New Metabolism Mayhem

Copyright 2006 John Perry

Changing metabolism seems to be the way to go with losing weight. There are numerous websites, articles, and books on the best way to “boost your metabolism” with the goal of losing unwanted pounds.

I have recently seen pills, drinks, and “special routines” aimed solely at speeding up sluggish metabolisms that overweight people allegedly posses.

Some of the biggest excuses you hear in the media or on the street have to do with being hampered by the dreaded slow metabolism.

Is this the area to focus on when attempting to be slim and trim? Do all “fit” people posses a high metabolism?

On a recent ABC News special:

John Stossel, had several diet and nutrition experts on 20/20 to talk about the topic of metabolism. Specifically, what Stossel wanted to know was if the old adage that people who are thin got that way because they have a faster metabolism than overweight and obese people.

Mayo Clinic obesity researcher Dr. Levine said he has found that people who are overweight or obese actually are sitting down an average of 2 1/2 hours MORE per day than those who are thinner. He added that people who move during the day actually burn 350 calories MORE daily than those who are stuck sitting behind a desk. Dr. Levine said these kind of lethargic occupations that have people sitting all day can actually lead to a weight gain of 30-50 pounds annually! Yikes!

Dr. Levine said the bigger you are the GREATER your basal metabolism (calories burned) and the smaller you are the LESSER your basal metabolism. Now that’s the opposite of what most of us thought, isn’t it?

In other words, overweight and obese people actually have a higher metabolism but it is because they have to in order to keep up with all that extra weight.

”One of the things I try to do to break the monotony of sitting behind my desk and in front of a computer all day is to get up frequently for short breaks. This not only refreshes my muscles, but it also gives me a chance to clear my head so I can be a more productive worker for my employer. Of course, drinking up to two gallons of water and diet soda daily also gives me a reason to get up to, er, uh, GO! ” says Dr. Levine.

This has been something I have preached to my clients for years. I recommend doing short full-body routines, in three planes of motion. Energy and productivity are the main measuring stick with my routines. Strength, balance, flexibility, coordination, confidence, creativity, and ultimately weight loss are all by-products.

On the subject of rising obesity, Dr. Levine said the excuse of bad genes is invalid because human genes haven’t changed in over a century. What he sees as the problem is too many people just sit all the time and need to stand up and move more often. It sounds elementary, but it certainly makes sense.

“It’s generally false that your metabolism is the reason for your weight,” Dr. Oz noted (another expert they had on the show).

Metabolism is only one piece of the entire fitness puzzle. I feel it’s still an important aspect, but do agree with the show that it should not be the main focus in weight loss or take the blame for obesity.

Proper and frequent fueling in combination with full–body daily exercise helps to keep your metabolism rolling. A good combination of exercise and good eating habits is your best bet for staying fit. Your intake of energy (calories) should not exceed what you burn in a day. When it does, you gain weight when they are equal to or less than your intake you maintain and/or lose weight.

Bottom line… move more often and consume less calories than you burn on a daily basis.

So here we are staring down one of those longstanding myths about why people are obese. STOP BLAMING IT ON YOUR SLOW METABOLISM! On your feet and get your hips into it!