In part one we discussed what the metabolism is, how it works, the anabolic and
catabolic state and we discussed the primary factors that affect your diet and metabolism. If
someone is having problems losing weight, keeping weight off or maintaining a
healthy weight, it is more likely than not that something counter-intuitive is taking
place, with the overall impact being a sluggish metabolism.
In part two, we’re going to discuss specific things you can start doing to speed up
your metabolism, so that it runs more efficiently. There are really only three
foundational pathways to consider when working towards increasing your metabolism.
Those three ways are through nutrition (your dietary intake), strength training
(more muscle helps), rest and recovery (this includes sleep) and training designed
to improve your metabolism (like High Intensity Interval Training). Notice that two
of these are training and fall under the same category, while the sleep and
nutrition comprise the other two of the three collective ways to improve our
Let’s first consider nutrition, as we previously discussed there are three
macro-nutrients, which are protein, fats and carbohydrates. Many people have the
wrong ratio of macro-nutrients, for example some people may eat 20% protein, 65%
carbohydrates and 15% fat. The first place to make a change would be the highest
macro-nutrient in this example, so the carbohydrates could be decreased to 50%, but
what are we going to increase? In this example, since we want to improve our muscle
we know that the protein would have to increase and many times when we increase our
protein we increase our fat intake. Therefore, our macro-nutrient intake may look
like this: 30 protein, 50% carbohydrates and 20% fat.
After two weeks of this change in our macro-nutrient percentages we may notice that
we have more energy and feel better, we may also notice a reduction in weight.
Remember that carbohydrates contain sugars and sodium (salt), the higher your sodium
levels the more water your body retains and excess sugars are stored as body fat.
So, the first place we usually need to make modifications in our diet is our
carbohydrates and they usually need to be decreased. If we want that metabolism of
ours to work as it’s meant to, we must make the needed changes to our
Keep in mind that the above information is only an example, one must find their own
ideal macro-nutrient intake ratios or percentages. Now let’s move on to the next
important element of our diet and metabolism triad.
Many people underestimate their sleep or rest time, but consider this. When you
don’t get enough sleep what happens to your energy levels the next day? Do you feel
energized and ready to go? Do you feel your best? Chances are you feel tired, slow,
grumpy and definitely not your best. This is a sign that your metabolism is not
operating optimally. Sleep is very, very, very important. Sleep allows our body to
recuperate from the demands placed upon it and it is the time that the body secretes
important hormones, builds muscle tissue and takes a break from things like
digesting food, using our brain in a conscious manner, verbal communication and
analyzing and making decisions based upon outside stimuli. Even small power naps can
be beneficial to our diet and metabolism.
So be sure to get your rest and sleep well! Next week we’re going to wrap up this
series and I’m going to give you some examples of training that can help you to
increase your metabolism. You’ll definitely want to see what I have in store for
you, because I know this information is going to help you reach your fitness goals.