Even you know at least one of these enviable people who can eat all day and still not gain an ounce. On the other hand, you might be the one who just has to look at a piece of cream cake or a portion of French fries with mayo – and bang, half a kilo more is on the ribs. Nasty, no question. Because the reason for extra kilos is often not your own discipline, but your metabolism.
What is the metabolism?
Simply put, metabolism is the conversion of what you eat into energy. All this happens in the cells, more precisely in the mitochondria, which is why these are also considered to be the body’s small power stations. However, they do not all work at the same speed – and unfortunately not equally efficiently. This is why some people use their food exceptionally well and others not so well.
What was an important survival advantage in the Stone Age turns into the opposite for many in today’s land of plenty.
5 Metabolic myths in check
What metabolic types are there?
In fact, it has a lot to do with genes, how effectively your metabolism works and how many calories you get from food. In general, two groups of people can be distinguished: good and bad feed converters. With a bad feed converters the metabolism buzzes continuously. In detail there are these metabolism types:
The so-called ectomorphic type is clearly the upper burner among the metabolic types. He burns as intensively as a blast furnace and has a high basal metabolic rate, is therefore very sinewy and has relatively little fatty tissue. The only problem people of this type have is to gain weight. But: They also find it harder to build up muscles.
This refers to the classic mixed type, in which the metabolism is active on average. It can be compared to a biogas plant: it works moderately and continuously, but everything has to be in balance for it to run and for the bacteria to decompose the food.
The metabolic performance is lower than in the ectomorphic type, and people of the mesomorphic type tolerate carbohydrates relatively well. The physique is slender and athletic, but tends to accumulate fat on the stomach and hips. It is the classic “I have to watch what I eat” type. If these people get carried away, the scales give immediate feedback.
Women of this type are usually rather strongly built. With their little active metabolism, endomorphic humans fall into the category of good feed converters. This has definite advantages: The calories ingested are used almost exclusively for energy production, and nothing is wasted simply as heat.
But the big disadvantage is that any excess calories, no matter how small, are immediately stored in the form of little pads on the hips and bottom. That is why the endomorphic type can be compared to a wind power plant, which is located in an area where there is often a dull period. The basal metabolic rate of the endomorphic type is much lower than that of the other two types, which means that he may eat much less to maintain his weight.
Carbohydrates in particular are stored extremely quickly as fat in the endomorphic type.
Fortunately, there is also good news. Endomorphs also have a decisive advantage: in combination with suitable training, they can build up muscle mass most quickly. Ha!
Only 60-80 percent of body weight is genetically determined. The rest is literally up to you. © Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com
What does my metabolism depend on?
But don’t worry. It’s true that around 60 to 80 percent of body weight is genetic. But whether you’re fat or thin, in the end, you’ll still decide quite a bit on your own. Because the remaining 20 to 40 percent are enough to make your body roughly the way you want it. You only have to turn two set screws.
The first is the sports screw. Because what is often neglected (but in reality counts even more than nutrition) is the influence of sport on the weight loss process. The more you exercise, the better your metabolism gets going – and that makes muscles grow which, compared to fat, also work at rest and thus burn calories continuously. The other is the nutrition screw: so it’s all about what you eat, when you eat and how often you eat. And that is a chapter in itself.
The 7 biggest metabolic brakes
What influence does metabolism have on health?
People with a slow metabolism tolerate carbohydrates less well, or they simply end up on the hips faster. If they take little exercise and do not do any sports, they quickly build up fatty tissue. In addition to unattractive padding on the stomach and hips, in the long term this also leads to obesity and the typical illnesses such as high blood pressure and elevated blood fat levels.
The reason for this is probably that the body has not yet adapted evolutionarily to the current flood of inferior carbohydrates. In the past, whole grains, potatoes and vegetables were the only foods available. Nowadays, sweet particles, sweets and fried potato products tempt you to eat them immediately at every corner.
Carbohydrates are a big problem
Carbohydrates are popular precisely for the above-mentioned reason: because they are in principle available everywhere – and quickly satiate. However, they are also metabolized almost as quickly, which means that the blood sugar level rises rapidly and the pancreas releases a lot of insulin. The sugar is transported into the cells in a hurry and falls in the blood below the level before a meal. That is the crux of the matter.
This is because the body sees little sugar in the blood as an alarm signal and immediately reports hunger again because it cannot tell whether the cells are already full of sugar or not. The only thing that counts for him is the level in the blood. However, a low blood sugar level primarily whets the appetite for quickly available sugar – and this is usually not the wholemeal bread, but the chocolate bar.
This starts the cycle all over again, and a high-calorie rollercoaster ride follows: Since the cells have long since been filled, the surplus food is immediately converted into fat.
This does not happen with foods rich in fat and protein, because the metabolism reacts very slowly to them. Although it takes longer for the hunger to go away, they keep you full for a longer period of time. A fat restriction is therefore exactly the wrong way for all types. But the most important thing is: the slower your metabolism is, the less carbohydrates you should consume. And if so, then of course only the high-quality carbohydrates.
How metabolism helps with weight loss
You can say goodbye to yet another false assumption if you want to lose a few kilos: calories are not your enemy! This is often claimed, but in reality the opposite is true: you need calories to live, exercise and have fun. Without them, you would lack energy, leaving behind only a rickety, weak skeleton.
It is equally wrong to demonize a single nutrient. First fat was the culprit, then carbohydrates in general were demonised – and yet people around the world were getting fatter. The solution is a balanced mixture of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats. In addition, there is plenty of fibre, many vitamins, minerals and secondary plant substances.
So remember the new motto: If you want to lose weight, you have to eat! What may sound paradoxical at first glance is again related to the metabolism. When hungry, the metabolism is reduced to a minimum. To get it running again is very, very strenuous, because this process – as already mentioned – once ensured survival a long time ago. And what nature has anchored in human genes for around 1.8 million years, 50 years of affluent society cannot easily describe.
Torturing yourself with calorie counting or the self-imposed ban on certain nutrients is now a thing of the past.
3 methods for fast fat burning Jump! Movement is the kick start for the body’s power plant. © Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com
How do I stimulate my metabolism?
With a few tricks you can get your metabolism going again. Because if the little power station runs well, then it will also run really smoothly for you.
1. quality instead of quantity
Especially the lame duck among the metabolic types has a hard time with carbohydrates. However, this refers mainly to the processed carbohydrates from sugar, white flour and other industrial food. Of course, carbohydrates are also contained in fruit, vegetables and legumes, as hardly any food consists only of a macronutrient. However, these do not cause the insulin level to rise as much, and therefore you really don’t have to watch out for them.
2. take nibbling breaks
Here a candy, there a chocolate cappuccino and later a cookie: On the one hand, there are always additional calories, but on the other hand, there are also the unfavorable carbohydrates. But the worst thing about eating on the side is something else: As long as carbohydrates are available to the metabolism, it does not fall back on the fat reserves. So it will not be successful in losing weight.
Of course, individual ingredients can also have a positive influence on the metabolism, especially the spice agent capsaicin contained in chillies. But also other stimulating substances such as caffeine from coffee or Matcha make the metabolism fire under the butt.
Exercise is the kick starter for your metabolism, because without sport even the best and most balanced diet is useless. On the one hand, exercise increases your calorie consumption so that you can eat more or lose weight faster. On the other hand, regular exercise builds more muscles, which in turn increases energy consumption.
Interval training is one of the most effective methods of getting your metabolism up to speed, because the absolute fat consumption during short but intensive units is significantly higher than during a long endurance unit. With the right workout, you can step on the gas during the weight loss process.
Getting a defined center is not that difficult. You just have to give the weekdays new names. The names in the table below. And of course you should also do the corresponding workouts. There are no excuses, because you don’t need any equipment for the execution, so you can start anytime and anywhere. Our workout plan offers the perfect mix of endurance and strength training to help you burn calories and tone your muscles.
We promise: You’ll be surprised at the impressive results you’ll see after just 4 weeks.
Boosting the metabolism: these are the best sports exercises
To ignite the metabolic turbo, you don’t even need equipment. All you need for the following four exercises is your own body weight.
1. the quick squat
Arms behind the head, elbows to the side. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-wide and crouch down with buttocks. Keep upper body upright. Press up into the standing position as quickly and powerfully as possible.
2. the standing woman
Stand upright, feet hip-wide apart, arms loosely beside the body. Bend knees and squat down, hands flat on floor. Jump backwards with feet, land in push-up position. Reverse movement and return to standing position as soon as possible. Ready is a Burpee.
3. the climber
Tighten up the push-up position, stomach and back. Bring your left leg to your chest in a rapid movement and stretch it again. Now bring the right leg quickly to the chest and continue alternating.
The “Mountain Climber” is the perfect exercise to get the metabolism going. © Jacob Lund / Shutterstock.com
Tip: Keep the upper body straight and deep, this brings torso stability.
4. the knee lifter
Standing on the spot, pull the left knee towards the chest in a quick movement. Take the right arm with you, raise the upper arm to shoulder level. Quick change to right leg and left arm. Alternate right and left in quick jumps.
You can find the best fat burning exercises and workouts for free in our Women’s Health Personal Trainer App.
How can I recognize a metabolic disorder?
If losing weight does not work, even though you are doing everything right, then there may be physical reasons behind it – if in doubt, consult your doctor. These complaints are possible:
1. thyroid gland
Without them, nothing at all happens in the energy metabolism. The hormones T3 and T4 stimulate the carbohydrate and fat metabolism. If they are no longer produced in sufficient quantities, the energy requirement decreases. Signs that something is wrong with the thyroid gland are tiredness, lack of concentration, inertia or frequent freezing.
Wimp thyroid gland
Oestrogen and serotonin have just as great an influence on the metabolism. A lack of the happiness hormone serotonin slows down the feeling of satiety and leads to a ravenous appetite for fats and sweets. The formation of the hormone is additionally inhibited by the smallest of inflammatory reactions in the fatty tissue. And the more there is, the greater the effect – a vicious circle. What is missing in one place is too much in another.
On the other hand, if the body produces too much oestrogen, this increases the appetite. This is also often connected with taking the pill.
These hormones sabotage your weight loss success
3. the intestinal flora
Two different types of bacteria dominate the human intestine. In overweight people, the firmicutes are usually in the majority. These unicellular organisms can break down indigestible dietary fibres. This produces sugar and fatty acids, which the body can convert into energy or store as fat. People with too many firmicutes take in 8 to 10 percent more calories than others. Thus, actually healthy dietary fibres become additional calories.
With a requirement of about 2000 calories, this can be up to 200 calories more per day.
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If you want to lose weight or keep your weight, you should definitely check your metabolism. If there is still room for manoeuvre in the activity of your metabolism, you should readjust the adjusting screws slightly with our tips. Together with the right workout, you can optimize your combustion engine.