Weight Loss/Fat Loss: Ways to Speed Your Metabolism
What people don’t often realize about weight loss is that there is more to it than countless hours in the gym and crash dieting. Most seem to assume that the latest low-carb craze and endless sessions of cardio will do the trick. Although a healthy amount of cardio is essential to fat loss, the term “diet” seems to confuse many people. The results one may see in weight-loss or fitness, in general, are directly related to what one eats and how he or she consumes nutrients. Some say one’s fitness level is actually 50-percent diet related! And, when it comes to diet, most seem to know what not to eat. We have been repeatedly lectured about what to stay away from, and most have seen the food-guide pyramid a ridiculous amount of times. There seems to be a cloud of confusion, however, when it comes to controlling one’s metabolism. If more people understood how to control the metabolism, the weight would be less of an issue in today’s society.
Not only is what one consumes very important but how they consume it is just as important. It is safe to assume that the majority of the population (which, by the way, statistics show as getting fatter and fatter) eats 2-3 large meals a day (of course, until they are full), and may go numerous hours before eating again due to the generally long, hectic workweeks most of us experience. This actually slows the metabolism. The body, following these large meals, is in its fullest state and is engorged with an excess of nutrients. The body will use what it needs at that time and store the rest. Then, the amount of time before eating another meal is so great (in most cases due to hectic schedules, etc.) that the body goes into what many refer to as “starvation mode”. This is another way of saying your body is smart. If too much time has gone by (arguably more than 5 hours or so) your body senses an impending famine. To prepare for this famine, as a survival mechanism, your body will slow down and store as much fat as possible to use for survival during this famine. Essentially, it becomes super-resistant to fat-loss. This is why crash diets are frowned upon in the fitness community. Although one will lose weight if they don’t eat, one must pay attention to what they are losing! Their bodies have no source of energy, so it essentially eats itself! While one may lose weight crash dieting, the weight loss is attributed not just to fat-loss, but water-loss and muscle-loss as well. To maintain lean muscle while losing fat, one must focus on metabolism!
To combat “starvation mode” and speed the metabolism, it is wise to eat more frequent, smaller meals. This will trick the body into burning fat stores. Since the body thinks there is no threat of famine approaching (because it is consistently supplied with nutrients) it will become less resistant to fat loss. This means eating every 3 hours or so. This also means eating healthy, balanced meals. This method of “grazing” is the way by which those who are truly fit eat. Common sense often dictates foods to avoid and sensible, balanced meals (both carbohydrates and protein in proportional amounts) are what your diet should primarily consist of. If you eat smart in addition to maintaining good exercise habits, results are sure to follow!