Burn, Baby, Burn…Let’s Talk About That Metabolism

by
LAURYN

The Skinny Confidential talks diet, fitness, and health.

So the other day my godmother, Jennifer had the BEST analogy.

First off, she’s super savvy when it comes to diet/health in general so I really respect her opinion.

Ok, so she said “your metabolism is like a fire, if you don’t add wood it dies down.”

Uhhhhhhhh wowowow.

So simple but so good, right?

Here’s the deal: I’m constantly running around like a bat-shit psycho so in the past I’d sometimes completely forget to eat for hours.

But ew, not anymore.

Lately I’ve been eating every couple hours ( mostly small snacks ) to keep my metabolism at its prime.

First I did my research by Googling her simple saying & shocker (!!!!) this lil gem popped up: “imagine you live in a home that is heated by a wood stove. Now imagine there is a pile of newspapers, a pile of twigs and a pile of logs near the stove. You wake up early in the morning and it is very cold. You look over at the heavy logs and think to yourself “too much work”, so you build a fire out of newspapers and twigs. The fire roars, the heat spreads and fills the room and you sit back basking in the heat. However, the fire is very short-lived, it burns out within a few minutes and you find yourself “feeding” it again. Still too lazy to put a log on the fire, you again burn twigs and newspapers. You repeat this process over and over until all the newspapers and twigs are gone. Now you have no choice, you go over to the pile of logs, select one and place it in the stove. However, it is very hard to ignite since you no longer have any kindling to start it. The log just sits in the stove. You sit in the cold, thinking that maybe you should have burned the log sooner. Therefore, it is very important to “put a log on the metabolic fire” at every meal. What is the “metabolic log”? Protein and fat are the metabolic logs of your diet. They are slow burning fuels. They will smooth out the roller coaster ride of rising and crashing blood sugars that a person eating a high carbohydrate diet experiences.” 

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

In my case I like starting the day with a sunny side up egg or two with a side of avocado & a low carb piece of sprouted grain toast ( lately I die over this brand’s bread ). I also like to add a little Ghee or real butter to the toast & drink a cup of tropical green tea. ( Side: instead of ketchup on eggs I use Himalayan pink salt & tons of chili flakes for spice ). 

This sets the tone of my day.

Then every couple hours I’ll add a metabolic log to my metabolic fire.

Make sense?

Some smart “logs” to add to your “fire?”

Whelp, my preferences include: berries, super green-y green juice, tuna fish, sashimi, eggs, smoked salmon, a smoothie, organic turkey cold cuts with country mustard, real ( like, real, real ) hummus, a tangerine, apple, banana, almonds, raw almond butter, &/or spaghetti squash.

The point is that not eating all day & then having a huge-ass dinner doesn’t cut it…like, at all. Actually it’s hurting your metabolism. Not eating enough slows the metabolism & screws with hormones. So pretty much you can’t change your metabolism ( boo ) but you can improve it ( yay ).

Don’t believe me?

According to this source ( & many others ) “when the body feels like it is being starved, it will go into ‘ration mode’ and conserve its excess fat for as long as possible. This is helpful if you are, in fact, starving, but not if you are trying to lose weight. The body’s metabolic rate is decreasing to conserve energy. If you really hope to burn off excess fat, you want your metabolism running in high gear!”

So basically…eat more frequently ; ).

Other ways to fire up your metabolism: eat whole/clean foods, exercise regularly ( duh ), & drink a lot ( a lot, a lot ) of water.

Burn, baby, burn…x Lauryn

{ Coconut milk mango candle here }

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  1. AvatarCarla

    I used to: Get out of bed at the last second, down a coffee and run out of the house, keep running until the evening and had a huge dinner which knocked me out. Without drinking water of course. This lasted until my mid-twenties!

    I do now: Get out of bed 1.5 hours before I leave the house, dry brush, cold shower, meditate and have a herbal tee and a full breakfast. By the time I leave the house my metabolism is up and running and so is my brain. Sufficient to say I’m overall in a much better shape now.
    Against all better judgement I discovered that actually peanut butter toast does work BEST for me as a breakfast. I startet to eat in on a holiday in Australia last year and found it keeps me full and satiesfied until lunch or mid-morning-snack. I switched to gluten free bread though and will soon start to make my own peanut butter since in Switzerland I can’t seem to find a brand that does not add extra salt and sugar.

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  2. AvatarLisaLDN

    That’s a great analogy, definately one I will keep in mind from now on! I have a tendency to skip breakfast and just go for the coffee, which is an extremely bad habit! 🙂
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  3. AvatarLiz

    Hi Carla,

    I live in Germany and like the organic peanut putter from Rapunzel (Erdnussmus fein, ohne Salz). The only ingredient is 100 % peanuts.

    You can buy it online through amazon or maybe there is a wholefood retailer near you that carries it.

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  4. AvatarAllegra

    Brilliant post! I am certainly a visual learner so that type of visual is very helpful and definitely made me want to rethink my diet. In December or so I started to lose weight just by cutting back on what I ate a lot and exercised and lost about 20 pounds or so. But I have gotten kinda stuck after that even though my diet is relatively minimal. I suppose I have to adopt a mentality of eating a little more and a little more often “adding more logs to the fire.” to boost that metabolism and get me going again. Very helpful! I know I will keep this advice in mind when I go to college in the mornings for classes. “Remember Allegra, add some logs to the fire! Bring some almonds and fruit with you otherwise your gonna burn out!” —-Thank you <3 xox
    Allegra recently posted..M O N: Covering Your Bases Foundation Series//NARS Sheer GlowMy Profile

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  5. AvatarMK

    Awesome information! It’s such a great way to think about it! My favorite “log” foods are avocados and Ezekiel toast!

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  6. AvatarAshley @ A Lady Goes West

    Hi Lauryn, I couldn’t agree more. And this is a great analogy to get people to understand the importance. I have training clients who tell me they “just aren’t hungry in the morning,” — well that’s because you have to make yourself be hungry and teach your body to get revving as soon as you wake up with a balanced and large healthy breakfast. You should eat breakfast about 30-45 minutes after waking up too, just to get the maximum effects. Thanks for this one!

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  7. AvatarAnoushe

    I love how you described this. I am personally a fan of large dinners, which is a problem… I love to have salads for lunch, but a warm cooked meal for dinner.. since living alone though, I have been trying to eat more frequent meals throughout the day, but seem to forget the whole fat/protein combo and eat far too much fruit, which then makes me crave more food/protein in the evenings… vicious circle..
    do you have any tips for someone who enjoys sharing their evening meal with friends, but is trying to lose weight (and has been for months)?
    Anoushe recently posted..Manicure MondaysMy Profile

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  8. AvatarIrina

    Wonderful analogy! I totally agree with your point on eating more fats and proteins. Unintentionally, I used to mainly consume carbs for breakfast lunch and dinner. One day it got to a point where I would eat a huge (healthy and vegan!) waffle for breakfast and then become “hungry” an hour later despite my belly still being full. This was when I decided to do a month-long breakfast challenge that involved eating a different breakfast every day and quickly discovered that I thrived on savory meals like eggs+avocado+toast (which is what I now eat almost daily).

    Anyway, great post! Understanding metabolism can be confusing but it’s so so important…especially the older we get!
    Irina recently posted..Currently {August 2014}My Profile

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  9. AvatarJessica

    I have read some recent research on intermittent fasting. It is basically the opposite of the “constant feeding” method you listed above. From what I have read research shows the body only goes into fasting mode after eating a sever caloric deficit for a long period of time (think days not hours). While there are some possible benefits to fasting, I have personally tried both and constant feeding works much better for me (it’s way easier to maintain)! So again it all comes down to listening to your own body.

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  10. Avatarthess

    I have to say it’s a great post! I’m really bad at drinking enough water to be honest, and I know that I need it, but it’s like when I’m eating ; I don’t drink / eat if i’m not hungry. Witch can take a long time until I have that feeling :/ I have to get better on that haha.

    Really good blog btw, Love it!:)
    thess recently posted..GlitterMy Profile

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  11. AvatarSydney

    I love this post! It is so helpful to have some suggestions of what you can eat throughout the day. I feel like I know that you should eat throughout the day, but I am never sure of what health options are.
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  12. Avatar204 Park

    I love that analogy! This is something I’ve been working on for a few years now, it’s hard when you’re busy to prep snacks or to stop and eat but soooo much better than starving for hours then over eating! Loved this post! Xo, D
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  13. AvatarCate

    Great post, metabolism is such a big deal – and not enough people realise how important the concept of eating often is. I’m definitely going to recycle that feeding the fire analogy!
    Cate recently posted..Chocolate Mylk PancakesMy Profile

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  14. AvatarAlice @ Honestly Fitness

    Honestly it really varies from person to person and there is new research which supports three large meals over small and frequent meals (due to the insulin spikes that occur every time someone eats).
    I find that three large meals and 1 snack work for me 🙂 Too many small meals and I tend to overeat haha. Thanks for making people aware that eating small meals frequently is okay though!

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  15. AvatarAnnCates

    this was so helpful! I will definitely be reminding myself to eat snacks through out the day!
    Thank you so much, AnnCates xx
    anncates.blogspot.com

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  16. AvatarKathy

    This is extremely well worded. The analogies really help sink it all in. It inspired me to eat my first “breakfast” in a long time (it was actually a banana with my morning coffee, but ya gotta start somewhere!). I always run out of energy and then load up on more coffee, which I know is bad. Now I think I’ll reach for a handful of nuts and veggies 🙂

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  17. AvatarNik

    love it! Whats the bread youre liking now? I’m assuming you meant to link it but I don’t see one up there! Sorry if I overlooked it!

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  18. AvatarEllen

    Hence why I don’t believe in fasting. Especially in the name of cleansing which is like saying to clean your car you will just drive it around on empty. To, ya know, give the carburetor a rest 🙂

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  19. AvatarKing B

    I keep my fire burning but I try to make sure I add one log a time. I tend to “hoover” food – if you’re imagining a vacuum cleaning right now then you have just pictured my eating habits. #hotmess So I’ve made a few guidelines for myself that have helped me lose almost 30 pounds over the last 6 months. And eating fewer and smaller meals has definitely played a big role. I won’t lie and say its been easy – I still have moments when I want to “hoover” enough food to feed a small African country #hotmess but its definitely gotten easier over time. I now only eat enough for a small town #progess xoxo
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  20. AvatarNichole

    Eating enough of all macros (protein, fats and carbs) is super important but your metabolism is NOT going to slow down and your body is NOT going to start eating all your muscle because you don’t eat for a few hours. If you want to eat small meals every few hours then go for it but if you want to fast in the morning and eat a few bigger meals later in the day that’s fine too.

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