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Kickboxing Union County NJ | Martial Arts For Life

Kickboxing Union County New Jersey

Unlocking The Weight Loss Puzzle Part 3: Your Metabolic Set Point

Welcome back to “Unlocking The Weight Loss Puzzle” a short series dedicated to providing tips for sensible adults who are looking to reach and maintain a healthy weight.

Part one of this series dealt with the concept of eating for nourishment versus eating for pleasure. Part two focused on avoiding the temptation of junk food by keeping it out of reach. In Part three, we will explore metabolic set point theory.

Although metabolic set point theory may sound complicated, the concept is actually quite simple. Basically, set point theory states that each individual has his or her own metabolic set point. This set point causes adults to maintain body weight at a relatively stable level for long periods of time through a variety of complex mechanisms. It operates very much like the thermostat in your residence. If you set the thermostat to 70 degrees and the temperature drops to 68, the thermostat will signal your furnace to fire up until the temperature reaches 70 degrees, at which point the furnace will shut off.  Interestingly, regulation of your body temperature is another set point mechanism.

Unfortunately, there is no direct way to measure an individual’s metabolic set point and there is controversy regarding what alters set point. Additionally, it has been theorized that it takes at least 12 months of consuming a “normal” diet and participating in moderate exercise to reach one’s ideal set point.

There is no denying that genetics play a role in determining body size and weight and therefore some individuals will have a higher set point than others. However, I firmly believe that it is possible to “reset” an individual’s set point over time by maintaining a consistent diet and exercise regimen. Consider that the average adult gains almost a pound per year. According to research by the Harvard School of Public Health, this weight gain is caused primarily by diet and lifestyle choices. In other words, the average person is slowly and steadily adjusting their set point (albeit in the wrong direction).

The key is to have a lifestyle that is congruent with your health goals. Diets simply do not work on a long-term basis for the vast majority of people who attempt them. I believe the primary reason for the failure of these diets is they are not sustainable and cause weight loss through caloric restriction. Once the diet is no longer being followed, the individual’s body simply goes to work bringing body weight back to its pre-diet set point. It is the same with people who exercise via boot camps or 90 day programs and burn off a ton off calories and speed up their metabolism for a short period of time. Once the boot camp is over it is back to their prior set point.

Not only are these methodologies for weight loss ineffective, they are dangerous. According to a study conducted at UCLA, evidence suggests that repeatedly losing and gaining weight is linked to cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes and altered immune function. And obviously, living with one’s body weight in a constant state of flux is not ideal from a lifestyle standpoint.

In the final installment of this series I will offer some tips on setting up some easy-to-implement nutrition and exercise “success rituals” to help maintain a healthy body weight and metabolic set point

Kickboxing Union County NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Kickboxing, Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Kickboxing Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

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February 24, 2014 Posted by | Karate Union County NJ, Kickboxing Union County NJ | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kickboxing Union County NJ | Fitness & Nutrition

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Fitness & Nutrition: Winning the Fitness Game

2014 is still young, and there is still some of that automatic momentum that is built into a new year. With just a little bit of honesty and self-examination you can get on board with an exercise program that will pay dividends for years to come.

I’m going to go ahead and admit that I like to watch infomercials for fitness programs.  I really think they can be a good representation of trends in the fitness industry. I find it interesting that guys like P90X creator Tony Horton and Insanity creator Shaun T have recently come out with programs requiring significantly less time to complete. Tony Horton has come out with P90X3, a 30 minute workout program, and not to be outdone; Shaun T has released T-25, which can be completed in just 25 minutes. By the way, the concept of shorter workouts is nothing new. Does anybody remember the “8 Minute” workout series from 20 years ago (8 Minute Abs, 8 Minute Arms, 8 Minute Buns)?

I think both Tony and Shaun are great trainers that really know their stuff, but the reason most fitness programs and DVD’s are never even removed from their shrink wrap isn’t because they take too much time. While I would agree that the follow through on a 25 minute exercise routine is better than that of a 90 minute program for the average person, time is not the biggest obstacle to success. The biggest reason people fail to reach their goals with DVD exercise programs is this: It is boring to work out alone in front of your television and there is zero accountability. In addition, it takes tremendous self-discipline to follow through with working out 5 days per week, even if it’s for just 25 minutes. And without a coach, a classmate or a workout partner to motivate and hold folks accountable, follow through on these programs is very poor. In fact, it is estimated that a whopping 82% of people do not complete the P90X program. As an aside, the creators of P90X and Insanity have recognized this and started certifying individuals to teach P90X classes at fitness facilities.

Still, there are people that successfully lose weight and tone up with these programs. If you have seen the commercials for these products, then you have seen the “before and after” photos and heard the testimonials. And while those results are not typical, I do believe these people are being truthful and have gained results from these routines. One thing that struck me about many of the testimonials was that a vast majority of the people spoke about going to the gym for years and working out hours at a time without satisfactory results. This is instructive because these are folks who already had the self-discipline to work out on a regular basis, but lacked the proper planning and guidance to get the results they desired.

I find lack of knowledge and information regarding proper training and nutrition to be a huge problem for people. Many gyms have gone with a low cost model and offer membership for as little as $9.99 per month with little or no guidance or support. This leads to the average person who has no particular knowledge on weight training, cardiovascular exercise, or nutrition to figure things out for themselves. Personal training is often made available, but the high cost precludes most people from signing up with a trainer. So you find many well-intentioned people who consistently go to a gym and gain poor or mediocre results.

To their credit, Tony & Shaun T’s program have a very scientific approach to training and nutrition. When scientific training and nutrition is combined with self-discipline, positive results are sure to follow.  The problem with about 82% of people is the self-discipline component.  It seems like it’s a bit of a lose/lose situation, right? People who struggle with their fitness level generally fall into one of these two categories: they have all the tools and guidance, but lack the necessary self-discipline, or they have the self-discipline, but lack the proper tools and guidance. Those who succeed with a nutrition and exercise program have both.

How You Can Win the Fitness Game

You have to know yourself and you have to be honest with yourself. Are you very disciplined when it comes to your exercise and nutrition habits? Have you purchased fitness products in the past that are currently collecting dust on your shelves? If so, don’t waste your money on another fitness gadget or set of DVDs. And don’t feel bad. The vast majority of people do not succeed with these programs and end up selling them on eBay or at a garage sale.

At the same time, if you have no idea how to structure a safe and effective workout program for yourself, consider enrolling in a fitness class.  A properly structured class environment will be much more effective (and educational) than a simple gym membership. There are important details such as how to stretch, warm-up, work out at a safe, yet effective intensity, administer post-workout nutrition and more. Thumbing through a fitness magazine or doing a Google search just won’t cut it. Plus, you will enjoy a more dynamic workout and (hopefully) have people to hold you accountable.

Remember, there is nothing wrong with doing the research, putting in the time at the gym and formulating a plan based on your own experience over several months or years. Just remember the quote, “Experience is the best teacher, but the tuition is high.” Well-intentioned, but poorly designed programs can lead to acute and chronic injuries, muscular imbalances (which can lead to more injuries), poor results, and frustration.

The year 2014 is still young, and there is still some of that automatic momentum that is built into a new year. With just a little bit of honesty and self-examination you can get on board with an exercise program that will pay dividends for years to come.

By the way, if you need additional motivation to get started, please take a minute and check this out:  Exercise: The Keystone Habit.

 

Kickboxing Union County NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Kickboxing, Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Kickboxing Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

February 4, 2014 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment