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Jump Starting Your Metabolism

METABOLISM:  Chemical reactions that occur in the cells of all living organisms to sustain life.  It’s the change of food into either heat and fuel or substance (muscle, fat, blood, bone). So your metabolism is either burning, storing, or building.  You are in control of your metabolism by how you eat, how you move and how you live.  It affects how your food is stored, either as fat, as energy or building.

MYTHS:

  1. “I’ll lose weight if I eat less.”  When your metabolism is too slow, you’ll store everything you eat as fat, including salad!  So guess what happens when you don’t provide food to fuel your body? It finds it in your muscle tissue.
  2. “If it tastes good, it can’t possibly be good for me.”  Dieting is often seen as not eating specific types of food, eating bland food, boring meals, without getting the necessary nutrients that boost those feel-good hormones that keep you satisfied.  Pleasure is powerful and stimulates the secretion of endorphins, reduces stress hormones which increases metabolism and burn fat!
  3. “Losing weight is just calories in and calories out.”  This is a false statement on how the body uses energy.  A calorie is not an object. It is just energy.  Everybody has a different, unique, biological genetic makeup so calories mean different things to different people.  What matters is how you burn the food you consume.  Don’t worry about calories, rather think about your food choices.
  4. “If I eat dessert, I will get fat.”  You can get fat from other foods just as much as a dessert.  Desserts were meant to be celebrated! If your metabolism is slow, it’ll stick with us.  Guilt is more fattening than anything else as it changes your stress levels, which in turn, change your metabolism.  So if you’re going to eat dessert, eat it in moderation and truly enjoy it!

Brain-Flesh-Hormones

Your brain is essential to your health and wellness.  How do you think about food? How do you decide to create a healthy relationship with food? What choices are you making in your life about your health?  How do you manage stress?

Dense bones, strong muscles and clean blood are all important when it comes to your metabolism.  What you do physically plays a role in feeling healthy and strong and to burn, build and store energy the right way.

And last but not least, and the most important is your hormones.  Even though we can’t see them, we know they’re there, having an effect on everything you do, everything you feel, everything that makes up who you are.   There are 5 major hormones that play a part in your metabolism: The Liver, Adrenals, Thyroid, Pituitary and Body Substance.

Your Liver

Your liver is one of the most essential organs in your body.  It breaks down fats and the chemicals like nitrates and nitrites found in processed food.  That’s a big job!  It breaks down the hormones for your body to utilize them to work for you.  It’s the filter for your blood to convert B vitamins, metabolize proteins, fats and carbs.  So the food you eat needs to feed your liver rather than put pressure on it.  Your liver is so linked to your metabolism that it’s very important to take the best care of it!

Adrenals

These little glands are responsible for regulating stress in your life – physical stress, emotional stress, environmental stress, mental stress, etc.  So your adrenals decide how your deal with all these stressors – positively or negatively.  It determines how your body deals with the food you eat – does it store it as fat or burn it as energy?  So if you’re not feeding your body every 3-4 hours when you’re awake, no matter how late it is, then your body thinks it’s starving so it’ll store that food the next morning as fat because it doesn’t know when it’s going to be fed again.  Rather, it you eat more often and feed your body, it won’t be stressed and will use that food for energy and not store it as fat.    Your adrenals respond to stress and/or pleasure.  So if you’re stressed, your adrenals will release  sugars to either stimulate or slow down your body’s metabolism.  So when you’re stressed, the hormone surge will be influenced by what you’ve just eaten. 

If you’re under stress for a long period of time, your adrenals get exhausted and secret hormones.  You need those hormones preserved for a crisis that might come up.  You know that feeling when you are scared or startled? That’s a hormone surge.  Those hormones are sacred, to be saved for an emergency situation.  Our bodies weren’t designed to live in constant stress day in and day out – wasting precious hormones.  This is why it’s very important to eat clean!

Thyroid

This hormone works in conjunction with the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. Your Thyroid is responsible for a lot of metabolic functions to influence that metabolism. It has a special response mechanism to tell your body if it’s in starvation mode or not.  So when you diet and you’re not eating regularly, your thyroid thinks it’s starving so it releases hormones to save you and store everything for fat.  Just make sure to have your thyroid checked for any medical issues just to make sure.

Pituitary

You can think of your pituitary gland as a thermostat.  It’s another hormone releaser that helps adjust the actions of a lot of other hormones.  It regulates your sex hormone production like progesterone, estrogen, testosterone and DHEA.  Along with the adrenal hormones, it is crucial to the health of your body to speed up that metabolism.

Fat, Bone, Connective Tissue & Muscle

Muscle burns more calories than fat.  Fat holds on to fuel so it takes just a little calories to maintain it.  Remember, if you don’t eat regularly, your body breaks down muscle and stores food as fat. There are two kinds of fat: brown fat and white fat.  And believe it or not, it’s the brown fat that you want more of.  Brown fat burns more fuel and give you more energy.  Whereas white fat  just sits there.  So because of all that dieting, your body decided to store more white fat thinking there was an oncoming disaster coming.  White fat is still needed – it’s function is to protect your organs, maintain body temperature, and be your energy storage.  But when your metabolism slows down, that white fat is producing at incredible rates.  Brown fat is a furnace fat.  It stimulates your metabolism by warming up your body and a lot more. 

So all this to say that just by changing the way your eat will get those hormones responding to relieve stress, boost your metabolism and efficiently distribute fat, water and muscle! 

Rules to Follow During Weight Loss

  • Eat every 3-4 hours while you’re awake, no matter how late it is.  (Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack)
  • Eat 30 minutes upon waking
  • Drink half your body weight in ounces of water every day
  • Eat organic when possible
  • Make sure your meats are free of nitrates and nitrites
  • Exercise 6 days a week.  2-3 cardio and 2-3 resistance training.  Rest for one day.

Foods to Avoid

  • No Wheat
  • No Corn
  • No Dairy
  • No Soy
  • No Refined Sugar
  • No Caffine
  • No alcohol
  • No Dried Fruits or Fruit Juice
  • No Artificial Sweetners
  • No “fat-free” diet foods

If you must cheat with say a dessert, be sure to make it from scratch and enjoy it!  Don’t stress about it!

Remember, this is not a diet, but a way of life!

 

~Excerpts taken from The Fast Metabolism Diet~