We often see little tips and tricks and charts with what we should eat or do to increase our metabolism. We know it has something to do with weight loss and weight gain. But beyond that, we aren’t really sure.
Metabolism is defined as “the chemical processes that occur in an organism in order to maintain life”…. – Okay?.. So what does that mean in simple-ish english?
Metabolism can be broken down into two phases:
- Anabolism: Building cells, maintaining tissues, and creating reserves
- Catabolism: Deconstructs reserves to release energy into the body.
So, metabolism is the process of storing and burning energy.
Food is what allows us to go through anabolism. We eat food, our body maintains itself and creates reserves. Then, during catabolism, these reserves are used for things like regulation of body heat, elimination of waste, sweating and breathing.
Alright, so what does metabolism have to do with weight loss?
Think about it, your body is kind of like a car and your metabolism is like the engine. If you are putting cheap gas into your car, gunk build up and your engine is not going to work so great and this will lead to your car having a myriad of issues and even cause it to quit early. However, if you get the good quality gasoline, it helps clean out all of that gunk from your engine and leads to better performance.
Analogies aside, what are things you need to know about food and your metabolism:
- White carbs. White breads, pastas, and pastry don’t contain enough fibre. Fibre can help increase catabolism (waste excretion).
- Eat. It’s hard to go through catabolism if your body can’t go through anabolism.
- Don’t cut calories. If your body doesn’t get enough energy, it will start to panic and hoard. By this I mean it will start to store more fat than before. Your body is smarter than you think!
- Eat breakfast. Yeah, we’ve all heard this a thousand times. But now that we understand anabolism and catabolism, it makes more sense. When you wake up your body starts going through catabolism, but it doesn’t have the energy reserves, so it doesn’t do it very well. So eat breakfast!
- H2O: Water helps with the catabolic process of waste excretion, sweating, and regulation of body temperature.
Whether your goal is to lose weight or you have exercise specific goals, you need your metabolism to keep up with you. The best way to do that is by eating healthy!