Healthy Eating and Your Metabolism

Home » Fit Blog » Healthy Eating and Your Metabolism

Eating healthy isn’t about being on a diet; it’s about changing old habits and creating a new lifestyle. Most people feel like they have to give up so much to eat healthier and that is not the case. You do need to get rid of old habits, which can be tough, but it has nothing to do with being on a diet. Being on a strict diet is very different from eating healthy. I do not believe in harsh, crash diets that restrict too many calories and food. They never work. The reason they don’t work is because your body needs calories to survive. Our bodies are built to function on a certain amount of calories a day. The amount varies for each individual, because of our unique gender, weight, height, fitness level, and overall body composition.

To lose weight, as most people know, you have to burn more calories than you are taking in. What most people don’t know is that before you start cutting calories, you need to know how many calories it takes for your body to function through everyday activities. For example, a 5’7”, 140-lb woman may need 1800 calories a day for normal function. The calories increase as activity level increases. Now to understand where those calories are being used, you have to understand your metabolism. Your body burns calories in three specific ways:

  1. The first is the amount of calories your body needs at rest. It’s the minimum amount of energy your body needs to keep your body functioning: heart beating, lungs breathing, eyes blinking, etc. This is called basal metabolic rate (BMR) and comprises 60%–70% of calories burned.
  2. The second is basic physical activity. This does not include the exercising you may be doing daily; it pertains to making the bed, lifting the children, doing the laundry, general moving around. This comprises 20%–30% of calories burned.
  3. The third is the energy your body needs to digest the food you eat. It takes energy to break down food so the body can use it for energy. This is called thermic effect of food and it comprises 10% of calories burned.

Back to the woman I was referring to earlier; she needs the 1800 calories for her body to do its normal functioning. Most people think you have to cut from those calories to lose weight, but that would take away from the energy your body needs to function. The problem is that people usually eat much more than the recommended amount for their body type or not enough. For women it’s usually cutting too many calories, which makes their body feel like it is starving, so it holds on to fat. When too many calories are restricted for a long period of time, your body will begin to search for alternative sources of energy, which will deplete muscle mass and destroy your metabolism. This is where healthy eating comes into play. In order for your body to function properly and burn the fat and calories you need it to, you have to eat the right foods.

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be a negative experience. You can still have lots of flavor and enjoy amazing food while making healthier choices. Food is fuel, and your body gets no energy from processed food, fast food, and foods filled with sugar. You have to go back to basics. Our parents and grandparents didn’t have an issue with food like we do because they didn’t have packaged processed food with additives and chemicals so readily available to them. If it’s in a box or bag, it is processed. It is hard for most people to take the foods they normally eat out of their diet, but once you make the change to a healthier way of life, you will feel so good you won’t want to eat how you used to. All of the added ingredients that are put in many foods these days make you feel lethargic and worn down, and they have zero nutritional value. The added chemicals create an addiction for these foods, so you keep coming back for more. It’s no wonder we see such an increase in health issues today. We truly are what we eat; and if we don’t make a change, our quality of life will suffer.

This process can be extremely overwhelming when you are in the initial stages of making a big change. This is not something that happens overnight. It is a gradual process and with help and guidance, you can succeed. If you try to change everything at once, you will most likely go back to your old habits. If you take baby steps, and remove one thing at a time out of your diet, you can sustain the changes you have made. It’s about living a healthier lifestyle. There are no quick fixes or instant results. It takes time, commitment, determination, and the desire to make a change.  But once you make the decision to change your life for the better, you will not regret it and your body will thank you. The tricky part is being diligent and learning what should and should not be in your food. If you need guidance, don’t hesitate to ask for help. There are many professionals, like me, who have a passion for this and are more than willing to help you through the transition to healthier choices. Make the decision today to be healthy, because it is the right thing to do for a long and happy life.

Comments are closed.

Contact Info

(619) 289 - 8833 becky@fit4metraining.com

Recent Posts

Newsletter

* indicates required
2014 Fit4metraining.com