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Some people blame their weight gain on eating too much junk food. Some eat whatever they want, yet they never gain weight. In both cases, they usually end up saying, “it’s not fair”. These two scenarios raise many questions, and to understand them, one must first comprehend how their metabolism works. But what is metabolism exactly, and how does it work?
Metabolism, also known as metabolic rate refers to a series of complex chemical reactions in our bodies that break down the food we eat and convert it to energy. “Your metabolism — more specifically, your metabolic rate — is how quickly your body is burning calories,” explains Nutritionist Julie Lohre. Even at rest, our bodies still need the energy to breathe, balance the levels of hormones, pump blood, as well as repair and grow new cells. Our metabolic rate is partially controlled by our genetics, which makes it hard to regulate. However, we can control how many calories we take and burn by adopting healthy eating habits and engaging in physical activities.
Does Bad Diet Affect Your Metabolism?
To lose weight, it is crucial to keep our metabolism high. However, bad eating habits such as snacking junk foods around the clock may slow down our metabolic rate and make it hard to lose weight. Bad diets such as junk foods usually require less energy to metabolize compared to whole foods, since only a few calories are burnt during the day. This will slow down the metabolic process, making the weight loss and maintenance process very difficult.
Chicago-based Registered Dietitian Christy Brissette, President of nutrition and food consulting company 80 Twenty Nutrition, also explained that eating junk food for just 5 days reduces the muscle’s ability to turn glucose into energy, which could lead to insulin resistance over time. It’s thus very important to be mindful of the foods we eat.
Why We Need to Be Conscious About Our Food Intake
Eating has now become a mindless habit for most of us. It has devolved into a mindless activity such as brushing our teeth or pressing the correct elevator button to our apartment floor. The kind of food choices we make has a direct effect on our physical health and arguably mental health. We need to disconnect from the diet industry and reconnect with the wisdom of our unique body composition.
The best way to improve your diet and lose weight is by reviewing a broad spectrum of diet options designed to best match your food preferences and lifestyle. Registered Dietitian Heather Jones, co-author of “What's Your Diet Type? Use the Power of Your Personality to Discover Your Best Way to Lose Weight,” believes that one’s personality is key to successful weight control efforts. For Jones, shedding those extra pounds, eating healthy and changing your lifestyle requires “knowing who you are and what you need.”
On mindful eating, it involves:1. Knowing the real purpose of eating, which is to feed your body and brain with nutrients.
2. Eliminating or reducing eating junk food and replacing them with healthy foods.
3. Chewing food well. Take small bites and take your time to enjoy your dish.
4. Exercising regularly. Exercise will stimulate the release of cortisol, a steroid hormone that helps the body lose fat and regulate blood sugar levels.
5. Deconstructing your cravings. Understand which foods you're addicted to, why, when and where.
6. Changing your mindset. This entails shedding off the inherited beliefs and blueprints that do not serve our current lifestyle.
How To Prepare Your Metabolism For Weight Loss
Making simple adjustments to your diet and lifestyle will go a long way to increasing your metabolism. A food journal can be a useful tool for this process. It can help you understand your eating habits and patterns, and help you identify the foods you eat regularly. Write down what you’re eating, how much you’re eating, when you’re eating and where you’re eating. Once you’ve identified answers to these questions, you’ll be able to set healthy eating habits.
How To Fix And Repair Your Metabolism
A slow metabolic rate comes with a cascade of negative side effects, including food cravings, fatigue, mood swings, and difficulty losing weight. However, you can easily jumpstart your metabolism by making some adjustments to your eating habits and exercise routine. Here are some tips to rev up your metabolism:1. Incorporate plenty of higher proteins at every meal. More proteins will provide you with a greater sense of fullness and curb overeating.
2. Rather than stressing over calorie counting, focus on controlling portions and sticking to foods low in carbohydrates and fat while being high in protein.
3. Establish strict meal times and stick to them.
4. Mix up your workout routine by adding a few high-intensity workouts and heavy lifting will boost your metabolism and help you burn fat.
5. Always keep your body hydrated. Drinking water will temporarily raise your metabolism and help you lose weight and keep it off.
Even though our metabolic rate decides how much energy our body expends, the weight pretty much depends on how, when and what we eat combined with physical activities. Whether we can change our metabolism is a matter of considerable debate. However, we can regulate it by controlling the number of calories we take in, and how we burn them through physical activities to lose weight.
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