Your quick-start guide
● What you eat
You get three meals and one snack daily, with a serving of super proteins, super fats and super carbs at each sitting. Foods that earn “super” status are nutrient-packed and minimally processed. During the day, go for small servings of starchy carbs, shifting the majority of your starch to evening. Freebies include herbs, spices, nonstarchy veggies, coffee and all varieties of tea. You’re encouraged to add lots of them. You’re also required to enjoy a cheat meal each week.
● Why the foods work magic
Research shows our bodies work a lot harder to break down unprocessed foods, burning about 70 extra calories just to digest a healthy sandwich versus a processed one. Switch to unprocessed super metabolism foods at most meals, and you can easily burn an extra 300 calories a day, notes Zinczenko.
Also key: Super protein is rich in an amino acid called leucine, which, per University of Illinois findings, helps stimulate thyroid function, boosting calorie burn. Meanwhile, the large amount of fiber supplied by super carbs is like Miracle-gro for special bacteria in our digestive tracts— a healthy type of bacteria that helps us break down food and is strongly linked to faster fat-burning, notes Zinczenko. And let’s not forget super fats. All healthy fats help shift our hormonal balance in favor of faster fat-burning— and studies show that monounsaturated fats in particular are “flammable” and help ignite metabolism when we’re active!
● Boost the burn even more
The way you combine healthy ingredients is a big factor, too. After a head-to-head comparison of different diets, Harvard experts declared a moderate-carb, Super Metabolism-style plan the winner. Why? Because its nutrients generated a nice metabolic boost (an extra 200 calories a day over a low-fat diet) without spiking stress hormones (a metabolism-dampening effect of low-carb diets).
Shifting carbs to evening enhances the effect even more, notes Zinczenko. The simple trick triggers hormonal changes that amp calorie-burning and—per a study in the journal Obesity— help us lose 28% more fat.
And did we mention the mandatory cheat meal? Thank Cornell University researchers, who found that splurging keeps our bodies out of “starvation mode” and increases metabolism by about 300 calories a day.
● Real-world wow!
Both Karen Lewis’s weight loss and energy were sluggish—until she agreed to test the Super Metabolism menus, below. Within days, the North Carolina mom, 33, was chasing her kids around with new vigor and had already shed 9.3 pounds. “On Weight Watchers, it took me months to lose this much. This really worked so well for me!” Colorado mom Joy Becerra, 59, agrees. “It was very easy, and the meals were very filling,” says Joy, who sped off a whopping 15.1 pounds and 16 inches in seven days. Unlike the many diets that had failed Joy in the past, this one delivered “huge success in such a short time!”