Why to Eat Well
By: Dr. John P. DeMann
The Pillars of Excellence
According to the experts at the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA), the organization that teaches the nation’s top personal trainers how to get their clients into shape, total fitness involves an integrated approach that is dynamic, multidimensional, and also relates to heredity and environmental factors.
Your metabolism is something that people like to believe is inherited, set, and unchangeable. You know, “I wish I could eat whatever I want and never get fat, but I have a slow metabolism, I can’t help it.” In actuality, your metabolic set point (the average rate at which your metabolism runs) can be influenced by the climate, nutrition, exercise, and other factors. One thing to keep in mind when taking a look at your nutritional habits is that a low calorie diet will in fact slow down your metabolism in order to conserve energy. Exercise, on the other hand, tends to keep the metabolic rate up, with aerobic exercise especially tending to cause the body to burn more fat for energy.
That doesn’t mean that the type of food you eat can’t influence your metabolism in the other direction. It can, as long as you stick to sound nutrition. Sound nutrition is the consumption of food that provides your body with all the nutrients it needs to remain healthy and active. There are six major nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, minerals and water) necessary for a healthy body. A deficiency in any one of these nutrients can reduce your chances of success in reaching your fitness goals.
The food you eat can be burned to produce energy, converted into body weight, or excreted. Calories from conventional sources of fat are usually stored as body fat, while calories from carbohydrates are burned for energy. Alternatively, calories from protein are generally used for maintenance, repair and growth of new tissues and organs. Also, when you eat small frequent meals throughout the day, your body’s need to store fat is reduced and body fat is instead mobilized as an energy source.
Considerable data indicates that the safest and most effective way to accomplish weight control is to combine sensible eating habits with a program of sound exercise including both aerobic and weight training. The technical support staff of the trainers to the personal trainers tells us that five principle components are needed in order to attain total fitness: cardiovascular endurance, strength, sound nutrition, flexibility, and a positive mental outlook. Keep an eye out for forthcoming articles on the importance of incorporating these components into your lifestyle.
Dr. John P. DeMann], ISSA Certified Trainer, CPEC, PCC/ICF, MPCC, MECC, Ph.D., can be reached at the Pillars of Excellence in Ohio and travels the world where he conducts Seminars, Workshops, one on one and group coaching in Personal and Professional Development. He can be reached at: 513-544-4483 or at: www.7poe.com.