I have deliberately not started this blog with a definition of metabolism as that would be like standing in front of the social media firing squad! There area many definitions and explanations so suffice it to say that a faster metabolic rate is desirable when trying to lose weight.
Most of the clients I see about nutrition and weight control understand that although they want to shed some lbs, in order to achieve an improved body shape then they need to reduce their body fat. The combination of a healthy diet and exercise is the common sense approach and one I advocate strongly. Your metabolism plays a large part in the long term success of these efforts.
Eating regularly may feel counter-intuitive as it is common to think we ought to heavily restrict our calorie intake. However if we restrict our calorie intake too much this can actually work against us. It is also a sure-fire way to make you feel grumpy, deprived and unsociable!
Your metabolism is accountable for using most of your calorie intake, and the good news is that we can increase our resting metabolic rate by eating regularly throughout the day.
As a point of interest I have been a ‘grazer’ for the past few years (due mainly to my work) and I noticed my metabolism was speeding up. Due to this I became leaner and then it speeded up even more as muscles burn energy far better than fat does.
Now I am in a happy state where my metabolism does my weight control for me!
Balanced meals and healthy snacks not only make you feel good but also keep you warm. “So what” I hear those of you who don’t feel the cold say!
Answer: Eating even small meals causes what is known as the ‘thermic effect’ and this effect is a release of energy in itself (in other words it burns calories). So you really do have to eat to lose weight, thank goodness!
Skipping meals not only means that you miss out on the beneficial thermic effect but your body will slow down your metabolic rate to try to preserve your energy stores. Once this happens you will burn fewer calories at rest and of course find exercise much tougher than if you were correctly fuelled. Not much good if you are attending a Tessfit class!!
Whether it is body weight exercises (these are strength training exercises that do not require weights; your own weight provides the resistance for the movement) or those which use weights such as dumbbells, resistance training is a must if more lean muscle mass is to be increased. Fortunately these are easy to do and can be performed anywhere.
Don’t forget the protein
Pay attention here: from an article written by Emma Barraclough, Senior Sports Nutritionist for Science in Sport
“Eating protein can stimulate the rate of new muscle protein production, particularly if you consume it from dairy. Dairy protein contains a high amount of a particular protein called leucine in it, which not only is used within the structure of muscle but also increases the signalling to produce more new muscle fibre.”