Metabolism – What is it and How do I Manage it?

What is Metabolism?

Metabolism is defined as all the chemical processes in your body that cause food to be broken down and used for energy and growth. Some people complain that they have either a fast or slow metabolism and blame it on their genetics. Although genetics may contribute slightly, there are many other lifestyle factors that can stall or speed up your metabolism. The speed of your metabolism is known as metabolic rate. It is the number of calories that you burn in a given amount of time, referred to as calorie expenditure. Metabolic rate is divided into three categories. These are your basal metabolic rate (BMR), resting metabolic rate (RMR), and thermic effect of food (TEF).


If you are suffering with extra body fat and feel that your metabolism has slowed down in spite of eating well and exercising, you may be suffering with some chronic low level inflammation. This can be caused from food sensitivities, stress, poor sleep, etc.

Often when my clients are bloated from poor digestion and eating the wrong foods, they have a hard time losing weight and blame it on a slow metabolism. If this sounds familiar, try eliminating inflammatory foods for a short period of time, such as dairy , eggs, and flour. If you are eating too often (even if its small meals), and not giving your digestion a break, this can also cause bloat and a sluggish metabolism. Try eating more raw fruits and vegetables and fermented foods.

Daily Exercise

People also tend to lose muscle mass with age. The leaner you are, the better your metabolism will be, regardless of your age. This is why it is essential to exercise every day. The more you move, the more calories you will be able to consume .

Jump Start Your Metabolism

A great strategy for jumpstarting your metabolism is intermittent fasting. If you are not familiar with this term, it means giving your self a restriction of time between meals. For example, if your last meal was at 6:00 pm, you would wait 16 hours until eating your breakfast the next day. Besides turning into an efficient fat burner, intermittent fasting can boost your human growth hormone production and is very effective for reversing insulin resistance.

Strength training is key to firing up your metabolism. Unlike traditional cardio, strength training causes you to continue burning more calories for up to 72 hours after the exercise is over.

Coffee lovers will be very excited with what I say next. Please note that I am not encouraging everyone to start drinking coffee, but it does boost metabolism, especially if consumed before exercise. Try to make sure that it is from fresh organic beans and pesticide -free. Avoid it if you are pregnant or exercise in the evening. Green tea and oolong has also shown to increase metabolism.

The bottom line is that by making small lifestyle changes, and incorporating some of these tips into your routine, you can easily fire up your metabolism!

Frances Michaelson

A pioneer in the fitness industry, Frances opened the first personal training center in the West Island of Montreal in 2001. In 2008 , Frances had the “gut feeling“ that there was more to learn about health and how our bodies function, which led to further her education in the field of Naturopathy and holistic nutrition. She has since authored two books. Her latest book, "Do you Have the Guts to be Healthy" was published in March 2021. As a trainer and naturopath, she truly loves seeing people transform themselves by trusting their bodies instead of getting caught up in the medical system. Practicing health is the only way to live the gift of life well!

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