4 Metabolism Little Known Essentials That If Not Used, Will Kill Your Fitness Goals
The common misconception is that amping up your workout alone will increase metabolism and turn you into a calorie burning machine. Sorry to break it to you, not so. There are also those who swear by food fixes such as drinking green tea, eating chili peppers, almonds, cruciferous veggies, ginger, grapefruit juice…so much has been written about these beneficial foods that the list insists upon itself in time. You’ve heard it again and again, one can eat anything they want and not gain weight while someone else can’t look at food without packing on the pounds.
Many have also been lead to believe that increased metabolic burn translated to “losing weight”, but again, myths of our time! This ages old misconception is one that if taken literally, can actually backfire on you! If your “behaviors” do not support the “4 Metassentials” and balance required to first convert fat to muscle gain, you will be disappointed in the results. Year after year, you try diet after diet, special pills, and gadgets and only reduce your current weight through muscle loss, not balance. This practice has clearly have typically resulted in metabolic optimization efforts that only end in a repetitive cycle of mass loss from muscle and regaining it when you end your “diet” and return to the same behaviors practices prior to your efforts.
Your metabolic set point is largely derived from two factors: genetics body type. If your parents were genetically blessed with slow metabolism, you’ll likely follow suit, but that’s okay. Although your genetic baseline won’t change dramatically regardless of your approach, the great news is that your genetic pre-disposition won’t matter if you begin to practice a Wellness Lifestyle Plan, and balanced approach, which will systemically change the way you think about metabolism and health, and the holistic approach required to live free of diets and the latest fads!
So what is the modern approach to metabolic gains and subcutaneous fat conversion/reduction? In a word “balance.” Achieving your optimal health, fitness and energy goals (not weight-loss), requires four key foundational elements, that when harnessed together, will transform your optimal health results!
Food & Nutrition Intake– (at H&H, we’ve stricken the word ‘diet’ from our vocabulary as it implies a temporary fix, not a permanent lifestyle change.) Wholesome fresh foods are essential for any successful transformative program.
Exercise Program- There is a “right regimen” for you based on body type, gender and physical attributes and age. Do you need additional muscle? Are you targeting specific areas for weight or muscle gain? Do you like your current weight but need to convert fat to muscle? Without your key goals and targets, and a specific ‘Lifestyle Plan’ to achieve the vision of who you’re really meant to be physically, you’ll flounder and likely give up.
Lifestyle & Environment- The difference in a sedentary vocation of sitting in front of a computer all day vs. a physically active position is enormously important to consider. Additionally, quality sleep patterns, which can only occur when you’re in balance; and how healthy your actual environment (s) are is more important than most understand.
Mindset & Belief System- You ultimately are what you think about most of the time as has been repeated by many sage thinkers and top achievers in society. Stress is one that is an insidious killer of health in general. Any worthwhile goal begins with belief, vision, passion and a burning desire to win, as you see the image of your ideal body and energy each and every day that you awake!
There are a few baseline facts and key indicators that impact your metabolic rate as well that you should consider:
1. The larger you are, the faster your metabolism generally functions. Those who are morbidly obese for example actually burn an incredibly large number of calories on a daily basis. But if their body mass is 30% stored fat or more, and they do nothing else to support their fitness goals; they’ll continue to burn energy calories rather than fat. And as you might expect, small-framed individuals generally have slower metabolic set points due to the contrast in muscle mass; but if they’re healthy and fit, their metabolic burn can easily regulate the amount of caloric intake as it relates to fat burn. The point being, it requires less fuel (calories) to function as a small person than a large person, so the difference in the set point is relative. Then whether small or large, as we gain added weight or store excess fat, we default to the universal goal of “losing weight” when what we actually want is the ideal body mass index (BMI) or ratio of fat to muscle within a reasonable weight range. When achieved, this in results in you feeling better and more energetic, which increases activity, which is the ultimate goal.
2. Choosing metabolic supporting foods absolutely does support optimal health as well. Research shows for example that consuming from 2 to 4, 10-ounce cups of green tea each day, will elevate your metabolism burn by up to 50 calories. Though the tradeoff seems insignificant, that would shed five pounds of weight lost in a single year. The key however is, did you shed muscle weight or stored fat! Recent research by the American Journal, of study subjects who consumed what are called ‘capsinoids’ (a common compound present in fresh chili peppers) daily during a twelve-week period; didn’t enjoy a significant increase in their resting metabolic rate, but their rate of fat oxidation and belly fat levels when measured did decrease. Additional research conducted by the University of Utah revealed that every 3% of body weight in water lost (e.g. for body weight of 180 pounds, you lose 5.6 pounds of water weight as a % of total lost weight), your resting metabolism subsequently drops by two percent. Though not a tremendous impact, these small changes accumulate over the long term.
3. A well-designed weight lifting program will immediately begin to support your metabolic burn level. One of the most misunderstood benefits in building muscle mass is that more muscle increases that fire within that burns calories! Lift and they will come….OFF!
More importantly, a comprehensive strength-training program will support healthy holistic metabolism gains as mentioned; muscle simply burns more calories than fat, end of story. On the surface, the variance in calories per-pound of fat vs. calories per-pound of muscle doesn’t sound impressive. Each pound of fat will burn two calories per day, as opposed to six calories per-pound burned by muscle. But a 180 pound frame consisting of a BMI of 85% muscle and 15% fat will burn 150 calories, more than that same frame with a BMI of 70% muscle and 30% fat. Just this 15% variance in body fat makes a difference of more than 54,000 calories per year!
So what are the simplest ways for you to have the body, conditioning and health you want today? The simple answer is to MOVE! The key to transforming your body is to burn more calories than you consume, and you burn calories by being consistently active, Fitness (not necessarily weight loss) is purely about having clear goals regarding your ideal BMI and health targets, and then applying action and work to the plan.
For successfully achieving fitness targets that you can maintain long-term, many experts recommend meal plans which are lower in calories than you burn on any given day, and make meals rich in lean protein and maintain mineral, fiber, and other and essential nutrient intake. The Healthy & Holistic recommended approach includes the following key behaviors first, and only then should you begin putting your menu plan together: though age and gender are key variables, the following is a guideline that works:
1. Eat 5-6 small meals per day of foods (always eat breakfast) and your last meal should be eaten no less than 3-hours before bed. Eat fresh, wholesome foods with lots of green and red (spinach, red cabbage…) and stick with fresh lean proteins. Can the cans and junk foods if you’re serious about your transformation. Eat NOTHING with high fructose corn syrup, modified food starches and preservatives. Read labels and become informed!
2. Exercise by achieving a standing heart rate of 75-80% of your maximum for at least 30-minutes to prime your individual metabolic rate. Add weights, running, walking, cross fit, swimming or simply walking when time is short. You should find at least 30-minutes per day (5 days) to do some slightly intensive physical activity. *The two remaining days if the week should consist of low intensive however.
3. Rethink your lifestyle and where you frequent and some will even have to reconsider who they spend time with. If you want to live a wholesome and healthy life with clarity, energy and wake up each day feeling good…take cues from those who already enjoy this freedom! Elevate health on your priority list, take up tennis, 5K races and things that support your newly found enlightened state of being!
4. Turn on the behaviors that will empower you to want to live this new and exceptionally fun feeling life permanently! Stop the midnight ice cream raids, excessive alcohol consumption; curb your enthusiasm of deep fried foods, fatty meats and empty calorie foods (that means virtually nothing from vending machines!)
What the H&H team wants you to understand is that anyone can do this, it’s simply a matter of authentic desire, behaviors, new patterns and taking your health and long-term well being seriously. Very few actually have physical limitations that they cannot overcome. And if you’re typically healthy, mobile and capable of taking these simple (but not easy) steps, you will realize the body, the mind and the results that you may have been wanting for years or even decades!
The amazing reality is that this is all up to you! How badly you really want it, will determine the rate and speed at which you achieve your own desired results! Visit http://healthandholistic.com to find your personal Lifestyle Plan and achieve the fitness goals you’ve always desired!
“Take care of your body with steadfast fidelity. The soul must see through these eyes alone, and if they are dim, the whole world is clouded.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe