Are you tired of trying to lose weight but not having any luck? Do you feel like your metabolism is slowing down and you’re just not getting the desired results?
If so, it’s time to pay attention to your metabolism.
What is Metabolism?
Your metabolism is the process by which your body converts food into energy. You can think of it as a giant engine that runs through everything in your body—from digesting food to moving your muscles.
When it works at full capacity, you can burn more calories and lose weight faster than you ever thought possible! But if your engine isn’t running smoothly, all kinds of problems can arise: your body may store too much fat or gain weight even though you’re eating healthy foods. You might also feel sluggish and lethargic, even weak at times.
However, metabolism is quite a complicated thing. It’s not just about how much you eat but also how your body breaks down food. How you metabolize, food can affect your weight, so it’s important to understand how metabolism works.
In the simplest terms, your metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories. It’s regulated by hormones like insulin and leptin, which are released when you eat food. Your metabolic rate can also be influenced by physical activity, age, gender, and genetics.
In short, metabolism is the process by which our bodies convert the food we eat into energy. It’s what allows us to perform the functions of life, like breathing and keeping warm.
What is Basal Metabolic Rate?
Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories you burn each day just to maintain your body’s basic functions. It includes calories used up through resting, breathing, and other automatic processes.
Think about it like this: when you’re sitting on the couch watching Netflix, your body needs to use energy to keep your heart beating, lungs breathing, and brain working. The amount of energy used up in these activities is called BMR.
Metabolism and Aging
While you might think your metabolism has slowed down because you’re eating more and moving less, that’s not always the case. In fact, it could be due to a number of different factors.
One reason is that as you age, your body starts to produce less growth hormone and testosterone—two hormones that keep your metabolism revved up. And when this happens, your body will burn fewer calories at rest (meaning it takes less energy for your body to function).
Another reason is that many people gain weight as they get older—especially if they aren’t active or don’t eat well. This extra weight can also slow down your metabolism because it requires more energy for your body to move around than when you were younger and thinner.
Metabolism and Calories
You might be wondering why we’re talking about calories and metabolism together. It’s because your metabolism affects how many calories you burn, and vice versa. The two are linked—but how?
A healthy metabolism regulates how many calories you burn each day. When you consume more calories than you burn daily, your body stores those extra calories as fat for later use. But when you consume fewer calories than you burn, your body has to tap into its fat stores to provide enough fuel for essential functions like breathing and thinking.
Why Counting Calories is Important
When you think about counting calories, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Maybe you’ve heard that you should only eat 1,200 calories per day, but then you see 2,000 per day as the right amount for someone else. Why the difference? It all comes down to metabolism—the rate at which your body burns calories.
Calories are units of energy that provide us with fuel for our daily activities and help us maintain a healthy weight. The average person needs about 2,000 calories per day to maintain their weight. However, this number can vary depending on age, gender, activity levels, and more.
However, calorie counting isn’t always about eating less. It’s about choosing foods with different nutrient profiles so that you’re getting enough of some nutrients and not too many of others. If you’re just eating fewer calories every day but not changing what kinds of food you eat, you may be missing out on important vitamins and minerals that could help boost your metabolism over time.
Calorie counting is all about getting the right balance of nutrients—calories and macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrates). It’s not just about cutting back on calories but also eating the right kinds of foods that will keep your metabolism humming.
Here’s why counting calories are important in your metabolism:
Calories Affect Your Microbiome
Your microbiome is the collection of microorganisms that live within and on your body. It includes beneficial bacteria, yeasts, viruses, and other single-celled organisms. When we talk about our gut microbiome, we’re referring to the bacteria in our digestive system—the large intestine.
We all have trillions of these little guys living in our guts. They can have a big impact on how well our metabolism runs. For example, if you eat more calories than you burn off each day, your gut can’t absorb as much of those extra calories.
So, instead of being digested by your gut and turned into energy for your body, they sit in your intestines until they’re excreted (or fermented by bacteria). That means less energy for you!
If you want to absorb more nutrients from what you eat, then it’s important to keep track of how many calories you’re taking in and burning off every day—and make sure they’re balanced out so that neither one is too high or too low.
Calories Affect Your Insulin Levels
One of the most important things to know about counting calories is that it impacts your insulin levels. This can have a big impact on how well your metabolism works.
When you eat, your body breaks down the food into energy and nutrients. One of the main ways it does this is by releasing insulin, which allows your body to use the sugar in the food for energy. The more sugar you have in your blood after eating, the more insulin you need to get rid of it all. And the more insulin released, the higher your blood sugar levels go—a process that can lead to diabetes if left unchecked.
So how do calories fit into this picture? Well, they directly affect how much insulin is released by what you eat: The more calories (and carb/fat/protein ratios) in a given meal or snack, the more insulin released from your pancreas will be required to break down all those calories into usable energy.
Way to Boost Your Metabolism
However, your metabolism is way more than just a calorie count—it’s a system that helps your body function at its best. When you’re in the right shape, your metabolism can help you lose fat, maintain muscle mass and energy levels, and even improve your overall health.
But we’re not all born with the same metabolic rate. In fact, some of us have higher metabolisms than others. Luckily, there are some things you can do to boost yours!
Here are some ways you can boost your metabolism and stay healthy:
Eat Plenty of Healthy Fats
One way to incorporate more healthy fats into your diet is by eating avocados and olive oil. Avocados are high in monounsaturated fatty acids, which help increase metabolism and reduce cholesterol levels. Olive oil is another great source of healthy fats that can be easily added to salads or used for cooking purposes.
Other wonderful sources of healthy oils include nuts like almonds, walnuts and peanuts, which are rich in protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce inflammation in the body and improve heart health.
Consume Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Fresh produce is the best way to get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals. If you’re looking to boost your metabolism, try adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet. You’ll be amazed at how much better you feel!
Avoid Sugar and Flour
Sugar and flour are two of the biggest causes of low metabolism. Sugar is high in calories but doesn’t have any nutritional value. It also causes spikes in blood sugar levels, which can lead to insulin resistance.
Flour is a carbohydrate that your body converts into glucose and stores as fat. This slows down your metabolism and makes you gain weight. Both sugar and flour are found in processed foods, so if you want to boost your metabolism and lose weight, avoid them!
Move More and Faster
If you’re looking to boost your metabolism, the best thing you can do is move more and faster. The more active you are, the more calories you’ll burn. And if you’re moving fast, like running or cycling, then you’ll burn even more calories.
So go for a walk in the park, ride your bike to work, or join a dance class! You’ll be surprised at how much extra energy you have once you start moving more often!
Take Energy-Boosting Nutrients
If you want to boost your metabolism, there are some nutrients that can help. These include:
- Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10). This nutrient is an antioxidant that helps convert food into energy. It also helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, which can slow down the rate at which your body uses calories.
- Alpha-lipoic acid (antioxidant). Antioxidants help break down fats, proteins and carbohydrates to use them for energy. Alpha-lipoic acid is a powerful antioxidant that works to prevent damage caused by free radicals in the body.
- N-acetyl-cysteine (antioxidant). NAC is an amino acid that helps reduce inflammation in the body and boosts immune function. It’s also used as a treatment for lung conditions such as asthma.
- B-complex vitamins (energy boosters). B vitamins are essential for many functions of the body, including energy production and metabolism regulation. They’re found naturally in foods like meat, fish, eggs and dairy products but can also be taken as supplements if you aren’t getting enough from your diet alone.
Get Great Sleep
Sleep is so important for a lot of reasons, but one of the big ones is that it helps regulate your metabolism and burn fat. When you’re sleeping, your body releases hormones responsible for regulating how much energy you burn throughout the day. So if you’re not getting enough sleep, those hormones are out of whack, and that can mean trouble when it comes to managing your weight.
To get better sleep, try to keep a regular bedtime schedule, even on weekends! If you’re staying up later than usual or waking up early because of work or something else, try going to bed earlier or setting the alarm so that you can go back to sleep after waking up too early (or staying up too late).
You have power over your health and your metabolism. It’s all about the choices you make, and if you’re trying to rev up your metabolism, then it’s time to start making some good ones!
You’ve got this! If all this sounds overwhelming don’t forget our team is here to support you. Book an appointment with us here.