Who Is To Blame Part III: Learn the secrets to Metabolism.
I am not going to tell you this part of understanding ‘who is to blame for America’s obesity problem’ is easy. It’s a little bit complex, it’s a longer story, but the essence is easy enough once you get the background information.
In the days of our hunter-gatherer forefathers and mothers, it took a lot of calories to find something to eat. Calories had to be hunted. Or calories had to be picked and gathered. Hence the term we now have, “the hunter -gatherer diet”.
There was a lot of starvation at certain times of the year. And feasts of bounty at other times. Stories told around the tribal fire at night weren’t enough to erase the hunger pangs from the children’s stomachs.
If you found a date tree, you could get a lot of sugary date palms all at once but then you were foraging for days after looking for a handful of berries that hadn’t been eaten already by a competitor mammal. The hunt for a elk or a moose took days or weeks to find and kill.
Before you could navigate rivers for salmon, you had to first cut down a pine tree, hollow it out to make a canoe. Bass Pro Shops didn’t exist. You couldn’t buy a boat.
Life was hard, very hard. And the results were tough scrawny, lean, mean hunters and gatherers. The ones who figured out the seasonal patterns had an advantage. They knew where to hunt at various times and could provide for their families and tribes.
The next phase of humanity occurred when man learned how to til the land, grow crops and domesticate animals. Bounties from the land made life a little easier. Life was still hard. People were still tough. But it was a different calorie expenditure per calorie consumed. Things were a little more predictable. Health and well being were still a “survival of the fittest” type of existence. If you couldn’t pull your weight, there was no safety net. Parents did the best they could for their children and village elders did what they could to bring order to life. But it was still very hard.
Fast forward a few millenium and in the First World developped 21st century nations, life is very, very different. We can still see the diets and lifestyles of our ancestors in 3rd countries and aboriginal societies, but for the most part, the ways and means of the First World develop countries are the envy of the rest of the world.
So we are going to concentrate for now on what we know as the American life. Life is rather easy. The United Nations definition of poverty has been recently adjusted from earning an average of $1.00 per day to $1.25 per day. So if you earn under $456.25 a year, you meet the definition of absolute poverty. In the United States, absolute poverty is defined as earning under $10,000 per year. So that’s the marked difference of First World and Third World population needs and economies.
In the United States, you can be suffering absolute poverty and still own a car, have heat in the Winter, air-conditioning in Summer. You can own a cell phone with 250 free minutes a month, paid for by the Government and probably watch your favorite sports on a flat screen television. Drugs, alcoholism and lack of employment opportunities make up the vicious cycle that only rarely broken through by the enterprising. This is American face of poverty.
When it comes to food, poverty and starvation in America isn’t a problem with a lack of calories, rather it’s a lack of education and awareness. Fast junk food restaurants thrive in inner city communities, while full fledged supermarkets have a difficulty gaining a foothold in downtown turfs. Rather than an abundance of supermarkets as in suburbia, the abudance of shopping opportunities will be in corner convenience stores. Rather than an array of fresh produce, the top sellers in convenience stores are soda pop, potato chips and other processed snacks.
Family dinners are really obsolete and snacking and sodium-sugar addiction are the mainstays of the American diet. So what does this have to do with metabolism?
You’ve heard the expressions: “She has a fast metabolism.” “He can eat anything and never gain weight.”
So what does that mean? It’s true while you are younger, your metabolism has all the advantages of a “vital” system that can consume tons of calories in any form and expedite them quickly. You have the youthfulness of full health at your disposal.
Metabolic rate is measured by how many calories are burned at rest. So your body, even while sleeping, is working very hard at certain processes, like growth and cell repair. Cholesterol production starts an hour after you first get to sleep and provides working material for hormone production, vitamin production, reproduction of cells, repairs in the arterial systems, etc. A healthy adult male may have a resting metabolism of 2000 calories a day. This means that if he consumes 2000 calories a day on average, it would get expended and there would be no weight gain even without any strenuous exercise.
You can gain weight and be healthful and trim, if the weight gain is muscle gain. This requires a lot of work and movement and the development of muscle through strenuous exercise. If you carry more muscle than fat you look better and your metabolic rate will be higher as muscle burns more calories than fat.
If the extra calories you consume are fatty or sugary, you have a greater chance of putting on fatty weight. So let’s go through the process of a metabolic burn and see what’s required.
First of all, fat cells are designed to do one thing and one thing only, to store fat. The fat is locked into the cell and since the program instructions say, “Store Fat!” Fat is locked in and effciently stored and won’t be released unless an overriding program can unlock the fat cell to release the fat into the blood system for conversion to glucose and used as energy for muscle activity.
How do you unlock the fat cells? Adrenalin. You need a burst of adrenalin to release the fat stores. When you are faced with immediate danger, you suddenly are very strong, you have abundant strength, resources and mental clarity to make quick deisions. Sprinting for example releases a lot more adrenalin than jogging. Because the sudden, large demand for energy, adrenalin is released which unlocks the fat cells. Jogging for an hour may induce a 400 – 600 calorie burn which can be defeated by a single Cinnabon pastry.
Several rounds of sprinting and walking in a 20 minute routine can induce as much as a 24 hour long calorie burn. This is much more efficient.
So let’s look at the metabolic burn in stages.
The adrenalin and need for energy releases fat from fat stores. Fat is converted by the liver into burnable sugars. Your thyroid and pancreas are integral parts of buring the sugar and allowing your muscles to get the energy on a priority level basis. So all the adrenal glands need to be in good shape for your exercise and workouts to be effective, for fat loss to occur.
Since calories are so cheap and inexpensive and easy to obtain, it’s entirely possible to pick up the phone and order 3000 calories from your couch and not move hardly a muscle. This is the predicament we find ourselves in today. It’s really a trap. If you had to expend 3000 calories in order to be able to consume 3000 calories, it means you would have to jog for 5 hours to the pizza store. Or do various sprint intervals and/or weight training for at least an hour. Can you see now, why it’s so easy to gain weight in our society?
The average woman may have a 1500 calorie metabolic rest rate. The more muscle you have the higher the resting burn rate. The more fat you carry, the lower your metabolic burn.
This lesson is getting a bit long, so I will just share one more insight and then give a few suggestions.
We have two circulatory systems in our bodies. One is the cardiovascular system that is serviced by our beating hearts. The other is called the lymph system. The lymph system is part of the immune/detox system of the body. The lymph fluids are hydraulic in nature. There is no pump for the lymph system. The series of opening and closings of the lymph system are only enabled by movement. If you don’t move, the lymph system doesn’t move. The fluids become stagnate and because the lymph system is carrying away waste, you become more toxic. You must move your body every day. Every single day. Otherwise you become a cesspool and sludge deposits develop. Your naturally pleasing personality becomes stinky.
Don’t become a cesspool. Don’t get stinky. Move your body a lot.
Suggestions for increasing your metabolic burn rate:
1. Increase muscle through appropriate exercise. Do 7 minutes of stretching and exercise when you first get out of bed in the morning. If you get too busy later in the day, at least you would have those 7 minutes under your belt. Sun salutes, push ups, a few sit ups will warm up your body quickly. Jumping jacks or rebounding are great lymph enhancers.
2. Exercise efficiently by interval training rather than jogging which is hard on the joints. Orthopedics as a profession relies on joggers for the mainstay of their joint replacement business. Don’t ruin your joints with inappropriate exercises. Interval training is much easier on the joints and better for burning fat.
3. Find a supermarket you like. Some communities have farmers markets. Some communities have produce stores. If you shop at the supermarket avoid the processed foods that reside in the aisles and stick to the perimeter of the store where the frest produce is located. Eat more veggies, increase you veggie intake by double. Instead of 1/3 of your meal, make it 2/3 of your lunch and dinner. For breakfast, it’s all fiber and protein as much as possible. Poached or soft boiled eggs and rolled or steel cut oats. That will reduce cardiovascular risks.
4. Salads should be made from romaine lettuce, not iceberg. Iceberg lettuce contains only water and hardly any minerals or vitamins. Romaine on the other hand has many nutrients and a large bowl of romaine, with carrots, green, red or yellow peppers are a must. Dress with extra virgin olive oil and natural vinegar add more value to your health and vitality.
5. Avoid processed foods. These are mainly empty calories, or calories filled with processed sugars, an overabundance of sodium, non-essential fats and artificial and synthetic chemicals. There’s no faster way to gain weight in an unhealthy manner. Real nutrition is completely missing from these junk foods. Michael Pollan says these are not foods, they are merely food-like substances.
6. Don’t be an extremist. Only a small number of individuals are capable and disciplined enough to eat a very strict diet. You may be one of them, but chances are you are not. Rather than shooting for 100% compliant, choose a 90/10 diet. Eat clean 90% of the time. Allow yourself the 10% of variance so you can enjoy the 21st century. Juicing and blending whole foods can make it easier. Take advantage of whole and raw foods whenver you can but don’t be bound by religiosity when it comes to food. Enjoy your life!
7. Take Omega-3s. This can’t be emphasized enough. Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that most people miss out on. The body is ingenious and will try to make use of all the bad fats you ingest but it’s like replacing and original part with a part made in China. You won’t get the same resilence out of the after market part. This is the easiest part of staying healthy, to take supplements that can help you do the right thing. It’s a door opener. You still will have work to do but at least you are getting off to a good start with the right vitamins and minerals.
Here are all the Omega-3 Products we carry:
Calamarine High DHA Omega-3 (Certified eco friendly)
All American Omega-3 (Certified eco friendly)
Antarctic Krill oil (Fastest absorption)
Fat burn help: Dr Sears Primal Lean,
Raspberry Ketones (2 types)
Do you need help in selecting what you need to assist in your optimal health goals. Set up a free Health History Consult with a certified holistic health coach.
Enjoy your week, STAY SAFE, It’s a crazy world out there.