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Healthy Cells is a local health magazine with most of the articles written by local professionals. People love to read about healthcare from their local health professionals. Each month includes a wide variety of articles on various topics.
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Fuel Fitness

Weight loss, fat loss, muscle gain, improved athletic performance, general health, and fitness — these are the boxes you check in a questionnaire form, but I’m going to tell you a little secret.

As far as which exercises or movements you have to do to achieve these goals... they’re all the same with some variation.


For instance, want to lose fat? Squat. Want to increase muscle mass? Squat. Want to improve athletic performance? Squat. General health and fitness? You guessed it. And nutrition? Well, there isn’t a whole lot of variation.


To put it simply: you need to consume enough food for your daily activity. Often times, we only think of the gym, but what I find gets lost in the equation is what you do outside of the gym.


How do we measure that? Calorie counting apps are a nice starting point. While not all apps are created equal, you certainly want to have a rough idea of what you’re consuming. Take for example, when you log in your information in [insert app]: age, height, weight, how many times you exercise, etc. Then said app will spit out a number for you to consume. That’s all there is to it… right?


Well, one of the bigger pieces of information that’s missing is your RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate). This number essentially means how many calories you need to burn just to function. You can find this out on a highly sophisticated machine such as an InBody scanner, bod pod, or dexa scan. Then we have to consider the kind of exercise. Typically in this case, weight training versus cardio. The amount of calories you burn from weight training in one hour is minimal compared to cardio.


However, the long-term effects of caloric burn from that weight training session is significantly longer — 36 to 38 hours according to most studies! Think of the heat coming from an engine after a long trip. It’s still warm long after the trip is done. The body does the same thing. This is called EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption), also known as oxygen debt. This process is the body’s way of getting it back to a normal state.


So, imagine wanting to lose some body weight or shed some body fat. You need the energy to do all the things the body needs to make that happen. What happens to you if you fail to consume enough energy for the day? Your body goes into what we call a “starvation mode.” Signs to know you’re not eating enough include low energy, hair loss, weight is the same or plateaus, being cold often, hangry, and insomnia to name a few symptoms.


Keeping it nice and simple, here are key tips I want you to focus on to get your nutrition and exercise balanced:


1. Figure out what your goal is and make sure your training and nutrition plan match that goal. This is where having a coach/trainer comes in handy.


2. Know your numbers. Understanding where your RMR baseline is will give you an idea of where you’re at.


3. The less you do, the less you eat; the more you do, the more you eat. Having a lower caloric intake automatically means the quality of your food has to be higher. When your daily activity with intentional exercise is high, you must meet the energy demands to accomplish those tasks.

For more information regarding your fitness goals, please contact Donovan at 708-214-3871 or on Facebook @DonovansPersonalTraining. Located at 401 Bronco Drive Unit-C, Bloomington.



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