How Your Metabolism Affects Healthy Weight Loss
Many people believe that the only road to weight loss is calories in/calories out, but a dysfunctional metabolism plays a larger role in weight loss than you may think. On Book Club Tuesday this week, we discussed chapter 2 of Eat Smarter plus 3 different issues that contribute to the sabotage of your metabolism and how this affects weight loss goals.
If weight management was as easy as calories in vs. calories out, people wouldn’t struggle with losing weight as much as they do. I want to give you some truth here…and hope!
Let’s begin with the 3 issues that can contribute to a dysfunctional metabolism.
- Inflammation: There is a huge difference between food inflammation (the protective kind) and bad inflammation (the chronic, systemic kind). The latter can absolutely slow your metabolism down. Stress, alcohol, a poor diet with processed foods, gluten, and added sugars, can all contribute to systemic inflammation. This inflammation has an impact on your gut bacteria (microbiome), liver health, and thyroid health…and ultimately can slow your metabolism DOWN!
- Hormone dysfunction: Insulin supplies food to our cells, but if you are eating too many carbohydrates, too much insulin is produced by the pancreas and your body will store more fat, instead of using it for fuel. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is a good thing unless it is in excess due to too much stress. Too much cortisol can break down muscle tissue which increases body fat percentage. The more fat you have, the slower your metabolism. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism and the higher your rate of fat burning will be! In addition to insulin supplies, imbalances of testosterone and estrogen have an impact on your metabolism as does the Human Growth Hormone. We want HGH as it helps to break down fats. Lack of sleep and exercise suppress HGH.
- Appetite Dysregulation: The hormone Leptin tells our brain when to stop eating. Inflammation and inflammatory foods, contribute to leptin sensitivity, which interrupts the signal to tell our brain that we are full and don’t need to eat anymore. In contrast, the hormone grehlin stimulates appetite. Grehlin has a role in nutrient depletion so if you are deficient in certain nutrients, your body is going to hold on to extra calories and nutrients until the body gets what it needs. It also tells your brain that you need more food until those nutrients are repleted.
Setting all the geeky science aside, I am telling you this: One of the major keys to losing weight is to speed up your metabolism and below are ways to do it.
- Eat a lower amount of carbohydrates and a higher amount of protein.
- Sleep 8 hours a night.
- Build your muscle mass with resistance exercises.
- Eat a variety of foods in an attempt to avoid nutrient deficiencies. A micronutrient test will be beneficial here (we do those).
- Avoid added sugars, processed food, gluten, excessive or daily alcohol, juice (even the 100% kind), soda (otherwise known as poison), and keep to foods that are grown on the earth or live on the land or in water.
Remember that we are all made differently. If you need help…it’s what we love to do!