Take Control of Your Metabolism!
So many people are talking about how slow their metabolism is and why they need to start taking the latest diet supplement, yet they don't even understand how the human metabolism works! So before I go into how to speed yours up, I want to first go over some of the basics.
What is Metabolism?
Metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories to sustain life.
You should also note that your body, yes yours, burns calories 24 hours a day, everyday, regardless of whether or not you workout. Remember that your body needs energy all the time, even while you're asleep and that is why skipping meals is the absolute worst thing you can do if your goal is to lose weight (body fat).
Before we go any further let's talk about what affects metabolism...
Factors Affecting Metabolism In Order Of Greatest Impact To Least:
- Muscle tissue - Muscle tissue is the highest burner of calories in the body, so the more muscle tissue you build and maintain, the faster your metabolism becomes.
- Meal frequency - The longer you go between meals the more your metabolism slows down to conserve energy.
- Activity level - Important but doesn't make any difference if you don't match your intake of calories to your expenditure.
- Food choices – Complex carbohydrates and fats use more calories to extract nutrients and increase metabolic rate.
- Hydration - Over 70% of bodily functions take place in water - not enough water causes all your systems to slow down and unnecessary stress.
- Genetics - Some people have higher metabolisms than others - you can't change genetics but you can still win the battle!
- Stress - Stress also can slow metabolism by placing extra stress and strain on numerous systems. plus, many people tend to overeat when "stressed out".
I don't like to say the word 'DIET' to people, because for some reason in today's society diet has become a bad word! Instead I say 'CHANGING YOUR EATING HABITS', it sounds more accessible to the average person and a good mental approach to any form of 'DIET' is key. To shed body fat, 'changing your eating habits' is the number 1 factor for success. To increase lean muscle mass in the body, resistance training and eating habits are of EQUAL importance. Just working out alone may give you results to an extent, but optimum results is what we are after. 'Diet' is responsible for the repair and re-growth of muscle tissues that have been damaged during exercise, so it makes sense that natural wholesome foods are the best source of nutrition throughout the day.
Metabolism Boosting Foods!!
Here are some foods that can rocket your metabolism through the roof. Combine the foods below in to your daily diet and your body will thank you with higher fat burning and muscle building potential, as well as increased energy and concentration levels!
Antioxidant seems to be the new buzzword of this decade. Everyone needs more antioxidants. Everyone wants more antioxidants. Everyone buys foods with antioxidants, but do we know what they are?
Oxidation is a chemical process within your body whereby electrons are taken off a substance via a chemical reaction. When your body undergoes oxidative stress, such as when you're sick, have a disease or after a workout, the product from this oxidation is known as a 'free radical'.
When free radicals start to build up in your body because they're not cleared, they start to damage cells which can lead to inhibited muscle growth, fat loss or even cause disease. Good thing we have antioxidants like blueberries! Antioxidants help prevent this oxidation from taking place, and thus prevents the build up of free radicals.
Almonds are truly one of nature's miracle foods. You get such a big bang for your buck. First of all, almonds are nutritionally dense. This means that for a small portion size, you get a large amount of healthy macro nutrients and calories (but GOOD calories).
Studies have shown that almonds are the most nutritionally dense nut, so almonds provide the most healthy calories and nutrition for the smallest serving size. You get the most nutrition possible out of the calories you eat.
One serving of almonds, or about a handful, is an excellent source of vitamin E (an antioxidant) and a good source of fibre (which helps keep you full). Almonds also offer heart-healthy mono unsaturated fat.
Clinical studies have shown that almonds can lower cholesterol as part of a diet low in saturated fat. Eating almonds is a filling snack. Almonds contain protein, fibre and mono unsaturated fat, all which may help keep you satisfied.
Whey protein (the highest quality and best form of protein) is incredible stuff. It provides the body with the necessary building blocks to produce amino acids that are used for building muscle tissue.
Nearly everyone who weight trains knows the importance of protein supplementation. Studies have been conducted that compare whey protein to other sources. They have found that whey protein contains the perfect combination of overall amino acid make-up (the building blocks of protein), and in just the right concentrations for optimal performance in the body.
Both hormonal and cellular responses are greatly enhanced with supplementation of whey protein, not to mention the benefits whey protein has on the body's immune system. Most importantly, consistent whey protein intake coupled with exercise will result in muscle building and potential fat loss.
Although it's higher in calories than most white fish,salmon is low in saturated fat, yet high in protein, and a unique type of health-promoting fat the omega-3 essential fatty acid .As their name implies, essential fatty acids are essential for human health but because they cannot be made by the body, they must be obtained from foods.
Fish like salmon are higher in omega-3 fatty acids than warm water fish. In addition to being an excellent source of omega-3s, salmon are an excellent source of selenium, and a very good source of protein, niacin and vitamin B12, as well as magnesium and vitamin B6.
Just to clarify, I'm not talking about the sugar-laden single-servings packages of instant oatmeal that come in a million different flavours. I'm talking about plain, boring, large, slow-cooking rolled oats.
Oats are a great source of both insoluble and soluble fibre. Insoluble fibre's cancer-fighting properties are due to the fact that it attacks certain bile acids, reducing their toxicity. Soluble fibre may reduce LDL cholesterol without lowering HDL cholesterol. LDL is bad, HDL is good. Soluble fibre also slows down the digestion of starch. This may be beneficial to diabetics because, when you slow down the digestion of starch, you avoid the sharp rises in your blood sugar level (insulin spikes) that usually occur following a meal.
It has been found that those who eat more oats are less likely to develop heart disease, a disease that is currently widespread in the United States. The petrochemicals in oat may also have cancer-fighting properties. Oats are a good source of many nutrients including vitamin E, zinc,selenium, copper, iron and magnesium. Oats are also a good source of protein.
Almost 2/3rds of our body weight is "water weight". Blood is 83% water. Muscles are 75% water, the brain is 74% water, and bone is 22% water. So what do you think happens when we aren't adequately hydrated? Our bodily processes can't function optimally. We're depriving them of an essential nutrient.
Without chemicals, additives, or anything unnatural, a steady dose of 8 glasses of water a day (or as much water as you can shove down your throat!) will: Improve your energy, increase your mental and physical performance, remove toxins & waste products from your body, keep skin healthy and glowing, help you lose weight, reduce headaches and dizziness, allow for proper digestion, and help to keep you more Alkaline (prevents the build up of acids).
If you can incorporate a few small changes in to your daily 'eating habits' you will give your fitness goals a massive boost and get the results you really want!