How do we lose fat, increase lean muscle tissue, and get stronger and healthier? We CHANGE our metabolism!
What is metabolism?
Though most people don’t realize it, what the majority of people engaging in exercise and diet really want is linked to changing one’s metabolism or chemistry. The ultimate goal is actually the transformation from fat storage to fat burning. Whether striving for weight loss, muscle strength or tone, being healthier or having more youthful energy, the driving force is upgrading metabolic status. Metabolism is simply the term that describes all the processes that support the body on a continuous basis including: breathing, the heart pumping blood throughout your body, a functional brain, kidneys and liver filtering toxins, muscles used, bones supporting and all the tissues building up and breaking down in constant cycles. All of these processes use energy and taken together those compose our total metabolic cost or rate.
Many folks believe that a person’s metabolism (metabolic rate) is an inherited, inevitable state of affairs. While there is some genetic predisposition for certain metabolic tendencies, properly constructed diet and exercise can seriously influence the final metabolic outcome. You CAN change your metabolism. People who lose or gain a lot of weight are proof of “changed” metabolisms. Pregnancy, puberty, childbirth, stress, drugs etc. all change metabolism.
What is the Metabolic Makeover?
Dr. Ben Bocchicchio (The “Guru of Fitness” for more than 40 years) provides Total Gym users a step by step, day by day plan that has successfully changed the metabolic conditions of thousands of people of all ages and levels of fitness. His Five Week Metabolic Makeover utilizes the most effective combination of eating and exercising in a logical, safe and proven plan. In fact, the AVERAGE response to this program is a 10 lb. fat loss in 5 weeks. The “secret” lies in the 15 minute SMaRT workout, twice a week on the Total Gym combined with controlled carbohydrate intake. Less exercise, more eating and real changes pave the road towards a lifetime of legitimate health and fitness.
The philosophy is simple: In order to “change” we must do something “different”. If we simply continue in our eating and exercise patterns, we will remain where we are. The most powerful change we can undertake is the combination of high intensity exercise (safe at any level) and smart eating (not “under” eating). That’s the foundation of the Five Week Metabolic Makeover.
All movements should be done very slowly and smoothly. If any set lasts more than 2 minutes, the level of difficulty is too low, and if it does not last at least 20 seconds the level of difficulty is too high. Reps are usually between 3 and 7 until the point of muscle failure. Muscles can’t count, so don’t worry about the exact number. Just continue until you cannot complete a rep in good form.
Week 1 Advice
The first week’s advice is simple: Start the SMaRT exercise routine and cut out candy, cookies, rice, pasta, breads, cereals etc. Eat meat, fish, poultry, eggs, cheese, nuts, vegetables and some berries to start. Next week we will discuss why this kind of exercise and how this controlling the food you eat gives you the simplest, safest route to real health and lifelong fitness.
The following is an attempt to rationalize the subject of eating. The metabolic relevance of food is not primarily the number of calories it contains but the effect those foods have on our chemistry. Basically, foods can be broken down by the way they influence energy use. Some foods drive immediate energy use and resist storage while others drive energy (fat) storage. Therefore, all calories are not equal. A “calorie” is not always a “calorie” in the sense of fat loss or gain.
In more than a few major clinically controlled studies, subjects were fed the same number of calories consisting of high fat and protein foods. It was determined that those subjects lost more fat than those fed the same number of calories in the form of high carbohydrate foods.
Here’s why: Carbohydrates need substantial input from the hormone insulin to become broken down into usable form. Insulin’s job is to keep blood sugar (glucose) in a very tight range of flux and to drive energy into storage. Proteins are first used for constructing cells and sending signals before even being called upon for energy storage. Fats are also used primarily as immediate energy use or structuring elements of cell membranes and then lastly stored as body fat. Carbohydrates are practically pure energy.
Bottom line: Eat fat to lose fat!
As part of the metabolic makeover program you should be organizing your eating and shopping and finding low carb meals that “suit” you. Don’t worry about eating three meals or eating breakfast if you don’t feel the need. Your smart workout should be getting familiar and your resistance levels should be close to optimal.
Most folks see a measurable difference in muscle tone, waistline and energy levels. It’s always a good idea to review the basic ideas of low carb eating, counting carbs and keeping them to 40 grams or less initially. A good idea is to get some lab work done by your doctor measuring blood fats and inflammatory markers.
The “skinny” on fat is that it is actually good for you!
Fat essentially allowed the human species to survive. We can store one day’s worth of energy as carbohydrate and months’ worth of fat.
Fat provides the most fullness (satiety).
Fat keeps blood sugar (glucose) on an even keel with few ups and downs in hunger drive and energy levels.
Fat is essential for maintaining lean mass (muscle) and providing essential vitamins and minerals (including vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B12 and iron).
The brain, nerves and endocrine (hormone) systems all thrive on fat.
“Low fat” diets simply do not work. Since we have reduced fat and calorie intake, we have gotten significantly fatter and continue to do so.
Read labels and if you see “trans fats” or ”hydrogenated” oils, don’t buy the product. Butter is fine. Margarine is not.
If you take omega fatty acid capsules, try to get a product that has at least an equal amount of omega-3’s (anti-inflammatory) to omega-6’s (inflammatory). Both are healthy if kept in a reasonable proportion but we usually get much more omega-6’s in our diets. That’s why the suggested supplement ratio works.
Starting week two, you will be well on your way to turning your metabolism into fat burning mode. Get plenty of good sleep and don’t be shy about drinking lots of water. These both help the fat burning process. Good luck and keep up the smart work!
Peanut Butter Fights Fat For Quick Weight Loss
Do you remember that rock and roll song–“Peanut, Peanut butter?” You would hear it and hum the lyric all day. Well did you know that PB is one of the most nutritious food we can eat in addition to being one of America’s favorite foods? Would it ever cross your mind that this favorite food could contribute to quick weight loss too?
Peanut butter can become a dieter’s favorite food also. First let me tell you why it is considered to be a superfood. It can provide us with the most concentrated source of energy in our diet. Researchers have also found that it has tremendously positive health affects. It has been found to reduce diabetes risk and a group eating a diet high in peanuts and PB was able to decrease their risk of cardiovascular disease by 21% compared to those eating an average American diet. You probably already know that if you have belly fat you are already considered to be at a higher risk of heart disease because of it.
Most people do not think of PB as a diet food, but it can be. Most dieters are taught to avoid foods high in fats and 71% of the calories in peanut butter comes from fats. The other 29% comes from 14% carbs and 15% protein. Now maybe these kinds of facts bore you to death and are not important to you. Well that is where the bad news ends. Let me get on with telling you why PB can become a healthy and very satisfying addition to your weightloss diet and should be included in the foods you select to achieve quick weight loss.
Peanut Butter is a food that provides fuel for your muscles and gives you energy. Most dieters have experienced that dip in blood sugar that left you feeling sluggish and draggy. You did not want to take a walk, swim, ride a bike or do anything that was recommended for exercise and burning calories when you felt so weak.
Here is one of the reasons why people do not think of PB as a diet food; two tablespoons of PB contains 190 calories. Now don’t say that this is disgusting, but did you know that eating PB straight from a spoon can prevent spikes in blood sugar. Many people prefer to enjoy eating PB as a snack with celery and carrot sticks. What is more important is that you will notice that it is so satisfying and eliminates that craving for something rich and tasty.
Here is a fact you might want to know about the fats in PB and relieve you of any guilt you might feel. Eighty percent (80%) of the fat is unsaturated fat that we all know as the “good fat.” This type of fat has been known to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels in the blood and raise the “good” HDL cholesterol. Who wouldn’t like to improve their cholesterol profiles while enjoying healthy snacks? Here is another fact you might not have thought of related to PB–it is cholesterol free because cholesterol is found only in animal products and peanut butter comes from peanuts.
Do you remember Elvis Presley’s favorite sandwich? It was peanut butter and banana with honey and grilled. Well, I am not recommending that you make yourself an “Elvis Special.” But for breakfast, you can create a 400 calorie breakfast sandwich in a healthier version. Split one toasted whole wheat English muffin into two pieces. Spread each half with a tablespoon of peanut butter. Slice a banana and top each half of muffin with half a banana (approx. 1/4 cup). Eat it as an open-faced sandwich. Peanut butter and banana sandwiches have always been one of my family favorites and this diet version is no exception. It is satisfying enough to help you make it to lunch or you can have it as a lunch sandwich.
It is not my plan to turn this into one recipe after another, but I want to show you how you can add peanut butter into your diet and still live within the daily calories allotted to you. Here is a peanut butter smoothie that you can drink for breakfast. This recipe came from the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook. Here is how you create 1 serving for yourself: 1/2 cup fat-free milk, 1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt, 2 Tablespoons creamy natural unsalted peanut butter, 1/4 very ripe banana, 1 Tablespoon of honey, and 4 ice cubs. Combine these ingredients in a blender, processing until smooth so that you have a super duper Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie for 410 calories of nutrition. Yes, that is a whole meal and sticks to your ribs. Peanut butter sticks–get it? O.K. so I am not paid to be funny!
Here is one more and I will stop. Take 1 whole wheat tortilla (8 inches). Spread 2 Tablespoons of natural unsalted peanut butter on it. Take a 1/2 cup of sliced strawberries and cover the peanut butter with the strawberry slices. Roll into a tube. Slice on a diagonal into pieces and enjoy for a 332 calorie lunch. Add a glass of skim milk for a very nutritious and satisfying lunch of about 435 calories.
Here is another good reason to add peanut butter to your diet. It adds protein and helps you stick to your diet by reducing appetite cravings. In addition, it is possible to could go on and on about all the other nutrients that are in peanut butter and their benefits–Vitamin E, Niacin, Folate, Vitamin B6, Thiamin (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Magnesium, Phosphorus, Copper, Potassium, Iron, Zinc and Calcium–but I won’t. Just be aware that there are a lot of health benefits that comes along with eating peanut butter such as reducing the risk of heart disease. It is a good source of proteins and dietary fiber, contains a vital antioxidant, important to our immune system, protects body cells and tissues and on and on. The fat soluble vitamins A, D, and E is carried by the fat in peanut butter to our cells and help maintain healthy skin.