This week's blog is brought to you by our new nutritionist here at Hampton Wellness Centre.
Now that it’s the New Year and you’ve decided to get in shape, do you understand how your metabolism really works? Dieting can actually reduce your metabolic function, putting a damper on your weight loss. So before you decide to cut calories, here are a few things you should consider.
Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the energy your body uses at rest. That energy goes toward liver function, heartbeat, breathing, and cell regeneration, among other things. When you reduce your caloric intake, your body starts to reduce its efficiency at carrying out these functions. Your liver stops clearing toxins at the same rate, your breathing and heartbeat slow down, and your cells don’t get to regenerate as well as they should.
Your muscle content also influence your body's metabolism. It uses up more energy than other cells, and it stores glycogen, a stock of sugar. As you eat sugar, your body looks to take excess amounts out of your blood. If your glycogen stores aren’t full, your body directs that sugar to your muscles and liver. When those stores are full, excess sugar gets taken up into fat cells. Caloric reduction will burn some fat, but it will also dip into your muscles.
Increasingly, excess weight is being seen as a symptom of imbalances in the body, rather than the actual issue. When you cut calories and reduce your body’s abilities to remove excess toxins and regenerate cells, you create imbalances in the body. As you lose muscle, you also reduce the potential for glycogen storage, resulting in more excess sugar being stored in fat cells.
Rather than focusing on counting calories for weight loss, I like to direct the attention to the foods that are being consumed. Instead of looking for foods with a list of ingredients, I encourage you to look for the actual ingredients in their least modified form. Foods contain the most nutrients when they’re fresh. Nutrients are important for the production of hormones and enzymes which will help you lose weight. If you want to start the year off well, start by treating your body well!
Christina Najjar is Hampton Wellness Centre's Registered Holistic Nutritionist. She has recently graduated from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition with Honours and holds the highest standing in her class. Christina believes that proper nutrition is a big component of well-being, since we are what we eat, but more importantly, what our body absorbs. If you have any questions about your health or about Holistic Nutrition, Christina offers 15 minute complimentary consultations.
Dr. Amanda is a non-traditional chiropractor who focuses on Neuro-Optimization in Ottawa, Canada.