I’m not talking about cars and gas costs, because I don’t know anything about motors. I am talking about the rate at which your body breaks down proteins, carbohydrates, and fats to produce the energy required to keep your cells functioning. This is known as “metabolism” (which is an overused word often by those who have little understanding of what the process really involves or how the rate of metabolism is set over time).
Yes, genetics play a factor here, but before you give up and resign yourself to a life of being overweight, I have great news. You have the ability, no matter how old or hormonal, no matter how many great-grandmothers in your family were overweight or obese, to change your metabolism (again, the rate your body breaks down the food you eat and turns it into energy instead of storing it as fat).
I am tempted to go deeply into the science of this here, because it gets me so excited and I love it, but I do realize most of you just want to know how to do it and you don’t care so much why it works. I get it. So, I will put it in the simplest terms I know how, (and if you decide you want the deeper cut, just ask).
First, let me say this is being spurred by a talk I had with K. this week after looking over her food journals from the past thee weeks and doing some investigating as well as interacting with the amazing and brave members of our secret health plan group on Facebook who are sharing their lives with me while we pursue health together. (Join us? Click here, and send me a message or comment that you would like to join.) K. didn’t lose any weight this week, and fell off the wagon a few times with her eating plan. I realized there were some holes in my teaching that needed to be explained to her to help her with her choices, and she is excited and back on track this week. These are the basics of what I taught her…
1. We all have different rates of metabolism.
(No surprise there, right? We have all had that skinny friend who could shovel back pizza and chocolate all day and never gain an ounce while we ate salads and drank chicken broth and gained 5 pounds!) This is why the old teaching of calories in/calories out wasn’t a complete picture. And if you believed it and ate less and less in an attempt to lose weight…
2. You have likely injured your metabolism repeatedly.
There are a number of ways we do this: when we eat, how much we eat, what we eat, how we move, and how often we move. The choices many of you have made over years in these areas have told your body to slow down and store the fuel you give it in the reserve tank. There are complicated and fascinating processes in the body which allow it to do this (and this loves-to-research nurse is struggling to spare you the details…It is just so hard!) Anyway…
3. You can reverse the process, over time, and increase your metabolism.
You do this by increasing your body’s need for energy, because your body will only burn fat stores when it is out of easy-to-access fuel and needs the reserve fuel tank. The great news is that endless hours on the treadmill are not the answer to doing this! So…
4. You can’t base your weight loss on how someone else’s body uses fuel, just like you can’t base your car’s fuel economy on your buddy’s truck and driving habits.
They won’t correlate. However, over the next few days I will be teaching you specific ways (in bite size lessons you can easily digest) to increase the rate your body uses fuel, to encourage your body to access the reserve tanks and drain them, and to give your body the tune-up it is desperately needing.
(You can thank my four children for keeping me so busy that I can’t unload all the information on you at once! It is against my nature to wait and show restraint when there are lessons to teach and learn. Just ask K.)
147. 148. 149. A Gift Outside, Inside, on a Plate… The wheat growing beautiful and green in our fields; the scale reporting 9.5 pounds lost in the last 4 weeks; pastured eggs and sourdough whole wheat bread with Stan’s raw honey on my breakfast plate this morning.
150. 151. 152. Three Gifts Heard… Cowboy telling Grandma he loves her, TenderHeart’s declaration of “best in the world” about my homemade chocolate chip cookies, BraveHeart’s baby laugh when Cowboy “gets his sugar.”