standing desk if you can
- Hand wash dishes rather than use the dishwasher
You may think the only time you burn calories is when you exercise, but that is not the case. You can enhance your NEAT through just making small adjustments, and in turn boost your metabolism.
Other Metabolism Boosting Options
These options we have discussed are never truly guaranteed, and maybe you want to go above and beyond, which there are options for. Other metabolism boosting options include things such as:
- Drink more water
- Eat more spicy foods
- Utilize a weighted vest more
These practices may result in small or inconsistent increases in metabolic rate, however Jeff Nippard doesn’t regard them as substantial enough to hang your hat on. On the contrary, these popular “metabolism-boosters” do not have the support of the scientific community (according to Nippard):
- Green tea
- Cold plunges
- Eating more frequently
These options have long been regarded as great ways to get boost your metabolism, but do not have scientific support. So, there is no harm in trying them but do not expect the best results.
Metabolism Boosting Wrap Up
Jeff Nippard utilizes science to explain what works and what doesn’t regarding popular trends in the fitness industry. When it comes to boosting your metabolism, there are plenty of options that are thought to work, but may not be as effective as you think, and Jeff Nippard provides plenty of options that have scientific support.
Do you agree with Nippard’s methods?
Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. (2023, May 6). Metabolism. Encyclopædia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/science/metabolism
professional, C. C. medical. (n.d.). Metabolism: What it is, how it works and disorders. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/body/21893-metabolism