Are you unhappy with how you look? Are the few extra pounds around your midsection stubbornly holding on? Do you want to lose weight and keep it off?
If you do, keep reading.
In a lot of cases, people attribute weight gain, and difficulty of losing weight to an issue with their metabolism. But is it really?
And if it is a metabolism "issue" ... how can you reset your metabolism?
Well, let’s start by talking about how to reset your metabolism and why your metabolism is important in the first place.
Why is My Metabolism Important?
Metabolism describes the sum of all the processes and chemical reactions that your body goes through to stay alive.
It’s when the body converts food, oxygen, and water into energy. This process burns calories and creates energy.
What most people are concerned with is the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR). This is the rate in which your body completes these processes while at rest. Believe it or not, this equates to approximately 60-70% of all calories burned!
Understanding how your metabolism works is important in order to reach your fitness goals. There are many factors that contribute to metabolic rate.
Factors That Impact Metabolism
Some factors that contribute to the metabolic rate cannot be controlled. Genetics is one of them and hormones (to some extent) can be another one. Both play a huge role in how your metabolism works.
You can look at your parents and other family members for clues on how your metabolism works. Just don't forget the lifestyle habits they have which could be contributing to the way they look as well.
Other factors can also affect your metabolic rate such as:
Age: As we age, our metabolism naturally begins to slow down, mostly because we tend to lose muscle mass as we get older.
Gender: Men tend to have more muscle mass than women of the same age and weight. A lot of this is due to the hormonal differences between men and women.
Nutrition: The types of food you eat can also affect your metabolism. Believe it or not, every food you eat has a thermic effect (AKA your body burns calories just digesting it). Since protein has the highest thermic effect of any nutrient, a high protein diet can be very helpful. On top of that, a high-protein diet can help you preserve and build lean muscle in order to burn even more calories at rest throughout the day.
Activity Levels: I'm sure this goes without saying, but maintaining high levels of activity can help with your metabolic rate as well. Placing a higher physical demand on your body can be super advantageous for burning more calories and training your metabolism.
Water Consumption: Drinking enough water is essential for a healthy metabolism. Dehydration can actually slow down your metabolism and make it harder for your body to burn calories.
Body Composition: People with more muscle mass tend to have faster metabolisms because muscle tissue burns more calories than any other bodily tissue.
Knowing this, you can better understand your personal metabolic rate and which lifestyle adjustments could most help improve your metabolism.
How To Reset Your Metabolism
Now, I don't like the term "reset", because I think it gives the wrong impression.
Your metabolism is not something like a wifi router that when it's running slow or not working as you want, you can just hit reset or unplug it ... wait three minutes ... plug it back in to reset it and have lightning fast internet again.
Instead, let's move from a mindset of resetting your metabolism to improving your metabolism.
Can you "reset" your metabolism? Not really. Can you improve your metabolism? Yes!
Here are 4 great ways you can help improve your metabolism:
1. Change up your food
2. Switch up your exercise
3. Build some lean muscle
4. Create positive lifestyle habits
For the rest of this article, we’ll dive into a few different methods for improving your metabolism. Use what you find works for you.
That could be one of the following, all of the following, or just a few of them.
You might even already be doing some of these things and that's great!
If so, I would recommend that you look for what you’re lacking and make those into new habits.
Doing so would give you the best chance of improving your metabolism.
Water is an essential part of metabolic processes. Water distributes nutrients and removes toxins ... all of which happens after the metabolic processes have finished.
Without it, your metabolic rate slows. Therefore, consuming a minimum of 100 to 120 oz of water a day is a great starting point to improve your metabolism!
As I mentioned above, nutrition plays a big role in your metabolism.
Consuming enough protein every day is very beneficial for healthy metabolic functions as well as other things.
For example, protein (and all food) requires your body to use energy to break down and digest it. The number of calories needed by your body to digest, absorb and process the nutrients in your meals is known as the thermic effect of food (TEF).
Protein has the highest TEF out of the three main macronutrients you consume: Protein, Carbohydrates, Fats. It also takes your body a longer time to break protein down, so you will typically feel full longer.
This can help you stick to your diet and nutrition plan and help keep cravings at bay. Protein also provides the body nutrients needed to have energy and rebuild itself.
Easy on-the-go protein could be some jerky, protein bars, hard boiled eggs, tuna, or Level-1 protein powder.
Superfoods are foods that are typically full of phytonutrients, antioxidants, and enzymes that your body can utilize to help it operate more efficiently.
Examples include spirulina, beets, alfalfa sprouts, berries, wheat grass, and spinach.
These foods not only fight free radicals, but give you the nutrients needed to help maintain healthy metabolism.
Green Superfood Powders and/or Red Superfood Powders are very convenient and efficient options to help you get the nutrients and antioxidants these foods provide.
Eat Foods Full of Iodine
Iodine is essential in metabolic processes. Your thyroid needs adequate amounts of iodine (which is a very small amount, but still hard to get into your diet) for proper metabolic function.
By eating foods such as shrimp or seaweed you can help ensure that you are getting the necessary amount of iodine in your diet ... but how often do you actually eat those foods?
If you don’t work out, start today. Exercise can be as simple as taking the stairs at work or walking a few blocks.
Any type of exercise is better than nothing.
Just moving your body will burn calories and help you create the caloric deficit you need to lose weight.
There are also other favorable benefits of exercising such as better energy levels, improved circulation, better sleep, and many more!
Begin Resistance Training
Resistance training is your pathway to getting stronger, promoting lean muscle growth and to some extent getting leaner.
Sure, you can get super lean doing lots of cardio and endurance style exercise routines, but this does very little to help maintain what muscle you have.
Muscle tissue burns more calories every day than fatty tissue does. So promoting lean muscle growth and maintaining the muscle you have can help improve your metabolism and help you gain muscle definition at the same time.
As a result, if you’re not doing resistance training, you should! It can be weightlifting, CrossFit, Bodyweight, Fitness Boot Camps, or other workout types!
Remember, resistance training, with the proper focus on nutrition and recovery, can improve metabolism overall. More muscle = more calories burned daily!
Get Sufficient Sleep
Your body needs rest to perform properly. Listen to your body and make sure you get enough shut-eye.
Late-night distractions such as phones and TV are often the culprits of sleep loss. Once you climb in bed, put any and all distractions away. I call this sleeping with a purpose.
Not just going to bed, scrolling through Instagram ... waiting to drift off to sleep, but instead having an evening routine that sets you up for quality sleep every night.
Lower Your Stress Level
Stress places extra pressure on your body.
During extended periods of time, this extra pressure can lead to unfavorable changes in hormones, recovery, and other crucial aspects that influence metabolism.
Therefore, working to handle stress more effectively and de-stressing could help improve your metabolism!
Ask a friend or a family member to help alleviate some of the stressors in your life.
You could also find and participate in stress-relieving activities such as yoga, going for a walk, taking a mini-break during your workday, meditation, and more!
Create Positive Lifestyle Habits
This is what it all really comes down to for improving your metabolism. As you can see, there are many different ways to help improve your metabolism.
You do not need to do anything drastic.
Small changes to the types of food you eat, ways in which you exercise and your daily habits can help you improve your metabolism, burn more calories, and lose that extra weight.
If you're looking for a convenient way to track your nutrition, get custom workouts for your goals, get 1-on-1 help, and measure your progress ... download the 1st Phorm App! The app is the perfect tool to teach you, hold you accountable, and help you reach your health and fitness goals long-term.
If you have any questions about your specific situation and goals, please don't hesitate to reach out!
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