The Story Behind Metabolism
Each year, tens of millions of people attempt to retake control over their health and the shape of their body; and each year, tens of millions of people feel that they’ve failed because, try as they might, they just can’t speed up their metabolism.
When we come across the term lifestyle, we tend to think of the basic day-to-day habits that we rely on; sometimes without giving them much of a second thought.
And this is indeed the case when we talk about how lifestyle influences the speed of your Metabolism.
Now, quite honestly, most of us live busy lives in one form or another, and therefore it’s challenging to really keep an eye on all of our habits.
Balancing work, family, hobbies, and other commitments often means that our lifestyle isn’t so much of a choice, as it is a necessity.
Yet with respect to the fact that many of us face sincere limitations in our lifestyle choices, there are many things that we can do, little things, but important things, that can help speed up our Metabolism.
So if you’re a bit put-off by the term lifestyle, please don’t skim over this section.
The little things that you change in your regular, day-to-day lifestyle can indeed have the most profound influence on the speed of your Metabolism, and the achievement of your short and long-term weight loss goals.
Get On The Wagon
Do you know people who carefully choose low-fat, low-calorie meal choices, are very disciplined when it comes to not ordering the Chef’s Special Pecan Pie for desert, yet order a glass or two of wine with their meal?
Well, unfortunately, these people are really undermining their efforts to boost Metabolism.
Studies show that drinking alcohol with meals actually encourages over eating; which means more calories that need to be burned away (or transformed into fat!).
Furthermore, many people are simply unaware that many alcoholic drinks are laden with calories; almost as much as sugary-rich soft drinks.
A bottle of beer can deliver a few hundred calories, and most cocktails are in the same range.
Wine is generally considered to deliver the least amount of calories; but even this is a bit of a slippery slope.
Three glasses of wine can be worth 300 calories that the body simply has to deal with in one form or another.
The tip here isn’t to stop drinking alcohol altogether (despite the title of this section). If you enjoy alcohol then there’s no particular reason why you have to quit cold turkey, but you will save a bit of money and not consume as many calories.
Simply, the call here is that you become aware that it influences your metabolism. If you consume excess alcohol (even without becoming inebriated), you force your system to deal with more calories.
And unless you’re compensating for these added calories through exercise or muscle building, Catabolism cannot occur. Instead, anabolism will inevitably occur, and new cells will be created from those calories (mostly fat cells).
This is a hard choice.
Most of us don’t have as much control over the amount that we sleep, as we should.
Work, family, education, housekeeping, and so many other tasks can literally prevent us from getting the amount of sleep that we need.
However, as the experts tell us, getting enough sleep actually improves Metabolism. On the other hand, people who are constantly sleep deprived typically find that they have less energy to do regular, daily activities; including digestion.
As a result, sleep-starved people often lower their own Metabolism. They simply don’t have the strength to break down food efficiently, particularly Carbohydrates.
This is a very difficult issue, because many people can only find time to exercise by borrowing from their rest time.
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For example, after a long day at work and dealing with family and home commitments, a person may find that the only time they have to exercise (and thus boost their metabolism) is late at night; say around 9:00 pm, or even later. So what should one do?
Ultimately, it’s a question of balance. Naturally, if you’re willing to exercise, and your doctor agrees that it’s healthy for you to do that, then you’re not going to get fit by sleeping instead of exercising.
Yet with that being said, if you steal time away from your sleep/rest in order to exercise, over time, you can actually do more harm than good; because the following day, you won’t have enough energy to digest what you eat.
The answer to this catch-22 lies in balance.
You don’t have to work out every night. Or perhaps you can integrate a workout into your life during the day; maybe at lunchtime or right after work.
Most fitness clubs are open very early (some are even open 24 hours), and if you choose to workout at home, you can do so in a generally affordable way (while some machines can cost thousand pounds, basic machines that get the job done only cost a few hundred pounds, even cheaper if they’re used).
If you find that you have trouble sleeping, then this can also negatively affect the speed of your metabolism (because you won’t have enough energy the following day).
Insomnia and other sleep disorders are very common problems, and there exist a variety of support systems in place to help people get the rest that they require.
Some non-medical tips to help you fall asleep include:
- Don’t eat late at night
- Try drinking warm milk before bedtime
- Don’t turn on the TV at night
- Try yoga or other stress-relieving practices
- Try having a warm bath before bedtime
- Don’t exercise close to bedtime; your body can become so energized that it doesn’t want to sleep!
We briefly noted Yoga in the list of ‘Things to Do’ above, and that brings us to another key influence of your Metabolism, stress!
Believe it or not, but experts are now telling us that stress can send unwanted signals to our body; signals that lead to slower Metabolism.
Essentially, what happens is that when the body is under constant stress, it releases stress hormones that flood the system.
These stress-related hormones actually tell the body to create larger fat cells in the abdomen. The result can be both increased weight (through increased fat cells), and a slower metabolism.
Obviously, these are two very negative factors in the quest to boost Metabolism and lose weight.
The last thing that we want is more and bigger fat cells in our abdomen, coupled with a diminished Metabolism! Yet this is, tragically, what happens to many people who experience constant, continuous stress.
And, alas, this is many people; especially those of us who have to balance so many competing objectives, such as work, family, and other vital tasks.
So the advice here is indeed to relax and chill out and there are some simple techniques that can, and should, be added to your life.
These include walking more, listening to relaxing Music, Meditation, Yoga, eating non-stimulating foods (e.g. no caffeine, no sugar, and so on), and building a daily regimen that includes periodic time outs where you can re-centre yourself and de-stress.
Remember: while relaxing is good advice for anyone, it’s important for you to note that stress negatively influences metabolism.
So there is a link between how much stress you experience and your ability to break down cells and lose weight.
So if you don’t want to relax because you don’t have the time, then you should realize that your stressed-out life is probably playing a role in your weight gain/your inability to lose weight.
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