I’m talking about metabolism. It’s important to keep it UP. How you eat directly effects how your metabolism operates. If you want to keep your metabolism UP, that is, burning calories all day long, you have to feed it correctly and do the right kind of exercise. Yeah, yeah, you’ve heard this before, right? You probably think this doesn’t apply to you because you eat all the time and have no problem putting on muscle. You are also probably between the ages of 18 and 25. 🙂 If that is the case, you are young enough that you haven’t really had to work very hard at this, if at all. Hormones are on your side (for now) and you are kind of on “metabolic auto pilot”. BUT, things change after 25!! They REALLY change once you hit 30. NOW is the time to put the right habits in place.
For those that have already experienced some of those metabolism challenges that come with age, I have good news: You can do this with diet and exercise and you DON’T need expensive specialty supplements and “fat burners”.
Let’s go over the basics:
1. You have to eat every 2-3 hours and it has to start with breakfast.
If you have been sleeping in until 10:30 or later, you are missing the jump-start to your day. You would be doing yourself a big favor by waking up at a more traditional time (7:30?) and having a mini breakfast—-like a slice of toast and a little glass of juice. You could even go back to bed for a little bit, then have a real meal 2-3 hours later. You won’t gain fat weight, but you will stoke your metabolism enough to wake it up. By the time 2 hours goes by, you will be plenty hungry. This is actually the ultimate goal: To eat just enough that you stay satisfied for 2-3 hours, but then are really hungry at the next meal time. This is your body demonstrating that it is utilizing the calories that are coming in efficiently. When the body has burned them all up, it begins to send hunger signals. This is the body’s request for more fuel, please! When you do this all throughout the day, the metabolism never has the opportunity to stall, or slow down. It is constantly working on digesting and absorbing the incoming calories, which means it is BURNING calories. 🙂
2. Maintaining and building muscle mass is essential to increasing metabolism
Up until around the age of 25, the body is primarily anabolic. This means it is in “building mode”. After the age of 25, the body is primarily catabolic. This means it is no longer building stuff, but rather, is tearing things down. We lose muscle mass naturally, about 1% per year. If there is no exercise that maintains existing muscle mass (like lifting weights) or that puts on additional muscle, then the metabolic rate naturally declines. Muscle is metabolically active and burns calories, but as we lose muscle, we require fewer calories. In order to prevent or minimize this, the exercise program must include exercises that promote muscle building. The ideal exercise training program uses a combination of cardio and strength training exercises. The cardio keeps the inside of the body strong and healthy while the strength training improves strength, tone, and increases the metabolic rate. Studies have been able to demonstrate that strength training increases metabolic rate for several hours after an exercise session. Cardio does not.
For those that are over 30, you will have noticed that it is more difficult to cut weight, especially at the last minute. All of those “short cuts” you used to be able to take just don’t cut it anymore. You actually have to put in the long hours of training, get plenty of sleep and eat healthy all of the time. That is all part of aging, but it can be made a little easier by being consistent with your training, your sleep, and your diet. Don’t you wish you had been doing this all those years ago so that now it would be no big deal???? That is the message to the younger guys and girls. Get it right when you are young, so you don’t have to make major changes later.
As for those fat burners and metabolism stimulants, save your money and buy great groceries. Maybe even order some Rudog bars! The pills and powders are gimmicks and generally a waste of your time of money. Be smarter with both. Invest in good workouts and a good diet.