What is metabolic damage and do you have it?

A few points before we get started:

  • Your metabolism is the collection of chemical reactions that take place in order to maintain a living state. Basically speaking, it’s the process where your body converts what you eat and drink into energy (make good food choices and you’ll have good fuel).
  • The basal metabolic rate is the amount of calories your body needs to carry out the basic functions of keeping you alive e.g. breathing, repairing cells, circulating blood, growing and repairing cells etc
  • The basal metabolic rate accounts for about 70% of the calories you burn every day!!!! This doesn’t include any physical activity  – this is just the absolute basics if you were to lie in bed all day and just stay alive.
  • A high or fast metabolism means you can eat a lot and your body burns the fuel rather than storing it as fat. This is the ideal situation!!! If you want to be a lean, mean, fat burning machine, you need a high metabolism.. and I’m going to show you what you need to do to get one.IMG_8337

First though, let’s talk about how your body works…

Without taking into consideration specific diseases, conditions and medical issues etc, the human body is an amazing machine that has the sole purpose of wanting to survive. It doesn’t want to feel pain, it doesn’t want to starve, it just wants to function the best way possible. Our brain on the other hand, can make decisions, that will in turn affect how the body reacts.

For example deciding to go bungy jumping. Your body doesn’t want to, as it means jumping off a bridge head first and you might die. Our brain however, says YES we are going to do this, and it’s going to be fun! So then the body prepares itself by going into survival mode (because the brain has the final decision) – heart rate goes up, blood is transported to the major muscle groups, tunnel vision and auditory exclusion sets in… the body is making all the adjustments required to deal with the situation and the stress that is about to happen.

Your body will also resort to survival mode if you engage in extreme forms of dieting (cutting out certain food groups, detox diets, extremely low calories…) and engage in ridiculous amounts of exercise. Your body will do everything possible to keep you functioning well, BUT your brain makes the final decision. If the brain decides that eating 1200 calories a day is a good thing then the body will just have to adjust… and herein lies the problem!

For a while everything goes to plan as we have a calorie deficit: less calories coming in and more calories being used each day (this is THE ONLY WAY you will lose weight by the way). However if it is too extreme, or the calorie deficit is prolonged, the body starts thinking it’s going to starve and your metabolism will be adjusted accordingly. Everything slows down, you become lethargic, feel as though you’ve hit a plateau, you’re eating the same amount but you’re not losing any more weight and basically life sucks. This is where people start referring to metabolic damage.

So what is metabolic damage? Well it’s a bit of a catch phrase being thrown around the fitness industry (because that’s what we fitness professionals seem to like doing) however, the vast majority of the population will not suffer from it. Rather, they will experience a slower metabolism brought on by their own decisions. *No need to spam me with your diagnosed medical conditions, I do believe you and this does not relate to you

The good news is that you CAN do something about a slow metabolism, but YOU need to make the decision to do it. You also need to do it consistently and trust the process.

  • Increase your lean muscle mass.

The more muscle tissue you have, the more energy you require to function. This doesn’t mean you have to lift massive amounts of weight, it may be body weight exercises like pushups, dips, air squats, chin-ups etc or it may be piggybacking a child up the hill, pushing a wheelbarrow….

  • Do HIIT training (high intensity interval training).

Short bursts of hard efforts, followed by a short period of rest is the way to go. Getting the heart rate up and out of your comfort zone is a lot more effective way to stimulate your metabolism than longer periods of sub maximal effort.IMG_3296

  • Feed yourself good fuel.

The food you choose to eat will play a vital role in assisting to fire up your metabolism. You’ll still need to be in calorie deficit to lose weight, however not so extreme that your body goes into survival mode. Eat regularly, eat protein with every meal and choose natural unprocessed foods.

If you’re interested in boosting your metabolism, stripping fat in a healthy, sustainable way and being part of the most supportive online group in the universe…. Join our team for the next SBF Challenge

Within the first 2 weeks your metabolism will be more efficient, by 4 weeks it’s red hot and by 8 weeks, if you stick to our “Fuel plans” and HIIT sessions, you’ll be a lean, mean, fuel burning machine! What’s more, you would have had fun doing it.

Registrations are now open!


Author: Sally Brouwer

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