7 Tips To Get Your Metabolism Working For You
The term metabolism gets thrown around a lot. Do you know what it means and how it affects your weight loss goals?
This article will explore the true weight loss equation and how you can boost your metabolism to get it working for you.
Working with women, we often get asked questions around metabolic damage, like if years or months of dieting can do some kinds of damage to the way food is processed. Fortunately, it is not this simple. Losing and gaining fat can change the way you brain regulates your body weight in the long term.
The energy balance equation can be simplified as energy in versus energy out. Unfortunately this does not tell us much about body composition, which is influenced by things like sex hormone levels, macronutrient intake, exercise regime, age, medication use, genetic predisposition, and more.
Firstly, when considering energy in. Measuring this can be flawed. Firstly, there can be up to 20% difference between food labels and reality and then you should also consider that not all calories eaten are absorbed.
The science of our gut bacteria tells us the we absorb less energy from minimally processed carbohydrates and fats, because they’re harder to digest. Further, with a flourishing gut microbiome you absorb significantly less calories. This is a big reason why opting for natural, unprocessed and wholesome foods is so powerful.
Now let’s unpack the ‘energy out’ part of the equations.
Your resting metabolism
Firstly, the number of calories that we burn at rest is our resting metabolic rate (RMR). This represents roughly 60 percent of your ‘energy out’ and depends on weight, body composition, sex, age, genetic predisposition, and possibly the bacterial population of your gut. A larger framed male for example will have a large RMR than a smaller framed female.
Thermic effect of eating (TEE)
You have probably heard that protein takes more calories to digest. This is because digestion is an active metabolic process and actually represent s 5-10% of your energy out.
We are talking here about your purposeful exercise, like yoga, running, weight training and so on.
Do not be fooled to think that you can out train a bad diet. To burn the number of calories you need to lose weight, training and nutrition needs to go hand in hand.
Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT)
NEAT is the calories you burn throughout the day through incidental exercise like walking cleaning, stretching, breaking up periods of time spent sitting and so on .
Now that we understand the factors that effect our metabolim, we can now practise stratgeies that will help to increase it.
- Eat plenty of protein- For most active women: 4-6 palm-sized servings per day.
- Eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, quality carbs, and healthy fats- The carbs will fuel training, boost leptin (a super important hormone that regulates hunger), keep up sex hormones, and prevent feelings of deprivation. While fats also keep up sex hormones, boost the immune system and make food taste really good.
- Understand that a plateau is a sign that your body is in equilibrium-you may need to further lower your caloires, change your macro ratio or simply be more consistent with following your plan
- Cycle calories and carbs- For anyone who is already quite lean or stuck at a plateau, it may be time to start to cycle you carb intake. By strategically cycling calories and carbs, you can help to limit how much the metabolism-regulating hormone leptin drops (or temporarily boost it back up).
- Re-evaluate your training program-If you are not getting results, it might be time to evaluate your training program. Resistance training helps you maintain vital muscle mass, burn calories, and improve glucose tolerance. While cardio based exercise can help to improve delivery of oxygen to the muscles, expend energy, and can improve recovery. You may also be overtraining, causing you cortisol and lepin hormone to be out of balance, making it difficult for your body to drop weight.
- Increase you NEAT– consider ways to get more active. You could spend more time standing or walking. Add in a 10 minute stretch to your morning routine or take a brain break to move around. You could even look to add a quick exercise class to your lunch break.
- Develop a solid nightly sleep routine and manage your stress- never underestimate the role of a good night’s sleep. Enforcing a quality sleeping and stress management routine can decrease inflammation and better prime your body to shed unwanted kilograms.
For me support on finding the right training and nutrition plan to meet you needs, contact Ange today.
Ange Drake is an personal trainer, women’s empowerment coach and fitness blogger in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. She is the director of one of the few womens’ only strength training gyms in Melbourne, 23W. Ange helps women to learn how to use strength based training, nutritional strategies and a positive mindset to transform their bodies, relationship with food and mind.
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