You are not alone if you've caught yourself admiring a thin person and wishing for their metabolism. Most people believe that our metabolic demand (speed at which our body turns fuel into energy) is out of our control and completely genetic.
Our modern day life is not built for high metabolic demands therefore we operate at a much lower level than we think and over fuel our bodies (leading to weight gain) as a result.
For example, most people:
- sit in a car and/or at a desk most of the day.
- consume a fair amount of foods that don't require much digestive effort (processed).
- eat all day rather than only when they are hungry and require food.
- don't stop eating when satisfied.
- are participating in fad/restrictive diets.
- have disrupted sleep cycles due to stress and exposure to artificial light.
- are indoors rather than outdoors most of the day.
- use escalators and elevators instead of walking and climbing stairs.
If you can relate to a few or all of the behaviours above, you are not alone and among the larger part of the population who have unknowingly created a lifestyle that requires a very low metabolic demand. The good news is that YOU can make changes to your current lifestyle that will increase your metabolic demand right away.
Commit to one or more of the following changes in your lifestyle today:
- get up from your desk and walk for 10 min's every hour.
- add 30 min of enjoyable activity to your day; walk to the grocery store instead of driving, play tag with your kids in the park, take a walk with a colleague during lunch etc...
- go to bed by 10 pm or earlier every night for an 8 hour rest period.
- leave your devices (phone, tablet, computer etc...) charging in another room.
- practice mindful eating and eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full.
- ditch fad diets and learn to live a well&tight lifestyle for long term weight management.
- stop eating after 7 pm.
- choose whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats and minimally processed foods.
- find a job, hobby, or volunteer opportunity that is physical.
Find comfort in the fact that you have some control over your metabolism and know that you can make simple changes in your lifestyle that will help you burn more fuel during the day. These changes can be difficult to implement all at once and if you find yourself overwhelmed by the list above, commit to changing one behaviour per week and you will benefit greatly over time.
Fact Source: Precision Nutrition