You can lose it! – Star2 : 27/03/16

 Sitting is the biggest slower of metabolism and the main reason for weight gain. Photo: TNS

Sitting is the biggest slower of metabolism and the main reason for weight gain. Photo: TNS

The Asian health and fitness industry has changed so much over the last 20 years – from big gym chains offering bodybuilding and step aerobics classes to small, specialised training studios focusing on Pilates, yoga and functional training.

Though the industry itself has evolved so much, one factor has remained the same: nine out of 10 people that sign up for a programme tick the “weight loss” box in the goals category.

In 20 years of industry growth, it appears that we still haven’t found the solution to wholesale weight loss, a problem that is evidenced by the diet and nutrition industry too, as there are now over 100 different types of diets, each with their own bestselling book and promise of quick fat loss.

In fact, the growth of the health and fitness industry has gone hand in hand with a decline in general health and an increase in obesity and weight-related diseases like diabetes mellitus and heart disease.

In 2001, when the first big fitness chains were expanding throughout Asia, the World Health Organization (WHO) funded a study that found 20.7% of Malaysians were overweight, with 5.8% obese.

Fifteen years later, as the fitness industry is booming, overweight rates have soared to 47%, and the incidence of type 2 diabetes and heart disease-related deaths have increased too.

That is an incredible increase in obesity rates since the gym industry hit town, promising six pack abs and slim sexy beach-ready bods.

What is going on and where did it all go wrong?

One of the biggest issues is that none of the experts seem to be able to agree on anything at all, whether it be in the gym or in the kitchen. For example, one day eggs are bad, and the next day, they are the food of choice.

The same goes for interval training or solid cardio, high carb or low fat diet, and no one seems to be getting any closer to solving the Paleo diet vs vegan argument.

It’s a minefield out there, so let’s step out and return to the science lab for the basics of fat loss.

The first question we should ask ourselves is: Why does the body store fat? What happens to our endocrine system to make the brain decide that storing fat is a good option?

We are eating more sugar than we are able to burn off with exercise. This forces the body to turn sugar into triglycerides, and store the excess fuel as fat.

We are eating processed foods that the liver is unable to neutralize and expel from the body.

In this case, the fastest way to remove the toxins out of the blood is to store them in fat cells and wait for the liver to have enough time and energy to get around to processing the toxic backlog.

These toxins are stored as visceral fat near the gut and can form cellulite.

When we cleanse the body or lose weight too fast, these toxins can get released back into the blood and overload the immune system, causing headaches, fatigue, nausea and other symptoms.

That’s why doctors suggest we don’t lose weight too quickly (two kg/week) unless working with a health and weight loss expert.

We are training the body to store fat by exercising in the “comfort zone”. There is a guy in every gym who does a solid one hour of cardio daily, but never changes shape!

The body will always replace what we burn during exercise.

If we stay in the fat-burning or comfort zone, the body will simply slow metabolism down enough that we burn less fuel during that activity, which it will prioritise to replace from the next meal as it knows you will need it again for tomorrow’s event.

I’ve seen so many clients wear their knees out on a treadmill without losing a pound from this phenomenon we call “aerobic girl’s body”!

So, how do we get you to a place where you can eat what you want without spending hours doing boring cardio in the gym?

It’s all about supercharging your metabolism and manipulating your endocrine system so that you become a fat burner and not a fat storer. Firstly, you need to ensure that your endocrine system and hormones are in good working order – a sluggish thyroid or overactive adrenal glands will put a serious road block on your path to weight loss, and so, if you are following this advice without seeing great results, then see your doctor and ask for a consultation with an endocrinologist.

For the rest of us, having seven to eight hours of good sleep and the choices we make in the morning are really going to make or break our metabolism for the day.

So, how do you supercharge your metabolism?

Here are a few tips:

Just move it – We have been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that having a good breakfast boosts metabolism.

Well, if all your blood is rushing from the brain and the muscles to the digestive system, how is that possible?

And don’t doctors recommend that we don’t exercise or exert ourselves for 60-90 minutes after a meal as it is bad for digestion?

If we have to rest after a meal, how is that boosting anything?

My advice? Wake up and move. Morning exercise is the breakfast of champions, i.e. slim champions with tight abs!

Get up and burn fat, empty your tanks before refuelling at the breakfast table, or be at the mercy of fluctuating blood sugar levels and energy slumps the whole day.

High intensity interval training – Get out of your comfort zone and enrol into the fat-torching academy with anaerobic training – anything that burns sugar, glycogen and carbohydrate – which we know as interval or HIIT training.

This is basically anything that you go all out on, but can only do for 20-25 seconds before you need rest.

This high-fat burning type of workout was made famous by Dr Izumi Tabata as he searched for the most effective work/rest training ratio for his athletes.

You can find a Tabata timer in any app store, and if you really want to boost your metabolism, then work up to three sessions a day.

Build muscle – Toned muscle increases your basal metabolic rate, which means your body burns more fat all day and night just staying toned.

If you are female and want to shape up without bulking up, then aim for compound body weight movements like full deep squats and burpee push ups.

Keep the intensity high and superset different body parts for maximum effect.

Don’t sit! – Sitting is the biggest slower of metabolism and the main reason for weight gain.

Throw out the couch and watch TV from an exercise machine or floor mat.

It sounds ridiculous, but it is the kind of sacrifice that can change your whole outlook on life in a matter of weeks.

Sitting is a bad habit and habits define how you look and feel.

Swap out the sitting for movement, and in no time at all, you’ll have more energy and less weight. Perfect!

For more tips on how to boost metabolism and get the body you want, just email me.

Published: March 27, 2016
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Author : Liam Harkness

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