Many of you have spoken about how during the last lockdown, you were actually working out more but you still noticed that you had put weight on. This can feel demotivating but there are so many factors which can affect our weight and our metabolism, so we’ve rounded up a few things which are worth considering…
👉🏼 METABOLISM: Metabolism is the chemical process taking place in the body which converts our food into energy. Body size, age, gender and genes all play a role in the speed of your metabolism. Muscle cells require more energy to maintain than fat cells, so people with more muscle than fat tend to have a faster metabolism. However, it’s hard to really control or change the speed of your metabolism and it’s much easier to control how many calories you burn through your level of physical activity.
👉🏼 BMR: Our basic metabolic rate (BMR) refers to the number of calories we need in order to maintain vital body functions such as breathing, repairing cells and digesting food. Having a ‘high metabolism’ simply means you have a higher BMR and will also burn more calories when you are exercising.
👉🏼 TEF: Thermic effect of food refers to the energy your body burns in order to digest food.
👉🏼 TEPA: Thermic effect of physical activity refers to the energy you require to exercise and to move. There are two types of movement; planned exercise and spontaneous ‘non-exercise’ activities such as standing up from a seated position, walking to the shops or running to catch the bus (otherwise known as NEAT).
👉🏼 NEAT: Our NEAT (or non-exercise activity) generally decreases in Winter months and for many of us, it defiantly decreased during lockdown! Instead of walking or cycling to work we have spent far more time sitting down and some days the furthest we may have moved has been from our WFH desk in one room to the sofa in the next! Therefore, without noticing, your TEPA will have decreased because in general on a day-to-day basis we are not moving as much as we were previously!
To maintain your weight you need to balance the levels of energy in and energy out of the body. Therefore, in order to decrease weight, you need a slight deficit of energy levels in to energy levels out and to gain weight you have to be taking in more than you are exerting.
We know that it’s harder to manage this in the colder and darker winter months and during another period of lockdown but sometimes it’s the small changes that make all of the difference. You will quickly feel encouraged and motivated by the results of adding just 20/30 more minutes of movement into your day and this will support the amazing efforts you are putting into your classes whilst we are all still working out from home via Zoom!
Here are three simple ways to increase your TEPA and rebalance that your levels of energy in vs energy out…
1. REIMAGINE YOUR COMMUTE: For many of us now WFH, our commute has been taken away and whilst you might not have previously walked to work, most us at least walked to and from the train station or bus stop at either end, which all added up to our NEAT total! Why not start your day with a walk, as this is a great way to get blood flow to the brain and getting out in the fresh air can help reduce stress and anxiety.
2. GET OUT ON YOUR LUNCH BREAK: Perhaps there is a local park or a coffee shop a short walk away from your home, which you can visit on your lunch break? We all know the benefits of taking 30 minutes away from our desk and our screens to refocus the mind, so why not turn this time into an oportunity to get up and out!
3. AIM FOR A LONGER WEEKEND WALK: There are so many great places in London to enjoy a long walk in the crisp fresh air this winter. From Wimbledon common, to Richmond Park or a walk along the river, try to aim for a longer walk at the weekend when you have more time on your hands to increase your overall weekly movement.