Metabolism & How to Rev It Up

 

Rev Up Your Metabolism

“That girl eats a lot and is still lean. She must have a high metabolism!”

You may have heard this before. You may not have. In our younger years, we could eat what we wanted and not gain an ounce. Now, for many of us, this isn’t the case.

Your metabolism involves a complex network of hormones and enzymes that not only convert food into fuel but also affect how efficiently you burn that fuel.

“The process of metabolism establishes the rate at which we burn our calories and, ultimately, how quickly we gain weight or how easily we lose it,” says Robert Yanagisawa, MD, director of the Medically Supervised Weight Management Program at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.

Not everyone burns calories at the same rate. There are several different factors that go into your metabolic rate. Your metabolism is influenced by your age (metabolic rate slows down gradually at age 40); your sex (men generally burn more calories at rest than women); and proportion of lean body mass (the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate tends to be). Heredity can make a difference as well. Although we have age working against us, there are ways to keep your metabolism working at an efficient rate.

 

What are ways to increase your metabolism to prevent those extra pounds?

  • Build Muscle – Resistance Train! Time to pick up those dusty dumbbells.  The truth is that muscle tissue will burn seven to 10 calories daily per pound. Fat burns two to three calories daily per pound. “Replacing a pound of fat with a muscle, therefore, helps you burn an additional four to six more calories each day”, says Cedric X. Bryant, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise.

 

  • Add Aerobic Workouts – Cardio/Aerobic training may not build muscle post-workout your metabolic rate remains high. High intensity interval training (HIIT) gives a longer lasting elevated resting metabolic rate than low intensity workouts.

 

  • Drink Up! Water that is- Lack of water can slow the metabolic rate just as lack of food can, says John Acquaviva, PhD, assistant professor of health and human performance at Roanoke College in Salem, Va. “Since water is the body’s most important nutrient, the liver will turn its concentration to water retention instead of doing other duties such as burning fat.” Aim for 32oz of water for every 50 pounds of body weight per day, more if exercising at high intensities outside. Factors such as diet, exercise habits and health status all affect the amount of water a person actually needs to drink in a day. Try to drink a glass of water (8oz) prior to eating your meal. Also, snack on fresh fruits and vegetables, which naturally contain water, rather than pretzels or chips which contain too much sodium.

  • Avoid Energy drinks- Yes, they do have caffeine which allows your body to have more energy to burn and may have taurine, an amino acid. Taurine can speed up your metabolism and may help burn fat. However, most energy drinks have high sugar content and may cause problems such as high blood pressure, elevated heart rate, anxiety, and sleep issues (Web MD). Looking for an energy boost mid-day? Try black coffee or tea instead, as you will get a quick metabolism and energy boost.

  • Spice it up! – Spicy foods have natural chemicals that can kick your metabolism into a higher gear. Cooking foods with a tablespoon of chopped red or green chili pepper can boost your metabolic rate. The effect is probably temporary, but if you eat spicy foods often, the benefits may add up. For a quick boost, spice up pasta dishes, chili, and stews with red pepper flakes.

 

  • Protein Power – Consuming protein can have a positive effect on your metabolism. Your body burns more calories digesting protein than it does eating fat or carbohydrates. As part of a balanced diet, replace some carbs with lean, protein-rich foods to boost your metabolism at meal time. Good sources of protein include lean beef, turkey, fish, white meat chicken, tofu, nuts, beans, eggs, and low-fat dairy products.

  • Your body burns many more calories digesting protein than it does eating fat or carbohydrates. As part of a balanced diet, replacing some carbs with lean, protein-rich foods can boost metabolism at mealtime. Good sources of protein include lean beef, turkey, fish, white meat chicken, tofu, nuts, beans, eggs, and low-fat dairy products.

 

  • Avoid Crash Diets- Crash diets involve eating fewer than 1,200 (if you’re a woman) or 1,800 (if you’re a man) calories a day. These diets may help you drop pounds but can affect your overall metabolism. There is also a great chance of losing muscle, which in turn slows your metabolism. The final result is your body burns fewer calories and gains weight faster than before the diet. Aim for a healthy diet rich in

avoidcrashdiets

 

 

Questions? Comments? Email jenna@answertowellness.com

Resources:

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/rev-up-your-metabolism

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/weight-loss/in-depth/metabolism/art-20046508

http://www.themetaboliccenter.com/increasing-metabolism.php

 

 

Vegetarian Varieties

veggies

A common assumption is that vegetarians are all the same – someone who only eats vegetables and beans. You may be surprised to find out that there are actually different kinds of vegetarians. Heck, you might be one yourself and not even know it! Let’s break down the 7 types of vegetarians.

1. Vegan

Someone who considers themselves a vegan will not consume any animal products or by-products in addition to not using any type of animal product like leather, wool, or silk.

What they don’t eat: Red meat, white meat, meat by-products (gelatin, animal broths), fish, fowl, eggs, or dairy products.

What they eat: Plant based foods such as nuts, beans, legumes, fruits or vegetables.

2. Lacto Vegetarian

What they don’t eat: Red meat, white meat, meat by-products (gelatin, animal broths), fish, fowl, or eggs.

What they eat: Plant based foods such as nuts, beans, legumes, fruits and vegetables. They also consume dairy products.

3. Ovo Vegeterian

What they don’t eat: Red meat, white meat, fish, fowl, or dairy products.

What they eat: Plant based foods such as nuts, beans, legumes, fruits and vegetables. They also eat egg products.

4. Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian

What they don’t eat: Red meat, white meat, fish, or fowl.

What they eat: Plant based foods such as nuts, beans, legumes, fruits and vegetables. They will also eat dairy and egg products.

5. Pollotarian

This type of vegetarian is considered a “semi-vegetarian.”

What they don’t eat: Red meat, fish, or seafood.

What they eat: Plant based foods such as nuts, beans, legumes, fruits or vegetables in addition to poultry, fowl, eggs, and dairy.

6. Pescatarian

Technically, this is not a type of vegetarian, but we include it because they do restrict their meat consumption.

What they don’t eat: Red meat, white meat, or fowl.

What they eat: Plant based foods such as nuts, beans, legumes, fruits or vegetables. They also eat fish, seafood, eggs, and dairy.

7. Flexitarian

Technically, this is not a type of vegetarian, but we include it because they do restrict their meat consumption. These types of individuals consume a plant-based diet and eat meat occasionally.

Next time someone tells you they are a vegetarian challenge them and ask them “What level of vegetarianism are you?” This is especially helpful if you are having someone over for a meal and they have specific dietary needs.

Resources:

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

http://www.vegetarian-nation.com/resources/common-questions/types-levels-vegetarian/

Goal Specific Resistance Training Series: Power

Power training is a very specific type of training that emphasizes improving an individual’s ability to be quick and explosive. Power training is typically performed by many types of athletes. This is a high intensity, short duration (2-5 reps) type training where you will be activating type 2 muscle fibers to optimize performance. Power training is an advanced type of training, so if you fall into this category of athlete or wish to improve quickness and explosiveness then this is the training for you.  If you are new to resistance training,  it is advised to stay away from power training to due to the quick complex movements.

• Reps-2-5 reps
• Sets-2-6
• Rests-2-5 min
• Weight-40-60 percent of 1 rep max

Power Training Exercise Examples:

  • Power Clean

Powerclean1    powerclean2   powerclean3    powerclean4

  • Romanian Deadlift

romaniandeadlift1    romaniandeadlift2

Power training is the last segment in our 4 week series on Goal Specific Training.   Before taking part in a power based program, be sure you have a good general base of physical fitness and are practicing proper form when lifting.

All of these specific training types offer health benefits.  Please consult your personal trainer or wellness professional to decide which training suits your personal health and fitness goals.

Resources:

https://www.ptonthenet.com

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Resistance_training_the_health_benefits

http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu/handouts/resistance_training_program.htm

Goal Specific Resistance Training Series: Strength

Strength training is a type of physical exercise specializing in the use of increased resistance to induce muscular contraction which builds the strength, anaerobic endurance, and size of skeletal muscles.

Strength based training commonly uses the technique of progressively increasing the force output of the muscle through incremental weight increases and uses a variety of exercises and types of equipment to target specific muscle groups. Similar to power training this is a moderate-high intensity, short duration (2-6 reps) exercise triggering type 2 muscle fibers to optimize performance.

• Reps-6 or less
• Sets-3-6
• Rests-2-5 min
• Weight- at least 85 percent of 1 rep max or whatever you can rep 3-6 times

Strength Based Exercise examples:
• Barbell bench press

barbellbrenchpresseccentric      barbellbenchpressconcentric
• Rear Delt Barbell Row

reardeltbentroweccentric      reardeltroweccentric

Strength based training is part of our 4 week series on Goal Specific Training. When properly performed,  all goal specific strength training can provide significant functional benefits and improvement in overall health and well-being, including increased bone, muscle, tendon and ligament strength and toughness, improved joint function, reduced potential for injury, increased bone density, increased metabolism, improved cardiac function, and elevated HDL (“good”) cholesterol.

Resources:

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Resistance_training_the_health_benefits

http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu/handouts/resistance_training_program.htm

Goal Specific Resitance Training Series: Hypertrophy

First off, what is hypertrophy? Hypertrophy is the tearing and rebuilding of muscle fibers to ultimately increase muscle size as the fibers repair themselves. Hypertrophy training can be a more general or broad type of training. There is more leeway in ways you train to achieve hypertrophic results. This means that the glossary of exercises you are able to perform is larger than it is for power and strength due to the generality of the training goal. The main goal of this exercise is to increase muscle mass. No, that does not mean it is just for men, it is just as beneficial for women to build muscle mass as well.

• Reps-8-12
• Sets-3-6
• Rests-30-90sec.
• Weight-65-85 percent of 1 rep max or whatever you can rep 8-12 times

Hypertrophy Based Exercise Examples:
• Wide Grip Lat Pull down

Lat Pull down eccentriclat pull down concentric

• Dumbbell Bicep Curl

bicep curl eccentricbicep curl concentric

Hypertrophy training is part of our 4 week series on Goal Specific Training. Give this training a try if you if you are in need of mixing up your exercise routine and/or looking to gain lean muscle mass.

Resources:

http://www.acsm.org/docs/brochures/resistance-training.pdf

http://ptonthenet.com/

http://myweb.wwu.edu/~chalmers/PDFs/Benefits%20of%20strength%20training%20for%20enduance%20athletes.pdf

Goal Specific Resistance Training Series: Endurance

Many of us may feel fatigued early on in our exercise. This means our muscles are being worn out quicker than they should be. Muscular Endurance training is essential in order to improve the longevity of your exercise and/or the ability to perform in a sport or activity without becoming fatigued early on. This type of training is a good way to assist in improving aerobic performance, but is not a substitute.

  • Reps-12 or more
  • Sets-2-3
  • Rests-30 sec. or less
  • Weight 65 percent or less of you 1 rep max or whatever you can rep at least 12 times

Think of endurance based training as less weights, more repetitions.  A lot of endurance based exercises use body weight for resistance, such as the exercise shown below:

Endurance Based Exercise Examples:

  • Push-ups (primary muscle target: chest)

pushup extension phasepushup extension phase

  • Alternating Frontal Raise (primary muscle target: shoulders)

front raise initial positionfront raise concentricfront raise alternating

Endurance training is part of our 4 week series on Goal Specific Training. Give an endurance based training program a try to decrease the chances of early onsite muscle fatigue,  or to make it part of your periodization schedule to mix up your routine. It is a crucial element of fitness for athletes such as distance runners, swimmers, cyclists and rowers.  It’s also important for success in many team sports like soccer, basketball, and field hockey.

Resource(s):

http://ptonthenet.com/

http://hprc-online.org/blog/preparation-for-the-prt-part-2-developing-muscular-strength-and-endurance

http://www.aw-bc.com/info/hopson/assets/pdf/chapter5.pdf

http://myweb.wwu.edu/~chalmers/PDFs/Benefits%20of%20strength%20training%20for%20enduance%20athletes.pdf

Sleep Your Weight Off!

 

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A good night’s rest is important. We know it and we hear it all the time. Quite frankly, it is very logical – if we don’t get a good night’s rest the next day we are tired, crabby, and experience a lack of energy. For these key reasons, sleep is most definitely important. But, there is one other important fact that individuals tend to forget about when hitting the pillow later than intended – proper regulation of hormones and potential weight control. Research has been telling us over and over again that we need to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each and every night. But besides feeling rested, why is it important? Particularly, why is it important to weight control? Read on!

Two main hormones control our appetite – leptin and ghrelin. Leptin is the hormone that lets our brain know we are satisfied. Once our brain gets the message, our appetite is suppressed. Leptin is produced by fat cells in our body. Ghrelin is the hormone that lets us know when we are hungry. It is secreted by the stomach. To keep the two hormones straight, think of ghrelin as the growling hungry hormone – the sound your stomach makes when you need to eat something stat!

Several research studies have been conducted on the correlation of ghrelin and leptin levels in the body and the amount of sleep an individual gets. One particular study was conducted with 1,027 participants from a Wisconsin Sleep Cohort Study. They concluded that participants who slept less than 8 hours a night was proportional to an increased BMI. In addition, they also found that less sleep was associated with increased ghrelin levels and decreased leptin levels. Meaning you have more of that growling hungry signaling hormone and less of the satiation (feeling of fullness and content) floating around in your body. According to the researchers, “(This) hormonal pattern is consistent with decreased energy expenditure and increased appetite and obesity.” Think about it. Have you ever gotten only 5 or 6 hours of sleep and then noticed the following day you could not get full or satisfied with anything you ate? Did you find yourself eating more than you normally would? More likely than not, it was due to the fact that your hormones, leptin and ghrelin, were out of balance causing miscommunications between your brain and your stomach.

According to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), in 1960 over 1 million individuals were surveyed to see how much sleep they would get each night. The average was 8.0 – 8.9 hours each night. In years 2000 to 2002, the NSF found the average American slept 6.9 – 7.0 hours each night. Today, it is closer to 5.0 – 6.0 hours each night. According to a Medscape sleep research article, “Sleep loss alters the ability of leptin and ghrelin to accurately signal caloric need and could lead to excessive caloric intake when food is freely available. The findings also suggest that compliance with a weight-loss diet involving caloric restriction may be adversely affected by sleep restriction.”

In conclusion, be sure to not put sleep on the backburner if you are looking to live a healthy lifestyle. Even more important, don’t short change yourself with losing precious zzzzz’s if you have a weight loss goal. Getting appropriate (and much needed) sleep consistently on a daily basis is important mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Resources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC535424/

http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/502825

http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/lose-weight-while-sleeping

http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/