Written by Rev Nutritionist, Rebecca Desousa
What is Metabolism? -Metabolism refers to the necessary chemical process that happens in your body to maintain life. *Think about putting fuel in your car, it uses that fuel to move. In the same way your body uses calories from food, or energy to move, breathe & function. Metabolism is the process of the body utilizing the energy you put into it.
What could hurt your metabolism: Before I get into what is hurting your metabolism or how to boost it, it is important to note that it always comes down to the basics: The overall quality of diet and lifestyle plays the important part in your overall health. It is important how we process, digest and how the food is utilized in our body and how it affects our overall health and risk of metabolic diseases.
Not eating enough. -This is a big one! Our body needs adequate calories to maintain energy to burn. When we do not fuel our bodies enough, our body naturally slows down to reserve the energy stores that it has. Therefore, when we DO eat enough it does not need to reserve, so we burn more efficiently. With that said consistency is key as always, so we want to consistently eat the right amount each day for the best results.
Extreme Dieting -Drastic dieting can affect your metabolism because most of the time you are putting yourself in too low of a deficit for too long of a period. Yo-yo dieting may be associated with long-term risk of obesity, metabolic conditions and overall physical/mental issues related to food. The best approach is prioritizing quality food, portion control and making lifestyle changes that are realistic for you. You do not have to give up the food you love to “be healthier.” Transitioning to a healthier lifestyle should be creating a healthy relationship with food as well and not depriving yourself.
Lack of Sleep -Insufficient sleep can alter hormones such as ghrelin, which increases appetite/hunger, and Leptin, which is the hormone that tells us we are full and decreases hunger. There are studies that show lack of sleep can alter glucose metabolism (decreasing the ability to breakdown glucose) and can affect leptin and ghrelin (decrease leptin, increase ghrelin). Sleep deprivation may also affect the way your body processes food and can impact insulin sensitivity.
Not working out enough/Doing too much Cardio -Gaining muscle mass can increase your BMR (basal metabolic rate, which is the number of calories your body needs to function) Muscle is far more metabolically active than fat. More muscle can burn more calories. There should be a balance between weight training and cardio.
The moral of the story is to maintain or increase your metabolism: Hit your macros daily and make sure you are hitting your protein so you are fueling your body with adequate
amounts of calories, have a balance between weights/cardio, drink plenty of water, get adequate sleep, and move when you can!