WHAT THERE IS TO LEARN ABOUT MAINTAINING A HEALTHY METABOLISM?
We all know people who can eat anything they please without it affecting their weight or physique. They’re people just like you. So, what is it about them that’s different?
If you ask how they manage to eat a dozen doughnuts, fit in their favorite weekly chicken parm, or splurge on Taco Tuesdays, oftentimes they’ll say they have a “high” or “fast” metabolism that allows them to indulge in foods the rest of us try to steer clear of when we’re trying to maintain a healthy weight.
It seems unfair, but there are easy ways to adapt your lifestyle in order to improve your metabolism, too.
What Is “Metabolism”?
Now, when we talk about “metabolism,” we’re actually referencing the ratio of catabolism to anabolism. The computation is simple: catabolism is the breaking down of compounds to release energy; anabolism is the building of compounds, which then uses that energy. Basically, your metabolism is the process of converting the food you consume into your body’s fuel, affecting the speed at which you gain or lose weight. So, what can affect your metabolism?
Your Resting Metabolic Rate
Your body is constantly burning calories. Just staying alive burns about 60-80% of your body’s recommended caloric consumption for the day. However, you can actually work to improve your metabolic rate to burn more calories while resting.
Muscle mass can play a huge role in how your metabolism processes your body’s fuel. One reason personal trainers guide clients toward gaining muscle mass is that the more muscle mass you accumulate, the more calories you’ll burn, whether you’re sitting at a traffic light or running a marathon.
Remember to Rest
Keep in mind that you don’t need to work out seven days a week. In fact, your metabolism won’t be able to work efficiently unless you give your body time to rest. Balance your more strenuous workouts with restorative practices.
While it is true that genetics do play a part in your metabolism, DNA doesn’t necessarily determine your destiny with regards to weight loss or weight gain. When you gather around the table and notice that your immediate family shares a similar body type – whether it be overweight or underweight – you should never be discouraged as to your ability to maintain your own health goals through good nutrition and activity levels.
Stress can also contribute to changes in your metabolism. Chronic stress has been known to contribute to long-term fat storage and weight gain. Giving yourself a break with meditation, yoga, or any exercise that mitigates your stress, could help stimulate both your mind and your body in the long run.
Many people think dieting is the secret to fat loss, but dieting slows down your metabolism. Thanks to evolution, crash diets can make your metabolism slow to a halt as your body tries to hold on to every last bit of food you consume to keep you from starving. When your body is in starvation mode, it catabolizes muscle—it breaks it down and burns it for fuel. A large portion of the weight that you lose is muscle mass. Since muscle is metabolically active—meaning that it takes calories to maintain muscle—losing muscle mass, slows your metabolism. When you go back to regular eating—which you will, because you can’t maintain any deprivation diet for very long—you will end up putting on more weight and more fat because you have slowed down your metabolism.
You can combat this by taking the slow and steady approach to nutrition. Nurture your body with good nutrition and the fat will fall off as a consequence. Learn healthy habits that will last you for a lifetime.
Remember, you have the opportunity and ability to easily change your daily behavior to attain your ultimate nutrition and health goals. We would love to help you get your health back on track. Contact us to start boosting your metabolism with personal training or nutrition coaching today!