This is what you could have if you aren’t careful and eating enough! Yes, you heard me correctly, eating enough! I’ve been assessing metabolism for 3 years now and have run over 400 assessments. What I have found to be the case, probably 90% of the time, is that people aren’t eating enough! My niche is fat loss, thank goodness since there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of it – and when someone comes in to see me, the story is always the same, maybe with small variations. But the story goes like this:
I must have a REALLY slow metabolism cause I have been trying to lose 20 lbs for the last 6 months and it doesn’t seem to matter how well-behaved I am, I can’t seem to take it off. The first 10 lbs came off real easy, but these last 10 are stubborn!!! So – I added a couple more workout days, and I’m working out 6 days a week instead of 4 and I’m eating healthier than ever. STILL – nothing! I can’t possibly cut out any more calories – I must be broken or something, or have the slowest metabolism in the world. Its ridiculous and I’m fed up and ready to give up!
Story sound familiar? I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten a call from a concerned client who just started on the program, and they call in a panic cause they feel like they are eating way too much and can’t imagine that they’d be able to lose any fat eating like this. I tell them just stick with it – and we’ll see what happens. Sure enough, they come in to get pinched (tracked and measured) and they will have lost fat, scale weight and inches. Now – yes, every once in a while, there will be a case that doesn’t run so smooth. But it is always some outside factor – like, their thyroid medication is off or they took their vitamins the morning of their metabolic assessment, not realizing that when I said they needed to be “fasting,” that I meant from everything – not just food.
So what does this have to do with metabolism? Well – first of all, did you realize that your metabolism is something you can get measured? It’s called a metabolic assessment – and speaking as a fitness trainer, It is the most valuable information I could have in order to get my clients the results they are seeking.
When you get your metabolism assessed, it’s a two-step process. Through gas exchange, measuring your VO2, VC02 and total VE, we first measure your RMR (resting metabolic rate) in a resting assessment. Second, we measure your aerobic base and your anaerobic threshold during exercise (this tells us how many total calories and fat calories you burn during exercise). With this information, we are able to tell you exactly how many calories you need to eat in order to reach your goal, whether it be fat loss, muscle gain or simply maintenance.
Your body requires a certain amount of energy (calories) for basic life functions. When I say ‘basic life functions,’ I’m referring to things like brain activity, internal organs working, etc. If you were to lay in bed and do nothing all day long, you would still need to eat a certain amount of food in order for your body to not go into starvation mode and store fat. Everyone is different – and out of the hundreds of assessments I’ve run, if there is one thing I’ve learned – it’s you can’t judge a book by its cover. You can take 5 people who are the same height, gender, weight and age and they will have completely different resting metabolic rates. This simply isn’t something you can guess at – or run some math equation to figure out. The most accurate way to have it measured is through gas exchange. It’s the way the hospitals do it and it’s the way the professional athletes have it done.
Just like the resting assessment, when it comes to exercise, everyone burns a different fuel mixture of carbs and fat. Our aerobic bases and anaerobic thresholds are vastly different from each other. Your aerobic base is where your body is most efficient at using fat as a fuel source and your anaerobic threshold is your body’s maximum sustainable rate at which you burn total calories. You may be burning 8 or 10 calories per minute like the treadmill is telling you – OR you could be burning 6 or 16 calories per minute! You won’t know until you have it assessed. But this is important information to have because you need to calculate it into your food totals for the day – in order to be sure you aren’t overeating or under eating. Now – if you are one of those people, that loves food, like most of us, then here is some good news that you may not realize. Through a properly designed cardiovascular program, you can train your body to burn more calories per minute and more fat calories per minute. How cool is that?? You aren’t working any harder – just smarter. So at the end of the day – that simply means you can eat MORE and don’t have to work any harder to take it off!!
Something to keep in mind also is that metabolism is dynamic. It is always changing. We can up-regulate it or we can down-regulate it (speed it up or slow it down) depending on our behavior. Because of this – you need to have it reassessed every 4 months or so to be sure you are working with current information.
This is a picture of Audrey, one of my clients and her testimony – she is currently in the 19% body fat range and started at 28.10%. You may not be an “athlete” like Audrey, but your experience may be very much the same – being frustrated because no amount of exercise seems to be able to take off the unwanted pounds.
“Simply put – Carrie is the best!! I am an athlete – I run, swim, snowboard and do triathlons on a regular basis. After I turned 45, I started to put on unwanted weight for the first time in my life. I was very frustrated, because no amount of exercise seemed to make a difference in my inability to lose the weight. When I started with Carrie, I underwent metabolic testing, and together we came up with a calorie and exercise plan that has allowed me to lose the 10-15 lbs that I had gained. The combination of heart rate monitor training, strength training and diet awareness has totally changed the way I approach my training and manage my weight!”
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