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Your metabolism isn’t slowing down… You have.


The Fitness Industry is notorious for spreading misinformation, rumors and outright lies regarding human biology and more specifically, how humans are able to manipulate their body composition. If you are new to fitness and this industry as a whole, you have probably already been exposed to countless brands that have tried to sell you on a certain product that will get you from point “A” to point “B” in a short space of time. If you haven’t realized by now, the fitness industry is a game of constant comparison. Typically, these brands will use your current insecurities and your lack of knowledge to state things such as, “speed up your metabolism with “x”” - “Strip fat and build muscle with “y”” whilst using an extremely aesthetically pleasing individual to promote the brand in order to make a quick dollar off you.


Now, I will make it clear, the purpose of this is not to demonize certain brands, there are some brands in the fitness space that are extremely transparent and genuinely there to support you with your fitness goals. Rather, my aim is to make you, the consumer, more aware of what you are buying into and to teach you how to improve your body composition through fundamental biological processes without being solely reliant upon supplementation / products.


You are probably reading this blog because you have recently wanted to make health a priority in your life and as of late, with age, you may have potentially noticed that you’ve let yourself go a little. Often when a client approaches me with a weight-loss goal in mind they will state “my metabolism is broken”, “my metabolism is slowing down” or “I need to kick start my metabolism, i've tried (X,Y&Z) diet and nothing helped!”.


Your metabolism is not a machine,


Your metabolism does not need “fixing” or “rebooting”. Instead of assuming that there is something inherently wrong with you or blaming weight gain on the process of your body “slowing down” with age, have you actually considered your current lifestyle behaviors?


Your metabolism has not slowed down… You have.


Whether this is due to recent lifestyle changes, landing a new job or just being occupied with general daily stressors, it is important to understand that these changes are a very normal and necessary process throughout life, but there are ways we can get on top of this before we let ourselves go too far. We have a tendency to associate that being younger means being fitter and healthier. Massive misconception, the truth is, throughout our younger life we were just a lot more active. We walked to school, played in playgrounds, participated in sports and generally, moved a bit more and ate a little less than what we do now. Do you see where I am going with this? Throughout this blog I am going to share with you the three main processes and tools you can use to improve your body composition.

  1. Metabolism

  2. TDEE & Energy Expenditure

  3. NEAT


What is your metabolism?


In order to understand the concept of weight loss we must understand the core biological processes which occur internally. Your metabolism is essentially the process in which we burn/ expend calories (energy). The more we consume the more energy we store and the more we move, the more energy we expend. This trend suggests, the more we consume and the less we move, the overall net energy we will store. Applying this theory to a practical example we could state that the typical office worker would consume more and move less on a daily basis which could correlate with net weight gain over time. Thus, your metabolism is not some machine that randomly slows down as previously discussed, it is in fact you the individual who has slowed down over time.


TDEE & Energy Balance


TDEE also referred to as “Total Daily Energy Expenditure” is an estimated projection of the amount of calories (energy) you burn on a daily basis including activity AKA your ‘maintenance calories’ the calories you would require daily to maintain your current bodyweight. The formula used for this calculation is (BMR - basal metabolic rate x your daily activity level). Thus, the more active you are the more energy you burn. If you would like to calculate your own specific TDEE click the link provided: /


In order to accurately track weight-loss you must have a grasp on the concept “Energy Balance” This is typically referred to as ‘Calories in vs Calories out’ If you want to lose weight you need to be in what's known as a ‘Calorie deficit’ (consuming fewer calories than you burn daily) over a specific duration of time until you have reached your goal and vise versa if your aim is to gain weight. Now, this does not mean starving yourself every day and training for hours on end in the gym daily. Although this method could get you quick results, It’s definitely not sustainable or optimal for your long term health and will come with a plethora of negatives that will outweigh the positives including, hormonal imbalances, muscle loss, mood swings etc. General rule of thumb I use for my clients when approaching a calorie deficit is, once they have calculated their TDEE, to eat in a deficit of roughly 10-15% of their maintenance calories. Essentially you are trying to get away with consuming the most possible calories you can whilst still gradually losing weight over time. This may take a little longer to lose weight, however it is a far more sustainable approach to achieving your goals. You will have more energy to perform and recover in the gym, your mood should not be too affected and your hormones will be regulated far more efficiently.


NEAT - Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis


If your goal is to lose weight effectively, increasing your NEAT daily should be a staple to supplement your weight-loss program. In essence, NEAT is everything you do that is non intentional exercise. Studies find that approximately over 15% of the daily energy we burn is through this process. NEAT can be increased through consciously increasing locomotion throughout the day. There are a few ways we can tackle this, the most obvious and optimal approach is to walk more. However, not all of us have the luxury of going for a walk hours on end due to work and family commitments. Other ways we can increase our NEAT is to be mindful of our movement at work or in our homes. For example; Take the stairs rather than the escalator, walk whilst taking phone calls, use a standing desk at work, set break timers between allocated work to move, just to mention a few options!


If however, you are someone who struggles to take conscious action and accountability with these aspects you can use devices to assist you. I often suggest my client to invest in a smart watch / fitness tracker with the aim of a target daily step count (10,000 steps a day is a great place to strat) This will assist in mindfulness of your movement and hopefully install positive lifestyle changes through adopting healthier habits.


In summary the main key points to take away from this article is to move a little more, be mindful of what you are eating and how much you are eating, become aware of what you are being sold into and ultimately, to create clarity around the process of weight-loss so you can find the right path that works for you. Remember, there is more than one way to skin a cat, find the process which best works for you and the one that you will enjoy the most.


Speak soon,


Spike



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