What is the metabolism? Hormones are the chemical messengers that control our metabolism and it is no different when it comes to fat metabolism.
However most people will assume it’s just calories that control our fat metabolism which is largely untrue. Hunger for example is a hormonal response that can occur even when calories are balanced.
There are easy ways to boost metabolism but we have to optimise hormones first. It is then much easier to manage calories once metabolic hormones are balanced.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
Creating a calorie deficit without hormonal balance will cause our adaptive and reactive metabolism to slow down and compensate for the reduction in energy.
Think of the metabolism like a thermostat. It controls body weight (set point) in the same way as a room thermostat manages a constant temperature. As soon as the room gets colder, the heating kicks to heat the room up.
The same things happens with the metabolism. If you simply cut calories, the metabolism will slow down fat burning and increase fat storing to fight to maintain the same body weight (set point).
When we optimize hormones first the body will naturally recalibrate the thermostat (set point) to find a healthy and stable body weight. People will also find they are less hungry with fewer cravings, have more energy and therefore will naturally reduce calorie intake.
So let’s look at easy ways to boost the metabolism to become more efficient at burning fat and less efficient at storing fat which leads to long and lasting weight loss:
Optimize your food and water intake
Reducing and finding your tolerance for starchy carbohydrates is the most important element of a metabolism boosting approach. Sugar and starch are the biggest stimulators of insulin.
Insulin is our primary fat storage hormone and most diets, even low calorie ones, are based on beige, starchy carbohydrates. A starting point is to reduce the amount to just a few bites at each meal.
Examples of starches to avoid:
Bread and all wheat based products such wraps and pasta, rice and other grains, potato, sweets, sweet and dried fruits, juices, sugary drinks, alcohol, processed foods such cereals, snack bars, crackers.
Increasing protein intake such as lean meats, eggs and fish is an easy of boosting the metabolism. Protein based foods take more energy for the body to process and metabolise. You will find you are fuller for longer and experiencing less cravings.
The first meal of the day is the most crucial one to get right. Finally make sure you are getting plenty of fibre from vegetables and you are drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
Moving as much as possible
Movement in this context does not include physical activity or exercise such as sport or the gym. I am talking about extra movement such as fidgeting, housework, shopping, sex and walking around the office which can account for up to 50% of your total daily energy expenditure.
Low intensity activity is highly beneficial for lowering stress hormones which help balance and boost the metabolism. The average office worker will spend 7-8 hours a day sitting, but by using a fitness aid or app to monitor movement, it can help motivate you to move more throughout the day to boost your metabolism.
A minimum 12 hour fasting window overnight will not only do you give your digestion a rest but you encourage lower insulin and insulin sensitivity (better handling of carbohydrates) for optimised fat burning.
To further enhance this avoid eating starchy carbohydrates, sugar and alcohol 2-3 hours before bed to keep the insulin levels as low as possible. An example would be to eat your last meal at 7pm and your first meal of the day not before 7am.
Sleep is your prime fat burning time when optimised. Combined with the 12 hour fasting overnight, it creates the ideal way to help encourage hormonal balance. Sleep will also stabilise your hunger and craving hormones throughout the day meaning you are less likely to snack or make poor choices.
To help encourage good sleep, minimise exposure to light after 8pm by dimming laptop, TV and mobile device screens. Avoid caffeine in the afternoon and alcohol before bed and add in a relaxing magnesium bath to help relax and aid deeper metabolism boosting sleep.
Any form of excess and chronic stress will impact your fat metabolism. Stress can occur in many forms such as poor sleep, over exercising, poor relationships, sadness, loneliness, lack of sunlight, illness and a poor diet for example. This can lead to cravings, broken sleep and poor blood sugar management and long term exposure can lead to disease. Daily walks, regular massage, sex, mediation, participating in hobbies and social events are all easy ways to boost the metabolism.
Take up resistance training
Muscle tissue is the most metabolically active tissue in the body and by increasing your lean mass you will naturally burn more calories during the day and through your sleeping hours even without moving more.
Weight training creates an elevated metabolism after each workout as the body uses more nutrients to repair. Short burst high intensity sessions can be especially beneficial and an easy way to boost metabolism.
By incorporating all of these examples into your day as often as possible, you will optimise your hormones and naturally boost your metabolism for easy and lasting weight loss.
Connect here with WatchFit Expert Jill Gardner