Saturday, August 4, 2012

Your Metabolic Health

Our modern world with its increasing inactivity levels and sedentary living means our metabolic health is on very shaky ground. Two thirds of the world's population is now either overweight or obese and the related health problems have increased at an epidemic rate over the last 20 years
The term metabolic health or 'metabolism' is essentially the body's engine and refers to the process of breaking down food and converting it to energy. But it also covers the whole range of biochemical processes that take place within the human body. These processes that keep us healthy rely on a healthy interaction among organs like the thyroid, liver, pancreas, and adrenal glands.
When these elements are stressed or out of balance our metabolic health suffers and can cause our body fat levels, blood sugar (glucose) and blood fats (cholesterol) to rise to unhealthy levels. This can put us in the firing line for some killer diseases especially the 'big three' heart disease, cancer and diabetes and a host of others.
One of the conditions seriously affecting our metabolic health is being overweight or obese which is considered a metabolic disorder. This is because the human body is not designed to carry a large amount of excessive weight and still function healthfully.
The more overweight you are and the more your weight fluctuates, the more stress is placed on your metabolic system. It is very important not to go on and off diets if you struggle with being overweight. This means your metabolism can become more and more sluggish and confused which will make it more difficult to reboot it and lose weight for the long haul.
When your metabolic health deteriorates you can end up with a combination of health conditions linked together by a low metabolism. One of the easy ways to tell if you are at risk is if your waistline measures over 40 inches for men and over 36 inches for women.
But the good news is with the right exercise program and eating plan in place you can reverse this situation, lose excess weight, improve your health and reduce your risk of serious disease. First, your exercise program needs to be mostly strength training exercise. Your muscles are where fat is burned for energy and becoming stronger and toning them up means more fat will be burned allowing you to lose weight.
Also the problem of the lowered metabolic rate will be addressed. More toned muscle tissue on your body will increase your metabolism because muscle is what drives it. This is what will give you greater fat burning round the clock.
It is important to take note that long slow 'cardio' type activity - like walking, jogging or cycling will not work your muscular system through its ranges of movement under a load so do not waste your time and energy with ineffective exercise. See a fitness professional to set up your program for the best possible results.
Your eating plan should consist of 5-7 small meals spread throughout the day every 2-3 hours. These meals should contain at least 20 grams of protein and the balance made up of raw and cooked vegetables. Ditch the processed foods along with flour and sugar and try and eat mainly natural whole foods. These are foods like an orange, a carrot, a handful of almonds, a slab of grass fed beef or free range eggs. Try and eat foods that don't come in pretty boxes with little or no nutritional value.
Slowly but surely these two things, your proper exercise program and proper eating plan will restore metabolic health. You can not lose weight to become healthy; you need to get healthy to lose weight. Only when everything is in balance will the magic of fat loss happen. You have to stop freaking out your body with poor exercise and eating habits so get these things right and everything else will fall into place.

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