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Is Your Metabolism Really "Broken"?

As trainers and nutrition coaches, we hear stories like these every day:

“I can’t seem to lose weight any more no matter what I try. My metabolism is broken.”
"Once I had babies, it was like my metabolism stopped working.”
”Once I hit 40, I lost my metabolism. Nothing seems to work any more.”

You might have had these thoughts yourself after trying to lose weight - and failing.


After all, you’ve been trying SO HARD to eat healthy...

You’ve been doing ALL THE CLASSES at your local fitness boutique...

And according to your fitness tracker, your daily calorie burn is close to 3000 calories, but you’re eating less than half that...


SO WHY WON’T YOUR BODY BUDGE?


It must be your metabolism.


It must be broken.


WHAT IS THE METABOLISM?


“Metabolism is the process by which your body converts what you eat and drink into energy. During this complex biochemical process, calories in food and beverages are combined with oxygen to release the energy your body needs to function.” [Source]


If your metabolism was truly "broken" or “stopped working” - you’d be dead.


But you’re not, because you’re reading this! So there’s hope…


HOW THE METABOLISM WORKS


The metabolism does not "break." It adapts and changes - but not as much as you may have been lead to believe...


Anthropologist and Duke Professor Herman Pontzer conducted a 10-year research study on metabolism and found that the common explanations of human metabolism simply aren't true.


For example, exercising more won't increase your daily calorie expenditure as much as you think it will.

"We need to stay active to stay healthy, but we can’t count on exercise to increase our daily calorie burn. Our bodies adjust, keeping energy expenditure in a narrow range regardless of lifestyle. And that means that we need to focus on diet and the calories we consume in order to manage our weight. At the end of the day, our weight is a matter of calories eaten versus calories burned — and it’s really hard to change the calories we burn!"

Pontzer's research also disproves the popular theory that our metabolism "slows down" as we age. Pontzer and an international team of scientists analyzed the average calories burned by more than 6,600 people ranging from one week old to age 95 as they went about their daily lives in 29 countries worldwide.


The researchers discovered that energy expenditures during the middle decades of life – our 20s through 50s - were actually the most stable metabolically. The data suggests that our metabolisms don’t really start to decline until after age 60 - and even then, the slowdown is gradual and very small, only 0.7% a year. Source: "Metabolism Changes With Age. Just Not When You Might Think." - Duke Today


So if your metabolism isn't the problem - what is?


YOUR LIFESTYLE IS THE PROBLEM - NOT YOUR METABOLISM


You probably believe your body works like this:


"To lose weight and have a lean, toned physique, I have to:

  • Cut calories by a lot;

  • Increase cardio by a lot; and,

  • Then I will lose weight."

This strategy will backfire every single time it is tried, because it works against how our bodies are designed - which is for adaptability, reproduction, and ultimately, survival.


THE SOLUTION: CHANGE YOUR LIFESTYLE


To lose weight and have a lean, toned physique, here's what actually works:

  • Achieve a conservative calorie deficit that you can sustain, and take occasional breaks;

  • Move more (i.e. walk 10k steps a day);

  • Lift weights 3-4x a week;

  • Prioritize sleep and stress management;

  • Eat, train, and live in a way that supports fat loss and muscle gain/retention.

  • Change your habits so you can sustain how you eat and train for LIFE.


Our goal at FAT LOSS LIFESTYLE SCHOOL is to make food and fitness SIMPLE, so you can break the cycle of reckless dieting, or - if you're lucky - avoid it completely.


If you want to look and feel amazing and keep your metabolism healthy in the process, here are 4 strategies to get your lifestyle back on the right track:


1. Stop doing hours upon hours of cardio and group fitness classes each week.

START: Prioritize walking and weight training to work smarter in the gym. Keep cardio to the minimum effective dose. Keep workouts to an hour or less. Shorter, smarter workouts will not increase appetite and cravings like excessive amounts of moderate and high-intensity exercise.


2. Stop under-eating for your activity level.

START: Fueling your body with enough real, whole, nutrient-dense foods to support your activity level. You can still eat delicious, filling, satisfying meals and reach your fat loss and lifestyle change goals! We can show you how in FAT LOSS LIFESTYLE SCHOOL.


3. Stop combining low-carb, low-calorie diets with intermittent fasting with an aggressive training schedule.

START: De-stressing your body with balanced nutrition to support your activity level, and an appropriate amount of rest and recovery. A stressed body cannot get lean and strong.


4. Stop consuming alcohol on a regular basis.

START: Drinking mostly water and unsweetened coffee and tea, and limit alcohol to 1 glass on special occasions. Regular consumption of alcohol - i.e. your nightly glass or two of vino to unwind - can wreak havoc on sleep, cravings, and blood sugar - all of which lead to fat gain in the long run.


Which one will you implement first? Let us know in the comments below!


Remember the good news: Your metabolism isn't broken, but your lifestyle might be! You can change that!



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