Episode 68. Optimizing Metabolism

Episode 68. Optimizing Metabolism

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Show Notes

We discussed optimizing metabolism and what that means in the real world. There’s more to it than just having a “faster” metabolism.

Ways to Optimize your Metabolism

  • In terms of optimizing your metabolism, think of it as a puzzle: the more pieces you put together, the more clear the picture becomes. No system of the body acts by itself; they all influence each other.
  • One way to optimize metabolism is to within a relative caloric deficit. If you’re eating just short of daily needs, you create a more efficient machine to burn those calories. You function better. This is different from an absolute caloric deficit.
  • If you want to build muscle, you can increase the frequency of cheat days and refeeds.
  • One should always focus on metabolic optimization in the longer term. A lot of positive changes that take place tend to happen in what Scott often calls the “residual” and “cumulative” realms of time. (Similarly, a lot of the things that are damaging to a metabolism might look good in the “immediate” realm of time, so they go unnoticed.)
  • One of the most underrated methods of optimizing metabolism is the 5X5 reps scheme.
  • Aerobic cardio has been proven to not have a great effect on metabolism. Scott’s written about this in many of his books. (See the Intro to MET in the Starter Set at scottabelfitness.com/starter). If you go on a long run, you can feel your body trying to be more efficient and use as little energy as it can to maintain the rhythm, which is the opposite of what you want.
  • To burn fat with cardio, you have to cycle the cardio – 8 weeks on, 6 weeks off (depending). You get a way better fat burning effect, than if you just do it all the time.
  • If you do something where you binge a weekend, and don’t train the next week, you won’t make much progress. You need to figure out what lifestyle changes need to happen.
  • A lot of the times “over analyzing” and questioning whether something is working kills the potential benefit of what you’re doing. 
  • Maintaining regular sleep and wake times, as well as meal times as much as possible helps to train and optimize your metabolism.
  • When sugar isn’t a part of your normal diet, it can have a narcotizing effect once you do finally have some (e.g., like on a refeed). This can be a benefit if you think of it as a way to get a really good sleep, and plan your days/weeks accordingly.
  • Low-carb diets can get in the way of reading your body’s signals: hunger, lack of energy, etc. Scott always advocates a diet with plenty of carbs.

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