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Your Metabolism and Fat Loss, Part 3

Posted May 09 2008 11:33am 1 Comment
The type of nutrition you consume and timing of nutrition is very important for your metabolism. Your body needs adequate amounts of the macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats) to function properly.

Increasing lean muscle mass is critical to permanently speed up your metabolism. The body has to work harder to maintain muscle mass. Thirty-five to 50 daily calories are burned by one pound of muscle. Protein's main role in the body is to repair and rebuild body tissues (especially so after an intense weight training workout). When your body doesn't get enough protein, it will take protein from other sources--mainly your muscles! Obviously, you don't want that to happen. See my post that discusses daily protein and carbohydrate needs.

Carbohydrates, in the form of glycogen, are your body's preferred source of energy. Glycogen is stored in your liver and muscles and it is broken down into glucose. Glucose is then used by your body to make energy. As a result, when your glycogen stores are low, your body's performance will suffer. When your body doesn't have enough carbohydrates, it uses energy from proteins and fats. As just stated above, protein has another primary role in the body. And, again, your lean muscle mass will take the hit.

Fat is important for your diet because it helps you feel full and keeps skin, hair and nails healthy (among other things). You should limit your intake of saturated fats (usually solid at room temperature, such as butter) and trans fats ( partially hydrogenated fats found in packaged foods and fast foods). Instead, increase your intake of unsaturated fats (they are usually liquid at room temperature, such as olive, canola oil, fish, nuts, seeds and avocados). Fats should not exceed 30% (closer to 20%) of your total caloric intake. Again, fat should not be used as your primary energy source.

Your body needs the macronutrients at all times to function properly. When your body functions properly, your metabolism will also function properly. That's why you need to eat every 3-4 hours to give your body what it needs and to protect your vital lean muscle mass. If you are a person who skips breakfast, stop doing that! You are sabotaging your fat loss and weight loss efforts and throwing your metabolism out of wack!

I don't recommend any diets that omit one of the macronutrients. Eat right, exercise right and do the hard work it takes to change your body composition to
more lean mass and less fat mass. There are no quick solutions that will give you the permanent fat loss and weight loss you want!

In part 4 of this series, I will cover the impact that stress has on your metabolism.
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Do you recommend protein shakes after a strenuous workout? If so is whey protein okay and how many grams of protein should they have?
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