Metabolism Probably Isn’t The Culprit

You can find a good article on metabolism here:

https://www.vox.com/2018/9/4/17486110/metabolism-diet-fast-weight-loss

"Metabolism" is one of those terms thrown around recklessly without most people understanding what it means. There are lots of products, books, posts, diets, systems, etc., that claim they'll help people lose weight by "speeding up" or "boosting" metabolism. Most of this is nonsense (often from people who should know better). Any "boost" is minuscule and transitory.

People can sometimes blame a slower metabolism for extra caloric intake. We're really bad at estimating how much we eat and tend to overlook lots of little things (like sauces) that add up and lead to increased body fat. It's not that we're lying about it; it's just one of those human foibles.

As the author of the article found, "slow metabolism" is rarely a thing. Yes, it does slow down as we get older (which surprises no one over 40). And dieting--particularly extreme dieting--can slow it down too. But while such things can make it more challenging to shed unwanted pounds, it's not even close to impossible (although it can seem that way).

Continue reading

Precision Nutrition Studies

nutrition lab study

As you may know, I have mixed feelings about Precision Nutrition (PN). On the one hand, I'm certified with them (PN1). On the other hand, I'm not a big fan of the way they run their online coaching (which differs from what they tell you in their certification manual). And while they sometimes post useful and informative articles, they sometimes write misleading ones. This post is about the latest example I've seen, and will hopefully help you with evaluating results of studies. Continue reading

Recovery, Rest, Repair, and Rebuilding

recovery walk on the beachThere's an adage that strength gains aren't made in the gym; they're made during the recovery from workouts when muscles repair and rebuild (making you "better, stronger, faster..."). This has led (not "lead" ... words have meaning!) to the concept of the "off" day or "rest" day.

We can do better. "Recovery" day is a start. Or how about "muscle repair" day? That can change the way we approach our training schedule.

Continue reading

Know What You Eat

man chooses dairy products in the storeA healthy diet has a wide range of benefits including body composition (fat percentage), longevity (live longer), reduced likelihood of many diseases (such as diabetes), feeling better (improved mood and more energy), and more. Having a healthy diet means eating mostly healthy foods, but knowing how healthy foods are is not always so easy.

Continue reading

The Pants of Truth

scale-detectoThe scale is the dreaded measuring device most commonly used to check changing body composition; that is, are you getting fatter? It's not a good measure, though, since it doesn't really tell us anything about body composition--the ratios of fat, muscle, bone, and water that make up total body weight. Water can be particularly confounding since one cup weighs about half a pound, so drinking a beverage or using the bathroom can immediately change results in a measurable way. What we're really interested in is body fat percentage--that's the most useful measure of body "comp."

If the scale isn't up to snuff, what is?

Continue reading