• Dr. Deidre D.

Metabolic Maintenance

Psst. I have a secret to share with you. It will change the way you think about your metabolism. You will find it easier to keep your metabolism revved up and optimally working. Want to know more? Read on.

The best way to boost metabolism is to do three things:

  1. Create a caloric deficit to burn fat and not muscle;

  2. Balance hormones; and

  3. Stay satiated with the right types of foods.

Caloric Deficit

Forget the "1200 calorie magical number" myth. That will not work. What works best is making sure that you get the right amount of calories for your body. How many calories do you need? A simple calculation is your body weight plus #0. If you weigh 150 pounds, you need at least 1500 calories for daily maintenance. Depending upon your activity level and lifestyle goal, you'll either eat this amount of calories per day or more.

To create the caloric deficit, activity levels - CALORIES BURNED, must exceed CALORIES CONSUMED. It's that simple. When we burn more calories throughout the day than consumed, via physical activity and NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis), we begin to create a caloric deficit - that means we are putting ourselves in a fat burning state. SN: The right amount of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats are needed based on your lifestyle to make this happen.

Balance Hormones

Let's unpack this. By eating whole foods that are minimally processed, we give our bodies nutrients that are needed for protein synthesis. When we eat 1500 calories (as referenced in the example above) of nutrient rich foods, we help keep our hormones in check. Regulating hunger inducing hormones, such as ghrelin, keeps our hormones balanced. Other hormones to be aware of that play a factor in fat loss are estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, insulin, cortisol and leptin.

How do we do this? Take notice of thoughts and food choices when food is consumed. It might be necessary to adjust the types of foods to keep moving forward to boost the metabolism.

Stay Satiated

Satiety is the number one best thing for metabolic maintenance. This means eating the right combinations of foods that keep us full. Regardless of the number of meals we eat, being satisfied with nutrient rich food selections helps to keep the metabolism on the up and up. The caveat to this is making sure to eat the right amount of minimally processed foods to get the calories. Fresh, plant based whole foods are the keys to success with metabolic maintenance.

The more we consume whole foods, the better our chances of being satiated. This may mean eating more fresh vegetables and fruit along with lean protein sources per meal. The less processed foods, the better. Eat a colorful plate of foods at each meal. Break out of the cycle of eating traditional meals that will not serve a purpose for metabolic maintenance. Oftentimes, what worked in the past may be ill suited for the present and future when it comes to satiety. Be creative and jot down what works and doesn't work. The human body is a wonderful scientific experiment waiting to receive the optimal nutrients to perform at its best.

The bottom line? Create a caloric deficit based on the need to keep hormones balanced while feeling satiated. While exercise improves muscle protein balance, the absence of food and low calorie consumption, causes the body to stall with the process of burning fat.

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