Top 3 Metabolism Triggers You Can Control (and some you can’t)
You hear it all the time: “I can’t drop the pounds I want to lose because I have a slow metabolism.”
Is that a valid claim? And more importantly, are there triggers and influencers that will allow you to tweak your metabolism, putting your weight and body composition under your own control?
Yes, it’s true that everyone’s metabolic rate (the way your body converts food and drink into energy) is different. But it’s also very much within your control!
There are multiple metabolic triggers you can put to work on your behalf, helping you melt off stubborn fat and uncover a sleeker, trimmer body shape.
There are also metabolic triggers that you can’t control. Do you know which ones they are?
The Top Three Metabolism Triggers in Your Control
The best way to have a serious impact on your metabolism is to watch the big three: weight training, exercise, and diet.
1. Weight Training
In addition, muscle also has a smaller volume than fat (i.e., a pound of muscle takes up less space than a pound of fat). So if you have a higher proportion of muscle to fat, you might weigh more but look smaller than someone who weighs less (but who has a higher proportion of fat) and be burning more calories.According to the American Council on Exercise, a pound of muscle burns seven to ten calories per day, while a pound of fat burns only two or three calories. It also takes more calories to make and maintain muscle.
Those may not seem like huge differences, but the tiny gains add up, especially when paired with other metabolism triggers.
When you exercise your body has to expend energy to get blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the parts of your system that are being exerted. Interval training is the single best way to take advantage of this metabolic trigger, because your body continues to burn calories even after you finish the exercise.
Consider ditching your long, slow runs for a series of short sprints. Or set up your other exercises in intervals where you work at your max speed for a short period of time (a minute or two is plenty!), recover quickly (30 seconds), then work again.
Warning: if you try those popular starvation diets, your body will make up the difference by slowing down your metabolism in an attempt to reserve calories for survival.
In addition, if you eat a lot of foods high in saturated fat or highly-processed “fast” carbohydrates, your body will use less energy to digest them and frequently will simply send those calories straight to storage. Meaning you get fatter.
If you want to change your metabolism and still lose weight, eat enough so that you’re not hungry. Smaller meals throughout the day — every three to four hours — keep your insulin levels smooth and help you feel more satisfied.
And eat the right foods. Your meat or protein should be lean, your carbs mostly from unprocessed vegetables and fruits (just a few whole grains), and your fat intakes made up primarily of mono-unsaturated fats like the ones found in olive oil, fish, nuts, and avocados.
Metabolic Triggers You Have Less Control Over
What are the metabolism triggers that may not be under your control? Those include age, certain health conditions, gender, weather (believe it or not, people are talking about this, and research is being done), and medications. I’ll be covering those in a post very soon, so check back in!