North County Outlook - Community newspaper serving Marysville, Arlington, Tulalip, Smokey Point, Lakewood

Does your metabolism need to hit the reset button?


Our metabolism is the chemical reaction in our bodies that converts what we have eaten into fuel for everything we do. Some signs your metabolism is slowing down are effortless weight gain and cravings for sugar. Unfortunately for most it slows down with age also.

The good news is we can combat our slowing metabolism with what we do and what we eat.

Here are some simple tips to reset your metabolism and get it moving again:

• Eat more often: Spreading out your meals to 5-6 times a day will help your body get a consistent flow of energy. Make sure that these are not 5-6 full meals but smaller meals so that you are not over eating

• Stop over eating or binge eating: Your body can not process large amounts of fat, proteins and carbohydrates at one sitting. When you binge you body is forced to store those extras into our fat cells, adding to our weight and slowing down our metabolism.

• Stop eating too little: The flip side of overeating is that we under eat. Sometimes to lose weight diets can starve us. We need to eat enough so that our body doesn't switch into starvation mode. If you are unsure if you are eating too much or too little try an on-line calculator to determine your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). This is how many calories you need in a day to sustain yourself. If you are active you can then multiply it by an activity factor to get your daily caloric needs.

• Get moving: Even adding just a few minutes of activity a day can help get your metabolism back on the right track. As we age we lose muscle mass, which slows down our metabolism. To maintain the muscle mass we need to stay active and physically fit. Try adding in some weights or a brisk evening walk to get your body moving.

• Stop skipping breakfast: It isn't nicknamed the most important meal of the day for nothing! In order to keep our body fueled and functioning at it's max we have to eat breakfast. Eating within an hour of waking is best, and no, your coffee doesn't count.

• Get your Zzz's: These days we are busy than ever and our sleep habits show it. According to the Gallup polls 40% of Americans get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep. When we are sleep deprived it can damage our cells and cause us to become more insulin resistant.

• Get hydrated: When we are dehydrated our metabolism is dehydrated. If we are not getting an adequate amount of water per day our metabolism slows way down. How much water is enough? We all know we need eight 8 oz. glasses a day, but actually the better goal is to get half of our body weight in ounces of water each day. Caffeine dehydrates us so make sure for every caffeinated beverage you consume you are getting water in also. So set down that morning latte and go drink some H2O!

Start putting some of these tips into your daily routine today and your metabolism will be reset in no time.

Emily Countryman is a board certified health coach and owner of Ideal Wellness in Marysville. She can be reached online at


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