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A Step-By –Step Guide to Your Metabolism Makeover

Bright McConnell III, MD, FitMed Partners

Need a metabolism makeover? You are not alone. Many women after 40 years of age believe they are doomed to be overweight due to a sluggish metabolism. The same tweaks to diet and upticks in exercise stop getting the results they did prior to mid-life. Instead, weight increases and energy decreases. New research indicates that it is possible to improve metabolic function during peri-menopause and menopause. That translates to being healthier, feeling younger and looking better.

The first step is to recognize that one size does not fit all. Your metabolic baseline is a critical place to begin when systemically addressing a slow internal “engine”. Genes, along with other biological predispositions, influence metabolic function. Customized, medically-based plans to achieve your physical fitness and nutrition goals can help you take the first steps to living life better.

At FitMed Partners, we begin with a comprehensive nutrition assessment and diagnostic measurements including Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR), VO2 Max, and DXA body composition to establish your unique metabolic baseline. Science can be on your side and is often more effective than the latest diet or trend.

The Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) test determines the basal calories your body burns to maintain itself at rest. A determinant of whether your metabolism is slow or fast, the RMR test lets you know how many calories your body needs. The VO2 Max, also referred to as the Cardiometabolic Performance Test, shows your aerobic fitness level and at what heart rate level your body begins to burn fat. This test can be used to help you lose weight effectively. Frequently the test will show participants that they exercise at too high a heart rate to effectively burn fat.

Using your body weight to determine if changes occur as a result of diet and exercise is a flawed gauge. Body Composition with DXA illustrates your percentage of body fat to provide a more accurate wellness and weight management portrait. Micronutrient testing determines what nutrients you are deficient in, while a comprehensive blood panel further pinpoints deficiencies that may be related to slowing metabolic function and feeling less than your best.

These tests and assessments provide a solid baseline to develop your unique metabolism makeover. Armed with this information, consult with your doctor to determine next steps. Consider reviewing your findings with an exercise physiologist and a Registered Dietician to analyze your current nutritional and fitness routine and develop a new customized program focused on getting real results.

For most, nutrition and fitness aren’t just about weight. They also affect aging, mood, mental clarity, exercise performance, and overall wellness. Changing what and how you eat, and increasing your level of activity alleviate those symptoms. Other factors that can slow you down include the drop in hormone production that occurs as we age. Hormones help metabolize fat. If they are not operating at an optimal metabolic rate, weight gain can result.

Consider fanning the flames of your metabolism by incorporating protein into your diet. Protein is the building block of lean muscle mass. Each time you eat a protein-rich food your body goes to work, breaking it down into smaller particles called amino acids. Diets rich in lean proteins and leafy greens, such as Paelo, can often jump start languishing metabolisms. The science behind managing your food using the gyclemic index is a proven way to gain more muscle, reduce blood pressure, and drop inches.

With so many factors to consider, the key is determining your unique metabolic baseline and fashioning a plan of action tailored to you using quantitative data. Removing the mystery and constant trial and error of fad diets and fad fitness enables patient’s to maintain healthy weight and wellness.

For more information or to schedule a consultation with Bright McConnell, MD, call FitMed Partners at 284-5720 or request an online appointment at www.FitMedPartners.com.

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