Metabolism can often be an elusive part of our fitness journey, but worry no more! In this article I will define what your metabolism does, factors that can significantly change it and ways you can easily increase your metabolic rate today!
What is Metabolism?
‘Metabolism’ refers to chemical processes in all living organisms that work on a continuous basis to maintain life. It is a totally natural thing! Your body’s metabolism is always working to help you digest food, store nutrients and distribute vitamins and minerals throughout your body. As you may already know, your body uses nutrients from the food you eat to support bone and muscle development, grown strong nails hair and skin while also maintain the perfect body temperature and balance. That is why metabolism is a key part of life!
Metabolism in Humans
Every living organism has a metabolism, even plants! But we are very complex creatures and so our understanding of our own metabolism goes deeper than just knowing that it exists.
Your metabolism is as unique as you are, and will change and grow with you throughout your life. That is why it is beneficial to understand a few factors when it comes to addressing your metabolic rate. Someone’s age, gender, activity level, lifestyle, diet, and family history will all affect how their body digests, stores and utilizes the foods they eat. Although some of these factors are present for you, you still have a lot of control when it comes to when lifestyle factors that directly impact your health and digestion.
Macros, Calories, and Lifestyle
A macro is an essential nutrient found in our diet; Protein, carbohydrates, and fats are all important when it comes to eating healthy. Your metabolism will help your body properly utilize the calories you eat leading to a stronger leaner body and a sharper mind. The type and timing of nutrients are also important when talking about metabolism and it is safe to say that eating a whole food diet filled with lots of variety and color will have many positive effects on your health.
5 Simple Ways to Increase your metabolism:
Now for the Meat and Potatoes! (or nuts and mushrooms if you are on a plant-based diet)
Get plenty of sleep on a regular basis by trying to go to bed and wake up around the same time each day. Sleep is a time for the body to rest, digest and repair its self. Without sleep, we become lethargic, groggy and sick. Our digestive system is still at work even when we are stacking Z’s and sleep has many other impacts on our health. Many Health Professionals recommend 6-8 hours of sleep per day for adults and more for children
“lack of sleep can affect your immune system. Studies show that people who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.” – Eric J. Olson, M.D. myo clinic
Drink a healthy amount of water. According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Men should drink about 13c of water a day while a woman should be drinking 9c of water a day. This does not include coffee, juice or milk of any kind and the estimated amount should be increased for diuretics such as coffee and inflammatory foods such as alcohol. Water is used in every cell in the body to regulate proper temperature and maintain many other functions. We lose water through sweating, breathing, and digestion so it is important for our entire body to stay hydrated by not only drinking water but also by eating foods with water in them. A few foods you can incorporate into your diet that are high in water content include celery, strawberry, watermelon, cucumber, cauliflower, spinach, yogurt, bell pepper, and broccoli.
Increase lean muscle mass through diet and exercise. Because of the density of lean muscle, it takes more calories to maintain one pound of muscle vs one pound of fat. And this is the most effective way we know to dramatically change our metabolic rate. A person with a higher percentage of lean muscle will need to eat a higher amount of calories to fuel and maintain their muscle mass. Similarly, someone who is higher in body fat will also appear bigger due to the volume of fat surrounding their muscles and organs. See image below:
By eating small amounts of protein throughout the day and adding resistance training into your routine you will be fueling the denser stronger muscle tissue and boosting your metabolism to fuel the new you! Throughout a workout program people often notice a change in their hunger and this is directly linked to the change in their activity level if you are looking to lose weight stick to a healthy meal plan and increase the time you spend at the gym. Check-in with your hunger cues and start a daily journal about what and when you are eating. Because diet and exercise go hand in hand, working with a health coach who specializes in nutrition is the best way to turn a fitness goal into reality. If you haven’t already checked in with me for a free half-hour you can access a link to my schedule.
Timing your meals to fuel your workouts. We already talked about the benefits of adding protein to your diet and the need to fuel muscle with lean protein throughout the day. So let’s talk about carbs! Carbohydrates are an amazing fuel source, they are processed by your body and as soon as you take a bite with carbohydrates in it your body sends an enzyme called amylase out to begin the digestion process and turn those carbs into much-needed glucose for your muscles!
By eating carbohydrates just after your workout you are supplying glucose to your body at the most effective time. Just after exercising your muscles are depleted and starving for glycogen and your body is more sensitive to insulin so it is an ideal time to refuel with some starchy sweet potatoes, fibrous veggies, and lean protein. A great Instagram account to fallow for meal ideas and nutrition facts is @chris.rocchio.fit.
Finally and perhaps most importantly start to notice the quality of your foods. As we mentioned earlier a holistic and realistic diet is filled with whole foods that are low in refined sugars such as fructose and high in lean complete protein ( rice and beans, supplements and animal protein) We are what we eat and we can’t expect our body to perform at its peak if we are fueling it with low quality highly processed C.R.A.P.
Thank you for reading! For more information or to get your specific health answers, you may reach me via email Truucore@gmail.com Blessings to you and yours!