If you’ve spent any length of time searching online and reading blog posts about weight loss, you’ve noticed the conventional advice given to people about how to manage their weight. Eat less, exercise more, eat more whole grains, avoid saturated fat, and eat more fruit even if it’s in the form of fruit juice. These are all common recommendations made for people trying to manage their weight and improve their health. In reality, these recommendations seem to be serving food companies bottom lines more than the bottoms of those who follow the recommendations.
At ChiroMax Wellness Centers we address weight management by breaking it down into five major areas with any given individual. Each of these areas has been shown to significantly affect one’s ability to manage weight and maintain optimal health. Looking at the diagram below, you can see mindset sits at the center of it all. Let’s take a look at how we address health and long-term weight management.
The term metabolism is often used in media in reference to “boosting your metabolism,” which is the idea that a certain type of workout, food, supplement of lifestyle practice will cause your body to burn an increased number of calories. This is a very limited perspective of what metabolism actually is.
Your metabolism includes all of the thousands of chemical reactions that occur to combat disease, fight infection, provide energy to the body; maintain proper body temperature and blood sugar levels, balance hormones and much more.
The way the body manages everything to sustain life is all related to metabolism. Because it is so complex, there are many ways we can disrupt the body’s ability to maintain an optimal metabolism. Our environment, lifestyle, nutrition habits, exercise, movement (or lack of it), genetics, toxins and more influence our metabolisms.
While the types of foods we eat play a major role in determining whether we stay lean or gain extra body fat, there are other factors in one’s metabolism that also play a role. When we get an individual started with any of our weight loss programs, the first step is a Nutritional Testing and Metabolic Profile Assessment. This unique assessment looks at some basic blood parameters, fitness measurements and an assessment of one’s ability to burn fat and carbohydrate at varying heart rate levels.
Once the assessment is completed, a unique picture of one’s starting point is created. We then use this information to create a very personalized plan.
There is no escaping the fact that nutrition plays an enormous role in the ability to manage weight. The processed-food, carbohydrate and sugar-rich Standard American Diet is a good example of what not to do if you want to be lean and healthy.
There’s much more extensive information that cover the topic of nutrition in varying levels of depth. Please click here to find out more.
Most people don’t give movement much thought. The fact is that the level of activity we have throughout the day has a major effect on metabolism. Spending too much time sitting makes the body more of a sugar-burner, reduces range of motion in the joints, causes the body to store more fat in the belly (the most unhealthy place to store fat), and can lead to other metabolic problems as well.
To maintain optimal health, we feel it’s vitally important to get up and move around many times throughout the day. We recommend people get at least 10,000 steps in every day to make sure they’re getting up and moving around enough. Ideally, these 10,000 steps should be spread out throughout the day rather than forced into a small window of time.
To learn more about the importance of movement in your health and weight management program…
The exercise industry is filled with almost as much misinformation as the food/nutrition industry. You don’t have to follow the most insane program advertised on television, sweat through your shirt with every workout, or limp around with muscle soreness for days after a workout to benefit from exercise. In fact, those examples mean you’re probably doing some counterproductive to your health and weight management goals.
An exercise session, or training session, should be designed as a stimulus to help your body change. Generally speaking, cardiovascular training appeals more to women and strength training appeals more to men but they are both important. In fact, you could even say that if it came to one or the other, the long-term benefits of strength training may outweigh those from cardio.
As mentioned above when we talked about the Active Metabolic Assessment, the heart rate you exercise at when doing cardio or endurance can be more important than the type of activity you take part in. Once you know what heart rate you should be training at, a heart rate monitor helps you stay in the right training zone to get the most out of your cardiovascular or endurance training.
Most shoe commercials on TV leave you believing you need to run to lose weight, but that is not true. In fact, you’ll probably enjoy running more once the weight is lost. Generally speaking, exercise sessions should be done three to five times per week and include a mix of strength training and cardiovascular training when weight loss is the primary goal.
Stress & Sleep
The topics of stress and sleep are usually addressed together, as they tend to feed into one another.
The high levels of stress people are under reduce their ability to sleep. A lack of sleep increases stress levels. Both can increase reliance on sugar over fat for fuel, increase cravings for junk food, cause muscle breakdown, reduce overall movement throughout the day, and increase belly fat and insulin resistance.
We like to tell ourselves we manage stress well and we get enough sleep, but when we actually track sleep and pay attention to our daily stress levels, it’s often worse than we realize. Getting eight hours of sleep on one weekend night doesn’t make up for averaging five hours a night the rest of the week.
Finally, we have mindset. Mindset may not be as much of a physical cause of weight gain or poor health as it is a road block to making changes in the areas above. Self-talk and self-perception is important, but the reality is that most people just don’t know what they don’t know. What they’ve been told about nutrition, lifestyle and exercise isn’t right.
Once you know what you should be doing, and can be honest about what you are currently doing, you are set up to make change. Behavior change doesn’t happen overnight. Group support or personalized coaching is important in helping you stick with the changes.
The bottom line is, if you want to live differently than the way you live today, you should surround yourself with the right people, who can help you maintain the right state of mind to make change over time.
At ChiroMax Wellness Centers our goal is to provide you with a variety of information and support to help shape your perspective on weight management and health, but we also offer one-on-one support with our weight loss coaches.
To learn more about our weight management program please call: