Thursday, September 29, 2011

Metabolism & Your Daily Caloric Requirement: What is it; Factors affecting it; & How to boost it!

     “I have the metabolism of a hibernating bear.”  This is how one of my fellow pilots describes himself, as he psyches up for another round of cardio on the hotel elliptical-trainer.  Does this sound like a fitting description for you?  Perhaps you’ve been genetically blessed with a fast metabolism, more like that of a hummingbird, and your only issue with calories is consuming enough of them.  Our metabolism is the single biggest factor in determining our daily caloric requirement.  Our caloric requirement does vary day to day depending on our activity level, but our ‘resting’ caloric requirement can only be changed by altering our metabolism.  Genetics play a huge role in determining metabolism, but there are many other factors that affect metabolism that you can take advantage of.
     Metabolism is defined as the sum of all physical and chemical changes involving energy and material transformations that occur within all our living cells.  Each cell has its own energy production center known as the mitochondria, and it is this collective energy production of all cell mitochondria that determines metabolic rate.  Along with energy production, two fundamental processes of metabolism are anabolism and catabolism: building up tissue and breaking it down, respectively. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ideal Body Fat Percentage: Weightloss Vs. Improving Body Composition

You always hear diet books, infomercials, antiquated trainers and even doctors talking about weight-loss.  Perhaps it is your parents, spouse or even you saying they need to lose weight.  It can be convenient to use the term weight-loss, but what really matters most – for both our health and our appearance - is FAT-loss!  This isn’t just as simple as semantics here either: Unfortunately most overweight or out of shape folks only care about what the scale says and if they’re losing any weight…especially women who tend to have only one physique goal in mind – to be skinny!

Monday, September 19, 2011


  1. Burn more calories each day than you consume.  Common sense, I know.  This doesn’t mean starve yourself.  In fact, one of the benefits of exercise is being able to eat more food, without gaining fat.  Make sure plenty of the calories you eat come from complex carbohydrates and protein so that you do not lose muscle mass, have sustained energy, and avoid blood-sugar spikes.  Muscle mass boosts your basal metabolic rate, allowing you to burn more calories at rest.  It is possible to gain weight and still lose fat at the same time, but only if you’re adding muscle mass primarily through weight training, and closely monitoring your diet.

  1. Divide your daily caloric intake into smaller, more frequent meals/snacks, ideally up to 5 meal times per day.  By doing this, again, you keep your metabolism a little more elevated all throughout the day.  Also, you will be more likely to use those calories for immediate energy and less likely to store them as fat.  Each meal should primarily consist of complex carbs, lean protein and some fat.  I know all you Atkins-dieters out there are now disagreeing with me, regarding carb consumption, but diets such as Atkins are very extreme and limit your food choices so much so that you may find that your diet is lacking in variety and consequently, nutrition much of the time.  Also, it is a medical fact that putting your body in a state of ketosis is unhealthy and hard on your kidneys.  All that being said, if you can be described as being obese, ‘insulin-resistant’, or a borderline type II diabetic, (adult-onset), then Atkins is a perfect diet for you to lose fat fast.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Treating Andropause NATURALLY: Male-'Menopause', or Age-related Decrease in Testosterone

No doubt by now you’ve already heard me speak of what I call the ‘fountain-of-youth’ hormone, Growth hormone, simply known as GH or hGH.  This hormone is primarily secreted during our deepest phase of sleep and is responsible for things like tissue repair and growth, and promotes lean body mass.  It literally heals your body, and combats aging.  There is also another hormone that promotes muscle repair and growth, lean body mass, enhances physical performance, and increases libido.  If you haven’t guessed already, I’m talking about testosterone.  Primarily produced in the testes, of course we men have significantly higher levels than women, but, women also make testosterone by way of their adrenal glands, (Just like men also produce estrogen).  And, testosterone is in fact, what causes increased sexual desire in both men and women, so both can benefit from testosterone production.  But testosterone is very much a part of why we are so different from women, physically and psychologically.  Not only do men produce much higher levels of testosterone, but we have many more T-receptor sites in our bodies as well, whereas women have many more estrogen receptor sites.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cortisol: The Stress COPING Hormone

    There has been much buzz about the hormone Cortisol lately, mostly seen on infomercials selling supplements claiming to block Cortisol.  Whether or not these supplements block Cortisol or help support fat loss around our midsections is not the intent of this article.  What I will discuss here are the essential functions of Cortisol and when and why it is secreted by our adrenal glands, and, how you can keep your levels normal by better managing your stress and your diet.  Just to be clear early on, your goal should not be to block Cortisol but rather to normalize levels.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Central Obesity part 1: Fighting Internal Belly Fat!

     Belly fat…Pot belly...Beer belly…Spare tire…Love handles…Buddha belly.  There are many nick names for that adipose tissue, or visceral fat, accumulating around and more importantly within your mid-section mainly in a connective tissue organ draped around your stomach called the Omentum.  And as you age it may become more difficult to stop the accumulation, never mind reduce it.  And while for men in particular, who tend to store more fat around their mid-section rather than their hips and butts, it is mostly just aesthetically unappealing, the harsh reality is that doctors, dieticians, and scientists alike now agree that your bulging belly may be a physical characteristic or even the cause of many serious health problems such as type-2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Thursday, September 1, 2011


     As I stated in part 1 of this series, many times the case is a bulging belly while all other areas of your body appear to be relatively lean, (especially in men who are approaching age 40 or over).  The general rule is that we don't spot-gain fat, and this is still the case where subcutaneous (under the skin) is concerned.  There is a place however where our body will spot-gain fat and rapidly at that, and that is within the abdomen beneath our muscles and over & around our organs, on the Omentum.  The Omentum (Greater & Lesser) is a layer of adipose (fat) tissue that drapes off the stomach and hangs down underneath the muscles and partly attaches to your transverse colon.  It serves many useful functions to include supporting your organs, storing visceral fat supplied directly from the small intestine, secreting immune-response factors to protect from peritoneal infection, binding cortisol,  it possesses regenerating stem cells, and supplying immediate fat to the liver via the Portal Vein for quick energy.  Perhaps most remarkable in its attributes, surgeons even use the omentum to patch & wrap around injuries and incisions inside peritoneal cavity.