Saturday, January 7, 2012

REV IT UP: Fitness Magazine

This month's issue of Fitness magazine features an extremely enlightening article on how metabolism works.  I'll venture to say it's entirely necessary to anyone interested in health and fitness.  The article is called Rev It Up, and it offers plenty of tips (such as eating frequently throughout the day and not skipping meals) that many of us probably already know about metabolism, and some that are secrets kept by an elite group fitness gods--the ones wearing the matching sports bras and booty shorts at the gym (also the ones doing "high intensity interval training").  What makes this article so important, and different from other articles, is that it explains the science behind metabolism.  It also helps that the author took on the task of not only publishing her dangerously high (yet incredibly surprising) body fat percentage but also drastically changing it in a relatively short period of time--and she did it the RIGHT way.

The author, Melissa Roth, talks about how two seemingly identical body types could have drastically different flab-to-muscle proportions.  And that is the difference between who is more likely to maintain their weight over time and who will gain an extra eight pounds per year.  This is important (that's why it's bold):

"Metabolism drops off 2 to 4 percent every decade as we tend to lose muscle mass ... So, if as a twenty-something you burned 2,000 calories a day, fast-forward 10 years to your mid-thirties and you could be burning as few as 1,920 calories a day.  Doesn't seem like a big difference until you do the math.  Just 80 extra calories a day translates to eight pounds over a year, unless you pick up the slack with exercise."

According to the article (bold again), "The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.  In fact, lean tissues, including organs and muscles, on average burn 14 calories a pound a day, while fat only burns about three calories per pound..."

Yes, I used to be the one who always said, "But I don't see results from working out."  First of all, I know now that I was not doing the right kind of working out.  I was not doing a healthy mix of strength training and cardio.  And I never worked anaerobically (way too hard for my lazy butt).  I also never stuck with any workout regimen long enough.  I'd give up after a week (literally a week!) because I didn't see results.  Real results, results that won't stunt your metabolism in the long run like the deprivation diets I'd put myself on to see immediate results, are those that take time and happen a little bit more slowly, but they are also those that will last.

Oh yeah, and real results are the ones that make you feel GOOD.  When you have a healthy metabolism you feel energized and awake, but when your metabolism is slowed down because you're practically starving yourself on some extreme diet, you feel irritable and tired--which often leads you to "cheat."  "Cheating" on a slow metabolism will undo everything you worked for and then some.

So, please, please go read all four pages of the article (be sure to see the part where it says "pages in this story" and click the links below to go to the other pages).  It's incredibly important to know the facts.

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