Sunday, March 7, 2010


Written by: Jason Peters, General Manager O2 Fitness Falconbridge, USA Track and Field level 1 certified coach

Looking to lose weight? Have more energy?

You answer lies with a simple answer…give your body what it needs: FOOD.

That’s right, whether your goal is to lose a few or just simply have more energy, you need to eat.

Metabolism is defined as ‘the breakdown of food and its transformation into energy’. So, without food, your metabolism isn’t transforming or ‘burning’ anything.

Too often, I hear people talking about skipping breakfast or not eating after 6pm, or something along the lines of ‘not eating’. While I admire the attempt to make a change of life, all this is really going to do, is slow down the body’s energy processes. While those who attempt such measures may see a small reward for their efforts in the form of a few pounds of weight loss; the results are short-lived as this is not a long-term sensible life change. This attempt will typically only hinder you from your goal of losing weight. Here’s why: When you don’t eat, your body goes into a calorie-storing mode or ‘starvation mode’ to be more direct. If you don’t eat, you are telling your body to store calories, because the body doesn’t know when it is that the next ‘feeding’ will occur. If, on the other hand, you eat small meals frequently through the day, your body continues to remain in an elevated state of calorie burning.

Each time we consume food, the metabolism kicks into high-gear and begins the process of burning calories. If we are eating smaller amounts and don’t overload the system with too much, the body will easily burn through these calories and continue burning calories long after the food consumed is digested. Each time you eat, this same process occurs.

Here is one approach that many individuals have had success with:

Eat 300 calories every 3 hours.

Sounds simple, huh? Well, it IS. Frequent small meals keep the metabolism ON FIRE and you never go into a ‘starvation mode’ as I mentioned above. This approach has many benefits: Your body is always in a calorie (fat) burning state; you have more energy (no mid-afternoon drowsiness); and you always know that you can eat again in as little as 3 hours.

Try applying this frequent-feeding or ‘grazing’ concept with the following:

  • Drink plenty of water – try to take in about ½ an ounce of water for every pound of body weight. In addition to many other health benefits, this can help keep your system flushed out and metabolism running well.
  • Eat balanced meals – try to eat a rough balance of protein and carbohydrates each time you eat. An easy trick to portion size is looking at the palm of your hand. Eat a portion of protein (serving the size of the palm of your hand) and a portion of carbs each time you eat.
  • Keep the saturated fats LOW! – Not all fats are bad, so just begin to pay attention to the saturated variety listed on the labels of what you eat.
  • GO GREEN – Veggies provide you the critical fiber we here so much about. Just know that fiber is typically good for weight loss due to its cleansing properties.
  • Get enough sleep – lack of sleep can lead to stress, which produces an excess amount of the hormone cortisol in the body. Without getting too much into it, just know that this is not so good for trying to reduce body fat.

Try applying some or all of these concepts into your life and see if you don’t have some dramatic success.

If you would like more detailed information on anything mentioned above, feel free to email me @

Adam Freeman
Fitness Director/Personal Trainer

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