Your Dynamic Metabolism
The human body is a miraculously fine-tuned machine. From overcoming life-threatening illnesses, to adapting to exercise and nutrition demands, there is nothing that the body is incapable of doing. If you dig through anthropological records, however, you will find that we have not always been the amazingly precise beings that we are today. In fact, at one point in time we were quite primitive and vulnerable. We have come a long way. Our adaptive nature separates us from most other earthly life forms. In fact, the body’s ability to adapt, overcome and conquer earth’s dynamic environment is key in understanding how the body functions.
The body adapts to nutrition the same way it adapts to exercise. If you lift heavy loads over a six month time period, your body’s internal systems will adapt to make you stronger. Plain and simple. The body craves energy efficiency. It notices long term training trends and does everything in its power to make its job easier. The metabolism is no different. If you consume more calories than your expend each day over the course of a month, you will train your metabolism to accommodate more food, and vice versa. Period.
Building Your Metabolism
Your metabolism is dynamic. It is constantly adapting to meet your body’s energy needs. Remember, it is possible to exercise your metabolism to tolerate more calories than it currently does and not gain weight. That is right, your slow and incapable metabolism has hope. The key is to identify your metabolism’s current “set point” and adjust it slowly. Your “set point” or TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) is the amount of calories that you burn every day. To train your metabolism, you must start here, and increase your caloric intake slowly based on weight gain. Once your weight stabilizes at its TDEE, then increase each of your macro nutrients a couple of grams, and repeat. You can calculate your TDEE online on IIFYM.com
Note: During the metabolic rebuild process, you may gain a couple of pounds. All things considered, that is a small consequence for a giant metabolic reward. Once you finally lower your caloric intake, your new, fast-churning metabolism will take over and you will lose that weight, and then some.
IIFYM- A Platform for Success
Counting Macronutrients optimizes results. Refer back to my blog “IIFYM vs Clean Eating” for a complete breakdown on macro nutrients role in weight loss/muscle gain. Essentially, macro nutrients are calorie constituents. Your body uses fats, carbohydrates, and proteins differently, and thus, it is not enough to just count calories. Remember, your body responds to numbers, not foods. By counting macro nutrients, you provide your body with exactly what it needs to succeed.
Counting macro nutrients provides you with a solid platform for continual progress. Once your body adapts, your metabolism stabilizes, and you plateau, simply adjust your macro nutrients and move forward. By repetitively adjusting your macro nutrients, you force your metabolism to adapt and re-stabilize. During this adaptation period, your body responds by making progress.
What If I Just “Eat Healthy”
Clean eating is the nutritional yin to the IIFYM yang. Although clean eating alone works for some, it produces mediocre results at best. Refer back to my blog “IIFYM vs Clean Eating” for a comprehensive clean eating pitfalls list. Keep in mind, you can still eat clean and count macro nutrients. If you fall into this category, then congratulations- ignore the following paragraph. If not, then read carefully.
Clean eating compromises the metabolism long term. It creates inconsistencies within your daily intake that makes optimizing your results impossible. Your progress becomes guesswork. If your goal is to lean out, for example, then one of two things will happen. You will either consume too few calories and compromise muscle mass, or eat too many calories and not lose weight. Great, you lost a bunch of weight and are now 50% of the way to your goal. But, what happens when you plateau? You do not have macro nutrient targets to refer back to and adjust. So then what? You respond by eating less and increasing your training volume- more metabolic guesswork. You are now straining at two hours of cardio and 1000 calories per day. Your metabolism is non-existent and you still cannot make progress. You are weak, tired, and ready to quit. Sound familiar?