February 6, 2011

Weight Loss Secrets

Couple losing weight

The Biggest Weight Loss Secrets

The biggest weight loss secret is this. Increase your metabolism. The higher your metabolism the more calories you burn making it easier to lose and maintain a healthy weight.

Achieving weight loss traditionally has been difficult because the focus has been on limiting the number of calories consumed.  While this is important it doesn’t address the route cause of weight gain – declining metabolism.   Once we reach our early adult years our metabolism slows down more and more.

After age 20 our metabolism declines and we burn 5 to 7 fewer calories per day.  Every year thereafter it declines another 5 to 7 calories per day.  So by age 30 we burn 50 to 70 calories less each day, and by age 40 we burn 100 to 140 calories less each day, and by age 50 we burn 150 to 210 fewer calories each day then we did at age 20.   Multiply that daily decline by 365 days a year and take into account that there are 3,500 calories in a pound, and is it any wonder we gain weight?  At some point focusing on diet and calorie intake alone is not enough.

Why Does Metabolism Decline?

After age 20 DHEA, the most abundant hormone in the body begins to decline. DHEA is vital to maintaining a healthy body composition.  After age 30 our sex hormones, growth hormone, and for many thyroid hormone begin to decline as well.

Hormones regulate metabolism, facilitate burning of fat for energy, and enable us to build and maintain muscle.  Muscle burns more calories than fat.

Another reason our metabolism declines is due to something called mitochondrial dysfunction.  Mitochondria are organelles in cells that produce energy for all functions of the body. Mitochondria become less functional as we age, but can remain healthy with some intervention.

How to Boost Metabolism

Hormone replacement, exercise, and nutritional supplementation can boost metabolism.

Many people have symptoms of hormonal deficiency even though they’ve been told their hormone levels are normal.  This is because the reference ranges used for hormones are based on statistical methodology and have nothing to do with what levels are truly healthy and optimal.  You don’t want “normal” levels of hormones.  You want optimal levels.

Several studies on thyroid, testosterone, estrogen, growth hormone, and DHEA have shown that levels in the upper third of the so-called “normal” range are associated with improved quality of life and decrease risk of disease.  Many physicians are unaware of this relationship between declining hormones and disease risk.

Weight Loss SecretsExercise is a great way to boost metabolism.  The best exercise programs to boost metabolism are strength training exercises and high intensity interval training programs.  See “Exercises to Lose Weight”. Aerobic exercises will boost metabolism, too, but metabolism typically returns to normal an hour after exercise.  Metabolism can be boosted up to 16 hours in women and 48 hours in men following high intensity interval training.  So you get a better bang for your buck with high intensity exercises.

Coenzyme Q10, D-ribose, acetyl-L-carnitine, alpha lipoic acid, L-carnitine, and the B complex vitamins can protect against mitochondrial dysfunction, thereby facilitating metabolism.

Mitochondrial Biogenesis

Pyrroloquinolone quinone is a unique supplement because it’s been shown to stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis, which is the production of new mitochondria.  High intensity exercise can also stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis, which is another reason exercise can boost metabolism.  Calorie restriction and the medicine metformin can also stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis.

So by increasing the number of mitochondria and improving their function we boost our ability to produce energy and improve metabolism leading to weight loss.

Related articles include, “Natural Metabolism Boosters” and “Tips to Lose Weight

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Dr. Joe Jacko


Dr. Joe is board certified in internal medicine and sports medicine with additional training in hormone replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. He has trained or practiced at leading institutions including the Hughston Clinic, Cooper Clinic, Steadman-Hawkins Clinic of the Carolinas, and Cenegenics. He currently practices in Columbus, Ohio. Read more about Dr. Joe Jacko

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