What You Need to Know About Your Metabolism to Lose Weight

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By Doris Dahdouh

Anyone trying to lose weight should be interested in the mechanism of the human body and how it works in order to shed those excess pounds.

One of the most important parts of the human body (particularly when it comes to losing weight) is your metabolism. The speed of your metabolism directly affects your ability to burn fat. Understanding the basics may help get you on the path to a healthier and slimmer you.

How Does Your Metabolism Work?

Glucose metabolism

Your muscle cell contains mitochondria, which are microscopic organelles (cell bodies) that burn fuel. This is considered your metabolism. In addition, the muscle cell includes intramyocellular lipids, also known as fat. According to one of America’s leading advocates for health and nutrition, Dr. Neal Barnard, the cell is delighted to have fat present because, if food ever becomes scarce, that fat can be used for fuel.

However, the presence of fat in the cell interferes with calorie burning. When intramyocellular lipids build up in the cells, the mitochondria starts to diminish in number. The actual genetic blueprint for making mitochondria starts to retire a little bit. And when you make fewer and fewer mitochondria, you burn off intramyocellular lipids much slower. Dr. Barnard recommends getting fat out of your cell in order to boost your after-meal calorie burn.

Simply put, get rid of fat so it does not slow down your metabolism. “How do I get rid of the fat to speed up my metabolism?”  That is a good – and valid – question.

Here Are 5 Simple Steps To Help You Get On That Fat Burning Journey.


1. Think green: Add color to your life by incorporating more leafy green vegetables to your plate for every meal. Leafy greens are filled with nutrients, are low in calories and packed with fiber so you feel full longer. You can eat them sautéed, steamed, raw, juiced and more. They are usually easy to make because most “green” dishes only require you to wash thoroughly, chop and use. Get creative. Add them to your soups/stews, put them in your omelets, make a tall green juice/smoothie or have them as a big salad. If you’re looking for inspiration, click here for some of my recipes.

2. Chew, chew, chew: I know this sounds simple, but very few people actually chew their food. The longer you chew your food, the less work your digestive system has to do. Chewing food slowly engages the saliva in your mouth to make a mouthful almost like a liquid. This will allow the nutrients to go straight into the bloodstream faster, giving your metabolism a jump! Some recommend chewing 100 times per bite, but I want to be reasonable, so start off small by making sure you chew at least 20 times per bite and work your way up to 50. *Bonus: The longer your chew, the faster you will feel full. Therefore, less eating.   

3. H2O – Drink more of it: Water is so important on so many levels. Drink it first thing in the morning with half a squeezed lemon either warm or room temperature. This signature drink will help flush out some toxins and help your metabolism going. Continue to drink water throughout the day because it helps get the nutrients into your system. Water is simple and very cleansing. Aim for ½ your bodyweight in ounces daily. It sounds like a lot more than it actually is!


4. Minimize animal fats, vegetable oils and sugar intake: This step is pretty self explanatory. Limit foods that contain animal fats, vegetable oils and sugar. These foods add to the fat in the muscle cell and if increased, hinder your mitochondria from working properly. When you do eat animal fats, make sure it is the best quality. Your body deserves foods that are not injected with hormones, antibiotics and fed with genetically modified organisms. Substitute vegetable oils for healthier alternatives and keep away from white, processed sugar, whether it is in pre-made foods or added to drinks.

5. Eat more frequently: Add a couple more small meals to your day to keep your metabolism operating at its best. You do not want your body to think that it is starving and begin storing fat, which will inevitably slow down your metabolism. You want your metabolism to work, so what better way than to feed it!

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Doris Dahdouh
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Doris Dahdouh

Doris Dahdouh has a Master’s Degree in social work and has helped counsel children and help families since 2001. In 2012, she became very ill due to a hormonal imbalance and autoimmune disorder. Doris was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) many years ago and was treated with mainstream medicine which did not help her. She hit rock bottom before finding refuge in holistic living, by juicing, going gluten free and eating clean, organic, whole foods. Over the past couple of years, Doris has educated herself on a healthy lifestyle by reading information by Dr. Joel Furhman, Drew Canole, Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Josh Axe, Vani Hari (a.k.a. Food Babe) and more.

Doris is enrolled to become a certified health coach with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and is very excited to help others achieve their best by combining her psychoanalytic skills and what she hopes to learn in the health coaching certification program. With a heart for others, she is eager to continue assisting as many people as possible towards optimal health.
Doris Dahdouh
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