(Information and tips from Jodelle Fitzwater, Certified Nutrition Coach & Certified Personal Trainer)
What is your Metabolism?
Metabolism is simply this: the way your system breaks down fat, carbs, and protein for energy.
Thyroid is a gland that regulates Metabolism...
Symptoms of a Sluggish thyroid/hypothyroidism - you could have some or all:
low immune function
chronic hoarse voice/slow speech/difficulty to articulate
numbness in fingers and hands
cold all the time
menstrual cramps or problems/lack of menstruation/heavy menstruation
high blood pressure
swollen eyelids/puffy face
thinning or loss of outer 1/3 of your eyebrow
bump in your throat/trouble swallowing
If you've caused metabolic damage as a result of being a yo-yo dieter or following starvation diets or losing weight too rapidly in the past, it can be extremely difficult to achieve any further fat loss at all. The good news is, metabolic damage can be repaired.
How do you jumpstart a sluggish metabolism?
It is more useful to approach eating from a point of balance. This means balancing meals and blood sugar. Balancing means that each meal should contain a healthy protein, complex carb, and healthy fat. This means replacing the processed carbohydrates (granola bars, crackers, chips, cookies, cereals, etc.) with fruits and vegetables. The processed carbs and frozen T.V. dinners that lurk in the middle of the grocery store are quick and easy, but contain damaging trans-fats and refined sugars that can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
Here are the 5 Best Ways to Boost your Metobolism:
*Focus on Protein! Eating sufficient protein is critical because protein stimulates your metabolism by 60% for several hours. than after consuming a carbohydrate rich meal. That means after sitting down to a lunch of grilled lean meat or fish, energy production in the body remained high, and blood sugar and hormonal fluctuations stayed balanced and the person stayed alert. With protein creating energy production and heat in the body, consumers were likely sitting after lunch and burning more calories. After eating a carby dish like low fat pasta or cereal for lunch, blood sugar spikes and crashes, energy spiked and crashed and hormonal imbalances and fatigue were notable, not to mention consumers were likely storing calories. Talk about serotonin too.
*Portion control. Even too much protein can be a caveat and cause blood sugar spikes and thwart happy thyroidism. Size of palm width and thickness is portion size, averaging about 3-4 oz for women, 6oz for men. Portion control applies to all foods - you want a balanced mix at all meals.
*Sleep. Sleep is crucial for "happy"thyroidism! Everything that is crucial to the body happens at rest, growth and change, cell turnover, brain development, repairing tissue, and even fat burning. Going to bed on an empty stomach is a great way to burn excess body fat.
*Breakfast. You've heard it before and you'll hear it again- breakfast is the most important meal. Eating breakfast not only speeds metabolic function first thing to create a fat-burning day, but it gives you energy to power through your day especially if you start the day with protein rather than cereal or toast. Protein powered breakfast will help you move past those mid-morning slumps and visits to the neighbors candy bowl.
*Exercise. Exercise will reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass. More lean muscle mass means more metabolism! Muscle tissue requires more calories than fat tissue because it has a higher metabolic rate. More metabolic rate means more calories burning, so that you are burning fat, even when you are not exercising! So find something that you love and do it! (Aerobic exercise, like walking, swimming or cycling, has the added bonus of speeding up your metabolism for 4 to 8 hours after you stop exercising.)
5 Foods To Avoid in order to jumpstart metabolism:
*Soy and foods that contain soy products - soy mimics estrogen in the body and can throw off a healthy thyroid gland, actually inhibiting it from producing healthy thyroid hormones that stimulate a faster metabolism.
*Too much raw cruciferous - like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussell sprouts are goitrogenic foods. Goitrogenic foods are natural foods like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and brussell sprouts that when done in excess can interfere with the function of the thyroid gland. The term "goiter" means an enlargement of the thyroid, as it enlarges due to trying to compensate for an inadequate hormone production. Too much raw forms of these veggies can be detrimental, however cooking them lightly (blanching to retain nutrients) is considered safe. Please don't avoid these veggies as they contain very healthy nutrients. Just avoid overdoing them in the raw.
*Refined Sugar - too much sugar can burn out a healthy thyroid gland. Excessive sugar consumption and sweets eating can cause a host of issues from inflammation of the tissues in the body, to constipation to insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes) which can lead to the unfortunate burnout of the thyroid gland and adrenal glands. Limit sugar (even natural sugar from fruit) to no more than 35 grams a day for an active individual.
*White Flour - same as sugar. White flour is processed and creates too much stress on the body and the thyroid gland leading to burnout and inflammation. Avoid white flour as much as possible. Avoid anything pre-packaged or homemade with white flour.
*Splenda - It may come as a surprise to some since Splenda is touted as a healthy sugar-free sweetener, BUT this dangerous man-made compound actually has been scientifically proven to inhibit the thyroid from functioning. Instead of Splenda, switch to sweetening things and baking with Stevia, a natural sweetener from the Stevia leaf with no impact on blood sugar levels!
5 Foods to Include to Help Ignite and Jumpstart Your Metabolism today
*Protein - lean grass fed chicken, beef, turkey, venison, cold-water fish, eggs, or if vegan hemp protein - Protein rich foods create a spike in metabolic activity (as much as 60%) long after consuming it, as opposed to carbohydrate-rich foods.
*Iodine Rich foods - salmon and other fish, seafood, kelp (as in sushi), carrots, eggs - Iodine is the trace mineral that actually is the molecules in the hormones released in the thyroid gland, so it is crucial to a healthy thyroid. An amino acid called Tyrosine is needed to help the iodine in the thyroid, and Tyrosine comes from protein, so these two work hand in hand.
*Vitamin C rich foods - red peppers, kale, Kiwi, collard greens, jicama - Vitamin C rich foods help the Tyrosine work more efficiently in the body and therefore vitamin C, iodine and protein are the 3 top priority foods for a healthy metabolism.
*Omega 3-rich foods - salmon, sardines, flax, chia seed, walnuts - healthy fats in the diet help balance blood sugar so that your hormones stay in check and the thyroid isn't overworked.
*Selenium rich foods - shrimp, Brazil nuts, grass fed organ meats, sunflower seeds, grass-fed beef - selenium is needed by the thyroid in order to adequately produce and convert the T3 and T4 hormones that are so crucial to healthy metabolism. A deficiency in selenium can cause hypothyroidism or low-thyroid function.
Now you have all the tools necessary to jump-start your metabolism!
To contact Jodelle, or for more information visit www.getfitwithjodelle.com or call 417-230-0554