A METABOLIC MAKEOVER!
Okay, now it’s time to get real and answer honestly the following key questions...
Do you feel that your current diet gives you all the energy you need to make it through the day ?
Do you always feel strong and motivated during your workouts ?
Do you rarely feel overtrained ?
Are you happy with your current level of muscle growth ?
If you answered yes to all these questions, congratulations you are either an amazing specimen of physical perfection....or an excellent liar!
Truth be told, most of us are never truly happy with our level of performance all the time. There are always days when we feel a little ‘out of it’ or phases when muscle growth is as slow as a tortoise on Valium.
So, is there a way to kick things up a notch? There sure is, and all it takes is a little more understanding of how your unique metabolism functions. So let’s start with a closer look at :
Each one of us is unique in the way we process nutrients - even supplements ‘kick-in’ faster in some people. This is why there is not one universal weight loss system that works for everyone who tries it - with the exception of the basic eat less and exercise more (although even that has a sticking point after a period of time).
By understanding how your body processes nutrients you can make significant improvements not only to your exercise performance but to your general sense of well-being.
There are generally three metabolic turnover types :
But, how do you know which category you fall under? Well, there has been much written under the subject and many labels given to the individual categories and body types. Most demand that you answer detailed questionnaires and, due to the fact that most people second guess their answers (or fail to tell the real truth) they can give false results. The simplest test to determine your metabolic turnover rate is the Niacin Test. All you do is take 50mg of Niacin (vitamin B3). If you get an immediate ‘flushing sensation’ you are most likely in possession of a Rapid Metabolic Turnover rate. A moderate rate of flushing means you have an Even Metabolic Turnover Rate. If your flush reaction is significantly delayed or fails to arrive at all then you can pretty much call yourself the owner of a Slow Metabolic Turnover.
You can also get a fair idea of these rates by using the latest fat burners and energy products and determining how long it takes them to 'kick-in'. Your reaction to caffeine is another marker on your metabolic turnover. If it makes you nauseous or shaky then you are more than likely in possession of a Rapid Metabolic Turnover rate. If it has little real effect then you probably have an Even Metabolic Turnover, and if it makes you feel totally focused and great then your Metabolic Turnover is probably Slow. Finally, your digestive system is also a good guide to your Turnover Type.
If you tend to suffer from frequent constipation you fall under the Slow category. No stomach problems? Then you have an Even Turnover. Whereas if you frequently suffer from Diarrhea then you probably have a Rapid Turnover Rate.
So, now you have identified your own unique Metabolic Turnover Rate, the time has come to give yourself a :
As we have discussed, there are generally three different types when it comes to the issue of nutrient metabolism and each type holds a unique response to food and supplements when administered during the course of a day. There are also specific foods which should be limited or avoided by certain metabolic types and specific foods which should be included in order to achieve smooth running of the physical machine. Let’s begin by focusing on the needs of the athlete with the:
SLOW METABOLIC TURNOVER
Due to the fact that Slow Turnover types utilize the nutrients in their food slowly, the release of glucose from carbohydrate foods into the bloodstream is delayed. This slows down the whole process of energy production. Now you would think that the solution in this case would be to reduce total carbohydrate content....wrong! The opposite is in fact the case. Those individuals in possession of slow turnover metabolisms should actually consume a diet higher in carbs, since protein and fat slow down the rate of nutrient absorption and therefore reduce energy production even further. An ideal ratio in this case would be 60% percent carbs, 25% protein and 15% fat.
However, it doesn’t stop there! There are also specific types of proteins, fats and carbs you should base your diet around and ones which you are advised to limit.
For example, proteins should be primarily lean meats, fish, low fat dairy products and egg whites. Carbohydrates should be primarily complex and fats are best sourced from nuts, seeds (raw and unsalted) vegetable and nut oils (e.g. almond, flaxseed. coconut, olive and sunflower).
EVEN METABOLIC TURNOVER
If you have an even metabolic turnover you are probably one of the lucky ones!
This is due to the fact that your dietary needs are probably one of the easiest to follow.
Your diet should consist of 40% carbs, 30% protein and 30% fat. Protein sources are less restricted on this diet and you can pretty much consume whatever takes your fancy. Carbohydrates should be primarily complex (no refined sugars, processed grains or soda) with more emphasis on fruits and vegetables. Grains such as brown rice, couscous, oats, spelt, barley, rye and corn should be eaten in moderation. Fats should come from natural oils and fats and do not need to be as restricted as those for the slow metabolic turnover types. It is still recommended to focus your fat intake on nut and seed oils but small amounts of butter and cream can be added on this diet- just make sure you stay in the 30% range. For those individuals with an even metabolic turnover it is also advisable to ensure that all meals contain the specified nutrient ratios (i.e. 40% carbs, 30% protein, 30% fat) and that meals made up of just one micronutrient are avoided. Overcooked animal products and foods high on the glycemic index should also be avoided.
FAST METABOLIC TURNOVER
If you are in possession of a Fast Metabolic Turnover your diet needs to be focused on higher levels of protein and fat with less emphasis on carbohydrates. Every meal should have a protein content and the ideal nutrient ratio to strive for is 20 %carbs, 50% protein and 30% fat.
This doesn’t mean that you can consume proteins of all types with little regard to their source. However, the interesting thing for ‘Fast’ types is that they actually need fattier proteins since they help to slow down the metabolic turnover rate to make for more even absorption of nutrients. This doesn’t mean they can reject chicken and fish completely though, just that they should focus more of their attention on fatty fish, beef, dark meat chicken, dark meat turkey, eggs and cheese.
Carbohydrates to avoid are simple carbs since they convert quickly to sugar in the bloodstream. Complex carbs are best and should come from low starch vegetables (e.g. asparagus, spinach, cauliflower) limited fruits, sprouted grain bread (such as Ezekiel bread found in most health stores) and legumes.
Fats should come primarily from nuts and seeds, butter, cream, flaxseed oil,walnut oil, almond oil and coconut oil.
The main thing to remember for Fast Turnover types is to avoid eating a meal which is composed mainly of carbohydrates and make sure that the carbs you do take in are low on the glycemic index. Caffeine should also be restricted since it causes your adrenal glands to release adrenaline into your blood stream way too quickly. This in turn gives you a quick boost but, once the caffeine leaves your system, your poor adrenal glands are worn out from all the extra activity and you are left feeling weak and tired. Caffeine also kicks up your metabolic turnover rate which is what you don’t need!
So there you have it, a quick look at Metabolic Turnover Rates and how you can adjust your macro nutrient levels in order to maximize your energy both in and out of the gym. If, after reading all this you are still not quite sure what category you fall under then I urge you to experiment with each one for a period of a few weeks and see how you feel. When you find the ratio that is compatible with your unique metabolism you will be amazed at the results.
Remember, it is not HOW MUCH protein, fat or carbohydrate you eat on a daily basis that determines how you feel and how you perform in the gym...it is how your body PROCESSES each
nutrient. I know, you've heard it all before...so isn't it time you actually did something about it? Be warned though....it might just change your life!