Metabolisms – Why Your Skinny Friend Can Eat A Whole Pizza And You Can’t

 

“I’ve got a fast metabolism” says your friend who looks like a twig and eats everything under the sun.

“I’ve got a slow metabolism” says your other friend who eats 5 almonds for lunch, green smoothies for dinner and still never seems to manage to burn that pesky belly fat.

I’m sure all of us know at least one person that fits into each of these scenarios. Maybe we fit into one of those categories ourselves.

This article will examine WHY this might be the case, what our metabolisms mean for how we should eat, and how we can change our metabolism to suit our goals.

Yep, you heard right.

Let’s get into it.

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Do metabolisms vary naturally between individuals?

 

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Metabolic rate represents the number of calories needed to fuel ventilation, blood circulation and temperature regulation in our bodies. Calories are also required to digest and absorb consumed food and fuel the activities of daily life. Or put another way, metabolic rate is an estimate of how many calories you would burn if you were to do nothing but rest for 24 hours. It represents the minimum amount of energy required to keep your body functioning.

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Our Resting Metabolic Rates have a small but noticeable variety. Comparing someone that just falls within the bottom third of the population to the top third of the population, there is a difference of approximately 200-300 kcal (or “calories”) per day. That’s equal to about a cup of cooked brown rice per day. If we compare the metabolism of someone in the bottom 5% of the population to someone in the top 5%, that difference increases to around 600kcal per day – basically the difference of an entire meal.

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How do our metabolisms adapt to our diet?

 

Given that our Resting Metabolic Rates only vary slightly, this doesn’t entirely explain why your lean friend can eat a tub of Ben and Jerry’s every other night.

What we also need to consider, is each individual’s metabolic ceiling – essentially, the potential of how high our metabolic rate can increase, based on our lean muscle mass, overall height, weight and activity level.

What we find with our clients at Nufit is that few people seem to be burning energy anywhere near the potential of their metabolic ceiling. Here’s why:

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Imagine a camp fire, that has burned down to it embers. It’s still hot, and still will maintain its warmth, but you have neglected to keep it ablaze. If you were to dump a bunch of fuel on to it, it would burn extremely slowly.

This is what most people have done to their metabolisms. Most people who try and diet on their own will do so by cutting out significant important sources of fuel. Maybe they won’t have any carbs after breakfast, maybe they will cut out fats and sugar. Sometimes they will give up meat, and not find a suitable protein to replace it with.

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This is what most people have done to their metabolisms. Most people who try and diet on their own will do so by cutting out significant important sources of fuel. Maybe they won’t have any carbs after breakfast, maybe they will cut out fats and sugar. Sometimes they will give up meat, and not find a suitable protein to replace it with.

Essentially, this puts their body into “starvation mode” (metabolic adaptation). This is a state in which the body is responding to prolonged periods of low energy intake. Read more about starvation mode and why it is bad in this awesome Nufit article.

The energy consumed in Diet-Induced Thermogenesis (the thermic affect of food, or how much energy is used up to digest and assimilate food) varies up to FOUR TIMES AS MUCH between individuals as our Resting Metabolic Rates do.

This is super important to understand, as we can therefore reason that getting our “campfire” burning the right way is significantly more relevant and important than how “good” our resting metabolism actually is.

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How can we change our metabolism to meet our goals?

 

Much like a real fire, it takes skill and experience to move our metabolism from glowing embers to a roaring blaze.

You cannot throw a bunch of logs on and expect it to burn; you need to systematically build up, starting with kindling, then small twigs, etc. The analogy only can take us so far; here’s how you can do it:

  • EAT MORE – Yep, you heard us. We want you to eat more. Exactly how much more differs person to person. But if you focus on having four meals a day with substantial protein (e.g 3-4 eggs, 2 chicken thighs, 1 small chicken breast etc) along with healthy fats (e.g half an avocado, a handful of almonds) and quality carbohydrates (e.g brown rice or beans), this should get an “average” person’s diet-induced thermogenesis kicked up a gear. If your sole goal is fat loss, ditch the carbs for breakfast. And don’t forget to eat your greens!
  • TRAIN THE RIGHT WAY – Strength training (weight lifting) or High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has something called EPOC, Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption, which is an enhancement of the metabolic rate beyond working out. It has been shown that aerobic or steady-state cardio has an extremely low EPOC effect, and won’t influence our metabolism in the way we would like. A Japanese study showed that “moderate” physical activity can increase metabolic rate by up to 600kcal. If you are doing strength or HIIT training, that Friday night burger isn’t even going to be a drop in the water!
  • Image result for dexa scanMEASURE YOUR BASAL METABOLIC RATE (BMR): At Nufit, our Premium 12-Week Transformation System comes with the option to take a DEXA scan – a full body 3D X-Ray that measures the proportions of lean muscle, fats, and bone within the body. This can help us ascertain where your metabolic ceiling might be, so we can design a nutrition plan that maximises your caloric intake and enjoyment, but doesn’t put you into surplus so you can keep losing body fat while eating more food!

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Conclusion

 

Guys, it’s simple. The reason your skinny friend is eating a whole pizza in a sitting is because they keep their metabolic rate high by constantly fuelling their campfire.

Imagine a world where you get to eat more, feel no guilt about cheat meals, and lose body fat while you’re at it.

That is essentially what we do at Nufit, and we ain’t joking around.

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Most of our clients are in disbelief when we tell them to eat more, and are even more shocked at how quickly their body fat drops away. However, there is a fine line between boosting your metabolism and overeating.

Let’s find your perfect balance, your perfect body, and get you the guilt-free nutrition plan that you deserve. Click here to find out what we do.

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Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15534426

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18469249

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1434580

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21092368

https://examine.com/nutrition/does-metabolism-vary-between-two-people/

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