Tag Archives: metabolism

Jan. 11.

What Goals are Realistic for You?

What Goals are Realistic for You?

To lose 20 pounds in one month, to have more energy, to fit into size 8 jeans by spring; these are most of our goals but are they realistic based on the body’s anatomy and your past history? To better give you some idea of how to set realistic goals I have answered some questions about weight loss, muscle gain and strength!

How fast can I build muscle?

First off, genetics DO play a role in all 3 topics (weight loss, muscle gain and strength.) There are three different body types: mesomorph, endomorph and ectomorph. Mesomorphs and endomorphs build muscle at a faster rate than ectomorphs who are hard gainers.

So on average how fast can the human body gain muscle? A 200 study analysis showed that the average rate of muscle increase was about 0.1-0.2% per day on untrained people. That means if you want to add an inch to your arm size it would take at least 2-4 months! Studies show the first week or two all muscles can do is repair and there are no extra resources to build. Therefore it will take at least 2-3 months of consistently training to see any major changes.

Overall muscle growth varies a lot per person. Some can gain 4-8lbs of lean mass in 3 months (this is the majority of people) but some bodies actually can gain at 2 times that rate!

How fast can I lose fat?


The most important factor in fat loss is your metabolic rate. If you are a serial dieter you metabolism may be damaged and somewhat non-responsive. Every time you lose and regain weight it will become harder each time you try to lose fat unless there is some time given for metabolic repair.

If your metabolism is responsive a good base of how fast you can lose is:

Body fat percentage ÷ 20 = % of your current weight you should aim to lose per week.

Another way to calculate is 1.5 pounds of FAT per week, this could equal more on the scale since we are talking just fat not including water weight. Studies have shown that if more than 1.5 pounds of FAT (not scale weight) is lost that there will also be muscle loss.

When it comes to body types mesomorphs and ectomorphs lose fat at the fastest rate with the least amount of output. Endomorphs can lose fat at the same rate but usually require more output.

How fast can I increase strength?


The first variable in strength increase is how long you have been working out. Have you ever heard that saying “muscle memory?” Well it’s actually more like central nervous system memory. Your brain will always remember movement patterns that are repeatedly done, like riding a bike or back squatting. Therefore be able to perform better and lift more with each squat session.

Second variable is simply what you inherit. There are two types of muscle fibers slow and fast twitch. Fast twitch muscle fibers are used for power and force, the amount of fast and slow twitch fibers you have are actually inherited.

Third variable, who gains strength quicker males or females? Males and females can have equal strength though men will gain strength at a faster rate because majority of the time they will have larger muscles and therefore able to move more weight.

My tip

Write down you overall goal (ex. Loose 20lbs.)

Then evaluate how much muscle or fat you have. Focusing only on scale weight can leave you frustrated and feeling like your body is just broken!

From here make a training plan where you can track MULTIPLE things (ex. How much weight your lifting, how fast you can do an action, circumference measurements,body fat and lastly scale weight.)

*If you are just beginning, a good time frame to have a goal is 6 months, then from there you can further break the goal down.

Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

Aug. 31.

The Yo-Yo Affect

The Yo-Yo Affect

Weight cycling and Metabolism


The growth of personal trainers in the last 5 years is needed but what are needed more is trainers who seek out knowledge from more qualified experts and whose driving motivation is not money. Media, marketing and money have created a rise in quick fix systems and health coaches who promise the world in “easy” quick fixes; under deliver in nutritional knowledge and leave the client with a slower metabolism after big rebounds in weight.

How many diets have you tried?

How many times have you regained the weight?

What did you learn through these diets about nutrition and your body?

Is it harder to lose the weight today?

I (Jay) have been a trainer for over 14 years and have seen fad diets cycle themselves through main stream media.  Most of these fad diets will deliver “results” but the biggest result of a diet should be attaining your goal by learning your macro boundaries and maintaining your results by implementing the proper exit strategy from the caloric deficit. I myself have attained goals using unrealistic, un-maintainable and un-scientific measures. Over the last four years I have learned more about nutrition and how the body works and completely changed my ways of dieting. Not consuming enough calories, food restricting and over training left me feeling like I had an eating disorder, with a severely damaged metabolism to go along with it. Today, as I get ready for my first show in 4 years I have to go through a process of metabolic adaptation.

How to lose fat


Diet induced thermo genesis- Thermo genesis is heat inside the human body. Diet induced thermo genesis is an increase in heat and energy expenditure brought on by food and water. Diet induced usually is by consuming fewer calories than the maintenance metabolic rate or burning more calories than you consume.


How the body reacts

Any diet where there is less energy consumed then burned, in turn will cause the metabolic rate to slow down. The body will try to keep homeostasis by forcing the metabolism to adapt to the lower caloric intake in efforts to maintain the same body weight. Over time the metabolism will become more efficient; burning less calories and keeping the body mass the same regardless of the caloric deficit or energy output.  Once the metabolism becomes efficient so does the mitochondria inside the cells. Mitochondria are the power house of cells producing ATP (energy readily used by the body) from glucose.  An efficient metabolism is what you DON’T want.

Hormones also play a role in weight loss. Hormones tell you when you’re hungry, thirsty and full. Studies have shown that when thermo genesis becomes adaptive hormones cause a decrease in satiety and an increase in hunger.  Food also regulates the thyroid and the body’s natural testosterone level, which is important even for women.  Leptin and insulin levels are regulated by food. Insulin has gotten a bad name but is important for fat loss in the active person.  All these can affect the body’s ability to lose weight and cause a faster regain if reverse dieting is not practiced.

The Regain

Do you ever feel like it was the cookie that made you fat?

There is name for the regain after dieting, post –starvation obesity. Diets most time leave you hungry and wanting everything you have restricted yourself from. You indulge in more calories and the body immediately begins to retain any extra calories you feed it.

Your metabolic rate slows down while dieting and your hormones are thrown off…so how do you stop dieting once a goal is hit and not gain all the weight back?  First, the body needs planned re-feeds. Re-feeds are usually scheduled or are thrown in based on the body’s current progress. Re-feeding temporarily increases leptin and bring back up the metabolic rate. Second, the body cannot diet forever! Calories eventually need to be brought back to the maintenance level.

Why stop dieting NOW

The science and experience of those of us who have dealt with metabolic damage is one of the most frustrating experiences. Dieting leaves you feeling prisoner to “it” in order to keep from regaining. No one should feel any one food is the cause of fat gain and no one should feel they need a certain pill or system to lose weight. The freedom is in learning through dieting flexibly.

5 ways to Identify fad diets..


  1. It focuses on avoiding foods or a macronutrient (example, Adkins ).
  2. It promise a certain weight lose in a specified time.
  3. It requires supplementation.
  4. It has a name:  21 day fix, It Works..etc.
  5. It puts multiple people on the same plan and is adjusted the same way for everyone.


Results are in the knowledge, not the pill.


Insel, Paul, Don Ross, Kimberley McMahon, and Melissa Bernstein. Nutrition Fourth Edition. 4th ed. London: Jones and Bartlett, 2011. Jones and Bartlett, 2011. Web. 10 Aug. 2015.

Trexler, Eric T., Abbie E. Smith-Ryan, and Layne E. Norton. “Metabolic Adaptation to Weight Loss: Implications for the Athlete.” JISSN. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 27 Feb. 2014. Web. 21 Aug. 2015.


Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Oct. 09.

Meal Timing…Does it Matter?

Meal Timing… Does it Matter?


Eat 6 meals a day and don’t eat before bed, if only weight loss or more importantly increasing your metabolism were that easy! To start with the basics:

Three important times to eat the majority of your calories.

  1. Your mother has told you from the beginning of time not to skip breakfast; science proves she was right! The American Heart Association has stated that eating breakfast is proven to help with the chances of obesity. Why? Breaking the fast of the night will help you from feeling starved by mid-day and over indulging. Eating well balanced also helps with satiation. Fats will help you feel fuller quicker, a protein source will help slow down the carbohydrate digestion and a carbohydrate especially a fibrous or viscous fiber sources, will help satiation as well as keeping your blood sugar level.
  2. Pre workout is the next best time of day to eat the majority of your calories. Your body needs fuel much like a car. Carbohydrates or glycogen are the body’s main substrate in exercise. Filling glycogen stores pre exercise will help with fatigue in long duration training when max oxygen is taken in by the skeletal muscle and with strength increases. Fatigue is when the body has used up all the glycogen stores.
  3. Post workout is the third most important time to get in those calories. During training your body has glycogen stores that deplete. If these stores are not replenished, glycogen will be synthesized into a lipid (fat.) Overtime will this cause fat accumulation? It is possible, the body’s survival mechanism will trigger it to protect itself after every glycogen depletion therefore immediately beginning to turn the next digested carbohydrate into a lipid.


How many meals?

Meal frequency recommendations are depicted by body type, goal and lifestyle. I think it is near pointless to tell a client to eat 6 meals a day when their career clearly does not allow that freedom; if my goal is to help make a lifestyle change. You can lose weight and build muscle eating 4 or 5 balanced meals a day if the 3 meals above are not skipped.

Meals, late night!

Somewhere in history someone said it hinders your results to eat before bed, this is false! It is not recommended you fast all day the binge at night. It is not recommended you sit on the couch at night and eat paying no attention to how much you are consuming. But you can eat late at night! Your growth hormone is highest while you sleep. Growth hormone is that hormone we all wish didn’t decline with age, it is highest in growing kids. It is produced by the pituitary gland and it would use that food you ate before bed to help build and repair lean muscle and convert and burn fat for energy.

Eating balanced is just as important as living balanced!

Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

May. 08.

Eating for Two?

Eating for Two?

Pregnancy training and weight gain: 23 weeks 3 days

Doctors say you should eat normally and not eat for two people, even though you are growing a mini human! Well, the last few weeks that has been easier said than done! :P For about 2 weeks I have had a burst of hunger (is what I would call it); it does not last all day but only an hour or so where I about eat the house down! I realized how much I was eating when myy husband, who is counting his marcos leaves his note pad on the counter;  and some days…most days, I will find that I have eaten more than him!

Prior to pregnancy my metabolism began to really pick up! I was eating around 2200 calories a day and dropping fat training 3 days a week! And I was hungry! Now that I am pregnant I am finding my body still wants at least that same amount of food if not more even though I am training less. During pregnancy your metabolism increases therefore I am bound to be more hungry but now finding myself cleaning out the fridge within 3 days!!


I will be brave & post a photo :)
23 weeks 3 days pregnant

Thus far I have gained 17lbs! I am not sure if that is “normal” but that’s really not something I am concerned with; my body has never fit any “norm” for a woman’s size or weight. I started this pregnancy journey at 15% body fat so may gain more than most women since I maintained a lower body fat percentage.  I am just trying to avoid stretch marks by growing too fast because I already have plenty of them from my past and I get them easily. :/ Mentally it rough some days to deal with the changes of my body. I have been focused on fitness goals since I was 12 so this is a learning experience for me mentally be able to let go of focusing on my body in that way. With my profession it is hard, I have always done my best to keep my appearance looking fit even through my metabolic damage repair but with the hormones in play and not being able to train as hard..it is out of my control. :(


Pregnancy training

Training: Full body 2 x a week (yes still deadlifting :)) and usually 1 or 2 walks with my husband

Baby update: He is moving!!!! He is very active and sometimes can be seen kicking.

Image01 (2)

 Check in next week! 4 months to go!!!!!


Tagged: , , ,

May. 01.

Carbohydrate Conspiracy -The Intro

Carbohydrate Conspiracy

An introduction to carbohydrates and their role in weight loss and metabolism.

“No matter how big the lie; repeat it often enough and the masses will regard it as truth,” John f Kennedy. One of America’s greatest presidents was right on the money with this phenomenon that occurs over and over in history. In the fitness industry,  low carbohydrate diets, supplements and low carbohydrate weight loss programs have been that lie that has spread till everyone believes it’s the only way.

The carbohydrate conspiracy is deeper than the belief that only low carbohydrate diets help individuals lose weight; it is now spread to the idea of good and bad carbohydrates, gluten free diets, ideas such as fasted cardio (not eating before completing cardio) and not eating carbohydrates at night. So where is the knowledge or science to back these ideas? I followed low carbohydrate diets when I was younger but the moment I heard there was a healthier way to eat freely and lose weight I was a research junkie until I found out enough information to do this with my own body!

Me, eating 300gram of carbohydrates a day and getting leaner!

Me, eating 300gram of carbohydrates a day and getting leaner!

First let’s take a look into this seemingly evil macro-nutrient called carbohydrates. A carbohydrate comes in four different molecular strands, each strand containing 3 elements carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. The simplest family, are the simple carbohydrates, monosaccharides and disaccharides. These most individuals would probably consider “bad” carbohydrates. They are usually referred to as “bad” carbohydrates because people do not seem to think you can lose weight and still eat such things as milk, fruit or honey. Now, for most Americans who are non active limiting these sugars which are also found in soft drinks, is best for their health if they are going to continue to be inactive. The second family of carbohydrates are the complex carbohydrates, these are usually thought of as “good” carbohydrate, if carbohydrates are considered “good” at all by people pursing weight loss. “Good and bad” carbohydrates is more an opinion than fact considering all complex carbohydrates are made of bond sugar molecules anyway!


Figure 2

How are these used by the body? Glucose is most readily used by the body and is preferred for brain function and red blood cells. Muscle requires about 2/3rds of your glycogen stores (glycogen is the form of glucose before cells break it down.) Low carbohydrate diets will not kill you but they do not adequately provide what your body needs. The body can break down fat and use it for energy; the brain will use ketones (chemical from broken down fat) but the it will choose to only function at a certain percent since it is not readily being supplied glucose in a simpler form. The muscles of the body can also use protein and convert it to glucose but then again, it is not preferred and will not provide optimal function nor will it only break down protein that is ingested. The body can only synthesize so much protein in a day the rest is stored as fat. If the body needs more glucose than is being ingested it will break down muscle (not excluding any of the 3 muscle types.) High fat and protein diets also cause a loss of water therefore people mistake it for fat loss. In reality, when glycogen is being lost by the body there is also a significant amount of water loss that goes with it!


100% Energy! 100% Strength!

I decided to test my body’s efficiency through strength gains  because my training regiment required 100% of my strength at every lift! I was power lifting and pulling a 75lb sled once a week and tracked both my strength gains and time for each. Eating 300 grams of carbohydrates a day (and getting leaner) my PR  (personal record) for deadlifting was 295lbs. My sled pulling was tracked by time it took me to go approximately 75 yards. My deadlift during the 3 weeks of low carbohydrate dropped to 245! And my sprint dropped to only pulling 50lbs just so I could go the same distance. The burst of energy I receive from eating more carbohydrates was because each cell in my body conducts a process called glycolysis. Through glycolysis carbohydrates are broken down and combined with the presence of oxygen where ATP is formed;  ATP being the first form of energy your body uses when doing exercise such as sprinting. ATP then in turn raises the bodies internal temperature, essentially making metabolism increase.(See Figure 2) Eat around my husband and I and you will witness first hand how eating can increase our bodies internal temperature we often get hot and even sweat!  Again why would anyone want to lose weight through being weak, hungry, foggy thinking and not performing optimally?

5 reasons low carbohydrate diets are a failure in the long term:

  1. Not having a proper balance of macronutrients throws the body’s hormones carb dogoff, causing moodiness and cravings which will cause individuals eventually to fail.
  2. Can anyone do low carbohydrate their WHOLE life? I highly doubt it, therefore why start.
  3. The number one reason why America is overweight is because we are inactive and over eat FATS! (Asian countries eat over 80% of the diet from carbohydrates, while still maintaining a lower obese population)
  4. Eventually individuals will notice their brain functioning to be foggy. If your diet is affecting your school or work, I don’t think it is worth it!
  5. Low carbohydrate diets will never allow control! Atkins, the low carbohydrate diet that began this low carbohydrate craze in 2003 is known, to take of weight fast (no studies found that it was fat and not muscle) but also has the FASTEST known rebound compared to any other diet. In my experience, it has also caused individuals to yo-yo with their weight.

Lastly, carbohydrates maintain and most effective at keeping muscle mass alive and strong, lose muscle and the body’s resting metabolic rate decreases.

What do some accredited health institutes say about carbohydrate intake? The Harvard School of Public Health states that individuals should consume 6-11 servings of whole grains and/or pasta a day! The Federal Institute of Medicine states that adults and children should consume 130grams of carbohydrates a day! Each of my clients actually meets that recommendation!


**Want to see the results of higher carbohydrate diets? Please look to our Transformation and Facebook page for amazing results!

Carbohydrates= energy= stronger metabolism

Tagged: , ,

Apr. 05.

Let the Bump Training Begin!

“Bump” Training

The fear of gaining baby weight is a main topic among pregnant women. Because I am a trainer, I do have the peace of mind of knowing how to properly lose the weight once the baby is born but I can see how, for many women, the weight gain can be scary. Your diet is something you no longer control, it controls you! Example; I eat 3 bagels with cream cheese for breakfast every morning!  Or I will need sour patch kids ASAP. This diet is scary even to me; I hate being out of control of my body but what woman doesn’t !

If eating my normal diet is not hard enough, trying to exercise is a struggle! No matter what stage of your life, your mind will plays games! “Why keep striving to workout? You will not gain the same benefits that you would normally; like increasing my deadlift PR or loosing fat!” Yes that crossed my mind… but over the years of training I have become an expert at sorting my feelings with facts. Therefore I train because I know I NEED to.


On a better note my metabolism is doing a wonderful job.:) I spent the 8 months prior to becoming pregnant working on building my metabolism and all that work has really paid off thus far. I have not worked out in about 5 weeks, maybe once or twice but the degree of exhaustion in the first trimester makes it nearly impossible. I have ate enough carbohydrates and sugar to run a large bus from Florida to New York (given it was run off glucose) and only have gained 3 lbs and I am out 12 weeks pregnant. Which is normal but it is not normal for most bodies who are used to training 5 days a week hardcore and following an eating plan to be able to not rebound once exercise and the diet stops. Now of course it will not maintain forever but for 3 months of being off any plan I am very happy that my metabolism seems to be burning!

Will show baby bump pictures soon!

There is a difference between increasing your metabolism and loosing weight. Keep expanding your knowledge!!

Tagged: , , ,