Are you one of millions of Americans that know and feel that you have very poor body composition (too much body fat and not enough muscle) but don’t know where or how to start? Do you lack the energy at the end of your day to start even if you knew how? Have you stopped and looked at a picture of yourself from 5-10 years ago and wonder what the hell has happened? Do you want to feel younger and more energetic like you once used to?
The consequences of unhealthy body composition and excess body weight often lead to metabolic syndrome, which is associated with serious health consequences including but not limited to:
-High blood pressure
-Certain types of cancer
You Don’t Want Excessive Amounts of Body Fat
Unhealthy body composition is referencing to too much body fat and generally too little muscle mass which of course is associated with everything mentioned above and below. All of my clients past and present know that I am not the biggest advocate of jumping on a scale on the daily, but more encouraging of focusing on FAT loss vs. weight loss and there is a big difference between the two.
Metabolic syndrome (also know as syndrome X or insulin resistance syndrome) affects a big chunk of Americans and is characterized by high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood glucose and insulin levels. People with this condition are at greater risk of developing above bullet pointed health problems. As a general rule, a waist circumference greater that 40 inches for men and greater than 35 for women significantly increase the risk for developing metabolic syndrome.
Hormone balance can be affected by unhealthy body composition because estrogen can be produced in fat tissue. An increase in fat-to-muscle mass could therefore lead to an imbalance in estrogen which for men, can then “steal” testosterone which affects muscle and libido which then leads to more fat storage and lower drive and the viscous wheel goes round and round. There are also more estrogen dominant issues surfacing with women today more than ever before, which can and often are, associated with unhealthy body composition as well. Estrogen imbalance has been associated with painful premenstrual syndrome (PMS), uterine fibroid tumors, endometriosis, painful breasts, and more.
There is no single cause of unhealthy body composition and is typically a combination of a few factors such as: Lack of physical activity, an imbalance of calories in vs. calories out, lifestyle influences such as high sugar intake (HUGE problem in our country), excessive fat intake, alcohol and drug abuse (including many prescriptions), hormone imbalance and other metabolic factors.
The Solution; Get Fit
Traditional approaches to improving body composition includes exercise and reduced caloric intake. A more sophisticated, modern and more results oriented approach will also include appropriate and relevant nutritional supplements for each individual, education on timing of certain macro (carbs, proteins, fats) nutrients and how the body uses them at different times. If need be, hormone balancing may enable one to get out of their problematic health condition faster and more effectively leading to a better and healthier life.
If you are concerned with getting the proper results from your efforts in nutrition and working out, it is also important to make sure your hormones are functioning properly. I work with a medical wellness group by the name of Youth-Rx that operates nationwide with an excellent track record of helping men optimize their hormones and live their most satisfying and healthy lives possible.
Spring time is finally here and the snow is almost gone (finally!). Summer will be here before you know it and that swimsuit isn’t going to wear itself. Aside from that, your health and well being should hold more importance than your vehicle maintenance. There is no better investment than investing in yourself to become a lean and energized machine while looking and feeling your best to perform at your best!
Roger Bowman, CPT