Friday, 04 May 2012
Metabolism gets blamed for everything. Last time I check it was our metabolisms fault that we went to war in Afghanistan. Our metabolisms have become the modern day scapegoat for anything not going our way, and especially why we can't lose "those last few pounds."
Who hasn't heard it?
Girl 1 to Girl 2: "Oh my God, I'm skinny ‘cos my metabolism is as fast as a jaguar."
Girl 2 to Girl 1: "Oh, mine is a turtle. That's why I'm kind of fat."
Girl 1 to Girl 2: "Oh babe, that's such a shame." (Secretly laughing on the inside and simultaneously experiencing "metabolism superiority.")
But both girls are wrong. Blaming our metabolism for not reaching desired weight goals is a lazy way to live, as well as scientifically incorrect. Our metabolism can be manipulated through diet and exercise, but at the end of the day they aren't the last word when it comes to weight loss. It sucks but it's true: the only reason I don't have my dream body is because I'm just a little bit indiscipline with the cookie jar.
Metabolism is the process the body uses to convert food to fuel, through a series of chemical and hormonal process. The speed of metabolism is unique to an individual, and inherited to an extent. Given that it's inheritable now is the perfect excuse to let your mom have it. I've always blamed my dad for my slightly large quad muscles. Now I can blame him for my tummy too.
But you have to stop blaming the parents at some point. Throwing junk in the engine is the cause of weight gain, not the engine itself. Those who think they have a "turtle" can still me slim: as long as they eat well. Our body is a finely tuned machine. Excess calories with minimal calories will weigh it down: in the form of 10 pounds of extra "cushion." Even jaguars that eat 10 cakes a day will get caught at some point by a healthy eating turtle.
People who are a bit overweight have a huge advantage if they are trying to lose weight through exercise. People with higher body weights burn more calories than a tiny gym bunny doing identical workouts. So while you might not look as good in the gym leggings today, you'll be looking banging soon, as long as you keep the running up.
So how do you get the engine running? Muscle burns calories faster than fat and adding weight training to daily workouts will increase muscle mass over time. Even after a strength workout the body has to work harder to maintain muscle mass because muscles are biologically hungrier than fat. So if you've been pumping iron in the gym and 6 hours later you're hungrier than a hippo take it as a fact that your muscles are munching away on your body, and you need more food.
What's in your diet is important too. As moms have been preaching for generations, breakfast really is the most important meal of the day when it comes to kicking metabolism into gear. And no one needs to be told that vegetables, lean meat like chicken and water are the things you should be eating.
So don't put all of life's failures on metabolism: he's only a minor natural body process. Eating healthily and exercising regularly are sure-fire ways to lose weight, and be happy.
What do you think? Do you blame your metabolism when it's just not his fault?