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Master Your Metabolism from WebMD

Monday, April 12, 2010

I got this from WebMD. I don't know if anyone can "master" their metabolism, but I like the idea of getting my body under MY control and eating healthy.

Master Your Metabolism
By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
WebMD Expert Review
Master Your Metabolism: What It Is

Master Your Metabolism author Jillian Michaels is known as the tough strength coach on NBC’s The Biggest Loser show. In this book, she claims that fixing your metabolism by overhauling your endocrine system is the secret to a hot and healthy body.

Michaels claims that "toxins" in processed junk food, medicines, and the environment can throw our hormones, and thus our metabolism, out of whack.

"Our nutritionally deficient, dieting, stress-dominated living and toxin-filled eating has abused our endocrine systems, hormonal balances, and metabolisms to make weight loss nearly impossible," Michaels writes.

Master Your Metabolism is not a diet, Michaels says. It's a program designed to repair your metabolism by the way you eat and what you eat. Not only will you lose weight, Michaels says, you can also reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Master Your Metabolism takes a three-phase approach that first removes "anti-nutrients" (processed, preservative-filled foods) from your diet, then replaces them with healthy foods that help with fat-burning, and finally, rebalances your hormones with better food, exercise, and sleep habits.

Michaels goes beyond weight loss advice in this book, offering guidelines to tackle conditions ranging from menopause to metabolic syndrome.
Master Your Metabolism: What You Can Eat

In a nutshell: "If it didn’t have a mother or it didn’t grow from the ground, don’t eat it," Michaels says.

Beyond that, the Master Your Metabolism meal plan is centered on 10 "power nutrient" food groups:

1. Legumes (peas and beans)
2. Alliums (onions, leeks, shallots)
3. Berries
4. Meat and eggs (this group also includes fatty fish like salmon)
5. Colorful fruits and vegetables
6. Cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower)
7. Dark green, leafy veggies
8. Nuts and seeds
9. Organic, low-fat dairy
10. Whole grains

Some items, like meat, dairy, and eggs, should always be organic, the book says. For others, including tough-skinned fruits and vegetables, it's OK to buy conventional sometimes.

Banned on the diet are foods with "antinutrients" -- chemicals, trans fats, hydrogenated fats, refined grains, high-fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, artificial preservatives and colors, glutamates (like MSG), and other additives.

Allowed in small quantities are starchy vegetables; tropical, dried, and canned fruits; soy products; alcohol; full-fat dairy products; fatty meats; canned foods; and caffeine.

A two-week sample meal plan, plus portion size recommendations, shopping lists, and recipes, help dieters plan their meals.

Here's a sample daily meal plan:

* Breakfast: Scrambled egg whites, fried tomatoes, and a grapefruit
* Lunch: Southwest chicken salad (recipe included)
* Snack: An orange and a handful of walnuts
* Dinner: Halibut skewers with eggplant, peppers, and onions


Master Your Metabolism: How It Works

Phase One starts in the grocery store, with suggested foods to eat and avoid. This phase is designed to help remove "antinutrients," which "disrupt hormonal balance by increasing weight gain hormones and blocking weight loss hormones," Michaels says.

Dieters are also encouraged to remove toxins from their homes during this phase, by cleaning out unsafe chemicals used in the kitchen, bathroom, and yard.

Phase Two is all about optimal nutrition to repair damage supposedly caused by an unhealthy diet.

And finally, Master Your Metabolism offers advice on how to rebalance your metabolism to help you burn fat. Strategies for this include:

* Eating every four hours. Eat three meals and a snack daily, nothing after 9 p.m., and no carbs before bed.
* Eating until you are full, not stuffed.
* Including protein, carbs, and fat and every meal and snack.

As you would expect from Michaels, the Master Your Metabolism exercise plan is rigorous and comprehensive. She encourages dieters to get 4-5 hours a week of intense fitness, including both cardio and strength training. Her exercise advice: "Do it even if you hate it."
Master Your Metabolism: What the Experts Say

Eating a healthy, calorie-controlled diet and getting plenty of exercise is a scientifically proven formula for weight control, experts say. Beyond that, the evidence is not so clear.

"There is no scientific evidence that toxins in the environment, yo-yo dieting, or eating foods with artificial ingredients or pesticides cause hormonal fluctuation and weight gain," says Connie Diekman, MEd, RD, the immediate past president of the American Dietetic Association.

Weight control specialist Michelle May, MD, says that hormones serve essential roles in the body, but are not "friendly" or "unfriendly." "Hormones respond to your intake and activity levels in a way that has ensured our survival for thousands of years," she says.

May, author of Am I Hungry? What to Do When Diets Don’t Work, agrees that yo-yo dieting and poor nutrition can keep us from meeting our bodies' needs. But she fears that Michaels' rigid nutrition rules could cause the yo-yo effect, not correct it.

"Demonizing certain foods rarely results in long-term changes in behavior," May says. "Instead, rely on your common sense to help choose balance, variety, and moderation in your eating."

Although Diekman says she likes the book's emphasis on healthy, unprocessed foods, she is concerned about the low calorie levels.

"Menu plans are high-protein, low-carb, with the calories for most days averaging around 1,300 a day, except one was only 700 calories -- which is almost fasting," she says.

Diekman, also nutrition director at Washington University in St. Louis, recommends a daily minimum of 1,400-1,600 calories for most women and 2,000 for most men.

Diekman also points out that not all processed foods are bad.

"Whole-grain breads and cereals, frozen vegetables, canned fruit in juice, and low-salt canned beans are just a few examples of healthy processed foods," she says.

And although fear helps Michaels motivates contestants on The Biggest Loser, the tough taskmaster approach may not be the answer for helping people make permanent lifestyle changes.

"Research has shown fear is a short-term motivator and not an agent for long-term dietary changes," Diekman says.

Master Your Metabolism: Food for Thought

Readers could become overwhelmed by all the technical medical terms and scary words like "toxins" in this book. All the discussion about hormones, metabolism, neurochemistry, biochemistry, and the endocrine system is enough to make your head spin.

Michaels has proven to be an amazing trainer on The Biggest Loser, so follow her fitness advice. But approach the Master Your Metabolism diet with caution. Use the menu plans as a template for a healthy diet, but liberalize the portions. And, don’t be afraid to enjoy a wide variety of foods.

If you want information about your hormones, thyroid function, or whether it is safe to discontinue your prescription drugs, see your doctor.

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I agree with this article's thought on TOXINS in processed foods. Whenever I eat processed foods I feel awful - even if I had just a little bit. I've read that we should NEVER eat food that we can't recognize what it was originally. I have made attempts to eat food that I can easily recognize (vegetables, meat) and eliminating processed foods. Now I need to incorporate more "oils" like nuts. I need to focus on my HEALTH and NOT my WEIGHT.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • ETORRES88
    I'll have to try this since I have completely given up and gone back to my 700 calorie days. I've tried everything to break my plateau and nothing has worked so I have decided to starve myself to show my body who the boss is! thanks for sharing
    4088 days ago
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