What is Metabolic Flexibility and Why Does It Matter?

Metabolic flexibility is best described as the ease at which your body can burn either carbs or fat for fuel. Both carbs and fats are fantastic energy sources to fuel our daily tasks and workouts, and we’re almost always burning a little bit of both at the same time. But how easily your body switches from one to the other is highly correlated with being lean and healthy!

The relationship is so strong that I believe metabolic flexibility is a major key in getting the results you want if you’re looking for a lean, strong body.

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Ashley Brown
Part 3: Why Eat Less, Move More Is Failing You

Remember yesterday we went over "Energy Out" and how it pertains to this equation:

Body Weight (mass) = Energy In - Energy Out

Let’s look at how this information plays out over time for a hypothetical woman named Samantha (because that was my American Girl doll growing up).

Samantha is 37 years old, weighs 155 pounds, is 5’7” and has been losing and gaining the same 5 pounds for the past 4 years since having her children.

She decides to start watching her food intake, and is going to cut back by 500 calories per day. Her friend Karen told her she read you're supposed to cut out 500 calories a day in a magazine one time and that seems simple enough. She doesn’t know exactly how many calories she has been eating up to now, but she knows that 2000 calories per day is the general recommendation, so she'll aim to eat 1500 calories per day. 

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Ashley Brown
Part 2: Why Eat Less, Move More Is Failing You

Yesterday we covered Energy IN as part of this equation: 

Body Weight (mass) = Energy In - Energy Out


Ok, let’s get onto the *other* big factor: energy out!

"Energy out" takes on a few different forms:

Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) - the energy required to run basic functions like powering your brain, pumping your blood, and breathing. Your resting metabolic rate is what it takes to keep you alive, at rest, and this varies based on your height, weight, body composition, age, genetics, etc. This  typically makes up about 60% of our overall energy consumption.

Thermic Effect of Eating (TEE) - the energy required to break down, process, and absorb the foods you eat. The thermic effect of eating is based on how hard your body has to work to get “the goods” out of what you eat. This is typically 5 - 10 % of your overall energy demand and explains why eating minimally processed foods helps us manage our weight.

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Ashley Brown