THE FOURTH METABOLIC FITNESS TIP TO AVOID FITNESS SABOTAGE
Find out what YOUR body really needs
Getting the right help is critical. This can come from several sources. Before you start any fitness regimen it is important to talk to health care professionals and get appropriate screening done to make sure your heart is healthy enough to exercise. It’s also a great idea to consult with a Physical Therapist before beginning (I know I’m biased, here comes the advertisement for PT). A Physical Therapist is the most qualified licensed professional as they are regulated by a state governing board. Physical Therapy is now a Doctoring profession and the only one licensed and trained to prescribe exercise. I’m not trying to insult or diminish the experience of others in the fitness industry in any way. It is just important to make sure the person you’re trusting your health with is knowledgeable, safe and qualified. A PT is a good bet for getting accurate information and a safe start.
As you go through your fitness journey you may find you need help in many areas. Screening with your physician and building a basic workout plan with your PT are important, but nutrition may be the most important factor in success. Many patients may struggle to know what to eat and how make healthy food choices. I am not and don’t claim to a be nutritionist. This is a very sticky situation and a touchy subject. With the metabolic testing I’m able to give people exact guidelines of how many calories to eat based on their metabolism. I do not tell people what to eat though. I emphasize general nutritional guidelines from the Department of Health and Human services and USDA. That is within the scope of my practice under the guidelines of my professional license. I give only general tips and tricks on how to avoid mindless eating and improve decision making.
Anyone who claims to be a “nutritionist” or “certified nutrition specialist” or “sports nutrition specialist” and doesn’t have a Masters level degree in Nutrition or Dietetics isn’t necessarily qualified. Some of those qualifications can be earned only from a Groupon deal over a weekend. Their continuing education often comes from a magazine with a naked body builder on the front. If the first thing they start talking about is your mix of “macros” or expensive supplements, red flags should go up. Be very suspect of non-professionals, professionals (meaning they obtained a degree and are registered or licensed with the state), or even doctoring professions who give meal plans or nutritional advice. They may have done research on their own or done some courses on the subject, but that wasn’t the focus of their education. Do your research into the education and experience of the person who is counseling you. It is your health, protect it. If you really want to know what you should be eating, you need to talk to a licensed Nutritionist or Dietician. (ok, rant over)
Nutrition is critical, but may not be the only stumbling block in achieving your goals. Often, people are doing all the right things – they’re eating sensibly and being consistent with exercise and still not losing weight. When this is the case it is often important to consult with a physician about having blood work done. Often times it can be something simple such as iron or vitamin D deficiencies. Other times people have trouble with thyroid, pituitary or adrenal hormones. Your physician can help you go down the path of discovering if there are imbalances in your levels. They can work with you to find safe solutions. This process isn’t always a quick fix and levels will have to be adjusted to find out how best to help you specifically. Over time though, you and your physician can find a healthy balance which allows you to see success with your fitness efforts again.
You may have noticed that in the order of my bullet points at the beginning, metabolic testing came early; but that I haven’t talked about that yet. I hate being a salesman. I obviously write the blog to spread the word about getting tested in hopes people will come in and sign up. My object isn’t to sell people on this though. I honestly seek to educate people on how metabolic testing can help them. I always struggle to find that balance between telling people how great it is to know what YOUR body needs based on YOUR metabolism without sounding like an overpromising infomercial. Truth be told, there is no magic bullet. Even with the testing you still have to put in the work. You still have to be aware of what you eat and you can’t avoid exercise and remain healthy. I’m sorry.
With my apology out of the way, I do get so excited talking about Metabolic Testing. It has been the best thing for me both personally and professionally. I first learned about this while in graduate school. I’d done various VO2Max tests and other lactate testing throughout undergrad and graduate school, but I’d never used the testing to help people change their lifestyles. It was more just clinical testing. During one of my clinical rotations I got the opportunity to perform the testing with patients. It was awesome to see the results and the precision of information. I wasn’t quite sold at first though. I had grown up playing sports and had the mentality of ‘the harder you work the better.’ I felt if I wasn’t about to throw up after a workout then I wasn’t getting the full benefit from it.
After my wife having 2 kids by the time I was 23, not necessarily intentionally, and then going through undergrad and grad school at a rapid pace; I found myself 45 pounds heavier than when I got married. While I was testing people in clinic and being the skeptic I am, I thought, “I have to try this myself to prove it.” So I got tested and applied the principles. Amazingly I lost 20 pounds in about 8 weeks. (Not typical results) I was blown away. That’s when I knew I had to help bring this testing to a clinical population and get everyone to learn about their metabolism. Fast forward a few years, a few more kids, trial and error and Body Smart was born. I finally created the opportunity to test people and help them learn about THEIR metabolism!
At this point I hope you’re asking, well what is metabolic testing then? It is simply awesome! To test your metabolism we put a mask on you to gather all of the air you breath out. You wear it during both a resting test and an exercise test. Based on the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide you breath out we learn about how you burn calories. The resting test helps us identify exactly how many calories you should be eating to either maintain your current weight or to lose weight. The resulting recommendation is based on your exercise, activity levels and your resting metabolic rate. The exercise test is a modified VO2Max test. The goal of this test is to take you through your entire heart rate range and see how you burn calories during exercise. Doing so helps us determine the heart rate ranges you burn fats and carbohydrates in most efficiently. Knowing this allows us to design a custom tailored fitness plan based on YOUR metabolic needs. We can calculate exactly where you need to work out to accomplish your fitness goals.
Knowing your metabolism is critical for both weight loss and sports performance. Fueling your body right in either case allows you to dial in exactly how much to fuel your body to achieve success. Again, what to eat depends on you and your nutritionist. Being able to give your body the right amount of fuel is critical in avoiding depletion, hunger and setbacks. When your body is fed what it needs you can finally let go of the fat stores and burn them up. Accuracy is critical to getting your desired result. 100 calories a day of error in 1 year can equal as much as 10-12 pounds. Making sure you stay in your body’s range so you can maintain a healthy balance will allow you to see the success you’re looking for.
Avoiding depletion and increasing your efficiency is the goal of the exercise testing. By knowing where you burn fat most effectively you will be best suited to burn off what you intend with your workouts. You’ll also be able to exercise without depleting your body of carbs and proteins. This will help you avoid hunger and help you to stay on track. Because your body won’t always be in serious recovery mode you’ll feel energized and able to be active at any time. You’ll truly be able to meet your goal of feeling great!
The key to everything I’ve discussed…or ranted about… is to discover what YOUR body needs. Do your homework about those who you bring in to your health “circle of trust.” When you find qualified professionals, lean on them for help and guidance. Use their skills and resources to become as effective as possible. Their knowledge will help inform you about how you can be most effective. You will finally be able to match your fitness efforts with your fitness goals.
If you’d like to learn more about how to “Find out what YOUR body really needs,” feel free to contact Cameron Garber, DPT at 801-479-4471 (call or text) or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure to like my Facebook page to stay up to date with my latest posts.