FITNESS ADVICE: Metabolism is just the sum of our chemical and physical processes - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Health

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

FITNESS ADVICE: Metabolism is just the sum of our chemical and physical processes

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Related Stories

Posted: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 9:00 am

Let's talk "metabolism." We hear about it all the time. Products and exercises promise to "rev up" our metabolism. Certain foods even! The supposed experts have us picturing out bodies idling likes car engines, waiting for someone to mash on the gas pedal - zooming our way to skinnier, happier lives.

Yah, not.

Here's the deal. Metabolism is just the sum of our chemical and physical processes. Within that definition we have catabolism and anabolism. Catabolism is to "break down" and anabolism is to "build up" (think anabolic steroids). Most of us have been brain-washed to think of metabolism as "fast" or "slow." I'm sorry, but those chemical processes are building and destroying, all day, every day, at the rate they just do it. There might be a lot of it going on, or not so much - but fast or slow isn't really the right way to think about it.

Let's modify that "fast/slow model." How about metabolism simply being how much we need? A big SUV needs a lot of gas. A little Smart Car doesn't need so much. We don't say the SUV is fast or slow. We just think miles per gallon. We might be able to tweak the engines here or there and force them to use more or less fuel, but will we turn the Smart Car into the gas-guzzling SUV? Nope.

Same with us. I don't care what I do; I will never be able to put away the same amount of food as a football-playing, teenage boy in a growth spurt. That kid can shovel in 3,000 or 4,000 calories a day and still claim he's starving. I'd weigh 500 pounds. If I completely dedicated myself to a specific lifestyle, full of hours in the gym, running several miles, staying on my feet, and closely monitoring how I spent my calories, I might be able to consume 2,500 calories a day and still look "reasonable." That's pushing it, plus I don't want to live that way. My better strategy is to figure out how much I actually need, and just stick to it (or below it).

Our energy needs are made up of three components: resting metabolic rate (RMR - what we'd burn if we just stayed in bed all day), physical activity (purposeful exercise, fidgeting, grocery shopping, yard work, etc.), and the thermic effect of food/feeding (TEF - the energy needed to eat and digest the food). Of those three, your highest level of control is physical activity. The other two are more difficult to impact, if at all. You might get an extra 100 calories a day, give or take, from food choices and the addition of lean muscle-mass, but that's about it. If you need to lose 20 pounds, and assuming you've decoded how to wring out those 100 calories, you'd be waiting 700 days to lose your 20 pounds. Your better strategy is to focus on the physical activity and take in less food. Let the RMR and TEF be what they'll be.

Stop obsessing over negative-calorie foods, pills and weird exercise gadgets that claim to boost your metabolism. I am what I am, and you are what you are. Work within it.

• NSCA certified personal trainer Shannon Sorrels holds a bachelor's degree in chemistry and an MBA. Her company, Physix LLC, works with Valley individuals as well as groups to improve their overall fitness. Reach her at (480) 528-5660 or visit www.azphysix.com.

 

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

Libs at DNC Call GOP Racist; Here's The Historical Facts

Back in 1857, in a landmark decision, a Supreme Court packed with Democrats determined that not only was Dred Scott not a citizen, not only th…

Published: July 29, 2016 - 6:12 pm @ http://www.thefederalistpapers.org/us/libs-at-dnc-…

8 Instagrammers to Follow As Your Kids Grow Up

When Will was born, I picked up a book called 100 Places to Take Your Kids Before They Grow Up. For a few months, I flipped through all the id…

Published: July 29, 2016 - 5:39 pm @ http://solomomtakesflight.com/blog/8-instagrammers…

Online Archive Documents Destruction of Ancient Sites

Print Irreplaceable Art Objects Will Get Virtual Backup Copies Russian Orchestra Plays at Ancient Syrian City of Palmyra Damage to mosques, a …

Published: July 29, 2016 - 5:41 pm @ http://www.voanews.com/content/online-archive-docu…

Gilbert, Chandler teens part of martial arts team going to Japan competition

Two East Valley teens part of a team representing Arizona in Tokyo next week have come from what is considered one of the best dojos in all of…

Published: July 29, 2016 - 4:38 pm @ http://www.ahwatukee.com/news/valley_and_state/art…

Skydiver to jump from plane without a parachute on live TV

He’s made 18,000 parachute jumps, helped train some of the world’s most elite skydivers, done some of the stunts for Ironman 3. But the plunge…

Published: July 29, 2016 - 3:38 pm @ https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/28/sk…

Uplifting Movie Recommendation List

Here is the complete list of film recommendations made by various writers at RogerEbert.com. The list was inspired by an e-mail from Susan Wlo…

Published: July 29, 2016 - 3:40 pm @ http://www.rogerebert.com/chazs-blog/movie-recomme…

Ariz. police release video of Navajo woman before cop killed her

Arizona police released body camera footage of a Navajo woman approaching an officer with scissors before he shot her five times and killed he…

Published: July 29, 2016 - 3:38 pm @ http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ariz-poli…

Hearst purchases community newspapers across Houston’s suburbs

The Houston Chronicle's parent company has purchased two dozen community newspapers across the metro area, extending its reach deeper into the…

Published: July 29, 2016 - 3:10 pm @ http://www.chron.com/business/article/Hearst-purch…

AZ telemarketer smacked with $110K judgment

PHOENIX (KPHO/KTVK) - The Arizona Attorney General's Office recent obtained a $110,000 judgment against and Arizona telemarketer it accused of…

Published: July 29, 2016 - 3:08 pm @ http://www.azfamily.com/story/32575437/az-telemark…

How to Qualify for Medical Marijuana in Arizona

On November 2, 2010, Proposition 203, also known as the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, which allows AZ residents with specific medical conditi…

Published: July 29, 2016 - 2:44 pm @ https://www.greenrushdaily.com/2016/07/29/qualify-…

Facebook

ahwatukee.com on Facebook

Twitter

ahwatukee.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to ahwatukee.com via RSS

RSS Feeds

Spacer4px

Most Popular

Online poll

Loading…