Welp, Spring has officially sprung and Summer is quickly approaching. Cue 5,000, 1-week weight-loss programs (barf), “cutting calories” and water fasts. Can we just say, “no thanks, never again?”
I want to breakdown the mystery(ies) behind the metabolism. I want to simplify how you can actually INCREASE your metabolism for weight loss. (Stay tuned to the very end for a special announcement.)
Ok here’s the deal, what if I told you, you can lose weight by increasing your metabolism instead of constantly cutting calories?
You see, our whole lives we’ve been given the WHY: why we should lose weight, why we’re “fat,” and it actually leaves 99.9% of us asking WHY do I keep gaining weight?
What if I told you the HOW is actually much simpler than you think? You see, your body doesn’t give two rips about your “diet.” What I mean by this is your body’s biology trumps everything. The way nutrition communicates to the body is everything and it’s really straightforward.
Let’s cut the confusion and gain some clarity around our metabolism and eating better for our biology.
1. Your Body LOVES Stability: balancing and stabilizing your blood sugar aids in fat loss because your body isn’t constantly on the glycemic rollercoaster. Insulin is a STORAGE hormone, which means, if you aren’t eating foods that help stabilize your blood sugar, your body is busy storing fat. It’s really that simple. A simple rule of thumb: ALWAYS pair your carbs with a protein and fat. And while I’m at it, stop fasting for more than 12 hours. For the majority of women, this further wrecks your metabolism and hormones.
2. Kicking Cardio to the Curb: many of us have bought into cardio being the IT exercise just like we’ve bought into dead end diet fads. Has anyone ever asked you this question: do you want to lose weight or do you want to lose fat? These are two very different things. If you want to lose weight then live in a caloric deficit and do endless amounts of cardio, this will continue to trash your metabolism. HOWEVER, if you want to lose fat, pick up the weights more often. Increasing your muscle mass helps you burn more calories and burn fat. So, if increasing muscle mass increases your metabolism, the question is: what helps you gain muscle? Weight lifting and resistance training. What breaks down muscle? Excessive cardio.
Secondly, excessive cardio is STRESSFUL. If we want to stop storing fat, then give your body a break from stressful workouts.
3. Don’t Workout More Than You Can Recover From: I recently interviewed Jordan Lips on the Wholly Well podcast (listen to Jordan’s episode here: https://whollywell.health/jordan-lips-26/) and this quote stuck with me. So many of us are stuck on constantly exercising that we forget building muscle actually happens when we’re actively RECOVERING. Exercise breaks down the muscle, but if we want more muscle, then we have to give our body time to REPAIR. Yes, you’re hearing me right, REST MORE. Less stress=less weight gain.
4. Listening to Your Body aka BIOFEEDBACK: What if I told you that your body communicates through symptoms? This is a very foreign concept to most of the American population because the Western model of medical care busies itself with prescribing medications that suppress symptoms. It’s time to change this. Symptoms are simply a way of saying LISTEN UP. The fancy way of saying this is called BIOFEEDBACK. What feedback should we be paying attention to? Biofeedback is a representative of all the different signals the body sends us letting us know how well we’re functioning or how dysfunctional we actually may be. Biofeedback is typically a measurement or a gage to check on the body’s hormonal function and balance.As most of you may already be well aware of, the body takes a hit hormonally when we diet too hard, train too hard, don’t recover enough, or simply do not take care of it. The problem for most, is that their physique goals may not go hand in hand with how the body wants to be taken care of.
So, what are some indicators to pay attention to? Hunger, cravings, sex drive, energy, fatigue level, sleep quality, stress, mood swings… biofeedback is every signal the body will make or stop making successfully when it is hormonally out of sync.
When we go too long in a deficit, our sex drive plummets and for men testosterone drops significantly.
When we under recover (or train too much/hard), our energy starts to decline and our fatigue levels start to dramatically incline.
When we put the body under too much stress whether that’s from chronic dieting or overly intense training, both of which are a form of under-recovery (check out my latest blog on recovery, HERE), all of these biofeedback markers will start to decline or become negatively impacted.
Understanding and being aware of what impacts biofeedback:
- Under Eating
- Under Recovering
- Over Doing Intense Training
- Not Sleeping Enough
- Ignoring The Right Macros (No Carbs, Minimal Fats, Too Much Fat or Protein)
Before you go trying to fix, you need to track your biofeedback. Remember, what gets measured, gets managed. You can’t fix what you don’t know. Tracking will allow you to focus on what you actually need to worry about.
What’s the best way to track biofeedback? Just use a notepad and pen or the notes in your phone. Journal about your sleep, energy, performance in the gym, cravings/hunger, sex drive, stress, etc…. All the biofeedback markers I’ve been discussing so far, track them daily or weekly by ranking each of them on a scale of 1-5.
What to focus on first for biofeedback? Fix your sleep. I’m talking both quantity and quality of sleep. (If you struggle with sleep you can purchase my RECLAIM SLEEP Course HERE)
5. Move More in a Less Stressful Way: Yes, you heard me right. Natural movement is different than exercise. My rule of thumb? Two, twenty minute walks per day. If you’re more metric focused, aim for a minimum of 10,000 steps per day.
6. Stop Drinking Coffee on an Empty Stomach: this forces your body to run on pure adrenaline and then you crash. This is also increasingly stressful on the body. When the body is chronically stressed, you increase cortisol and insulin, the result? You store more fat.
If you’re sick of a diet running your life and you’re ready to step off the blood sugar rollercoaster, I’m launching an exclusive program to help you lose weight, optimize your hormones and more: https://whollywell.health/0ks6ku3d4g/the-blood-sugar-method/