- Your metabolism is the collection of chemical reactions that take place in order to maintain a living state. Basically speaking, it’s the process where your body converts what you eat and drink into energy (make good food choices and you’ll have good fuel).
- The basal metabolic rate is the amount of calories your body needs to carry out the basic functions of keeping you alive e.g. breathing, repairing cells, circulating blood, growing and repairing cells etc.
- The basal metabolic rate accounts for about 70% of the calories you burn every day!!!! This doesn’t include any physical activity – this is just the absolute basics if you were to lie in bed all day and just stay alive.
- A high or fast metabolism means you can eat a lot and your body burns the fuel rather than storing it as fat. This is the ideal situation!!! If you want to be a lean, mean, fat burning machine, you need a high metabolism.. and I’m going to show you what you need to do to get one.
Here’s a 20 min live video where I discuss metabolism, weight loss and what you need to be fuelling your body with to lose weight.
Without taking into consideration specific diseases, conditions and medical issues etc, the human body is an amazing machine that has the sole purpose of wanting to survive. It doesn’t want to feel pain, it doesn’t want to starve, it just wants to function the best way possible. Our brain on the other hand, can make decisions, that will in turn affect how the body reacts.
For example, deciding to go bungy jumping:
Your body doesn’t want to. This would mean jumping off a bridge head first and you might die!
Our brain however, says YES! we’re doing this because it will be fun!
So then the body prepares itself by going into survival mode (because the brain has the final decision) – heart rate goes up, blood is transported to the major muscle groups, tunnel vision and auditory exclusion sets in… the body is making all the adjustments required to deal with the situation and the stress that is about to happen.
Your body will also resort to survival mode if you engage in extreme forms of dieting (cutting out certain food groups, detox diets, extremely low calories…) and engage in ridiculous amounts of exercise.
Your body will do everything possible to keep you functioning well, BUT your brain makes the final decision. If the brain decides that eating 1200 calories a day is a good thing then the body will just have to adjust… and herein lies the problem!
For a while everything goes to plan as we have a calorie deficit (less calories coming in and more calories being used each day). However, if it is too extreme, or the calorie deficit is over a long period of time, the body starts thinking it’s going to starve and your metabolism will adjust to compensate.
Everything slows down, you become lethargic, feel as though you’ve hit a plateau, you’re eating the same amount but you’re not losing any more weight and basically…
But something can be done…
The reality is…. the vast majority of the population do not suffer from any sort of medical metabolic damage (no need to message me with your diagnosed medical conditions, I do believe you and this does not relate to you). Rather, they may have a slower metabolism brought on by:
- Eating too few calories over a prolonged period of time.
- Not eating enough protein.
- Leading a sedentary life.
- Not getting enough high quality sleep.
- Not enough calcium in your diet.
- Prescription medications.
- Chronic stress.
Here’s how you can speed up your metabolism:
Increase your lean muscle mass.
The more muscle tissue you have, the more energy you need to function – so even when you’re sleeping you’ll be using more calories. This doesn’t mean you have to lift massive amounts of weight, it may be body weight exercises like pushups, dips, air squats, chin-ups etc or it may be piggybacking a child up the hill, pushing a wheelbarrow….
Do HIIT training (high intensity interval training).
Short bursts of hard efforts, followed by a short period of rest is the way to go. Getting the heart rate up and out of your comfort zone is a lot more effective way to stimulate your metabolism than longer periods of 50% effort.
Feed yourself good fuel.
The food you choose to eat will play a role in assisting to fire up your metabolism. You’ll still need to be in calorie deficit to lose weight, however not so extreme that your body goes into survival mode. Eat regularly, eat protein with every meal, eat a sufficient amount of calcium and choose natural unprocessed foods.
Get into a good sleep routine.
Try to stick to a sleep schedule of the same bed time and wake up time every day.
- Create your own relaxing bed time ritual.
- Avoid day time naps.
- Ensure your room is dark and cool.
- Don’t use electronics close to bed time.
- Don’t eat or drink sugary foods / caffeine close to bed time.
If you’re interested in boosting your metabolism, stripping fat in a healthy, sustainable way and being part of the most supportive online group in the universe…. you may like to join my SBF Challenge.