Spark Your Metabolism!

July 2009
Here are some really simple ways that you can keep your metabolic fire burning strong:

1. Eat breakfast

2. Eat small meals frequently

3. Weight train

4. Do cardio

5. Eat after you workout

Did you know:

* a pound of muscle requires 50-100 calories per day to maintain

* a pound of fat only requires 2 calories per day to maintain

After the age of 20, your metabolism slows by about 3% per decade. You also begin to lose muscle mass at a rate of 1/2% per year. These 2 factors greatly impact your ability to maintain a healthy body weight. For example, imagine that you have 50 pounds of muscle mass when you are 20 yrs old… by the time you are 40, you have lost more than 5 pds of muscle and your metabolism has slowed by 250-500 calories per day! Wow! No wonder it’s so much easier to gain weight as we age!

In addition, low calorie diets cause the body’s metabolism to slow significantly. By shocking your system with a sudden, dramatic shift in caloric intake, the body responds by turning the metabolism down by sacrificing your precious muscle for fuel. Remember, muscle burns 50-100 calories per day so the body reasons that if it has fewer pounds of muscle to fuel then the lower caloric intake will balance out. So there you have it! You actually taught your body to survive on LESS fuel. Then you go off the crash diet and you gain the weight back twice as fast… and the bad news is that it isn’t muscle this time.. IT’S ALL FAT!

But there is hope! Here are some really simple ways that you can keep your metabolic fire burning strong:

  1. Eat breakfast – even if it’s something small… you have to let your body know that it’s not starving or that metabolism goes down the tube.
  2. Eat small meals frequently – the best way to keep a fire burning bright is to throw several small logs on it periodically instead of a HUGE log once or twice per day.
  3. Weight train – you can reverse the effects of aging on the metabolism by weight training 2-3 times per week.
  4. Do cardio – increase your daily caloric expenditure by moving more
  5. Eat after you workout – it is a fact that the body’s metabolism slows after exercise if it is not refueled properly. Your window of time to refuel is about 1 hr.

Remember… if you’re starving, your body will react opposite from the results you are striving to achieve. Keep that fire burning and don’t work against yourself.  Good luck!