This sounds simple: Losing weight, reducing calories, or increasing calories to gain weight.
This concept is so reliable that it has led to the well-known conclusion, which we have held for decades: “Eat less and move more” will help you in losing weight. This advice is flawed. It is not so simple. Anybody who has tried losing weight by moving less and reducing calories can attest to the fact that it is not easy.
It doesn’t tell you anything about your metabolism, the process your body goes through in order to convert food and drinks into energy.
Let’s not forget about metabolism for a second. Here are some warnings about calories.
1. Labels are not to be trusted:
Check out this Nist.Gov article that explains that food labels can be off by as much as 20 to 25 percent!
2. Consuming calories is not the same thing as taking them in:
The energy we consume in calories doesn’t always match the energy we store, absorb or use. It all comes down to how we metabolize and what type of calories you eat.
We absorb less energy in carbohydrates and fats that have been minimally processed and more from high-processed carbohydrates. This is because they are easier to digest. It also matters whether the food is cooked or raw.
3. Enter gut health:
Ah, the importance of gut health!
The bacteria in our gut can affect how we absorb food. This is why probiotics have become so popular in recent years. They are believed to increase the good bacteria, which in turn helps us absorb nutrients better.
The untrue truth about metabolism:
We are not all created equal when it comes to metabolism. We are not all created equal when it comes to metabolism.
1. Resting metabolic rate (or RMR)
There are many factors that affect how many calories we consume when we’re just resting (thinking, breathing, sleeping, etc). Your genetic makeup, body composition, age, fitness, and so on can all have an impact on your RMP.
2. Fitness and metabolism
We all burn calories differently during exercise. This is why the bike or rowing machine won’t tell you how many calories were burned. It all depends on how much you exercise. This means that a more consistent exercise program can increase your metabolism.
3. Thermogenesis of non-exercise activities
We have already discussed resting metabolism and working on metabolism. Non-exercise activity thermogenesis is everything in between. It is the energy you use when you go about your day, whether you are sitting, standing, walking, doing dishes, laughing, or talking. This also varies from one person to the next.
4. Thermic effect of eating
This simply refers to how many calories you eat and the amount of food that you digest and process. This again varies from person to person.
Don’t start cursing people who can eat what they like because their metabolism is firing, but let’s look at ways to improve your metabolism so that your body absorbs food more efficiently and uses it for energy.
5 Simple Steps to Boost Your Metabolism
- Eat protein
Protein can increase your food’s thermodynamic effect, which means you will burn more calories which aids in losing weight as you eat and digest.
- Drink more water
Research shows that drinking more water can increase your resting metabolism which helps in losing weight.
- Learn more
This one is already covered. Exercise, especially lifting weights and doing high-intensity exercise, can help speed up your metabolism. Not only the calories that you burn during exercise, but also your resting metabolism, and non-exercise activity temperature. This study explains that high-intensity training can help your metabolism speed up for up to 14 hours after a workout.
- Sleep, rest, sleep
The impact of sleep and sleep disorders like sleep apnea on metabolism is huge.
Even if you don’t have sleep apnea or not, even getting less sleep can affect glucose metabolism and hormones that regulate metabolism like leptin, ghrelin, and others. It’s why they call it beauty sleep.
- Omega 3’s
Some evidence suggests that Omega-3 fatty acid supplements rich in fish oil can increase your metabolism. This is primarily because they help decrease leptin resistance which is related to how your body burns calories.
Although more research is needed, Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation has many health benefits.
Choose Apex Performance
At Apex performance we are a community of highly trained experts looking to provide performance enhancement and a permanent lifestyle change for our clients in a fun and interactive environment. Members can take advantage of personal training in Tampa, one-on-one training, small group classes, and specialized courses for a wide variety of athletics, youth sports training, and nutritional guidance! Check out what others are saying about Apex and its trainers and contact us today to get started on your losing weight journey!