June 2019

Metabolism…What is it?  What does it do?  Well, basically, it’s the sum of every body function…everything your body does.  Each time you eat your body breaks down the food into energy that keeps your body running.  Everything from keeping your heart beating and your legs moving to your mind thinking and regulating everything happening in your body.  People with a fast metabolism burn calories at a greater rate and therefore require more calories…those with a slower metabolism don’t burn as many calories and need to watch how many they consume or the excess will be stored as fat.

There are several things that negatively affect metabolism, some can be avoided but some can’t.  Here are some things that negatively affect (or slow down) your metabolism:

Age:  The older you get the slower your metabolism naturally becomes

Gender:  Women have, on average, slower metabolisms than men

Body Size & Composition:  More muscle mass burns more calories, contributing to a higher metabolic rate

Hormonal Imbalance:  Estrogen in women and Testosterone in men decline as we age and slow metabolism

Poor Nutrition:  People who eat food high in refined sugars and/or saturated fat, and food with poor nutritional value tend to have a slower metabolism

Stress:  This causes cortisol levels to rise which can cause overeating and weight gain

Insomnia:  Sleep deprivation can cause a dysregulation of cortisol, insulin, and leptin…all negatively affecting metabolism

Chronic Diseases (Diabetes, Hypothyroidism, Cushing ’s syndrome, etc.):  These particular diseases slow metabolism as part of their attack on the body

Obesity:  This slows metabolism because obese individuals have a higher fat mass and a lower muscle mass and therefore a slower metabolism

Medications:  Several medications for chronic conditions can slow metabolism (antidepressants, insulin, steroids, hormone therapies, etc.)

Physical Inactivity:  Lack of exercise can cause fat gain and slow metabolism due to a sedentary lifestyle

On the flip side, here are things you can do to increase your metabolism and start burning more fat:

Eat Regularly:  Eating several small meals during the day is a good way to keep your metabolism running at top speed

Eat Plenty of Protein:  Have protein with every meal to feel full faster and stay full longer to prevent overeating

Drink More Cold Water:  It fills you up, helps you at less, and cold water makes your metabolism speed up as your body uses energy to heat it up to body temperature

High-Intensity Workout:  These force the metabolism to run at a high rate and stay running high even after the workout is over

Build Muscle:  Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, so building muscle can increase your metabolism in general, even when resting

Stand More…Sit Less:  Standing burns more calories and is better for posture than sitting

Green or Oolong Tea:  Both of these help increase metabolism and burn fat

Eat Spicy Foods:  Peppers contain capsaicin, a substance that can boost metabolism

Get Plenty of Rest:  A good night’s sleep keeps the body healthy and the metabolism running at its optimal level

Drink Coffee:  The caffeine in coffee can boost metabolism and promote fat burning (this does not include other caffeinated beverages)

Use Coconut Oil:  Replace other cooking oils/fats with coconut oil…the medium-chain fats in coconut oil can increase metabolism

Even if you are dealing with some of the things that typically slow metabolism, you can still do some of the beneficial recommendations to increase fat burning despite your personal health situation.  It’s never a bad thing to eat better, exercise a bit more, get better rest, and so on, which not only increases metabolism but contributes to a healthier body overall…and that’s the key to feeling better.  So happy fat burning!

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Meditation is a word that means different things to different people and takes on many different forms.  By way of a general consensus definition, meditation is a practice by which a person uses a technique, such as focusing on a particular object, thought, or activity to achieve mental clarity and an emotionally calm state.  Sometimes the purpose of meditation is to just clear your mind and not focus on anything as a way to destress.

You’re probably most familiar with the cross-legged person sitting up very straight with the back of their palms on their knees, chanting “OM” repeatedly.  That’s one way to do it…but there are as many wants to practice meditation as there are people practicing it and that’s what is so appealing about it.  The practice of meditation doesn’t have to be one where you do much…you can just find a quiet place and a comfortable position, then try to clear your mind and relax…or you can focus on an object or thought, with or without making any kind of sound…whatever suits your purpose for meditating.

Here are some of the important benefits of meditation:

  1. Reduces stress
  2. Controls anxiety
  3. Improves immune system health
  4. Improves heart rate
  5. Helps lessen inflammatory disorders
  6. Improves breathing
  7. May reduce age-related memory loss
  8. Promotes emotional health
  9. Improves sleep
  10. Can decrease blood pressure
  11. Helps control pain
  12. May help fight additions
  13. Enhances self-awareness, focus, and productivity
  14. Lengthens attention span
  15. Can generate kindness

These links can help you get started with your own meditation practice so you can start reaping the benefits of a calm and focused mind and a healthier, well-balanced body…the two are most definitely connected:

https://zenhabits.net/meditate/

https://www.gaiam.com/blogs/discover/meditation-101-techniques-benefits-and-a-beginner-s-how-to

http://leftbrainbuddha.com/starting-a-meditation-practice/

It’s just as important to take care of your mind and soul with calming practices as it is to take care of your body with a healthy diet and exercise.  Meditation won’t take away the stressful elements of life, but it will help you not respond destructively when they come around.  Happy Meditating!

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