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The Metabolism Mystery Uncovered!

Learn how to change your metabolism to start burning fat all day long. In order to know what you must do to change it, you have to understand the factors that affect your metabolism. Written by Deb Knapp.

Undoubtedly almost every single individual reading this article has considered using, looked at or used some form of "FAT BURNING" supplement. Everyone wants a fat burning body but few will make the real effort to do what it takes to make it happen naturally before ever considering supplements. If you implement specific habits into your lifestyle to make your body perform at a higher rate metabolically on an everyday basis, supplementation will only add to your efforts!

In order to know what you must do to change it, you have to understand the factors that affect your metabolism. Two elements to be considered are age & hormones. Lean mass, fasting and dieting also play a part but can be traced to dietary & exercise habits.

The three major factors affecting your metabolism are:

  • Genetics
  • Dietary Habits
  • Exercise

Stop and consider how much control you have over your own metabolism. YOU control two of the three major factors, SIXTY-SIX PERCENT!

You CAN CHANGE IT! How do I begin? First, you need to have a reference point. Assess your metabolism by generally, understanding the balance of your diet and how many calories your body requires to maintain, lose or gain weight. It's difficult to know what to gain control over if you don't understand what's out of control or out of balance!

You can even have your RMR (resting metabolic rate) measured. Calculate your RMR here. Once you've worked on this basic step, break it down from there.

What Are My Current Dietary Habits?

1. Do I Eat A Balanced Diet?

    It is IMPERATIVE that our bodies eat a combination of protein, carbohydrates & fat. These are ALL sources of energy for survival. Your diet should consist of a VARIETY of foods.

2. Do I Eat Breakfast?

    It is common for some people to miss breakfast due to fast paced lifestyles. Eating breakfast "kick starts" your metabolism after going for hours without fuel.

    Studies show that eating breakfast also decreases your chances for obesity and insulin resistance syndrome. This metabolic disorder is signified by the body's resistance to use blood sugar (glucose) efficiently, boosting the risk of diabetes and heart disease.

3. Do I Eat Mini Meals Frequently?

    Think of your body as a fire. The more frequently you "throw a log on the fire" the greater the burning capacity. Without a doubt, I can tell the difference in my metabolism and energy level when eating 6 or 7 times a day rather than 4 or 5. If I eat 200 calories 6 times a day, that's STILL only 1200 calories! Every 2-4 hours is recommended for optimal results.

4. Do I Exercise Portion Control?

    Most individuals have no idea of the size of a standard portion. To give you a rough idea, use your hand as a guideline. A portion of meat should be about the size of your fist. Most fruits, vegetables, other food portions could be held in the palm of your hand or about 1/2 a cup. How many servings are you REALLY eating?

5. Do I Strategize My Eating?

    If I want to eat high carbohydrate foods, do I spread them out and eat them EARLY in the day (no later than 3 p.m.) so that my body has a chance to burn them off before my metabolism slows down at the end of the day or before I go to bed?

6. Do I Avoid Saturated Fat, Processed Food (including soda) and Refined Sugar?

    The more NATURAL the food, the better the body utilizes it. Saturated fat and chemicals found in processed food only inhibit the body's design to function. 1200 calories a day from refined & processed food will have nowhere NEAR the same effect or micronutrient content of a 1200 calorie diet from whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, nuts and seeds.

7. DO I Avoid Eating Late At Night OR During The Night?

    Remember the metabolism slows down during inactivity. Eating late or in the middle of the night will require your body to work at burning or storing calories, NOT resting! Avoiding late night indulging results in waking up more refreshed & rested. If you have to eat late, eat little & choose carefully!

8. Do I "Spice Things Up"?

    There's no need for food to be bland. Spices & herbs are PLANTS, which contain many essential nutrients. Specific spices, such as cayenne, contain thermogenic properties. It's a GREAT way to spice up your egg whites!

9. Do I Eat At Least 1200 Calories Daily?

    If you are one of the billions of individuals attempting to lose weight, cutting calories by 10-15% might just do the trick. Skipping meals and restricting your calories below 1200 results in metabolic suppression. Your body has it's own "brain" and begins to slow down metabolism if you're not eating enough. The body requires 1200 calories daily just to survive.

Assess Your Current Exercise Habits:

10. Do I Exercise At Least Three To Five Times A Week?

    If you want to make changes in your metabolism and your physique, persistence and consistency is required!

11. Do I Create Overload Or Push Myself With Some Sort Of Intensity?

    One of the three basic training principles is OVERLOAD. The muscles must be pushed beyond what is normal or comfortable in order for training to take place. This is what takes you to the next level. You should never train beyond 90% of your capacity! If you choose to do so, realize the injury risks increase dramatically!

12. Do I Change My Exercise Regime?

    If you have been doing the same thing in the same way for weeks, months or years... GET OUT OF YOUR RUT! Your body responds best to change! Change the order, the exercises or implement intervals of jump roping, biking or other exercise.

13. Do I Cross Train?

    Rather than always running or biking, how about ADDING roller blading, cross country skiing or swimming? Remember: YOUR BODY RESPONDS BEST TO CHANGE AND you'll be MUCH less likely to develop repetitive stress injuries from using the same muscles in the exact same way all the time.

14. Do I Combine Weight Training and Cardiovascular Exercise?

    Studies report that you triple your efforts by combining the two. If you weight train, you burn more calories for your efforts during cardiovascular exercise because your body contains more lean mass than those who abstain from weight lifting.

15. Do I Attempt To Stay Active Outside The Gym?

    Every flight of stairs, walk to the mailbox, household chores, or hours of gardening ALL ADD UP! A sedentary lifestyle works AGAINST your body's metabolism.

    Stay as active as possible throughout the day. If you have a sedentary job, take breaks and short walks. When you return to work you will be refreshed, more energized, more focused & ready to go.

Basic Metabolism Dietary Guide

Calcium Involved in enzyme activation, including lipase, which breaks down fats Dairy foods, seafood, sardines, dark leafy greens, tofu, figs, prunes, soybeans
Essential Fatty Acids Proper function of the thyroid; reducing triglyc-erides (blood fats) and cholesterol Deep water fish, flaxseed, canola, olive, primrose, wal-nut & flaxseed oils
Chromium Metabolism of glucose; energy Brewer's yeast, brown rice, cheese, meat, whole grains
Vitamin B 1 (Thi-amin) Carbohydrate metabolism, supplies energy, boosts immune system, healthy skin Pork, dried beans, peas, broccoli, wheat germ, egg yolks, poultry, fish, soybeans & whole grains
Boron (Trace Mineral) Metabolism of calcium: Uses energy from fats & sugars Apples, carrots, grapes, dark green leafy vegetables, raw nuts, whole grains
Vitamin B 6 (Pyridoxine) Regulates metabolism, activates enzymes, may reduce symptoms of PMS, depression & asthma Brewer's yeast, eggs, fish, baked potato with skin, spinach, carrots, banana, peas, avocado, chicken, wal-nuts & sunflower seeds
Biotin Helps produce energy and regulate metabolism Chicken, lamb, beef, pork, veal, liver, soybeans, milk, cheese, cooked eggs, yeast, whole wheat flour, peanut butter & rice bran
Iodine Metabolism of excess fat/healthy thyroid function Seafood, iodized salt, kelp, & saltwater fish
Protein Metabolism of fats & carbohydrates Seafood, poultry, lean red meat, egg whites, dairy food, nuts, tofu & soybeans
Panothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) Important component in metabolism & nerve transmission; important to the production of hormones that reduce stress Eggs, potatoes, saltwater fish, pork, beef, milk, whole wheat, peas, beans, & fresh vegetables
Zinc Needed for the proper release of insulin Brewer's yeast, egg yolks, fish, kelp, lamb, legumes, lima beans, liver, meats, mushrooms, oysters, pecans, poultry, pumpkin seeds, whole grains