METABOLISM. . .
What is metabolism and why is it so important when it comes to maintaining your weight? Why do some people have high metabolism while others do not? What can you do to make sure that your metabolism is working for you and not against you? Well, let's find out!
Metabolism is the process in which nutrients are acquired, transported, used and disposed of by the body.* It's the process in which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. Everyone has a different metabolic rate dependent on their age, body composition and sex.
It is easy to assume that someone who is thin, fit and lean would have high metabolism, right? That is true in some cases but not in all.
Did you know that for those who are carrying extra weight already have high metabolism? Yep! Extra weight causes the body to work harder whether at rest or at play. So, when a person who is overweight and decides to lose the weight by cutting back on calories and increasing physical activity, in the early stages it is easier to drop weight immediately.
As the weight continues to drop, your body needs fewer calories to sustain it and your metabolism begins to slow down. That is why for some, they may hit a plateau and even gain weight back. As your body changes, so should eating habits and exercise routines. This will help keep your metabolism working effectively for your new body type.
Here's an example. It's like one of those math problems you hated to solve in the 5th grade!
Jim and Jack are both 175 pounds. Jim use to weigh 220 pounds while Jack has always been able to maintain 175 pounds. When Jim decided to cut his caloric intake, he started to lose the weight. When he started to lose the weight, his metabolism started to slow down because his body no longer had to work overtime to carry the extra weight. Now, Jack on the other hand, his metabolism remained high and his weight stayed the same because he did nothing different to his diet or exercise. Jack's consistency kept him at a healthy weight of 175 pounds.
If Jim wants to maintain a healthy 175 pounds like his friend Jack, he will have to make adjustments when necessary and be consistent. During this complex biochemical process, calories in food and beverages are combined with oxygen to release the energy your body needs to function. Even when you're at rest, your body needs energy for all its "hidden" functions, such as breathing, circulating blood, adjusting hormone levels, and growing and repairing cells.*
I am always asked, "What do you do to stay so fit?" and it's nothing magically or special. Part of it is DNA and yes, my metabolic rate is out of control but so is my exercise programs. It has never changed. I have always been extremely active mentally and physically. I have always watched what I put in my body and the goals I have set for my body have never shifted. I know exactly how I want to look and feel so I make the necessary adjustments. Is it really that easy? Yes it is. You have to be consistent when it comes to food and exercise. You should not deny yourself anything but be aware of your portions and know what food CAN do to you body from the inside out.
The biggest change I made in the past 2 years was to eliminate meat from my diet. I felt sluggish, heavy and not as energized as I use to feel. I also noticed that I can not eat certain "bad foods" like I use to. So, I added more fruits, vegetables and fish while reducing, even eliminating some "bad foods" from my meal plan. It has worked very well for me and what works for you may be VERY different.
Check with your doctor or nutritional specialist to see what will work for you. Learn more about how food and exercise can jump start a healthy metabolism, keep you fit and healthier in the long run!
Good luck and keep moving!
Also, have your doctor check your thyroid glands because thyroid hormones do influence your metabolism, growth and development as well as your body temperature.
*NASM, AAFA and Oscher's Clinic Elmwood Fitness Center