Are You Metabolically Inefficient?
Signs and Symptoms:
Unable to lose weight on a low calorie diet
Unable to gain weight on a high calorie diet
Unable to lose weight on a low calorie diet with endless hours of cardio
Is this sounds like you, then this concept could change your life. It’s a bold statement, I know, but taking these following steps to ensure you are at your highest efficiency. You will undoubtedly loose, or gain, the weight you desperately strive for.
Have you ever considered what EXACTLY Metabolism is? I hear on a daily basis that this person can’t lose weight because they have a slow metabolism (or, conversely, I can’t gain weight because I have a super fast metabolism). People will fit into all points on the spectrum, but the people who complain are usually on the ends.
Let's first consider what metabolism is. Experts in the field agree that metabolism is the process by which hormones and enzymes break down food into energy and then utilize that energy for fuel. People who have a really slow metabolism will complete this process, well, slowly. The opposite applies to people who have a fast metabolism. Said another way, metabolism represents how fast we burn calories.
What plays a role in how fast or slow your metabolism is?
Your age affects your metabolism and is said to slow down by 5% per decade. Your lean body mass also affects your metabolism, so, the leaner you are, the faster your metabolism. Your gender affects your metabolism as well, with men burning more calories at rest than women (mainly because men typically have more muscle). It’s a testosterone thing - sorry.
To discover how to improve your metabolism, look back at the earlier blog post about the 10 ways to burn fat.
Lets next look at if your metabolism is damaged, or, as I like to call it, Metabolic Inefficiency. The concept is not new, having been popularized by Dr. Layne Norton who is an awesome resource and wickeddddd smaahhhttt. He basically defines metabolic inefficiency, or damaged, as the state at which you are not achieving your goals based on the calories your consuming. An example of this is seen in people who participate in a super low calorie diet, but cannot lose weight. On the flip side, common sense would tell us that if you’re consuming 5000 calories a day, you should gain weight, but someone who is metabolically inefficient may not. This could be compared to being in a weightlifting program and not gaining size or strength. It is probably the programming, and in the diet case, it may be that you have not trained your body to respond in the way that you want it to. Or, you have tried to accomplish your goals at a pace that your body is not ready for. Our bodies are afraid of change, they like things just the way they are. Your body constantly tries to keep itself at homeostasis, but that’s a topic for later on.
So what do one do if they are metabolically inefficient?
The good news is that you can fix it. In order to lose/gain weight, you need to make changes to your current eating plan. If you are eating 800 calories a day, what are you suppose to cut from? A better question is, when you hire me as your nutrition coach, what am I suppose to cut from? The concept here is to build your daily intake of calories back up, slowly, then, once we agree that a certain number of calories is too much, we start to cut.
Let me ask you one more question. Who do you think is healthier and more metabolically efficient: Person A who maintains weight at 2,500 calories a day, or, Person B who maintains weight at 800 calories a day? Hopefully you answered A. Reason being that this person has been able to consume an abundance of calories without gaining weight. Then, when we start to cut on Person A, we have something to cut from. On the flip side, 800 calories is borderline asinine, and we could never cut from 800 calories because its crazy.
•Metabolism is the rate at which you burn energy
•It takes practice to become more metabolically efficient
•By slowly increasing calories, you will be able to lose weight more efficiently
•The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism is, so lift heavy and often!
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