Are you looking to learn more about the pro metabolic diet? If so, you’ve come to the right place. This beginner’s guide covers everything you need to know about this diet, from what it is, to what to eat, plus delicious recipes to get you started.
Pro Metabolic Weight Loss
Ok, so at this point, you may be wondering, do we really need another diet? I hear ya! It does sometimes feel like we hear about a new diet on a daily basis.
But sometimes, in order to find the thing that works for you, you have to be willing to try new diets and weight loss strategies.
And while most diets work, they don’t work for everyone. Most people find weight loss success when they find something they can stick to long-term.
So, I always want to share new strategies for losing weight, so hopefully, you can find what works for you.
And after doing my research on this diet, I was pleasantly surprised by how nutritionally sound it is.
It’s fairly new, so there hasn’t been much research yet. But by just looking at the principles of this diet, I would say they are pretty solid.
Pro metabolic eating is really just based on consuming more whole and nutritionally dense foods while avoiding certain foods that can wreak havoc on your metabolism.
So, if you are ready to learn more about the pro metabolic diet and how to get started, keep reading…
What Is The Pro Metabolic Diet?
The pro-metabolic diet is based on three principles: eating whole and nutrient-dense foods, eating at specific intervals, and eating a balance of all 3 macronutrients, all to support a healthy metabolism.
But before we get into the specifics of this diet, it’s important to briefly discuss metabolism and its role in our health and wellness.
Metabolism refers to the chemical reactions that occur within our cells to sustain life. It encompasses two main processes: anabolism and catabolism.
Anabolism involves the building up of molecules, such as proteins and carbohydrates. In contrast, catabolism consists of the breakdown of molecules to release energy.
In simpler terms, our metabolism is the complex process by which our bodies convert food into energy.
So why do some of us have a faster metabolism while others suffer from a slower one? Because certain factors can influence the speed of your metabolism.
- Age – As we age, our metabolism naturally slows down. This can be attributed to decreased muscle mass and reduced hormonal activity.
- Gender – There are inherent differences in metabolic rates between males and females. Men tend to have a higher metabolic rate due to a higher percentage of muscle mass. However, hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause can also influence metabolism in females.
- Genetics – Our genetics can impact our metabolism to some extent. Some of us have a naturally faster or slower metabolic rate based on our genetic predisposition.
- Body composition – Muscle weighs more than fat, so the amount of muscle mass you have compared to fat will affect the speed of your metabolism.
- Physical activity level – Regular exercise not only helps burn calories during the activity but also burns calories long after the exercise is completed.
So, now that you have an understanding of what metabolism is let’s get into the principles of a metabolic diet.
What, When, And How Much – Principles Of The Pro Metabolic Diet
In a nutshell, this diet requires you to eat more whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, seeds, grains, and lean protein sources. Foods that nourish and optimize your metabolism for long-term health benefits.
But it’s not just about the food; it’s also about balance and timing. This diet has 3 main principles: balance of macros, timing of meals, and consuming mainly whole foods. Below, we dive into these 3 principles.
1. Balance of Macronutrients
This way of eating emphasizes the importance of balance in macronutrients, namely carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Unlike other diets that require you to reduce or eliminate an entire macronutrient, like carbs, for example, this diet requires a balance of all three. All three of the macronutrients are important.
Protein, fat, and carbohydrates are all essential to our overall health and metabolism.
Carbohydrates are the body’s primary source of energy. However, the pro metabolic diet focuses on consuming complex carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Proteins are essential for building and repairing tissues and for our overall health.
Fats are also equally important. They provide energy, support hormone production, and aid in nutrient absorption.
2. Timing of Meals and Snacks
Eating metabolically also emphasizes the timing of meals and snacks. You are encouraged to eat every 2-3 hours, so basically 3 meals per day plus 2 snacks.
This is done to help you maintain stable blood sugar levels and avoid spikes and crashes that can lead to energy slumps and unhealthy food choices.
Also, please note that skipping breakfast is a no-no when following this plan. The purpose of eating breakfast is to kick-start your metabolism and provide sustained energy.
3. Focus on Whole, Unprocessed Foods
Again, pro-metabolic eating places a strong emphasis on whole, unprocessed foods. These foods are rich in essential nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants. They are generally lower in added sugars, sodium, and unhealthy fats.
Pro Metabolic Diet Food List
1. High-Quality Sources of Protein
Including high-quality protein sources in your diet ensures you receive all the essential amino acids your body needs to function optimally.
Protein also burns more calories when compared to the other two macronutrients, carbs, and fats, as it has a higher thermic effect. For more information on foods with a high thermic effect, check out this post.
Quality protein sources to include:
- Lean meats: lean cuts of poultry, such as chicken and turkey, and lean cuts of beef and pork
- Fish and seafood: Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and trout are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Other seafood options include shrimp, scallops, and shellfish.
- Plant-based proteins: For those following a vegetarian or vegan diet, incorporate sources like legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas), tofu, tempeh, and seitan.
- Eggs: eggs are an excellent source of protein. Include them in your diet in various ways, such as scrambled, boiled, or in omelets.
2. Complex Carbohydrates
Complex carbohydrates provide sustained energy and are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. These types of carbs break down more slowly in the body, preventing rapid spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels.
Here are some examples of complex carbohydrates:
- Whole grains: Choose whole grain options like oats, quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat bread, and whole wheat pasta.
- Fruits and vegetables: Fruits and veggies are a must when following this diet plan. Incorporate a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables into your meals. Examples include berries, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower.
- Legumes: Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are excellent sources of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and plant-based protein.
- Starchy vegetables: Enjoy nutrient-dense starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and carrots as part of a balanced diet.
3. Healthy Fats
Healthy fats play a crucial role in this diet by providing energy, aiding in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, and supporting overall well-being.
Good sources of healthy fats include:
- Avocados: These creamy fruits are rich in monounsaturated fats, which can help promote heart health.
- Nuts and seeds: Enjoy a variety of nuts like almonds, walnuts, and cashews, as well as seeds like chia, flax, and sunflower seeds. They provide a satisfying crunch and deliver essential nutrients.
- Olive oil: Use extra-virgin olive oil as your primary cooking oil or drizzle it over salads for its heart-healthy benefits.
- Fatty fish: As mentioned earlier, fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and trout are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which support brain health and reduce inflammation.
What Foods Should You Avoid On A Pro Metabolic Diet?
Now that you know what to include when following this lifestyle, let’s discuss what you should avoid.
Refined Sugars and Sweeteners
Refined sugars, such as those found in sugary beverages, candies, pastries, and processed snacks, can wreak havoc on your metabolism and spike your blood sugar levels.
These empty-calorie sources offer little to no nutritional value while contributing to weight gain, inflammation, and increased risk of chronic diseases. Opt for natural sweeteners like fruits or small amounts of honey or maple syrup when needed.
Processed and Fast Foods
Highly processed and fast foods typically contain unhealthy fats, refined carbohydrates, sodium, additives, and preservatives.
These foods offer little nutritional value and can disrupt your metabolic balance.
Instead, choose whole, unprocessed alternatives like fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to provide your body with essential nutrients and support healthy metabolism.
Trans fats and unhealthy oils
Trans fats, commonly found in hydrogenated oils, are often used in fried foods, packaged snacks, and margarines. These fats raise bad cholesterol levels, lower good cholesterol levels, and contribute to inflammation and heart disease risk.
Additionally, certain unhealthy oils high in omega-6 fatty acids (e.g., soybean, corn, sunflower, and safflower) can be pro-inflammatory when consumed excessively.
Opt for healthier options like olive, avocado, coconut, or grapeseed oil for cooking and dressing when on a pro metabolic eating plan.
Highly-Processed Grains and Refined Carbohydrates
Highly processed grains, such as white bread, white rice, and refined pasta, lack the essential nutrients and fiber in whole grains.
These foods can lead to rapid blood sugar spikes, insulin resistance, and weight gain. Instead, choose whole grain options like quinoa, brown rice, whole wheat bread, and whole wheat pasta, which provide sustained energy and valuable nutrients.
Alcoholic beverages can be high in calories and offer little nutritional value.
It’s recommended to enjoy alcohol in moderation or consider non-alcoholic alternatives.
Meal Planning Tips For Pro Metabolic Eating
So, how do you go about planning your meals for the day? Below, I list 6 things to consider when planning your meals.
1. Include high-quality protein sources
As previously discussed, include high-quality protein sources like chicken, turkey, fish, tofu, or legumes for each meal. Aim to have a source of protein in each meal to help keep you satisfied and support your metabolic function.
2. Include complex carbs when following the pro metabolic diet
For each meal, include complex carbs like quinoa, brown rice, or whole wheat bread. Don’t forget the veggies; include an array of colorful fruits and vegetables in your meals.
3. Add in healthy fats
Don’t forget the healthy fats. Healthy fats are crucial when eating to support your metabolism because they support satiety, hormone balance, and overall well-being.
Incorporate sources like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil into your meals. These fats add flavor and contribute to feelings of fullness.
4. Portion control
Be mindful of your portions. Portion control is super important, especially if you are trying to lose weight with the pro-metabolic diet. Using smaller plates can help with maintaining the correct portion sizes.
Overeating is the reason for some people experiencing pro metabolic diet weight gain.
If you eat too much, regardless of the diet you follow, it can lead to weight gain. Remember, for weight loss to occur, you need to burn more calories than you consume, regardless of what you are eating. So, in other words, you still need to maintain a calorie deficit to lose weight.
The goal of this diet is to eat the right foods to improve metabolic function. This can make weight loss easier. But it does not mean you can overeat and still expect to lose weight.
For more information on calculating your daily calorie needs for weight loss, check out this post.
5. Include snacks on your pro metabolic diet
Make sure to include snacks. Again pro metabolic eating encourages eating every 2 -3 hours and consuming 5-6 meals per day. This consists of 3 meals and 2-3 snacks per day.
Choose nutrient-dense snacks. Opt for snacks that combine protein, fiber, and healthy fats, such as Greek yogurt with berries, sliced vegetables with hummus, or a handful of nuts.
Plan and prepare snacks in advance, and again, be mindful of portion sizes for your snacks. A small handful of nuts or a single serving of Greek yogurt is typically sufficient for a satisfying snack.
6. Don’t forget to balance your macronutrients
Consider the balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats on your plate. Aim for a well-rounded meal that includes adequate portions of each macronutrient. This balance will support your metabolism and energize you throughout the day.
So, now that you know what to eat and the principles to follow for a metabolic diet, you should be able to get started on your own journey to eating for your metabolism.
I will also share some recipes in a bit. But before that, I wanted to include some other ways to increase your metabolism so you have the best results when following this new lifestyle.
Lifestyle Factors To Support Your Metabolism
In addition to eating the right foods, certain lifestyle factors are vital in supporting a healthy metabolism.
Regular exercise, adequate sleep, and effective stress management are essential components that can optimize your body’s metabolic function. Let’s discuss some lifestyle factors that further support a healthy metabolism.
1. Regular Exercise
Regular exercise can help boost metabolic rate and improve insulin sensitivity.
Boosting metabolic rate: Regular physical activity, such as cardio exercises, strength training, or high-intensity interval training (HIIT), can increase your metabolic rate.
This not only helps burn calories during the workout but also elevates your metabolism for hours afterward, promoting weight management and optimal metabolic function.
For more information on HIIT and how to get started, check out this post.
Enhancing insulin sensitivity: Exercise improves insulin sensitivity, allowing your body to use glucose more effectively for energy.
This can help regulate blood sugar levels, support balanced hormone production, and prevent insulin resistance, a common factor in metabolic disorders.
2. Adequate Sleep
Sleep is essential for a healthy metabolism. It aids in proper recovery, supports immune function, and allows your body to repair and regenerate cells.
Sufficient sleep regulates hunger and satiety hormones like ghrelin and leptin. Inadequate sleep can disrupt the balance of these hormones, leading to increased appetite and cravings for unhealthy foods.
Another hormone affected by lack of sleep is cortisol. Lack of sleep can elevate cortisol levels, a stress hormone that disrupts metabolism and promotes fat storage.
Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night to support optimal metabolic function.
3. Stress Management
Not getting enough sleep is not the only thing that can cause hormonal imbalances and lead to fat storage; stress can also cause this.
Chronic stress leads to elevated cortisol levels, which can impact metabolic function and contribute to weight gain.
Incorporate stress management techniques like meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or mindfulness practices to help reduce stress and promote balance within your body.
Pro Metabolic Recipes
Below, I list some pro metabolic meal ideas to start your journey. Embracing this lifestyle doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor and enjoyment. These recipes demonstrate that you can nourish your body while indulging in tasty meals.
From a power-packed breakfast bowl to a grilled lemon herb salmon and a veggie-packed quinoa stir-fry, these recipes offer a variety of flavors and ingredients that support your metabolism and overall well-being.
But without further ado, let’s get to this sample metabolic diet meal plan.
1. Power-Packed Breakfast Bowl
So, what is the best pro metabolic breakfast? A power-packed breakfast bowl is a great start! Start your day with a nutrient-dense breakfast bowl that will energize you throughout the morning.
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa or steel-cut oats
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- Assorted fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
- 1 tablespoon almond butter or peanut butter
- Sprinkle of cinnamon
- In a bowl, combine the cooked quinoa or oats with chia seeds.
- Top with Greek yogurt and a generous portion of fresh berries.
- Drizzle almond butter or peanut butter over the bowl.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon for added flavor.
- Mix everything together and enjoy
2. Grilled Lemon Herb Salmon
Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein. This simple and flavorful recipe will satisfy your taste buds and support your pro-metabolic goals.
- 2 salmon filets
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil for grilling
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
- In a small bowl, combine lemon juice, dill, parsley, salt, and pepper.
- Brush the salmon filets with olive oil, then generously coat them with the lemon herb mixture.
- Place the salmon filets on the grill and cook for approximately 4-5 minutes per side or until cooked through.
- Serve with a side of steamed vegetables or a mixed green salad for a complete, pro-metabolic meal.
3. Veggie-Packed Quinoa Stir-Fry
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Assorted vegetables (bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, snap peas)
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- Optional: lean protein such as tofu or shrimp
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet or wok over medium heat.
- Add the onion and garlic, and sauté until fragrant and slightly softened.
- Add the vegetables and cook until they reach your desired level of tenderness.
- If using lean protein, add it to the skillet and cook until cooked through.
- Stir in the cooked quinoa, soy sauce or coconut aminos, and sesame oil. Mix well to combine the flavors.
- Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes until everything is heated through.
- Serve hot
Get the recipe here.
Final Thoughts On The Pro Metabolic Diet
I definitely think the pro metabolic diet is worth a try. Again, the principles are solid. This diet encourages balanced meals and does not cut out any macronutrients, allowing you to benefit from all 3.
Consuming more whole foods and less processed foods should be the goal regardless of the diet you choose.
Just remember to lose weight on this diet, or any diet for that matter; you need to maintain a calorie deficit.
So, be mindful of your portions.
Have you tried this diet, and if not, will you try it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
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