Optimize Your Metabolism Through Nutrition & Lifestyle
When our metabolism is working at its optimal rate, we are able to eat more and burn more. Although there is no such thing as permanently damaging your metabolism, your metabolism can 100% slow down from being in a calorie deficit for too long, too much stress, not enough sleep, along with many other factors. However, this can be absolutely be reversed. Check out our blog on metabolic slowdown for more details.
So what can we do to optimize our metabolism?
First, let's go over our Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR). This is the amount of calories you burn just by laying in bed all day, not moving a muscle. This is 65% of your total metabolism!
So where does all this energy go when we're not moving a muscle?
6 cal/ lb of skeletal muscle
2cal/ lb of fat
90 cal/ lb of liver tissue
100 cal/ lb of brain tissue
200 cal/ lb of heart tissue
We obviously can't control how much liver, brain, and heart tissue we have.
We can, however, control how much muscle and fat we have. This can be manipulated for a faster metabolism.
Our metabolic rate is MOSTLY determined by our lean muscle mass!
Some other factors that come into play are your age, sex, growth stage, hormones, genetics, stress, pregnancy, and the temperature you live in.
In order to increase your metabolism, you need to be strength training with a progressive overload in order to build lean muscle mass. We naturally lose muscle as we age, which is the main cause of metabolic slowdown. We can prevent this by building lean muscle, and continuing doing so as we age. This is the most effective way to sustain a higher metabolic rate.
Another factor that determines our metabolic rate is the Thermic Effect of Food (TEF).
This is how many calories we are burning through digesting food. The higher the quality of the foods you eat, the more calories it takes to burn it. Lower quality and processed foods are very easy to digest (as to why they're also so addicting), and have a very low TEF.
Increasing your NEAT (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis), increases your metabolism.
This is all movement during the day outside of actual exercise.
your job (sedentary or active)
This can account for as low as 15% for some people up to 50% for others!
A big part of our NEAT, is the type of job that we have. Take a look at the differences in calories burnt based on your job. (This is based on a 150lb 35 year old female). Please keep in mind that the amount of lean muscle you have, will also greatly influence how many calories you're burning. The more muscle, the more calories burnt doing the same activities. These are just averages!
So how do we optimize our metabolism?
Consistent strength training to build lean muscle mass
Eating high quality food (lean protein and fiber) to increase the thermic effect of food
Moving more throughout your day
Sleeping more at night