Monday, February 7, 2011

Let the games begin...

The wait is over!  The clients have signed up, metabolic tests have been done and continue to be done, meal plans are being posted, training groups begin meeting...it can all only mean one thing...the next 5 Ton Weight Loss Challenge has begun and we have another enthusiastic group of people beginning the journey to a healthier life.  For those of you who have been through the Metabolic Test, you know have a better idea of how your body functions.  It is an amazing test, that done properly, gives us a lot of information about how your body utilizes energy (in the form of kcal or calories).  Having utilized this test for several years, it amazes me that someone would try to go on a weight loss plan without having the information of this simple test.  Granted you have to sit still for 10-15 minutes and breath through a tube (que the druel) and the nose clamp on (not a great look for most) but the information we get is vital to your success.  The report shows the correct meal plan for you based on YOUR metabolism, the guess work is removed.  So having utilized this program successfully now for two years, the one thing we know is that most people who are trying to lose weight make one major mistake.   Any guesses?  They don't eat enough!  I heard the collective "WHAT?  That can't be possible!!  I have always heard..."  This is where our typical American Logic fails us.  Obviously, if the goal is to burn more calories than you eat then by not eating anything or eating very little would be the way to go, right?  Wrong!  Yes there is a balance and you have to eat less than you burn if you want to lose weight (3500 kcal = 1 lbs of fat) BUT and this is a BIG BUT (no pun intended) if you reduce your food consumption too low your body will begin to hoard calories.  Let's go back to our Hunter/Gather heritage, our bodies don't know when the next meal is going to come and we store extra energy/calories as body fat.  Remember our resting energy expenditure (resting metabolic rate) we said that the body burns energy (calories) to keep the body going.  There is actually a priority in the body and the brain is at the top followed by some other important organs like the heart and lungs.  Although a lot of people act like they don't have a brain or a heart, in reality we all do and yes, it takes energy for your heart to beat and the other systems in your body to continue to function.  If the body senses that it is going into starvation then it begins to slow down or will eventually shut down different functions of the body.  The body will actually start to destroy tissue to use as fuel and one of the first sources it taps into is the protein of our muscles.  So, go on a starvation diet and you can actually decrease your metabolic rate and begin to burn muscle mass.  Then when you decide to start eating again you have less muscle mass that burns energy and thus any calories over our new lower metabolic rate is stored as (you guessed it) FAT!  So the magic of a weight loss program is to reduce your calorie level enough to start burning fat stores but not so much that your body begins to shut down.  Our bodies run on energy (calories are just the unit of measurement) or the fuel we get in the form of food (carbohydrates, fats and proteins).  Fats have twice as much calories per gram than protiens and carbohydrates. It is almost like there is a science to this whole thing!  So, for those of you on our program and who have done the metabolic test we now know your effective range, don't ruin your progress by thinking "hey, I'm only going to eat part of what they told me, and then I will lose weight faster!"  hopefully you now know this is not true. 

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