Dean Rahaman · December 2, 2016 · 3 minutes to read
I hear the phrase “I just have a slow metabolism” all the time. Almost like its an excuse for why you’re putting on weight and fat. Trouble is most of the people that say this to me, they don’t even know what metabolism actually is. There are two questions that I ask these people, first is “how do you know its slow?” and second (which usually gets me a few disgruntled, how dare you? kind of looks) “how fast are you feeding your pie hole?”
You cant know if your metabolism is fast or slow until you know exactly what it is. I’ve pulled from various sources here and I hope this gives you a better idea of what it actually is.
My definition I explain to my clients and people I meet in general is. ‘The conversion of calories from food and drink that you consume to potential energy for the body to use.’
I say potential energy because not all calories consumed become energy. There are literally thousands of chemical reactions happening in your body at any one time. And for those of us that remember basic chemistry from school, there are always factors that can affect chemical reactions. In the body a lot of these factors are hormonal. Different hormones will affect how efficiently your body converts the calories to energy. If your body isn’t converting the calories to energy, your body is smart and stores those calories for future use as energy in the form of fat. When your body stores more fat around the internal organs and under the skin, it then releases more of the stress hormone cortisol.
Stress can impact just about every aspect of your metabolism. From lowering stomach acid potency which means you cant break down food as efficiently. Higher levels of stress will cause your body to convert less thyroid hormone from T4 to T3. Stress can shut off pathways that will help you sleep, by sleeping less you don’t repair as well and then slow down metabolism. Cortisol can also stop you pushing sugar into cells meaning that you have higher blood sugar than normal. Chronic elevated blood sugar can lead to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, if not managed well, type 1 diabetes. Final point of elevated stress is that it can alter sex hormone regulation. Too much elevated stress means that you steal from sex hormone production to make more adrenaline to cope with the fight or flight response.
When stressed, insulin resistant and have low thyroid function/conversion the chances are your metabolism isn’t up to speed. After you eat, if you’re felling bloated, tired, lethargic and sleepy if fairly safe to say that you’re sub-optimal when it comes to digestion and metabolism.
Ways that you can speed up your metabolism is to eat the right kind of calories. There is a huge difference between 1000 calories of mars bar and 1000 calories of chicken and veggies. The will both bring about different biological responses, each have positive effects, but 1 has a massive negative impact. You’re intelligent enough to know which is which. The mars bar will spike insulin then crash it as your body battles to regain a balance. It doesn’t contain much in the way of useful vitamins and nutrients that the body needs for healthy metabolism.
Another to speed it up is not to be in an overfed state. It’s so easy to get into this state, but your body hates it. Being over fed or in a feasted state causes your energy production cycle to spin backwards. This can lead to the sleepy, lethargic and bloating that you can experience after eating. To spin the energy cycle you need iron, magnesium, B-vitamins, manganese and water to name a few. When stressed out you tend to deplete stores of these nutrients leading to reduced energy production. Combine that with the feasted state, low thyroid output, insulin resistance, poor sleep, increasing fat stores, increased inflammation and you’re on the way to whats called Metabolic syndrome. So restricting calories to a not containing convenience food is the easiest step to take, increasing your water intake is probably the easiest step by far.
Hopefully that helps explain a little about metabolism, as always if you have any questions please fire them to me and I’ll respond personally to any questions you have.
Hi readers. I know it’s been like 2 months since I posted my last blog article. I’ve super busy moving to Croydon and now feel it’s a good time to give you some updates. A move to Croydon Firstly I want to announce and also thank MYPT Studio for working with me and allowing me to use… read on
I get asked a lot, how can I improve my metabolism? How can I lose the gut? How can I improve my digestion? What should I do for losing weight? Plus a load of others, but those I’d say are the main ones. Now, a blanket answer that covers pretty much all these answers is… read on