What is Metabolism?
Metabolism converts the fuel in the food we eat into the energy needed to power everything we do, from moving to thinking to growing. Although metabolism is a complicated chemical process, many people think of it in its simplest sense, as something that influences how easily our bodies gain or lose weight. That's where calories come in. Although not all calories are created equal, in the simplest definition a calorie is a unit that measures how much energy a particular food provides to the body. A bagel has more calories than an apple, so it provides the body with more energy — but sometimes we feed it too much than it can use. Just as a car stores gas in the gas tank until it is needed to fuel the engine, the body stores calories — primarily as fat. If you overfill a car's gas tank, it spills over onto the pavement. Likewise, if a person eats too many calories, they "spill over" in the form of excess fat on the body.
Below we highlight 4 ways to aid your body’s metabolism to make it work more efficiently
Drinking water is key to stabilizing and increasing your metabolism because without sufficient hydration, it is nearly impossible for your body to work efficiently - which includes burning calories. Dehydration can literally cause cravings, and tricks your mind into thinking you're hungry, rather than thirsty. We always suggest to a client if you are hungry, drink a glass of water first and wait for 5 minutes - if you are hungry after that - then you should eat. Staying hydrated keeps your body balanced and in tune with what you need.
Gaining muscle mass can really drive and rev your metabolic rate. Why? Muscle expends more calories than fat or bone while performing its duties which makes it more metabolically active. Strength training is a key and a must addition to any workout regimen and should be added 2 to 3 times weekly to help add muscle to your frame. Whether it’s with weights or even just body weight, adding in these types of workouts will absolutely give you results.
With our busier than ever schedules and our need to get it “all” done, it’s hard to make it to bed a reasonable time, but it’s worth not getting as many check marks on that to-do list to clock in some hours of zzz’s. When you’re sleep-deprived, your body can produce more of a stress hormone called cortisol, which interferes with your blood sugar control. Additionally, according to a Harvard Health Publication, a lack of sleep can also mess with your levels of the hormone ghrelin, which promotes hunger, and the hormone leptin, which reduces it. So, how much should you get? The National Sleep Foundation recommends seven to nine hours per night.
The foods we eat play an essential role in our metabolism because of how they affect our blood sugar. Foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates lead to a roller-coaster effect to your glycemic index level where it spikes then comes crashing down. Of course, carbohydrates can be part of a healthy diet (as we discussed last week - good vs bad carbohydrates), but there are two simple ways to keep your blood sugar more balanced even when you’re eating carbs or sugary food. First, reach for complex carbohydrates which your body takes longer to process, leading to less of a blood-sugar spike. Second, don’t just eat the carbs or higher sugar foods (even natural sugars) by themselves. Although ELEVATE never adds refined sugars into our foods - we still sometimes offer higher carbohydrate (steel cut oats, muesli, pumpkin oatmeal) and natural sugar (our home-made jelly, fruit, fruit muffins) items on our menu which metabolizes the same. That’s why we always add some sort of protein (or protein powder) to that kind of snack. This slows absorption and digestion of the sugar into our blood stream which keeps our blood sugar more stable.
We would love to have you join our next cleanses, July 11th and July 18th which has proven to help keep you on track and helps your metabolism continue to rev!