plus 3 myths about metabolism - Busted!
I thought we could continue to along the same vein of last's weeks post about metabolism. It is such a big deal since it is ultimately the very process that keeps us alive!!!
Metabolism - a series of chemical processes required to take place in our bodies so that we can live.
What are the processes?
There are 3 categories -
1) Bodily functions that you have no control over (breathing, heart beating, blinking, digestive functioning)
2) Bodily activities that you can control (exercising, moving, eating and drinking, driving your car)
3) Converting the food you eat to energy (calories)
The number of calories that you will use per day is directly linked to the way your body is made up.
Think of your body as 2 compartments.
One compartment contains body fat.
The other compartment contains everything else - bones, muscle, fluids, tissue.
The Fat Free Section.
The greater the Fat Free Section the better your metabolic rate.
For every 1kg of fat free mass you burn 31 calories (approximately).
So if you weight 60kgs and have 40kgs of fat free mass then you can burn 1240 calories
But if you have only 35kgs of fat free mass then you can only burn 1085 calories.
Add in exercise and the greater your FFS, you will burn further calories.
Because your muscles will be using more energy to do the work of exercise.
One of the best ways to boost your calorie burn is to increase your muscle mass.
This can be done 2 ways;
1) Do weight bearing exercises - like lunges, squats, push ups, plank, tricep dips
2) Increase the amount of protein you eat daily.
Let's tackle some myths -
1) Aging slows your metabolism
Well yes as you age you tend to lose muscle mass.
But you can prevent muscle loss and increase muscle mass. And why wouldn't you, muscle is a great to have since it burns calories?
Add resistance training to prevent muscle loss. By making good choices through food and exercise you can preserve your muscle mass and increase it.
2) You're stuck with the metabolism you were born with and you can't change it
Lifestyle plays a large role in determining your metabolic rate. The choice you make relating to food and movement will impact your rate of burning calories.
You don't have to go to the gym every day. By being NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenis) you can burn up calories.
That means parking a bit further from the door to the office, the shops, the gym,
taking the stairs, getting up and moving every hour (and gosh an hour can go quickly sometimes)
3) If I cut calories my metabolic rate will slow down.
Yes if you cut them drastically, then your body will go into starvation mode.
It's very clever!
The rate of burning will slow - well you don't want to die! - so instead of cutting calories -
Choose to eat foods that are high in nutrients and low in calories.
And start moving!
Either make time for formal classes or time at the gym or simply get out and move in your suburb.
I have a mini trampoline that I use when it is chilly outside. 10 minutes on that and my heart is pumping and I warmer too.
Simple ways to rev up your metabolism
Do resistance training 3x per week
Commit to 20 minutes of activity every day - I have started walking each morning while my husband is out dropping my big boy at school.
It's a great time to listen to a podcast, or just think about the upcoming day or just day dream about the awesome future.
Make sure you are eating enough. Less than 1200 calories for women may slow down your metabolism.
Choose protein snacks and be prepared - have them packed and in your handbag
If you'd like a list of snacks that I have, send me a message.