Alright, let’s roll on with my metabolism series, shall we?
In case you missed my first installment, your metabolism mystery, go ahead and review that. Likewise, you can read installment two, five questions to ask yourself before you assume your metabolism sucks, as well.
Today, our final installment, is alllllll about the big things you can do (or not do) to keep your metabolism in happy and healthy territory. Consider it an action plan. Something to refer back to on the regular, in case you lose your way, or in case you get muddled down in tiny details and need help finding your way back to the big things you can do to actually focus on that matter most.
Remember, like anything, all good things generally take time to accomplish. I know, I know…the saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day” is sometimes overused, but it’s true. We can take action on these big things…..over time. Change, well…change that lasts anyway, happens in days and weeks and months, not overnight.
Some of the items on my list might surprise you. Some might be things you would typically expect. My list has nothing to do with superfoods, or dieting, or cleanses, or resetting. It has everything to do with simple, strategic, and SMART things to focus on (and really, only just a few!) so you can cut through the crap and get down to business.
Should we get right down to it? Let’s do this!
Don’t diet, but be a detective. Guess what? Big Diet tells us just to eat less and move more. CAN this be true? Sure. But, it likely isn’t in the way we think. And most often, diet tends to run amok and mess up our hormones and hunger and satiety cues, and lead us down the path of “on” and “off” with eating. Instead of dieting, or eating less, or counting, or whatever, let’s build meals, and reverse engineer this thing! Instead of relying on a website to spit out how much you can eat per meal or per day, why not build meals and taking notes and tweaking and figuring out how much you actually require to thrive?
I know this sounds overwhelming, but it really doesn’t have to be. Build your meals around lean proteins and tons of veggies, and then sprinkle in some complex carbs and healthy fats. A good rule of thumb is that protein and veggies don’t change in quantity just too much. However, YOU being a detective is to determine the right amount of complex carbs and healthy fats for YOU. Then, pay attention to how these things go for you. If you take a few notes and be aware, you’ll be surprised to find out what things satisfy you and what things really don’t, and instead make you hungrier or a little up and down on energy, instead of stable.
I like to use the HEC method by Dr. Jade Teta. If your hunger, energy and cravings are managed, you are on the right path, and are probably finding out that you don’t crave or binge eat because, well….you just don’t want to. Your hormones are balanced, and doing what they need to do so YOU can do what YOU need to do. This might take some time to figure out, but, it’s worth it!
I have a fabulous FREE resource for you, my #20Under20 Meal System, that will help you build some satisfying and tasty meals to help you get started!
Be strategic and stingy with your workouts. Strength training is a must for a bangin’ metabolism. Lean muscle on a body helps that body burn more while doing nothing AND while recovering from gym workouts. However, we need to be smart. ALL the workouts, for ALL the time, well, that’s a good recipe to hurt our metabolism long-term.
I like to think about folks after general health and fitness, and a lean body needing about two to four moderately intense strength training sessions each week. Not two-hour long sessions, mind you. But somewhere in the ballpark of 20-40 minutes. This is crucial and a MUST for a metabolism. Remember, the dosage, or how often, is different for everyone. The number of sessions that fit into your life and that you can do consistently matters MOST.
After that, some women might benefit from one or two metabolic conditioning sessions. These could be on different days or AFTER a strength workout. These are those 20 minute max workouts, more intense, and less time than most think is “worth it” in the gym.
A great way to do your metabolism a disservice is to plod along on the treadmill for hours on end. Remember, MORE doesn’t equal better. Effective and better….is better.
My program, #MomBoss, might be a great way to get in about four SHORT strength sessions each week. These would be an excellent workouts for busy mamas who find themselves wondering “what to do” in the gym, and who want to cut through the bullshit of “more is better” and get their goals accomplished STAT.
Find your stress management approach. Unmanaged stress can create a shitstorm for us hormonally, which can in turn jack around with our metabolism. Unmanaged stress can also entice us to eat our feelings, and then instead of acknowledging THAT, we say “my metabolism sucks” and never take action on managing our stress levels. Please don’t read this as never feel stress. We will ALWAYS feel stress in our lives in some form or fashion, and having stress isn’t a bad thing. Managing stress, however, is key.
One tactic I really like for stress management is saying NO a lot. Don’t always be a “yes” girl. Your time is valuable, girl, and YOU are valuable. Say no. Turn down things. Initially, this might make you feel MORE stress because you have to learn how to not feel bad. But, in the long run, this will be HUGE. If it isn’t a HELL YES, it’s a NO, at least initially.
A second tactic I really like is for scheduling time to do nothing each week, lol. Seriously, schedule time that can’t be filled with other things. Simple as that. Block out time on your calendar (and your family’s calendar) for doing NOTHING and then use that time to just do nothing or do whatever the hell you want that recharges you a bit.
If either of these two choices give you anxiety, it’s probably time to implement both, stat. And, if you can’t find time on your calendar for downtime, you need to say no a LOT more.
Go the eff to sleep. Guess what is our biggest hormonal reset? SLEEP. A time where your body recharges and repairs tissue. Guess what HELPS a metabolism? A hormonal system that isn’t all out of whack and jacked up.
I know, I am one step ahead of you. We can’t control that we always GET the sleep, meaning, that we STAY ASLEEP at night, or fall asleep easily. We CAN, however, build a proper night’s rest into our schedule, and make an effort to prioritize 7-9 hours of sleep each night. The other great thing sleep does is balance our energy, which….means…..we aren’t likely to experience cravings for sugar and stuff allll day everyday. And those cravings are generally what make us go “why is my metabolism so slow” when we find ourselves in the candy dish all afternoon at work.
Always be moving (outdoors when possible). Moving more (this is NOT fitness or exercise) is HUGE. This can be ANYTHING. Playing outside with kids. Taking 10 minute walks after meals to help digestion. Walking to do errands instead of driving. Leisure walks. This actually helps us burn calories in a way that doesn’t really compete with our appetite or anything that we are doing, and falls into that NEAT category from installment one. And…..time outdoors and time moving your body….are GREAT STRESS REDUCERS. We aren’t on this planet to work in a seated position all day, then stop by the gym to try and really kick ass for 60 minutes, only to drive home, and sit while eating supper and sit some more while catching up on two hours of DVR. Bodies are made to move. In a variety of activities. In a variety of positions. And our bodies (and brains) need it! So do our stress levels.
Ladies! These are five things to begin implementing that don’t cost a dime! Oh, and long term, they will put you in such a great metabolic space that you won’t be finding yourself googling “ways to fix my metabolism” and finding cures from shady internet sales people, you know?
Please share this with your best girlfriend who needs to stop obsessing over quick fix solutions that wreak havoc long term, mmmmkay? Oh, and be sure to drop your questions if you have them!
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