When adults want to lose weight, they don’t go off to fat camp, they go to fitness camp. Last week I visited one such camp: Premier Fitness Camp (PFC) at La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, CA. I didn’t do the whole camp, I just had a sampling of their program and boy was it a muscle-burn. Four trainers put us through the paces, positively pushing us through 9 killer stations (have you ever tried the double wave with heavy ropes? Oh boy!). I say positively because they didn’t go all Jillian Michaels; they used lot of “good job” and “you can do it” coaching, which works way better in my books.
But the PFC trainers aren’t just there to sweat the weight out of you; they’re there to teach you the fundamentals of weight loss so you can go home with the tools you need. And a big part of that is understanding metabolism. Turns out we have a lot of misconceptions about metabolism that could be standing in our way of reaching our fitness goals. Fortunately, the experts from PFC Fitness are here to clear them up:
Age is no excuse for a slowing metabolism – Turning 40 doesn’t have to slow your metabolism to a snail’s pace. It’s not so much our age that dials down metabolism as muscle loss and a decline in activity level that often comes with age. Use it or lose it!
Muscle is a metabolism game changer – The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. The best way to build muscle: strength training!
Breakfast is the most important metabolic meal of the day – Eat your first meal within an hour of waking up; your metabolism is hungry and needs fuel to keep burning fat. Don’t starve your metabolism.
Your need fat to burn fat – Good fats, like the essential fatty acids found in fish and flaxseeds, actually help you lose weight. On the flip side, low-fat diets can lead to poor hormone production resulting in slowed metabolism.
Stay hydrated – Our body needs water to run efficiently. Without adequate hydration, our metabolic system runs less efficiently.
Skipping meals stalls your metabolism – Starvation diets don’t work. In fact, skipping meals is one of the worst things you can do if you’re trying to lose body fat.
Meal frequency makes a difference – You’ve heard that you should eat every 2-3 hours. Well, it’s true! The longer you go between meals, the more your metabolism slows down to conserve energy.
Don’t skimp on sleep – Not getting enough shut-eye can actually lead to overeating. It can also throw your body’s insulin off, which can lead to weight gain.