Metabolism - your best friend for weight loss

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Working out is one of the best things you can do to enhance your longevity. Period. And that means the more you work out the more likely you’ll be preventing heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and some cancers. But this working out cannot be done haphazardly.

When your metabolism is elevated various cells in your body receive the message to do more of what they do. Depending on which cells receive this message this can translate into your hair growing faster, your nails growing faster, your muscle cells to increase their rate of repair and growth and so on. All this extra activity in the body requires energy, hence when you have an elevated metabolism you burn more energy which makes it easier to burn more fat as a fuel source and to lose body weight.

Low Calorie Diets Slow Your Metabolism

Humans evolved in the same way as animals – programmed for survival. Historically weight gain was never a life threatening situation, weight loss, on the other hand, was a very serious threat as a it could result in death from starvation. So if your body thinks there is a shortage of food it will do everything it can to preserve life, which means slowing down your metabolism. This is why very low calorie diets slow your metabolism. The problem with this is it can take a long time to recover. As an example, thyroid hormone (one of the many hormones involved in regulating metabolism) can take up to 6 months to return to normal after prolonged low calorie dieting.
 
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Keep an accurate food diary including everything you eat and drink
 
Fix The Inside To Fix The Outside

Occasionally we will get clients with a very low resting metabolic rate. This is a problem that must be addressed before we can help them achieve their figure or physique goals. If we prioritise weight loss first we could risk sending them deeper into an imbalanced and unhealthy physiological state that only means that weight loss becomes even harder long term, and pretty much impossible to maintain.

The only way of knowing for sure if you have an issue in this area is with comprehensive blood tests and accurate and expert interpretation of the results. However, a useful guide is to take a food diary. Follow a diet and lifestyle that means that your weight doesn’t fluctuate much for a period of 14 days. Keep an accurate food diary including everything you eat and drink for this period, then calculate your average daily intake for the entire period. Provided your weight has not deviated, this will show your current maintenance calories.

A very quick and simple estimation of the typical maintenance calories for the average individual is 14-16kcal per lb of body weight per day. The average person’s resting metabolism (the energy you would burn in 24 hours at complete rest) is 10-11kcal per lb.
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‘Reverse Dieting’ – Restoring Metabolic Health

If your current energy intake is significantly below 14kcal per lb and you are not losing weight, then this may be worth investigating. Gradually increasing your food intake of whole, minimally processed foods, and targeting strength training and developing muscle tissue can go a long way to correcting these problems.

If we can get you to increase your calorie intake with no or minimal weight gain then that is an excellent result that will then help us to achieve your transformation goals in the long term. However, first we need to fix the inside before we can fix the outside.
 
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Be prepared to go into a phase of weight maintenance for a while
 

Take Home Points

1. Never use low calorie dieting. Ensure calories are above RMR as an absolute minimum.

2. Protect your metabolism. Keep calories as high as possible whilst still making progress towards your goal.

3. If you need to improve your resting metabolism, slowly increase calories using whole, minimally processed foods, and use effective weight training. The priority here is to restore normal physiological function, so be prepared to go into a phase of weight maintenance for a while.

4. If you think you may have complications in this area find a good doctor who can help you.


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