Metabolism Reboot

Metabolism Reboot

Metabolism Reboot

5 Steps to Maintaining Your Metabolism As You Get Older

(AS FEATURED IN BEVERLY HILLS TIMES)

By: Anna Baker, [email protected]

What Is Our Metabolism?

We hear the word “metabolism” mentioned often when it comes to weight loss, but do we really know what it is? Do we understand how it impacts our weight loss and gain? Can we take control and change it?

Our metabolism consists of the biochemical reactions involved in sustaining the living state of the body’s cells, including the conversion of molecules to energy. These processes assist humans to grow, reproduce, repair and react to the environment. The amount of energy needed to complete all the tasks in a day is our total energy requirement (TEE). Our total energy requirement is made up of two components:

  • Basal Metabolic rate (BMR)
  • Physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE)

Our basal metabolic rate (BMR) is total calories that we burn when we are at rest.  Our physical activity energy expenditure (PAEE) is made up of all physical activity done above our BMR. This can be broken down into three categories:

  • NEAT (Non-exercise activity thermogenesis)
  • Physical Activity
  • Diet Induced-thermogenesis

Why is your Metabolism Important? 

Your metabolism influences your basic energy needs. If the amount of energy (food) consumed is higher than you use, then you will gain weight.

As we age, our basal metabolic rate decreases as weight increases, muscle mass decreases and hormone levels change. The average woman’s weight increases approximately 1.5 pounds per year. When it comes to boosting our metabolism, there are things we cannot easily change such as our genetic make up. On the other hand, there are some easy steps that we can take to eliminate normal weight gain. Maintaining an active metabolism is important for our health and this becomes even more important as we age.

Step 1: BMR

As we have learned, Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the energy used by the body while in a neutral rest position.  This is the energy used for breathing, blood circulation, homeostasis, cell growth, brain function, nerve response, and reflex muscle contraction. BMR accounts for approximately 70% of calories burned each day.  So maximizing your BMR potential is a vital key in burning calories. BMR is influenced by body composition, sex, age, weight, body surface and our endocrine glands.

 

How can you take control and increase your BMR? We can change our body composition by increasing our lean muscle mass. You can do this by maintaining and building muscles. The endocrine gland response can be manipulated via hormonal regulation and weight can be influenced by nutritional intake.

Step 2: Increase your NEAT

NEAT or Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis is all the energy burned throughout the day, with exception of sleeping, eating and exercise. This can be as simple as standing, walking, cleaning, typing, and gardening and even fidgeting.

 

Individuals with the same BMR energy expenditure can vary by as much as 2,000 calories a day depending on their NEAT & Physical activity. On average, we burn 1 calorie per 20 steps. By increasing your non-exercise step count by 1,000 steps per day you are able to burn an extra 50 calories per day at the same time as improving your health. 

Step 3: The Lifestyle Effect

Studies have shown that an unhealthy lifestyle can affect our metabolism via leaving race damage on the DNA.

That may sound a lot more intense than it is meant to be. The point that needs to be taken is that the way we live can affect us on a cellular level.  Meaning our amount of sleep and our stress levels can impact our metabolism.

Our stress response increases heart rate and blood pressure, which is great when you are in danger, however this does not assist our metabolism. The stress response releases hormones that can disrupt metabolic functions.

Sleep depredation can also alter glucose regulation and hormones that are involved in regulating metabolism. So as contradictory as this sounds, lying down more can actually be useful. Having 7-9 hours of sleep and meditation has been linked to a boost in metabolism.

Research has also highlighted that meditation can reduce stress, so try meditating for as little as 5 minutes before bed day to restore your body to a more calm state.

 

 Step 4: Exercise

Increased physical activity energy expenditure has been proven to have the long-term benefit of increasing our metabolism.

 

This metabolic shift is due to the increased lean muscle mass that is developed.  To boost your metabolism via physical activity, try adding weight training to your workout. The benefits of weight training over cardio are that you burn more fat doing it, assist in building and retaining muscles, maintain bone density, increase function strength and increase joint stability.

Weight training is also beneficial in burning calories when you are no longer working out due to the increased intake of oxygen. This increased intake is linked to more calorie burn after exercising.

Strength training is also the best way to increase lean muscle mass and as mentioned previously, this is key to boosting your resting metabolism.

Circuit training and heavy weight training are ideal; with body weight exercises something that you can easily be performed at home. Great body weight exercises are: squats, lunges, dips, pushups and jumping rope.

 

Step 5: Nutrition

When it comes to diet, there are two key reasons how it can assist with our metabolism: food induced thermogenesis and increasing our BMR.

A healthy diet is important for our overall health and in disease prevention. This means having a balanced eating plan providing regular energy via nutrient rich foods.

When it comes to “metabolism” a low calorie and restrictive diets can trigger “starvation mode.” If you restrict your calorie intake too much and lose weight too quickly, your body starts to reduce its energy “use” as a survival mechanism. This is the brain’s natural physiological response to protect us from dying of starvation.

Unhealthy and incorrect eating habits can negatively affect our metabolism.  Starvation mode response is to make you hungrier and can lead to craving. By eating nutrient rich foods regularly throughout the day, you are able to boost your metabolism.

With our bodies being up to 60% water, it is key that we recognize water as an important element for the body. Water needs to be processed and this burns calories without containing them. So, whenever we increase water intake it assists our health.

It is important to point out that studies have shown that 1 ounce of water can increase our metabolic rate up to 30% for up to 40 minutes after drinking it. By drinking 4 pints of water a day, you are able to increase your metabolism by approximately 90 calories a day.  This does not sound like a large amount, but it really helps.

Add all of these steps together and you will be burning more calories than ever!!!!

Sample Metabolism Menu

FIRST THING: 

Warm lemon water with cayenne pepper

BREAKFAST:

Organic steel cut oats with fresh organic apple & Cinnamon

SNACK: 

Greek yogurt + Organic Berries + Green tea

 

LUNCH:

Salad + Lean Protein (Turkey) + Fiber Source (Hemp Seeds)

 

SNACK:

Whey Protein Shake or handful of tree nuts (almonds) + Green tea (or black coffee)

 

DINNER:

Vegetables (asparagus)+ Lean Protein (Salmon)+ Fiber Source (quinoa)

 

BED:

Warm Cacao Skim Milk

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About the Author
Anna Baker

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