Many people truly believe they have a “slow metabolism” and blame this on the fact they are unable to effectively manage their weight.
And it is very easy to do so if one lacks to understand metabolism, what effects it and the fact that we are always in control of it with our food choices and exercise, which have a direct (and immediate) impact on our metabolism.
Much has been written about metabolism, I have written much myself, however, speaking to people on a daily basis about weight management makes me realise that many are still stuck on “old science” of focus on calories alone.
So, here is one analogy that may help you understand metabolism and why we need to move beyond calories alone.
When we think about metabolism, let’s imagine it as a burning fire.
Because that is what it is.
To have a strong metabolism is for body to be able to effectively convert fuel (food & drink) into energy in order to sustain its bodily functions.
Effective weight management is almost all about metabolism and keeping this fire burning.
It is like a furnace. If you put logs on fire, you need to keep adding new ones, regularly, to keep the fire burning.
So, your breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up will get this fire started again and to keep it burning throughout the day – it is about eating in regular intervals.
There is also a matter of type of fuel that will keep our metabolic fire burning.
Our metabolism runs most effectively on a good balance of protein, healthy carbohydrates and healthy fats. And runs even faster if we choose right, clean, sources of each.
These are our “logs”.
Without the combination of all three, especially without protein, it is like adding paper to fire – no matter how much paper we put – fire wants more of the same and we simply can not sustain this fire for long.
Paper could even be our synonym for carbs. (For a regular person, not someone attempting to run a marathon, perhaps, as carbs do have their place on this occasion)
This is where we move beyond calories alone. It is the quality of those calories that count.
So, the key is having the right kind of fuel and in the right intervals.
What slows our metabolism down?
- Skipping meals, especially skipping our breakfast (no logs, no fire)
- Eating unbalanced meals or eating too much (wrong type of fuel)
- First exercising, which would stimulate metabolism to work faster, and then having sugar/ carbs as a reward which “kills” the metabolic burn almost immediately (like going running with your friends, then going for a coffee and a croissant – because you “earnt it“!)
So, next time you skip a meal, especially breakfast, or just grab a toast and coffee on the go, think again before you blame your slow metabolism.
Your current habits could be contributing to your metabolism working slower than it should.
Frequency and type of fuel is everything for fast metabolism and an effective weight management and fat burn.
This was a simple way to explain metabolism and its basic principle. Of course, a lot more can be said about it so you can actually put a few things in practice. “How to ensure fat metabolism” article further below might be a good place to start.
If you are concerned about your metabolism or would like some help, contact me for your free Wellness Evaluation and a free metabolic test.