Category: Metabolism

Lose the Belly with a High Protein Diet

Waist Measurement

Belly fat can be the most stubborn type of fat to lose for men and women trying to get in shape. Unfortunately, it’s also some of the most dangerous fat, as it is linked to a variety of health issues, such as heart disease and cancer. Adopting a high protein diet, including protein bars and foods like lentils and almonds, can help men and women reduce belly fat and cut their risk of serious illness.

Risks of Belly Fat

Belly fat carries a substantial number of health risks. The type of fat that makes up belly fat is referred to as visceral fat. This fat builds up in the spaces around and between your internal organs. It creates toxins that can have a negative impact on how your body functions.

Some of the biggest problem-toxins this type of fat creates are cytokines, which can increase your chances of developing heart disease or diabetes. Cytokines also contribute to inflammation, which can result in cancers of the colon, esophagus, and pancreas.

Even if you’re just slightly overweight, or within your normal weight range, an excess of belly fat can lead to some serious health implications. For men, a waist size over 40 inches is considered problematic for belly fat, as is a waist size of over 35 inches for women.

How Protein Helps

People seeking to lose belly fat can improve their odds by adopting a diet high in protein, while also eating responsibly by ditching foods high in sugars and carbs.

Protein helps reduce belly fat in several ways:

  • Reducing hunger – People consuming diets high in protein will get hungry less often than people eating diets high in carbs and other nutrients, because protein takes longer to digest. Because the digestive process is slower with protein, people on a high protein diet often consume less food than others. Dieters should include a source of lean protein with every meal to stave off hunger between meals.
  • Boosting metabolism – A high protein diet can help men and women burn more calories, because protein has a high thermic effect. This means that the body must burn a higher number of calories to digest and metabolize foods high in protein than it must burn for other foods. Protein also builds muscle, and the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. That’s why exercise is so important to losing weight and reducing your body’s fat.

In addition to adding more protein to your diet, getting adequate sleep each night can help you reduce belly fat. Talk to your doctor or trainer about exercises and other suggestions for shedding your spare tire.

Promax Nutrition provides all-natural, gluten-free vegetarian energy bars for exercise enthusiasts and health-conscious snackers. Available in a variety of different flavors, Promax Nutrition bars are also designed with several training and dietary needs in mind. Try them today to find out how enjoyable healthy eating can be!

How To Use Your Body Mass Index To Improve Your Health

What Is Body Mass Index, or BMI?

Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a formula that looks at your weight in comparison with your height, in order to help determine how healthy you are. It can be a useful tool among a variety of factors that should be examined together when assessing your health. Athletes and serious fitness fanatics make use of BMI in building fitness, along with intense physical activity and diet adjustments, like snacking on energy bars.

You can calculate your own BMI score, using either metric measures, or pounds and inches, to see where you fall on the Adult BMI Chart. The result is your BMI. It places you in a category that gives an indication of your “degree of fatness.” The BMI formula takes your weight in kilograms (kg), and divides it by your height in meters, squared (m2).1 The result is a number that will fall within a range on the BMI charts, indicating that you are either:

  • Underweight – with BMI less than 18.5
  • Normal weight – with BMI between 18.5 to 24.9
  • Overweight – with BMI at 25 to 29.9, or
  • Obese – with BMI at 30 or more.1

If you prefer using height in inches and weight in pounds, just follow this formula: calculate weight x 703, divided by height squared.1

How Is BMI Used?

Health professionals may use BMI as a screening tool to get an estimate of your total body fat. High body fat and obesity are potential risk factors for illness later in life. If your reading indicates a high BMI, you should undergo additional diagnostic tests to get the full picture and to sort out causes for the reading, apart from body fat.2

Some groups of individuals will obtain different readings than others, apart from their level of body fatness. For example, women generally have more body fat than men, and older adults will usually have more body fat than younger adults. Nevertheless, as a measuring tool, the BMI is used for men and women in the same way, and the adult weight distribution charts are also identical for men and women.

Using Body Mass Index

The difference comes in how the readings are interpreted. Children and teens are calculated the same way, but the outcome is judged differently because of the greater differences in body fat between boys and girls.2 When a high BMI is obtained, indicating overweight or obesity, the health care provider should perform additional assessments, such as examining diet, level of physical activity, skinfold thickness measurements, and other options, to obtain a fuller picture of an individual’s health.

Using Body Mass Index

If you are a highly developed athlete with greater muscle mass, chances are you follow a regimen of intense workouts, which demand high nutrition levels, as well as often being supplemented by nutrition bars. You may get a BMI reading that suggests you have more body fat than you do, when, in fact, you are not overweight. Your greater weight is possibly the result of high lean body mass, or bone and muscle, rather than high body fat.2

Why Is Obesity Such a Big Deal?

The health care and medical communities are very focused on health consequences of obesity because they are so significant. Obesity puts people at risk for a greater incidence of diseases including: high LDL cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease and stroke, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, some cancers, and many other factors.

What Is a Healthy BMI?

In general, BMI status from 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, while 30 or more is considered obese. Athletes are generally assumed to have a higher BMI due to increased muscle mass, but they should be evaluated by a professional who will take into account all related health factors to get an accurate assessment of body fat. By contrast, aging adults who have lost muscle mass may get a low body fat reading that is inaccurate.

Measuring Body Fat – A More Complete Picture

There are limitations to the BMI method of assessing body composition, due to the factors described above, like differences in muscle mass. Obtaining a more accurate reading may require adding other methods that are considered acceptable by the medical and health communities.

  • Skinfold Caliper Testing – Often used in combination with the BMI measurement, this test is widely and easily available. It can be performed by someone with the experience and training needed to get accurate assessments. As the name implies, it uses a set of calipers to pinch and measure areas of skin and fat underneath, in several specific locations around the body. The results are converted to a body fat percentage estimate. Experts suggest this method should be combined with a measurement of deep belly fat (not measureable with the skinfold calipers).
  • Bioelectrical Impedance – This method sends a very slight electrical current (don’t worry—you won’t feel a thing) through the body, to measure the degree of resistance. Fatty tissue returns the electrical impulse more slowly than lean tissue, so a faster response rate indicates that you have a leaner body. You can keep a scale at home that measures body fat percentage in this way, and some personal trainers and gyms make them available. Experts note that the results can be affected by factors like your level of hydration and how recently you’ve had a meal, so it is best to use this method always at the same time of day, and to combine it with one or more other approaches, in order to obtain a fair comparison of results over time.3
  • DEXA or Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry – A more scientifically accurate test, DEXA scans are x-rays that measure density of bone minerals, along with lean body and fat mass. The test is fast and painless, but the price is higher than other methods, and availability is limited to certain medical professonals.3
  • Hydrostatic Weighing – Depending on your spirit of adventure and fondness for water, this may or may not be your method of choice. It measures body fat by submerging you completely under water and measuring your weight. This number is compared to your weight on dry land, and, together with the density of the water, gives a measure of body composition. Access and cost make it less appealing for the average person, or even the average health enthusiast.3

Use any of these methods as a comparison device to track progress toward your overall life and health goals, including a lower body fat content. It is recommended that repeat measurements are not taken any more often than six to eight weeks apart, to give the body time to adapt to any changes you make in exercise or nutrition.3 As part of a healthy, balanced diet, many highly active health enthusiasts and athletes supplement with healthy snacks like Promax Nutrition protein bars. For more information about their bars and other protein products, contact them at 888-728-8962.

1.http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/dietandphysicalactivity/bodyweightandcancerrisk/body-weight-and-cancer-risk-adult-bmi
2. http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/assessing/bmi/adult_bmi/#trends
3. http://dailyburn.com/life/health/how-to-measure-body-fat-percentage/

Age and Metabolism: What You Need to Know

Metabolism and Age: What You Need to Know

Many of us have heard the age old adage, “I’m not 20 anymore” or 15, or 35, or…insert any age younger than you already are. When you hear this, what comes to mind? For many, it’s the changes that come with age, one of them notably, being weight gain.

What are people talking about when they talk about Metabolism?

When people age, they throw the word “metabolism” around a lot. “My metabolism is slowing down,” they’ll say. Or, “my metabolism isn’t what it used to be!” And they’re right, but what do they mean?

The Basal Metabolic Rate, or BMR, is what most people refer to when they discuss their metabolism and what that is, is the rate that the body used energy to keep its basic functions working properly. By basic functions, we really mean the most basic—breathing, food breakdown, brain function, etc. So essentially, the amount of energy it simply takes your body to just exist; when people talk about BMR they are not taking into account any sort of physical activity like running, swimming, or otherwise.

As you age, your Basal Metabolic Rate decreases by about 2% each decade, meaning that your body needs even more energy to do the most basic tasks. What does this mean? Well, it means that in order to remain the same weight moving forward, you’ll have to intake less calories than you did before to remain at the same weight.

What can you do about it?

The bad news here is that there is nothing you can do to change the fact that as you age, your metabolism is going to decrease. The good news is that there is a way to combat the assumed results from the metabolism decrease, and that is exercise.

By staying fit and building lean muscle, you can create patterns that help you continually burn the calories and make up for the calories that your body no longer burns automatically for you.

Can I get my BMR tested?

Yes, you can. This test needs to be done at a professional facility where your oxygen intake and carbon monoxide output can be measured. If you’d like to find a center nearby you that than help you find your Basal Metabolic Rate, you can look here.

What else can contribute to weight gain as I age?

Ah, though metabolism is no excuse and very much a real reason why people gain weight as they age, there are also a few other factors that come into play here.

Stress

As we get older, there is no doubt that the responsibilities come piling on. Responsibilities often equate to stress. What does stress do to our bodies? Many things, including releasing the hormone cortisol which increases weight gain. Our advice? Find a way to be more relaxed and laid back when you start to become overwhelmed. It will help you in life and on the scale.

Sleep

Many young people take for granted how they can treat their bodies with regard to sleep. It’s easy to go out dancing and survive a day at work the next day on only 4 hours of sleep, right? As we get older, oh how the times do change. Our bodies need an adequate amount of sleep to work properly, which includes properly being able to store, use, and gain energy. Not getting enough sleep can add to existing stress and in the end, increase weight gain.

Fitness and Nutrition can help

So yes, we know that with age, comes weight gain. But there’s no reason to become overwhelmed by this. By ensuring that we’re getting the proper nutrition (read: the right amount of protein and carbohydrates), we can prepare our bodies for this transition as we age.

Along with proper nutrition, we should continue to challenge our bodies with new fitness routines. Remember, you’re not the only one experiencing this adjustment, so feel free to ask a friend or gym buddy to come along for the ride and share your challenges together. Do you have a story you’d like to share on how you overcame your struggle with gaining weight as you gained years? Feel free to share it on our Facebook page or contact us directly!

Sources:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/basal-metabolic-rate-changes-as-you-age/2013/03/05/d26b1c18-80f1-11e2-a350-49866afab584_story.html
http://www.everydayhealth.com/weight/8-triggers-that-change-your-metabolism.aspx
http://www.weightwatchers.com/util/art/index_art.aspx?tabnum=1&art_id=24491&sc=801
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16601270
http://www.acefitness.org/acefit/healthy-living-article/59/2315/is-it-true-that-metabolism-decreases-with-age/