The Super Metabolism Diet

The Two-Week Plan to Ignite Your Fat-Burning Furnace and Stay Lean for Life!



About the Book


NBC News health and wellness contributor David Zinczenko, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Zero Sugar Diet, Zero Belly Diet, the Abs Diet series, and the Eat This, Not That! series, discloses why some of us stay thin and some of us lose weight with ease—and reveals the secret to how you can stay lean for life. The answer lies within your metabolism, the body’s crucial, energy-burning engine that for so many of us is revving at less than half speed. With the help of this book, you can quickly and easily turn your metabolism into a fat-melting machine.
The Super Metabolism Diet features daily menus, handy shopping guides, a vast trove of amazing (though optional) workouts, and tons of delicious recipes—all designed to get your metabolism firing hotter than ever before! So say goodbye to bloat, harsh dieting, weight-loss fads, and even stress. Say bye-bye to belly fat and hello to a new and improved you.
The Super Metabolism Diet is built on five core pillars (captured in a handy acronym) to ensure that your body burns more energy and stores less fat: 
Super Proteins, Super Carbs, and Super Fats
Upping Your Energy Expenditure 
Power Snacks 
Essential Calories, Vitamins, and Minerals
Relaxing and Recharging

As Zinczenko reports: If you’re heavier than you want to be or moving sluggishly through your days, you don’t need to cut your favorite foods from your diet. You just need to up your intake of core proteins that will build more energy-burning muscle, consume the healthiest fats that help increase satiety and speed nutrients throughout your body, and reach for plenty of good-for-you carbs—yes, carbs!—that provide essential fiber.
The result will be a stronger, leaner, happier you. And you’ll be stunned at how good you look and feel in no time at all.
“You’ll see results almost immediately, never be hungry, and watch the weight keep coming off!”—Michele Promaulayko, editor in chief of Cosmopolitan and former editor in chief of Women’s Health

Includes a bonus PDF with recipes and exercises.
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Praise for The Super Metabolism Diet

“You’ll see results almost immediately, never be hungry, and watch the weight keep coming off!”—Michele Promaulayko, editor in chief of Cosmopolitan and former editor in chief of Women’s Health
Praise for David Zinczenko

“Zinczenko’s good-looking, he’s smart, and I gotta tell you, there’s nothing like a man who tells you to eat the pizza, not the salad!”—Rachael Ray
“I’m officially dazzled. This diet sounds too good to be true—but it’s not.”—Dan Harris, ABC News anchor and New York Times bestselling author of 10% Happier
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The Super Metabolism Diet

Chapter 1

Light Your Fire, Change Your Life

Six Ways Turbocharging Your Metabolism Will Dramatically Improve How You Look, Feel, and Live

If we asked the average American to write down the superpower of his or her dreams, I’d wager Hugh Jackman’s last Wolverine paycheck that it wouldn’t be “shooting cobwebs from my wrists,” “having retractable bone claws,” or even necessarily “having the ability to fly.” It wouldn’t be wielding Wonder Woman’s golden “lasso of truth” or having Catwoman’s ability to sneak anywhere she wants to go, either.

No, as much as we all love comic book movies—and we all, deep down, dream of wearing a cape and darting across rooftops to fight crime—it’s safe to say that the superpower we’d want most is to be able to improve and better our minds and bodies at will—and that means being able to successfully lose weight, easily and efficiently, and stay lean for life.

You don’t have to take it from me! Simply look at the facts: Right now, the self-help industry is valued at $13 billion annually and is only expected to grow exponentially in the years ahead.

But for all of the books, apps, life coaches and gurus, and seminars and workshops we’re willing to shell out our hard-earned money for—to boost our productivity, bolster our confidence, find balance and happiness, be more active, de-stress and decompress, and razor-sharpen our intelligence and cognitive ­cunning—I’m continually astonished by how we can’t see the forest for the trees.

Here’s the truth: If you unleash the full force of your metabolism, you’ll improve in literally all of those areas.

It’s true! Your metabolism is the tide that lifts all boats. And trust me: Once you’ve ignited it and your body transforms into a more efficient, fat-melting machine, you’ll be floored by how its fire will echo through literally all of the facets of your life.

Here are just some of the ways a fully functioning metabolism will be a force for good in your life:

You’ll Lose Weight Effortlessly— and Keep It Off

When you’ve devoted your entire professional career to helping Americans lead healthier, more fulfilling lives (and you serve as the health and nutrition correspondent for ABC News), you find that a lot of people will approach you in odd places with a single question in mind: “What’s the best way to lose weight?”

Without fail, it always pains me to see their disappointment—in a Starbucks line or at the gym—when I give them the truth: “It’s not just one thing.”

To be sure, I’m not dodging the question like a politician’s press secretary, and it doesn’t mean weight loss isn’t easily achieved with the right plan and a healthy sense of determination. It just means that the mechanics of weight loss are slightly more complicated that most of us would like to believe.

But those who can lose weight have one thing in common: a healthy metabolism.

When you’ve got a fully optimized metabolism, not only will you have harnessed the full power of Mother Nature’s fat-burning mechanism—after all, everything in my plan is designed so that your body burns more energy and stores less fat than it did before—but you’ll also be adopting new habits that will bolster your weight-loss efforts. A fully functioning fuel furnace means you will have a supercharging effect on all of the many weight-loss factors: sleep, stress, energy levels, and more. You’ll be eating more, moving more, and avoiding all of the toxic obstacles in modern life that affect your metabolism in negative ways.

And because The Super Metabolism Diet doesn’t torture you—and you can indeed eat basically all of your favorite, delicious foods—it’s easy to maintain.

But, like I said, it’s not just one thing. You’re going to need to eat the right foods, enough of the right foods, and I’d urge you to adopt the movement plan contained in this book.

If you do, you’ll see a change not only in your body but also in the way you view the world.

You’ll Be Supersmart

Everyone has their favorite childhood game. For some, it’s Candy Land. For others, it’s Chutes and Ladders. For me? That’s easy: It was Hungry Hungry Hippos.

The game involves nothing more than a board, four plastic hippos with working mouths controlled by four players, and a bunch of marbles that get chomped faster than a cake at a four-year-old’s birthday party.

Now, if the major organs of your body—your heart, your liver, your brain, your lungs—were playing this game among themselves for the stuff contained in your food, my guess is you’d probably think that your heart would win. After all, it’s got to pump a lot of blood—your average adult heart moves five quarts of blood every minute, or roughly two thousand gallons every day—to keep you alive. It’s also the only organ you can actually hear working, thumping along in your chest like a bass drum. Surely your strong heart needs the most fuel, right?

Almost, but not quite.

The answer? Drumroll, please . . .

It’s the gooey mass sitting right behind your eyes: your brain.

In fact, if your brain were playing Hungry Hungry Hippos, it would probably swallow up more than marbles. It’s so hungry it would chomp up your entire board.

If you’re at rest—say, lying on the couch—your brain is responsible for roughly a third of your entire calorie burn. After all, we humans didn’t rise to the top of the food chain because we have the strength of a lion, the speed of a cheetah, or the ferocity of a bear. No, we’re the head honchos on this planet because of our intelligence and savvy problem-solving skills. And that cognition doesn’t happen just by magic. We have to feed it with the right fuel. I hate to be a downer, but if you were to cut off your brain’s supply of food, you’d instantly lose consciousness and eventually fall into a coma and die.

If you’re not eating the right foods, not only are you doing your body a disservice—and piling on the pounds around your midsection—you’re actually making yourself dumber. Study after study has shown that people suffering from diabetes are far more likely to suffer a decline in cognitive function—and even experience dementia—than people who don’t have diabetes.

According to researchers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard University, your diet directly influences your memory, and poor eating decisions—chiefly a diet loaded with saturated and trans fats—can help kick-start the insidious onset of dementia as you advance in years. Those harmful ingredients will boost the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in your bloodstream, while also exacerbating the spread of beta-amyloid plaques on the brain—which are “sticky protein clusters” that are one of the chief culprits in Alzheimer’s disease.

“We know [diets high in cholesterol and saturated fats are] bad for your heart,” wrote Francine Grodstein, associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “There is now a lot of evidence that it’s also bad for your brain.”

But if you’re feeding your metabolism, you’re actually feeding your brain, too—and many of the foods found in the diet contained in this book double as awesome brain boosters, such as . . .

Lean beef. Swiss researchers discovered that of three different breakfast types—high-carbohydrate, high-protein, and a balance of both—the high-protein meal helped men score better on a computer memory test (similar to the electronic game Simon). “Short-term memory can be better after a protein-rich meal because the food increases your levels of the amino acids tyrosine and phenylalanine,” says Karina Fischer, PhD, the study’s lead author.

Spinach and other leafy greens. Dark or leafy greens contain high levels of folate and vitamin B12, which may protect the brain against dementia. Researchers from Tufts and Boston universities observed subjects in the famous Framingham Heart Study and found those with high levels of homocysteine had nearly double the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. High homocysteine is associated with low levels of folate and vitamins B6 and B12, leading researchers to speculate that getting more B vitamins may be protective.

Blueberries. Dark-colored fruits and vegetables, especially blueberries, strawberries, and spinach, are high in antioxidants. In research on rats at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, James Joseph, PhD, found that older rats fed blueberry extract had improved short-term memory and motor skills.

Oatmeal. University of Toronto researchers recently determined that eating carbohydrate-rich foods like oatmeal is equivalent to a shot of glucose, a.k.a. blood sugar, injected into your brain. According to the study, the higher the concentration of glucose in your blood, the better your memory and concentration.

The truth is that your brain requires a steady stream of glucose at all times in order to keep your synapses and neurons firing properly. Ultimately, your brain needs sugar (the natural kind accompanied by fiber). It also needs a steady stream of fatty acids and micronutrients such as B vitamins, iron, magnesium, niacin, and the compound lipoic acid. In the diet plan contained in this book, you’ll find all of the delicious ways of getting these ingredients every day.

You’ll Be Happier and Less Depressed

If you’ve ever found yourself scraping the bottom of a tub of ice cream after a bad day, you already know that your emotions can influence what you eat. But what you may not realize is that what you eat can dramatically alter your mental health. In other words: There’s a direct connection between “mood and food.”

Simple food choices can make the difference between feeling worse and feeling more stable, says research from a February 2015 study by Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Eighteen percent of the population suffers some form of anxiety disorder, and 6.7 percent of the American population over the age of eighteen has been diagnosed with clinical depression.

You don’t have to be officially diagnosed (many people aren’t, anyway) to know what an overwhelming burden it can be when you are even marginally anxious or depressed. It’s a simple fact: The foods we consume can play a major role in increasing the frequency, depth, and duration of bouts of depression or anxiety, especially if we’re already predisposed to experiencing them.

According to a landmark Spanish study published in PLOS One, eating the wrong fats is unfortunately one of the surefire ways to find yourself depressed. The researchers studied 12,059 men and women over the course of several years and discovered that those with a diet high in trans fats—or 1.5 grams daily, to be more specific (or about the same amount found in a Whopper from Burger King)—were 48 percent more likely to experience heightened levels of the blues. And, if you’re depressed, you’re 58 percent more at risk of obesity.

On the flipside, boosting your intake of the right fruits and vegetables—the very same fruits and vegetables you’ll find in The Super Metabolism Diet—will indeed give you a sunnier outlook on life. According to a 2016 study published in the American Journal of Public Health, researchers poured over the eating habits of 12,385 Australian adults over the course of three years and found that “increased fruit and vegetable consumption was predictive of increased happiness, life satisfaction, and well-being.” Furthermore, the study authors reported that those healthier eaters upped their “satisfaction points” by “0.24, which is equal in size to the psychological gain of moving from unemployment to employment.”

In other words, simply eating better foods will make you as happy as scoring a new job!

In the past, scientists weren’t sure why depression, diabetes, and dementia seemed to cluster in epidemiological studies or why having one of these health issues increases your risk for the others. But in a study published in the journal Diabetologia, researchers have found that when blood glucose levels are elevated (more on that later), levels of a protein that encourages the growth of neurons and synapses drops. Translation: The simple act of eating way too much sugar makes your brain work at a suboptimal level.

In addition to spiking your insulin—something you’ll be avoiding on the Super Metabolism Diet—too much sugar leads to inflammatory bodies spreading throughout your noggin and promotes oxidative stress, the scenario in which our natural defenses against your body’s natural (and harmful) free radicals prove to be insufficient. According to the landmark Framingham Heart Study, which tested 2,828 people over the course of many years, oxidative stress is directly linked to obesity.

Meanwhile, studies have shown that when you eat a diet based on the right fruits, vegetables, fats, and carbohydrates—all crucial ingredients you’ll find in the diet I’ve laid out in this book—you’re essentially attacking oxidative stress head-on. In a matter of only days, you’ll notice an acute change in the way you feel.

You’ll Be Super Productive—and Make More Money

Tomato timers. To-do lists. Email reminders. Standing desks. More music. Less music. Do-your-most-difficult-task-first-thing-in-the-morning. For all the “productivity hacks” that millions upon millions of working people swear by, it always pains me that the vast majority of us miss the absolute biggest one of all: your diet. (If you’re skeptical, try to remember the last time you accomplished anything meaningful on an empty stomach.)

Yet when you think about all of the things that contribute to getting things done, you rarely hear people giving credit where credit is due. It all starts the moment you put food into your mouth and swallow.

As I’ll explain in depth in this book, if you’re eating too many overly sugary and processed foods—that means everything from bottles of Coca-Cola to high-sugar cereals and dishes piled high with pasta—you’ll get a surge of energy followed by an ugly crash. And if you’re eating ultra-high-fat meals—think of too much sausage in the morning or a big greasy steak or grisly cheeseburger in the afternoon—you’re actually overloading your digestive system, which means that your brain function hobbles and you get drowsy.

Having a sluggish metabolism and dragging yourself through your working hours isn’t exactly the same as boarding a rocket-ship to the corner office of your dreams. In fact, quite the opposite. According to a study led by researchers from Yale’s Rudd Center and published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the adverse health effects of obesity in American workers lead to missed workdays that costs states $8.65 billion per year. The study suggests that “reduced productivity” from poor health costs are even higher.

But when you adopt the eating plan I’ve laid out here, your body will become a more efficient energy burner. And when that happens, you’ll find that you’re a more energetic person, too. As I mentioned before, boosting your intake of fruits and vegetables will give you a cognitive edge. Well, the same goes for many of the Super Proteins, Super Fats, and Super Carbs contained in this book. Take tuna, for instance.

About the Author

David Zinczenko
David Zinczenko is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Zero Belly Diet, Zero Belly Cookbook, Zero Belly Smoothies, Zero Belly Breakfasts, and Zero Sugar Diet, and the co-author of the Eat This, Not That! franchise, which has sold more than eight million copies worldwide. He is a health and wellness contributor at the Today show and has appeared on Good Morning America, The Oprah Winfrey Show, and The Rachael Ray Show, and is the award-winning former editor in chief of Men’s Health and editorial director of Women’s Health, Prevention, and Best Life magazines. Zinczenko is also the founder and chief executive of Galvanized Media, where he oversees Eat This, Not That! and Best Life. He lives in New York City.

To inquire about booking David Zinczenko for a speaking engagement, please contact the Penguin Random House Speakers Bureau at More by David Zinczenko
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About the Author

Keenan Mayo
Keenan Mayo is the executive editor at Galvanized Media and the editor of Best Life. The former editor of Men’s Fitness, he lives in New York City. More by Keenan Mayo
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