Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Go, Metabolism, Go!

Since I have started working out, I have learned a lot of new and fun things about my own body that I was completely unaware of for the longest time.

Not the least fascinating is how movement affects my metabolism. It is extremely reactionary, even to the point of varying day-to-day, depending on what workout I do, and/or how hard I push myself. Today I spent 15 minutes in my "vigorous activity" range. To hit this, I have to expend (at minimum) 6 times the amount of energy it takes for me to just sit still... For 15 whole minutes today! That is a big deal in my world.

And to compensate for the extreme amount of energy expenditure, my body is demanding to be fed! No amount of food is seeming to satiate my hunger. And no, it's not mental. I'm not seeking food out for the taste, or out of boredom or emotional swinging. My stomach is, quite audibly, growling. Just before writing this I ate 2 boiled eggs and 2 small pancakes left over from this weekend's big breakfast. That was 35 minutes ago. I just heard my stomach growl at me.

When most people think of weight loss, they simply think of calorie restriction. Which is, yes, part of the equation. But you can only restrict calories so far before it starts to become detrimental to your journey towards fitness and possibly weight loss. If you starve your body of the nutrients... of the fuel that it needs... it will hold onto that fat as hard as it can and just not let it go. Your body will ensure its fuel sources no matter what you throw at it.

For example, I burn about 100 calories an hour without doing anything but sitting or sleeping. That is my baseline for sedentary living right now. This means I will burn at least 2400 calories in a 24 hour period. If I want to lose 2 pounds a week, I need to consume approximately 1400 calories for a 1000 calorie deficit. If you are on a diet that demands 1200 calories intake or less.... it is probably not the healthiest thing for you. You are edging the realm of starvation at that point.

This being said, when I checked my calorie burn this morning at 8am (just after my morning run) I had already burned 1200 calories. That is  half of my baseline burn. This gives me a bit of an idea about how my day is going to be, and alerts me that I probably need to up my calories today. As of this post I have consumed 1410 calories. Once dinner and my late night snack are added in, my daily intake is 1968 calories.

And yet... I am sitting here now with a rumbly tummy demanding that I give it MORE MORE MORE! Listening to your body when it tells you what it needs is vital to getting healthy. I should be eating right now. However I don't have any food readily available where I am.

This is what my metabolism does when I work out hard. It screams for food nearly all day long. I listen to it as well as I can while staying within my diabetic restrictions. It's not easy, but it's worth it.

1 comment:

  1. When my body screams at me and I am trying desperately to burn calories, I find it helpful to have some celery, peanut butter, and raisins nearby. I make Bumps-on-a-Log and eat happily knowing the celery burns more calories digesting than it creates, the protein in the peanut butter is feeding/repairing my well exercised muscles, and the raisins provide those much touted anti-oxidants.

    I also felt ok leaving a bunch of celery in the fridge at work because no one else would eat it and the other two ingredients didn't need refrigeration so I could hide them in my cubby.

    Oh, and I have NEVER been able to do calorie restriction. Just simply couldn't. I am slightly envious of your stick-to-it-ness. :-)
    The best I can do is cut out all things corn and wheat.