A big component of weight management is knowing whether your metabolism is working properly and optimally. Do you feel hungry when you wake up in the morning? If the answer is no that is a big indicator that your metabolism is slow.
First, it is important to understand what is metabolism and why is it important? Your metabolism converts the fuel in the food you eat into the energy needed to power everything you do, from moving to thinking to growing. Specific proteins in the body control the chemical reactions of metabolism, and each chemical reaction is coordinated with other body functions. Having a healthy metabolism will make certain you are using food for energy and not other body tissues, which lead to storing more FAT. A healthy metabolism will leave you feeling hungry every 3-4 hours. If you sleep a full night of 6-8 hours and you’re not waking up hungry, then obviously there is a problem.
People often make the mistake of not eating breakfast and then not eating much throughout the day and thinking they’re conserving their calorie intake by doing this. It’s quite the opposite. When you don’t eat breakfast and you limit your calories throughout the day, what you’re actually doing is putting your body into starvation mode and causing metabolic damage. What does this mean? Starvation mode is the body’s natural response to long-term calorie restriction. Your body goes into a survival mode that says, “whatever energy (food) I get next I must store for energy, because I don’t know when I’m getting food again.” So you go all day without eating much, you get to the evening and you’re STARVING and then you consume most of your calories right before bed, which instead of it being used for energy, it all gets stored as FAT! This is a very common mistake and it’s actually called the Sumo diet, because it is literally what Sumo wrestlers do to GAIN WEIGHT! Checkout my blog The Right Way to Snack to have a better understanding of HOW to manage your calories throughout the day. If you’re not waking up hungry, your metabolism is definitely slow!
Your body burns many more calories digesting protein than it does fat or carbohydrates. As part of a balanced diet, replacing some carbs with lean, protein-rich foods can boost metabolism at mealtime. I highly recommend eating protein at every major meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner). The recommended amount of protein is 0.8-1 grams per pound of body weight, for the average healthy adult whose primary goal is building muscle, get “toned,” and lose fat. Although adding protein to your diet may help boost your metabolism, higher protein intake alone will not cause you to burn significantly more calories. Your muscle mass will only increase if you combine additional protein with exercises such as strength training. Read my 3 Reasons You’re not Getting the Fintess Results you Want blog for more info.
When you deprive your body of calories you start to burn small amounts of muscle tissue to provide required glucose for the brain. This is the OPPOSITE of what you want to do to lose weight! In order to have low body fat, you must BUILD MUSCLE, which in turn speeds up your metabolism! Muscles burn twice as many calories as fat in resting state. This means when you have a proper strength training program and you’re building muscle, you are actually burning twice as many calories even when you are not being active. However, muscles need fuel. It is important to have proper nutrition throughout the day to build and maintain healthy muscle tissue in order for you to burn more calories at rest and have a properly functioning metabolism.
Although my blog topics can be very beneficial to your overall health, they are not intended for the purpose of providing medical advice. All content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to serve as a substitute for the consultation, diagnosis, and/or medical treatment of a qualified physician or healthcare provider. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of published information on or through my website, blog, e-mails, programs and services. However, the information may inadvertently contain inaccuracies or typographical errors. Every effort has been made to present you with the most accurate, up-to-date information, but because the nature of diet, fitness and health research is constantly evolving, we cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of our content.