Want to Speed Up Your Metabolism – START HERE

Before you go applying some shit you read in a magazine or weight loss article about jacking up your metabolism, let me ask you this:

Do you know WHAT your metabolism is and HOW it works….?

Cause my guess is no, and you’re just trying random shit in hopes to speed up whatever it is that your metabolism does because the word metabolism is getting thrown around like confetti these days…

I mean, I just keep seeing articles with titles like:

Eat these metabolism boosting food and BLAST fat…

Do these exercises and set your metabolism on fire…

Blah, blah, blah, metabolism, fat burning, weight loss, metabolism, blah…

So what’s all the hype about and why should you care if your metabolism is running like a well-oiled machine and functioning like a hella sleepy panda?

 

WELL – here’s why: contrary to popular belief, that majority of your daily caloric burn doesn’t come from that spinning class or pumping mad iron…calorie burn is actually driven by your METABOLISM.

Wait….WHHHAAAAAAAT?

 

Ummmm, YES – you read that correctly.

So you can quit trying to kill yourself in the gym and stop obsessing over the number of “calories you burned according to the treadmill tracker and get smart to the whole process of maximizing your calorie burn through maintaining a ninja-esque metabolism, but first you gotta understand WHAT your metabolism is and how your metabolism works.

So, READ ON babes and do just that…

 

First things first: METABOLISM is the term used to refer to the entire process of converting calories you’ve consumed into energy that will be used to power all of your bodily processes.

The tricky thing is this – it’s not just about calorie burning (aka: weight loss), but it also controls calorie storing (aka: weight gain).

So how well your metabolism is functioning ultimately determines the number of calories you need to consume daily to maintain your weight, lose weight or gain weight.

And while there is only one way calories can enter your sweet bod – by smashing on foods, obviously – there are a plethora of ways for calories to exit the body or more commonly referred to as “burn”.

 

The three major players that affect you’re your metabolism and how it utilizes calories overall look a little something like this:

  1. Basal Metabolic Rate = calories needed to survive. BMR is the number of calories your bod needs to support its most vital functions and keep you livin’ while at rest.Think breathing, digesting, filtering waste, etc… you know, the important stuff.As it turns out these basic functions that are keeping you alive eat up approximately 60-70% of the calories you consume – which means your BMR is the largest contributor to your metabolisms overall functioning.So what contributes to your BMR?

 

  • Body Size: This one is simple… a bigger body requires more calories to keep that bod functioning while at rest (or while moving). AND, taller/heavier babes typically have larger organs that require more calories for upkeep.

 

  • Body Composition: You’ve hear this a million times, but muscle is more metabolically active than fat – which means you need more calories to maintain a pound of muscle than you do to maintain a pound of fat. LADIES: this is why you DO want to build muscle!? Muscles utilize more calories – which means you can eat more and still be rockin’ a sweet bod. WINNING.

 

  • Genetics: I hate to be the bearer of bad (or good news), depending on which end of the spectrum you fall – but some people are born with higher/lower BMR’s than others. This is normal. But sadly, you can’t edit this – SORRY.

 

  • Hormones: okay, here’s what’s up with hormones – they act like the volume knob in your whip, either turning your metabolism up or down depending on the song that’s playing (or more accurately, the needs of your bod).

YOUR bod is rockin’ a GRIP of hormones – but the two mainly responsible for turning up/down your BMR come from your thyroid gland; thyroxine and triiodothyronine.Now it’s important to understand that there are a few other hormones that indirectly cause your thyroid gland to release more or less of these specific hormones into your system – which ultimately leads to a change in your BMR.

This shit is important to understand, and relatively easy to control (unless you have a metabolic disorder) – but I already wrote a dope blog post on this info, so if you didn’t read it, do it NOW: HERE

 

 

  • Health: This one is irrelevant a majority of the time – BUT, when your body is fighting an infection or healing from a major wound, your BMR is typically higher due to the calories required to accomplish healing and regeneration. BUT, don’t go hurting or hanging around the sick ward in hopes to pick up some bacteria and ramp up your BMR. 

 

YOU ARE SMARTER THAN THAT.

 

I mean, SO MANY factors play into your BMR, and so many of these factors introduce constant variability – so calculating someone’s exact BMR is extremely hard to measure accurately.

You can totally sink some serious cash into fancy equipment to get an exact number – but again, that could change at any given moment depending on body composition changes, sickness and hormones, etc…

You can also use an equation called Mifflin-St. Jeor, which has been shown to be most accurate in predicting BMR using gender, body size and age – but you gotta do some thinkin’ and some number crunchin’ to get that figured out.

SO, to save yourself some money and some time, AND get a general idea of where your BMR is play around with this BMR CALCULATOR (which also uses the Mifflin – St. Jeor method) and get yo’self EDUATED.

 

2. Food Thermogenesis = calories to digest.

Okay, so THERMOGENESIS may not be the easiest word to say and you probably had to sound-it-out the first time you saw it – no worries, I’m learning from my kindergarten home girl that it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

BUT, the concept is simple; food thermogenesis is the calories or energy you need to digest and absorb the food you eat.

Turns out PROTEIN is the macronutrient that requires the most work to digest, followed by carbs and then fat.

BUT, food thermogenesis only accounts for approximately 10% of the daily calories that your sweet bod is burning – so while it’s important to keep your proteins high in a weight loss or muscle buildin’ diet, don’t go over consuming the lean meats in hopes of creating a Usain Bolt metabolism cause you might fuck your kidneys in the process.

3. Physical Activity = calories to move.

Okay, so here’s what you need to understand – for most people physical activity accounts for approximately 20% of your daily calories burned.

Now don’t get it twisted, that number can vary a bit and edge a little higher on excruciating workout days so there’s nothing wrong with puttin’ in work at the gym on the regular in hopes of ramping up your body’s fat burnin’ potential.

But you also need to understand that 20% also accounts for the physical activity you do on a day in/day out basis; walking, running, standing, talking with your hands (I can’t be the only one), pop-n-locking, droppin’ like its hot, gyrating to Ginuwine’s Greatest Hits album… you know, stuff you do on the daily.

So being primarily sedentary in your daily life, even if you smash a workout, will absolutely affect your metabolism function…and vice versa.

So the more ACTIVE you are the better. MOVE your body, like all the time, and see your metabolism (and fat burning potential) skyrocket.

BOOM. FIST PUMP and HIGH FIVE.

 

Okay, so now you have a basic understanding of the science behind what makes your metabolism efficient or not, now let’s chat science-backed tips to boost your metabolism.

  • STRENGTH TRAIN like a beast:

Having sweet muscles will allow you to burn more calories even when you aren’t exercising so get busy bangin’ on weights ASAP. Seriously, we already talked about this – adding muscle mass increases your BMR, which AGAIN is the biggest contributor to your overall metabolism efficiency.

  • Get intention with your INTENSITY:

High Intensity Interval Training is the way to go here because HIIT training burns more calories during and AFTER a workout than continuous aerobic training does.

  • Meet your daily PROTEIN goals:Again, I wrote a blog post about this too – READ IT HERE

YA HEARD? High quality protein sources will give you all the amino acids needed to help muscles repair and grow.

 

There it is – your metabolism in a nutshell.

Now you can go forth and read all the metabolism boosting articles you want and understand what’s going to help aid in making your metabolism a high-functioning ninja and what’s just bullshit.

Cheers to being educated, banging on weight, and smashing on lean proteins

Tasha (the food coach)

 

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