Metabolism is often considered the Wizard of Oz of weight loss.
It’s the man behind the curtain that seems mysterious and fools us into thinking his complexity can never be comprehended by mere mortals.
Until you pull back the curtain and see he isn’t quite as mystical as your imagination gave him credit for. Dynamic? Yes. Elusive? No.
The three main questions I get asked by new clients wanting to kick start their metabolism are the following:
- What is metabolism, exactly?
- How can I tell if my metabolism has decreased?
- How can I increase my metabolism rate permanently?
I’m pulling back the curtain on metabolism to reveal what it is and how to increase your metabolism rate permanently by simply listening to your body’s cues for hunger and thirst.
How to Increase Metabolism Rate Permanently
What is Metabolism and How Does It Work?
The experts at Mayo Clinic define metabolism as the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. Ultimately, the calories in the food and beverages you consume combine with oxygen to release this energy into your body.
The process is complex, but the outcome is simple–our cells turn sugar into glucose and send glucose to different parts of our bodies as needed.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information explains that the mammalian brain depends on glucose as its primary energy source. As a result, the glucose that ventures out to your brain is used to fuel functions specific to the brain. Thinking, memory, and learning are chief among these functions.
Conversely, the calories your body converts to glucose and then sends to your muscles give you the energy to move.
Taking the form and function of metabolism into account, let’s look at how our metabolism can slow down and how to increase our metabolism rate permanently.
How to Increase Your Metabolism Rate
Before we discuss how you can increase your metabolism rate permanently, it’s essential to understand some of the daily lifestyle mistakes many people make that are slowing down their metabolism.
The most important aspect of our mind-body connection to remember as we consider the following mistakes is how each severs the open pathway between your body’s voice and your mind’s ability to hear and listen effectively.
Weight loss isn’t as tricky as diet industries make it out to be. The trickier they make it sound, the more you have to rely on their products and services to lose weight. This faux complexity makes you think you are dependent on them for weight loss and health success.
As you read the following list, I would encourage you to notice how your body reacts to the information therein.
Do you feel free to eat what your body asks for and know when it signals hunger?
Does the following list cause tension in some part of your body?
Eating Too Few Calories
Many diets claim that restricting calories will lead to weight loss. They produce highly technical-looking charts and graphs to suggest the number of calories you “should” be consuming according to your height, weight, and age.
These charts and graphs don’t consider the experiences, lifestyles, and homeostasis (physical and mental equilibrium) of the individuals they’ve reduced to a series of numbers.
Often, when people embark on such calorie-reducing journeys, they cut-off communication with their bodies by focusing solely on numbers. They ignore their body’s signals of hunger and impose restrictions based on a one size fits all approach. As a result, they aren’t giving their body what it needs, resulting in ostracizing the body from the human being residing therein.
When the mind chooses not to listen to the body, the body will respond by slowing. You can imagine the body is like a threatened cat–it crouches and stays low until the threat passes.
For example, a study was conducted in which obese women consumed 420 calories per day for 4–6 months. At the end of the testing period, these women’s resting metabolic rates slowed significantly. When they increased their calorie intake over the subsequent five weeks, their resting metabolic rates remained much lower than before the experiment.
When we choose to enforce our rules on the body, the body may react adversely.
2. Drinking Sugary Weight Loss Beverages
The diet beverage industry is booming. These sugary drinks often promise to help dieters lose weight if they replace one meal per day with their concoction.
Not only do these drinks contain more sugar than a can of soda in some cases, but they are also void of wholesome ingredients.
When we reject whole foods for highly-processed diet drinks, we fail to nourish our bodies. Additionally, we ingest harmful ingredients such as sucralose, synthetic vitamin blends, and artificial thickeners like Maltodextrin.
When we choose, instead, to eat nutritious and delicious whole foods when our body asks for them, we are working with our body to keep our metabolism at a healthy rate so it can fuel all its functions accordingly.
The final mistake we’ll consider is refusing proteins as a means of reducing calorie intake.
3. Ignoring Protein’s Ability to Increase Metabolism
Protein helps our bodies build muscle, maintain muscle mass, and increase metabolism. In independent studies designed to measure metabolism after eating protein, protein is proven to increase the rate of metabolism throughout the body.
Many of my clients have adhered to calorie-restricting diets in the past.
When I asked them to describe their daily nutritional intake, many of them mentioned that they chose to withhold protein from their bodies in an attempt to keep calorie intake at a minimum. Consequently, they discovered their metabolism decreased.
Not only does this kind of thinking propose that all calories are created equal, but it also–once again–deprives the body of something it needs.
When we allow our bodies to tell us when they need protein, we find the nutritional balance we seek occurs naturally. There are times when our bodies ask for the vitamins and minerals in fruits, and other times when they ask for the proteins provided by nuts, seeds, and fish.
You Can Help Your Body Increase Metabolism
Rather than taking control of what we eat by strictly adhering to diets meant to serve the masses with rules and regulations that don’t take our unique body’s in mind, simply listen.
The tension of doing the right or wrong thing releases when we loosen our grips on calorie calculators, meal replacement cans, fat counters, and restrictive mindsets.
As tension releases, oxygen flows more freely.
As oxygen flows throughout our bodies, we become wholly integrated. Thus we can hear and listen to the signals our bodies are sending.
The way to increase your metabolism rate permanently is to stock your kitchen cabinets and refrigerator with healthy, whole foods and eat them when your body asks for them. In addition, listen to your body’s needs and don’t guilt yourself over that thing you wanted to eat but thought you couldn’t.
Release the perfectionist mentality that diets create and embrace your body’s natural ability to bring you into your right and peaceful center.
Leslie Chen helps people learn how to stop emotional eating forever without restrictive diets. Her ultimate freedom approach teaches you how to wake up skinny without deprivation, and feel liberated and calm in front of a table full of sweets. Book a 1:1 session.
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