“I can’t lose weight no matter what I try. My metabolism must be broken”
“I only have to look at a slice of cake and I put on weight my metabolism is that slow!”
“I’ve dieted for so many years, I’ve lost my metabolism”
It’s no wonder we hear comments like these all the time. We are so obsessed nowadays with how we look and what we weigh there are more pills, foods and supplements claiming to boost metabolism than we can even list!
But before we go any further, let’s look at what metabolism actually is……
Metabolism is all the chemical reactions that take place in the body to keep it functioning. All these reactions and processes need energy, or calories.
Can we break our metabolism?
Your metabolism does not break. But it does adapt and change.
If you reduce your calorie intake and start to be more active you will lose weight. As you lose weight your resting metabolic rate (the amount of calories you need to perform basic functions) reduces as a smaller body needs less calories to function. Your metabolism will also adapt so that your body becomes more efficient at exercising on less calories.
So, your metabolism is not broken; it is working like a thermostat and adapting based on the environment.
Another thing that can reduce metabolism is aging. This is a result of increases in body fat, a loss in muscle tissues and less daily activity.
Can we increase our metabolism with supplements?
Things like coffee, green tea and chilli can increase our metabolism. But here’s the catch. Because the effect is so small the increase in metabolism does not translate to weight loss by increasing the amount of calories or fat our body burns.
Why do we hear people say green tea is good for weight loss?
A simple explanation is that green tea will have less calories than a latte or cappuccino and so making the swap will reduce your calories and therefore will help you lose weight.
Where the confusion probably comes from is due to the fact that green tea does contain antioxidants called catechins. A normal sized cup of green tea will contain about 50-100mg of these catechins and 30mg of caffeine. In one study looking at the effects of green tea on body composition the group that drank the most green tea did lose 1.2kg more weight than the other groups.
But before you spend a fortune on green tea, what the magazines and articles failed to tell you is that in order to consume the amount of catechins that was required to achieve that weight loss you would have to drink 18 cups of green tea a day over a 90 day period! If you like the taste of green tea and drink it by the bucket load go for it! But don’t start drinking it just because you think it’s fat burning.
Our Top 5 Tips
- The most effective way to ensure that your muscles are burning calories is to use them, so start training with weights at least 3 days per week.
- Be more active throughout the day and avoid sitting for long periods of time.
- Focus on eating a high fibre and high protein diet.
- Avoid overly restrictive diets.
- Be patient and stop wasting your money on fat burners and so called metabolism boosting supplements.
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Or if you need more help and support with finding an exercise and nutrition programme that works for you, give our 30 day trial a go and let us help you get in the best of shape you’ve ever been in. And not just for the short term, but for life.