A healthy weight is so important; not just because you feel better about yourself aesthetically, but it also keeps you healthy.
Metabolism keeps you from heading into the danger zone of so many diseases and it is also the key to weight loss.
Dr. Susan Smith Jones shares how to keep your metabolism on track to maintain a healthy weight and body.
RadioMD Presents: Wellness for Life Radio | Original Air Date: Friday, January 23, 2015
Hosts: Dr. Susanne Bennett, DC
Guest: Susan Smith Jones, PhD
Dr. Susanne: A healthy weight is so important to us. Not just because we feel better about ourselves aesthetically, but it keeps us healthy and out of the danger zones of so many chronic diseases. My next guest is here to explain how we may be overlooking the key to weight loss, our metabolism. Please welcome to the show, leading holistic educator and author Dr. Susan Smith Jones. Dr Jones, please share with us why extra weight is so dangerous to our body.
Dr. Susan: Gosh, there are so many problems. By the way, Hi, Dr. Susan. There are so many problems that go hand in hand when you’re carrying extra weight or you are obese. From heart disease, certain cancers, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, gout, stroke, sleep disorders, to diabetes, just to name a few. I’m a very positive person; I like to look at the glass as half-full. So to put it in a more positive way, even losing a little weight will significantly improve your health and well being.
Dr. Susanne: I totally agree with that. Once you start going, your body really feels the potential of getting to that level of optimal health and wellness. What is metabolism? What does that really mean? Can you share with us the definition of what that really means?
Dr. Susan: Yes, we’ll go over metabolism 101. Keep in mind that the control mechanism for obesity is not diet; it is muscle metabolism. Your basal metabolic rate is the rate in which your body utilizes energy. In other words, how efficient your body burns calories. When your metabolism is higher you burn more fat and you have an easier time losing weight, losing fat, and maintaining your ideal body weight. You can feed your body and muscles the best food and vitamin supplements, but if exercise is not part of your plan then you won’t burn off all of those calories in the food. As you age, if you don’t continue to keep your muscles exercised, your metabolism slows down and you will gain weight much more easily than you did when you were young. Exercise is the key to controlling metabolism. To be more precise, you need aerobic exercise, like a brisk walk, to burn the fat out of your muscles then you need to add strength training, weight lifting, whatever you call it, to build up your muscle which, in turn, increases metabolism.
Dr. Susanne: I’m totally a true believer in making sure that your muscle mass is at its peak. You don’t have to be huge, everyone. You don’t have to be bodybuilders. We need to maintain muscle mass because there is a little organelle called mitochondria. I call it the mighty mito. The mitochondria are specifically needed for fat burning. I know that aerobic exercise is awesome, but I really enjoy burst training, which is called interval training, because you get to burn fat even after you’ve stopped exercising. You know what I’m talking about, right Dr. Susan?
Dr. Susan: Absolutely. If you’re walking or hiking or riding your bike, you just pick something a little farther ahead of you. If I’m hiking, like I did yesterday morning, I’ll pick an oak tree up in the hills. I’ll go as quickly as I can up to that oak tree for the short burst of getting winded. When you do this, you are forcing your body to recover under stress; in other words, while you continue to exercise. When I reach that oak tree I don’t stop, I keep moving. The fat burning enzymes are realizing that not only do they need to grow when you are doing regular aerobic activity, but they need to grow faster. When you put in these 4, 5, or 6 bursts of getting winded in your exercise routine, you will find that the weight will melt away quicker.
Dr. Susanne: Right, Right. Melting the fat away is what everyone wants to do. We are all in to making sure that we do that. Of course sleep has a lot to do with increasing metabolism. I don’t think people know that deep sleep will actually adjust your metabolic rate. You even burn fat during sleep, isn’t that right?
Dr. Susan: Yes, and it is crucial to get a good 7-8 hours a night. Research shows that when you skimp on sleep it interferes with your body’s ability to process carbs that leads to elevated blood sugar levels and an increased tendency to store calories as fat. That’s because when you’re sleep deprived you body produces more of the stress hormone cortisol which sets this chain reaction in motion. To take it a step further, keep in mind that chronically getting too little sleep, I don’t mean 2-3 times a month but I’m saying night to night, makes you hungry; especially for foods that aren’t good for you and primes your body to hold on to all of the calories you eat. You’ve got to make getting good sleep non-negotiable if you want to lose weight, keep it off, and be vibrantly healthy.
Dr. Susanne: That’s right. Some of us out there, some of the listeners, actually might have injuries in their knees, in their legs. How do these individuals, what do you suggest for increasing aerobic activity for people who are not ambulatory with their legs. Maybe they have an ankle sprain and can’t walk. What can they do?
Dr. Susan: Let’s say you can’t use your ankles or your legs, and let’s say that you have a stationary bike at home. They have those bikes where you can use your arms on the pedals and go around and around and around. You can do that. I’m also a big believer in taking infra-red saunas because a session in an infra-red sauna, and it’s great to have one in your home, is the equivalent of having a 2-3 mile jog in terms of what it does to your cardio vascular system. That’s a way of burning calories without getting exercise in. There are things you can do. You can sit, even when you’re driving, and tighten your core, release, and tighten your core. You can take dumbbells or bottles of water and you can do arm exercises.
The thing people need to realize is that this is magical and it has to do with muscle. Muscle burns fat, it’s that simple. When you do the right kind of strength training it increases muscle tone, it alters body chemistry, and increases your metabolic rate. More muscles in your body, more lean muscle tissue, means a faster metabolism and this is what is so important for everyone get. If you increase the muscle on your body, and like you said we’re not talking about body building muscles, we’re talking about just more lean muscle tissue. If you put 10 extra pound of muscle on your body, you will burn approximately 500 more calories a day. You’d have to job 6 miles a day, 7 days a week, to burn the same number of calories. With 10 extra pounds of muscle you burn a pound of fat in a week, 52 pounds in a year.
Dr. Susanne: That’s a great way of looking at it. I’ve always believed that we don’t want to become skinny fat people. What that means is that you have too much fat and you lose muscle. With a lot of these weight loss programs, you end up becoming skinny fat. You might look good on the outside but you don’t have that quality, strong muscle that’s going to increase your body. I’m really a big believer in just moving. If you can’t walk, if you have issues, then just move your upper body. Just moving in itself will really enhance the metabolism and the sweating mechanisms.
Thank you so much Dr. Susan, for joining us today. I really appreciate all of the info you’ve talked about today, especially what metabolism is all about. Dr. Susan’s weight loss tips, if you want to see those and she has so many self help books, please go to think link on my Wellness for Life show page on RadioMD. Until next time, this is Dr. Susanne Bennett sharing my natural strategies for ultimate health and wellness right here on RadioMD. Stay well everyone!