Can you really boost your metabolism? When most people think of what it means to have a “high metabolism,” they picture someone who’s “luckily” naturally thin. We assume these people can maintain a healthy body composition mostly due to their genetics, despite whether they try to eat a healthy diet and exercise or not.
How Diets Can Sabotage Your Metabolism
Healthy metabolic function is one of the body’s ultimate forms of protection — and we need to consistently eat and rest enough to keep ourselves thriving. While cutting or counting calories is usually most people’s go-to approach for attempting to lose weight, taking this too far can have a negative impact on metabolism, ultimately backfiring in terms of fat loss.
On a cellular level, the pathways of your metabolism rely upon your nutrient intake. You need to obtain various nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, fats, trace minerals and vitamins, in order to produce energy that is then used by the body to synthesize new tissue and proteins in the form of nucleic acids. While calorie intake varies from person to person, we all need to meet our needs in order to supply the necessary chemicals that are used for building, upkeep and repair of all body tissues. Very low-calorie diets miss key nutrients, which robs the body of raw materials like carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus or sulfur, which are supplied in carbohydrates, lipids, protein and water from our diets.
Weight loss potential decreases when your body becomes convinced that you’re starving and deprived of calories. Even though you might intentionally cut calories and work out more, the body can’t tell the difference between starvation done “on purpose” and the kind we experience during times of famine. Dieting over and over sends the signal of deprivation and starvation to your metabolic hormones as well, which means you unknowingly hold on to every precious calorie you eat in order to ensure survival!
In addition, to support a healthy and stable weight, one of the most compelling reasons to work on increasing your metabolism is that this keeps us from prematurely aging and getting sick often. When you have a sluggish metabolism, the body’s natural defense mechanisms and levels of immunity drop, as you become more susceptible to lurking viruses, yeasts, fungi, parasites and bacteria that surround us.