Metabolism is a term that makes most people think about how efficient they are at burning calories and having a lean body composition. However, it is a complicated equation that is affected by many things including: age, weight, health status and gender.
Metabolism goes beyond how much weight we lose or gain. It encompasses how we function and how we process nutrients that give us energy to live our lives.
Do we have the ability to impact our metabolism? Yes, to a certain extent. I’m not saying you will have the metabolism of your teenage years.
However, the lifestyle habits that can help support your metabolism will also greatly support your health and wellness. The best ways to optimize your metabolism are:
Eating lean protein with each meal
Regular cardiovascular exercise
Getting consistent, adequate sleep
When we eat food, we have a temporary bump in our metabolism. Our bodies require calories to digest, absorb and utilize what we eat. Lean protein requires the most to accomplish these tasks compared to carbohydrates and fats. In addition, lean protein causes an increased feeling of fullness compared to carbohydrates and fats. For hydration purposes, water can help you eat less and feel fuller. It also helps us consume less calories than consuming sugary beverages.
Resistance training helps improve our metabolism by increasing our lean body mass. A body that has more muscle than before will then require more calories to fuel it. We will burn more calories each day simply because we have more lean muscle. Think about putting gas in a sports car. It can also help keep your progress going if your goal is losing weight. Preserving muscle mass through resistance exercise helps keep the body efficient and productive.
Sleep is tied closely to our overall health and our resistance to serious health complications. As it relates to metabolism, it is no different. Getting proper sleep can help us regulate our blood sugar and may positively impact hormones that affect our feelings of hunger and fullness.
This approach is for the long term. Making these lifestyle changes will allow for progress to happen at a steady rate. The overnight fix isn’t the answer and isn’t sustainable for most people. Make small changes that create large changes.
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Michael has been working with clients in the gym and countless adults in a physical therapy setting since 2013. He spent 3 semesters working at Towson University with student-athletes from nearly every sport at the school. He served as the Strength and Conditioning Coordinator for Kennard-Dale High School during the 2019-2020 school year. His goal is to always get better and give you the safest and most effective use of your time at First Capital Gym.