The super metabolism diet relies on five pillars, all in a handy acronym: Super proteins, super carbs, and super fats; Upping your energy expenditure; Power snacks; Essential calories, vitamins, and minerals; Relaxing and recharging. (Yep, it all spells out SUPER.)
In the diet, you'll be guided through what to eat and when. For instance, David Zinczenko, nutrition expert, creator of Eat This Not That! and Best Life, recommends eating three meals and one snack per day, along with drinking a lot of water. Rather than cutting out specific nutrients (like fat or carbs), they all fit into the eating plan — and the choices in these food groups are all designed specifically to rev your fat-burning engines.
Super proteins: Includes choices like eggs, salmon, lean beef, bison, and chicken breast. You'll eat 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. A 140-pound woman would eat about 100 grams of protein a day.
Super carbs: Includes choices like oatmeal, whole wheat, quinoa, bananas, apples, and barley.
Super fats: Includes choices like avocados, nut butters, and olive oil.
Super snacks: Includes choices like yogurt, carrots, and hummus.
Extras: Options like teas and spices to make foods interesting.
Of course, there are foods you should avoid, and they include the things you'd assume, like refined carbohydrates, high-fructose corn syrup, sodas, most saturated fats, alcohol, and breads and cereals.
Through this plan, you'll learn the secrets to boosting your metabolism. Zinczenko calls your metabolism your superpower and the things that slow it down (like stress or lack of sleep) the metabolic supervillains. The diet will teach you exactly what to eat and what to avoid in order to speed up your metabolic engines.
"It isn't so much that the foods alone will improve your metabolism, but a combination of the foods and the 'super-smart strategies' and elimination of lifestyle supervillains will definitely boost metabolism, coupled with maximizing your daily water intake and being more active," said Molly Morgan, RD, CDN, CSSD, owner of Creative Nutrition Solutions and founder of Fuel2Win.
Possible side effects
The diet offers a sound range of food groups. However, Morgan notes that even if you're on the plan, you still have to mind calories. "Just 100 extra calories per day, even from 'allowed' foods, can add up to 10 pounds' worth of calories a year, which could keep someone from meeting their weight goals," she pointed out.
More than what you eat
Getting lean isn't all in your diet, so there are lifestyle factors that you need to clean up. Too much stress, too little sleep, and chemicals can all make your metabolism sluggish, Zinczenko says. You also need to build activity into your life, both in everyday movements (like taking the stairs) and optional strength training and higher-intensity workouts, which you tack on in later stages of the diet.
These factors are key to reaching the weight you want — and staying healthy while getting there. "In my opinion, the whole-body approach is a must," Morgan said. "Living the healthiest life isn't just about calories and eating the right foods, it's also about sleep, drinking enough water, keeping stress in check, exercise, etc. If you are doing all the food pieces but are stressed out, not exercising, and not sleeping enough (seven to nine hours per night), you won't be living the healthiest life possible," she added.
The bottom line
Zinczenko promises to rid you of the typical "no" dieting mentality where you have to rely on willpower, which destines you to fail. You also don't have to explicitly count calories, something that'll be a relief if you've tried other diets in the past. Because you'll feel satisfied and satiated by the foods, you also won't be tempted to turn to sources of cheap calories (like processed snacks), great for helping alleviate many diet demons. If you prefer a structured plan and like to know the science behind why you're taking each step and eating each food, you may want to consider trying this diet.
"While I normally don't like to recommend 'diets' because the word implies that it's something you start and stop, I do like the foundation of the nutrient-rich foods and lifestyle changes recommended in this book. The highlights for me is that there is an emphasis on nutrient-rich foods and combination of focus on sleep, exercise, hydration, stress reduction, etc., which is truly a formula for a healthy lifestyle that could be followed for the long-term," Morgan said.