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Your Metabolism Explained – What You Need To Know

Your Metabolism Explained – What You Need To Know

Woman inviting you into the website

Whenever we talk about weight loss, the topic of metabolism comes up. But do you know what it actually means and how it affects your body? Let’s get into some of the nitty gritty of your metabolism & what you can do with it.

What is metabolism?

First up, we need to understand what it is! There is a lot more to it than just losing or gaining weight. In fact, the definition of metabolism is:

All of the chemical processes that take place in the body to allow for growth, reproduction and maintenance of life

So it’s much more than just whether you can drop body fat or not!

It’s also important to note that there are several hormones & glands that play a part in controlling your metabolism. The major one to keep in mind specific to metabolic rate (how fast or slow it is) is your thyroid gland. In turn, your thyroid gland is controlled by your hypothalamus & pituitary gland in the brain.

Is it fixed, or can it be changed?

You might hear a lot of talk about a slow or fast metabolic rate. Teenage boys who can eat everything in sight and not put on a kilo? Fast metabolic rate. Someone with a condition such as Hashimoto’s that affects the thyroid’s function? Likely a slow metabolic rate that will lead to weight gain.

But it’s a big myth that your metabolism is fixed and there is nothing you can do about it! While there is a genetic component to the metabolic rate, there is plenty you can do to support a higher rate.

Does your metabolism drop with age?

Another common myth I hear from my clients? ‘Oh it’s just because I’m getting older, your metabolism slows down as soon as you hit 40 right?’

Think again. While there is some truth to it – there is a reduction that occurs – the latest science busted the idea that ageing was to blame for significant weight gain.

Research released in 2021 found that between 20 and 60, metabolic rate didn’t really change. It was once the participants reached 60 that the metabolism dropped – and even then, it was only by 0.7% per year.

It may even be that this myth itself is to blame. We tell ourselves that it’s inevitable to gain weight with age, so we don’t do anything to prevent it.

Tips to boost your metabolism

So now that you know a sluggish metabolism isn’t set in stone, what can you do to get it moving? Here are some simple habits to get you started.

Use movement

There are a few ways that physical activity can support your metabolism.

First up, we have incidental activity. If you’re moving frequently throughout the day and getting your steps in, this kicks up the metabolic rate.

Then there is more structured training. HIIT can support a healthy metabolism, although keep in mind it’s not for those under high or chronic stress. Strength training and building muscle can also be amazing for supporting your metabolic rate – muscle requires more calories to function and maintain itself. So if you add more muscle to your body, you will naturally increase your metabolism.

Don’t starve yourself – eat regularly!

I see so many women calorie restricting to lose weight. But this can actually have the opposite effect and leave you unable to eat a normal amount.

There are a few factors at play here. Calorie restriction can impair thyroid function, dropping the metabolic rate. Food also supports metabolism through TEF or thermic effect of food.  That’s right, food actually helps to burn itself off because it takes energy to digest and process it all!

And if that wasn’t enough, calorie restriction can also lead to nutrient deficiencies. If you don’t have the nutrients your body needs for an optimal metabolism, it can slow down the rate.

Get plenty of quality rest

If you’re skimping on sleep, you’re putting yourself at high risk of developing insulin resistance, which leads to cravings, weight gain and serious chronic health conditions. It also spikes your cortisol which puts pressure on the thyroid gland.

Make sure you prioritise 7-9 hours of high-quality sleep every night.

Add some green tea & spicy food

These ones have a minimal effect, but it can’t hurt to give them a go! Green tea and spicy food like chilli can give a minor boost to your metabolic rate. Not to mention, they’re also packed full of antioxidants and other fantastic supportive compounds.

Ditch the quick fixes and transform your body the right way!

Let’s jump on a FREE Pre-Screening Call to talk about how we can get you looking AND feeling amazing

Susie Garden | Clinical Nutritionist & Naturopath

Are you a woman feeling stressed, flat and experiencing the challenges of peri/menopause?
It’s time to reclaim your youthful energy, radiance and self-assurance (and your ideal weight).
I’m here to help with my proven method.

Book your complimentary Pre-Screening Call here, and let’s see how I might help you.

Metabolism In Your 40s – How To Maintain A Healthy Weight

Metabolism In Your 40s – How To Maintain A Healthy Weight

Metabolism In Your 40s – How To Maintain A Healthy Weight

Has your body weight crept up in recent years? It’s not uncommon to experience changes to your metabolism in your 40s – but the reasons why might surprise you. Let’s explore what you need to know to maintain a healthy weight throughout your 40s and beyond.

The biggest myth about metabolism in your 40s

When I speak to women about their health, they often mention gaining weight once they hit their 40s or even late 30s. And it’s often followed up with ‘but that’s normal, because your metabolism slows down/everyone gains weight in their 40s/weight gain is inevitable during perimenopause’.

But it’s time to bust this idea!

Yes, your metabolism may drop with age. But it’s probably not as much as you think, and much later than you assume!

In fact, the latest research found that the adult metabolic rate (post-puberty) doesn’t really change until you hit your 60s. And even once you reach your 60s? The study found the metabolic drop was only by 0.7% per year.

Maybe this myth even feeds into the problem. When you believe it’s inevitable that you’ll put on weight, you don’t take action when it happens because you don’t think you can stop it!

What influences metabolism in your 40s?

So why does weight gain occur in your 40s if it’s not just part of getting older? There is a lot going on for most of us during this stage of life. You may be juggling unruly teens, elderly parents, career peaks, relationship challenges… the list goes on. All of this adds up to an increase in lifestyle factors. Your baseline stress level is probably the highest it’s been, exercise may be intermittent or out the window, and convenient food choices sneak in more frequently.

But that’s not the only thing going on. A big part of the metabolic shift is thanks to perimenopause. During this transition period, a lot of factors can get thrown off if your body is out of balance. There are 3 core causes of a slower metabolism & increased weight gain during this time.

Thyroid function

Another common concern during your 40s is reduced thyroid function. People are more likely to develop Hashimoto’s (an autoimmune thyroid condition) between 30-50 years old, and it’s more common in women.

The hormonal changes of perimenopause may be to blame. Low progesterone can affect thyroid hormone production and trigger autoimmunity. Fluctuating oestrogen can also play a role by increasing the compound that binds to thyroid hormone in the blood.

The thyroid is responsible for your metabolic rate. So if your thyroid function reduces, your metabolism will slow as a result.

Insulin resistance

There are a lot of hormones that can be thrown off during perimenopause, including insulin. Unfortunately, perimenopause is a perfect storm for insulin resistance to develop. And once your cells are resistant to insulin, you store more fat and gain weight easily – even if you’re eating a normal amount.

The other big concern? Insulin resistance becomes a vicious cycle if you don’t act. It causes you to crave more carbohydrates and sugar, which feeds into the insulin resistance picture. This also plays a role in exacerbating the other factors impacting on your weight.

Inflammation

You’ve likely heard this from me a million times before, but inflammation and inflammaging always need to be considered! Inflammation feeds into insulin resistance, thyroid function, hormone imbalances, and of course premature ageing.

Studies are starting to link inflammation with weight gain. Of course, excess body fat can cause inflammation, but there is evidence to suggest this is a two way street. So chronic low-grade inflammation could be contributing to your weight gain.

So how can I stay a healthy weight?

The answer is simple. Whether you want to lose weight or prevent future weight gain, the key is addressing the underlying issues!

That means tackling any insulin resistance, balancing hormones, reducing inflammation and supporting thyroid function. But these be difficult to identify if you’re not sure what to look for, so the best option is to work with a qualified practitioner.

If you’re struggling with your metabolism in your 40s, know that weight gain doesn’t have to be inevitable!

Let’s jump on a FREE Pre-Screening Call to talk about how we can get you looking AND feeling amazing.

Susie Garden | Clinical Nutritionist & Naturopath

Are you a woman feeling stressed, flat and experiencing the challenges of peri/menopause?
It’s time to reclaim your youthful energy, radiance and self-assurance (and your ideal weight).
I’m here to help with my proven method.

Book your complimentary Pre-Screening Call here, and let’s see how I might help you.

Your Metabolism Explained – What You Need To Know

Your Metabolism Explained – What You Need To Know

Woman with brain fog

Whenever we talk about weight loss, the topic of metabolism comes up. But do you know what it actually means and how it affects your body? Let’s get into some of the nitty gritty of your metabolism & what you can do with it.

What is metabolism?

First up, we need to understand what it is! There is a lot more to it than just losing or gaining weight. In fact, the definition of metabolism is:

All of the chemical processes that take place in the body to allow for growth, reproduction and maintenance of life

So it’s much more than just whether you can drop body fat or not!

It’s also important to note that there are several hormones & glands that play a part in controlling your metabolism. The major one to keep in mind specific to metabolic rate (how fast or slow it is) is your thyroid gland. In turn, your thyroid gland is controlled by your hypothalamus & pituitary gland in the brain.

Is it fixed, or can it be changed?

You might hear a lot of talk about a slow or fast metabolic rate. Teenage boys who can eat everything in sight and not put on a kilo? Fast metabolic rate. Someone with a condition such as Hashimoto’s that affects the thyroid’s function? Likely a slow metabolic rate that will lead to weight gain.

But it’s a big myth that your metabolism is fixed and there is nothing you can do about it! While there is a genetic component to the metabolic rate, there is plenty you can do to support a higher rate.

Does your metabolism drop with age?

Another common myth I hear from my clients? ‘Oh it’s just because I’m getting older, your metabolism slows down as soon as you hit 40 right?’

Think again. While there is some truth to it – there is a reduction that occurs – the latest science busted the idea that ageing was to blame for significant weight gain.

Research released in 2021 found that between 20 and 60, metabolic rate didn’t really change. It was once the participants reached 60 that the metabolism dropped – and even then, it was only by 0.7% per year.

It may even be that this myth itself is to blame. We tell ourselves that it’s inevitable to gain weight with age, so we don’t do anything to prevent it.

Tips to boost your metabolism

So now that you know a sluggish metabolism isn’t set in stone, what can you do to get it moving? Here are some simple habits to get you started.

Use movement

There are a few ways that physical activity can support your metabolism.

First up, we have incidental activity. If you’re moving frequently throughout the day and getting your steps in, this kicks up the metabolic rate.

Then there is more structured training. HIIT can support a healthy metabolism, although keep in mind it’s not for those under high or chronic stress. Strength training and building muscle can also be amazing for supporting your metabolic rate – muscle requires more calories to function and maintain itself. So if you add more muscle to your body, you will naturally increase your metabolism.

Don’t starve yourself – eat regularly!

I see so many women calorie restricting to lose weight. But this can actually have the opposite effect and leave you unable to eat a normal amount.

There are a few factors at play here. Calorie restriction can impair thyroid function, dropping the metabolic rate. Food also supports metabolism through TEF or thermic effect of food.  That’s right, food actually helps to burn itself off because it takes energy to digest and process it all!

And if that wasn’t enough, calorie restriction can also lead to nutrient deficiencies. If you don’t have the nutrients your body needs for an optimal metabolism, it can slow down the rate.

Get plenty of quality rest

If you’re skimping on sleep, you’re putting yourself at high risk of developing insulin resistance, which leads to cravings, weight gain and serious chronic health conditions. It also spikes your cortisol which puts pressure on the thyroid gland.

Make sure you prioritise 7-9 hours of high-quality sleep every night.

Add some green tea & spicy food

These ones have a minimal effect, but it can’t hurt to give them a go! Green tea and spicy food like chilli can give a minor boost to your metabolic rate. Not to mention, they’re also packed full of antioxidants and other fantastic supportive compounds.

Ditch the quick fixes and transform your body the right way!

Let’s jump on a FREE Pre-Screening Call to talk about how we can get you looking AND feeling amazing

 

Susie Garden | Clinical Nutritionist & Naturopath

Are you a woman feeling stressed, flat and experiencing the challenges of peri/menopause?
It’s time to reclaim your youthful energy, radiance and self-assurance (and your ideal weight).
I’m here to help with my proven method.

Book your complimentary Pre-Screening Call here, and let’s see how I might help you.