April 7

Are our metabolisms lower right now?


Firstly, we need to define our metabolism. For those of you that haven’t read my blog on describing the metabolism, then I’m going to give you a quick rundown.


Right now, metabolism is made up of four parts.

  • Our basic metabolic rate.
  • Our energy expenditure.
  • Our thermic effect of food.
  • Our non exercise activity.


Our basic metabolic rate (or BMR) is the amount of energy that our body needs to survive. This is dependent on your body weight and height. For everyone, it’s going to vary based on how much you weigh, how tall you are and your gender, your age can also play a small part.


Therefore, we’re all going to have varying BMRs. There are quite a few ways to calculate just your BMR. If you’re interested in that I would look up a BMR calculator. Oftentimes, your BMR is bang on unless you have some sort of condition, which means that you have a lowered metabolism. These conditions are more rare than people would like to think.


The next component of our metabolism is exercise expenditure, exactly what it says on the tin! This is the amount of energy you burn through exercise.


The thermic effect of food is how much energy you burn through digesting food. This is going to be higher if you have a higher protein and higher fibre diet. So those are two more benefits  of eating more protein and eating more fibre.


Then you have the non exercise activity,  this is all the movement that you do outside of structured physical exercise. So walking, commuting if you cycle or walk or whatever, dancing around, fidgeting, all of these things that aren’t formal exercise are classified as non exercise.


This is why if you cycle to work and back, I would classify that as non exercise because you’re not doing it in the formal sense of exercise, you’re doing it in order to go to work and back. At the moment. In the UK, we are living quarantine life. We are only allowed out for essential travel and for one form of exercise per day.


My advice to you would be to exercise at home if you’re able to, unless you are a runner or a cyclist, in which case you will be exercising outside. This way you add on to that exercise, one long walk a day.If you are exercising with weights at home, one long walk a day is going to help you keep your non exercise activity higher.


It is possible at the moment that your non exercise activity may be lower, because you don’t have a commute, you’re  stuck indoors and not able to do that many activities. You cannot currently do team games and other sports that you might enjoy and you don’t have to move around an office building, you’ve  just got your house or flat, your living space.


Therefore you need to make the most of what you can. Eat a high protein diet and eat a high fibre diet as that will help build up your thermic effect of food.


Move as much as possible, inside of your four walls. Have a break every hour and do some push ups or do some squats, or bounce around on the trampoline, go up and down your stairs.


Whatever you fancy doing move as much as you can throughout the day. Use a standing desk or even a walking desk for those of you that are lucky enough to have treadmills inside of your homes. All of these things are going to help you with moving around as much as possible.


Then in turn they’re going to build up your metabolism to still be running effectively and burning plenty of calories. If you are less active now because you’ve lost your commute, you’ve lost other things and they are too hard to overcome. Then do eat fewer carbohydrates throughout the day because your body doesn’t need as much energy as it used to.


Listen to your body of course in terms of hunger and potentially take out a meal or a snack from your regular routine. I know that for myself when I was training regularly and walking to the gym as well,  I would have breakfast, I would have a sort of mid morning lunch or then go and train. Afterwards I would have a mid afternoon meal, then dinner and then potentially a supper before bed.


Nowadays I am definitely just down to breakfast, lunch, dinner and then having something before bed because I have my dinner quite early.  Taking a meal or a snack out of your regular routine and building a new one, can work well if we are less active.


Using yesterday’s blog to help you in terms of building a meal routine is definitely a good thing to look at. But, in summary, our metabolisms won’t be lower, but our non exercise activity may be lower and that can definitely affect things. So you want to try and keep that up as much as you physically can.


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