When speaking with people, most believe that metabolism is just the rate at which you digest your food, well, this is incorrect, the dictionary definition of Metabolism is “the sum of the chemical reactions that take place within each cell of a living organism and that provide energy for vital processes and for synthesizing new organic material.”

There are many, many things that can affect our metabolic rate and efficiency, from hormones, exercise and muscle mass, age, weight, gender, etc, etc. You may have seen the term Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), well this refers to the approximate amount of calories needed to keep a person alive and functioning without them actually doing any physical activity at all, so basically just laying around all day and not moving. This number can be quite staggering to people because it always seems so high compared to a number of calories they are actually consuming on a daily basis. The rule of thumb for calculating RMR is your body weight multiplied by 10, so for example, if you weigh 170 lbs then your resting metabolic rate would be 1700 kcals/day. Don’t forget this it the BASE metabolic rate, this doesn’t factor in activity or exercise which all add to the bottom line. Calculate your RMR here 

“Wow, I don’t eat anywhere near that much!!” 

This is a statement I have heard so many times, people get confused and think that low calorie is better and will yield consistent results, well, in the long run, it won’t. Eating way below your RMR + energy expenditure levels puts you at a caloric deficit, the body will react to this initially by using stored energy (fat and glycogen) to keep your metabolism up, and this will not last for long because the body's primary task is to self-preservation, not getting into a size 6 and looking good in a mirror

So What Happens Now?

The bodily controls that affect metabolism will down rate and the body will try to preserve precious energy wherever it can, and by now you may have hit the all too familiar weight loss plateau! Nothing comes off however hard you work out and starve yourself, remember the body’s #1 goal is self-preservation and everything else gets slowed down or put on hold, your goals and your body's goals are different. You may recognize some of these slowing down symptoms this as;

  • Lowered immune response – keep getting sick
  • Brain fog – keep forgetting things and can’t think straight
  • Low energy – poor workout performance and/or fatigue
  • Lowered body temp - feeling cold
  • Weight retention – can’t shed the excess pounds

It’s all about how much and what goes in the tank!

Not adding enough gas in your car will result in the car stopping on a journey, not adding quality gas in your car will result in poor running and constant problems, adding too much it will mean it has to be stored elsewhere, like in gas cans in the trunk, well, the same can be pretty much said for food.

Humans are a highly complex machine that needs consistent quality nutrition to run properly and if this is supplied then the body's energy, self-healing and maintenance systems will work tirelessly to keep you at your best and if you abuse the machine it will slow down and eventually break and this is when we start relying on drugs and medications to prop up your systems.

Richard Insley - Personal Trainer - RPE Fitness Inc

2017-02-11 01:20:49