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  • Dr. Sweeney

Keeping metabolism optimum

Updated: Jan 24, 2021

It's extremely important to make sure your metabolism is working as well as it can to optimize weight loss and ensure success in your weight loss journey.

What is metabolism? It is the rate at which your body burns stored energy (like that your fat cells). You may have heard the term resting metabolic rate before, this is the same thing. Let's say your body needs 1800 cal / day to simply live and perform functions like breathing and digestion, etc. If you consume only 1800 calories a day then this puts you in an energy balance where theoretically, your weight should stay stable. This may be an oversimplification as we now know that there are more hormonal factors at play and a calorie from a Twinkie doesn't exactly equal a calorie from broccoli. But for our purposes, we can move forward with our dicussion. To put it another way, your metabolism is the "set point" at which your body burns the energy you consume in your diet and you want it to be as high as possible.

If your metabolism is HIGH, then you will burn energy (either calories consumed or that fat sitting around your thighs and butt ) faster and lose weight faster.

So first lets talk about some common reasons that metabolisms slow down:

  1. Everyone's metabolism slows with age particularly after the age of 40

  2. Extreme low calorie diets (One of the multitude of reasons I do not recommend these)

  3. Hormonal and genetic factors

If you are wanting to lose weight, you need to try and keep your metabolism high. Here are my favorite ways to do that

  1. Consume Black coffee and green tea. The caffeine as well as other substances in these drinks have been shown to boost metabolism.

  2. Consuming plenty of protein. Your body burns more calories when digesting protein as opposed to carbohydrates. Plus they fill you up and result in less hunger overall.

  3. Fasting. This is a personal favorite. Intermittent fasting and even extended fasts have been shown to boost your metabolic rate. Some studies even claim to boost it by more than 10%. One of the many benefits of intermittent fasting. Read more about it here:

  4. Drink plenty of water. When your body feels even slightly dehydrated, it slows down it's metabolism. Some experts advocate making it cold water too because they you also have to use energy to heat it to body temperature.

  5. Build muscle. Muscle tissue burns 3x more calories at rest than fat tissue. Also, after a strength training session, muscles throughout the body are activated and raise the average daily metabolic rate.

  6. High intensity interval training (HIIT) - These power packed workouts raise your metabolic rate and keep it up longer than low intensity workouts. These effects last for a few hours even after your workout.

  7. Take a cold shower - Cold showers or ice baths have been shown to speed up metabolism by increasing the activation of brown fat. Brown fat is the hardest fat subtype to burn. When exposed to cold however, your body generates heat by using brown fat to make energy.

Hope this helps you on your journey. Leave a comment below of what you like to do to keep your metabolism revved up. And make sure to share this post with others and subscribe so that you get a notification whenever I have another topic to share.

In Health,

Dr. Sweeney

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