Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What Is “Metabolism”?

Metabolism is the rate at which your body burns its way through
calories just to keep itself alive—to keep your heart beating, your
lungs breathing, your blood pumping, and your mind fantasizing
about the Caribbean while crunching year-end accounting figures.
Your body is burning calories all the time, even while you’re
reading this sentence. The average woman burns about 10 calories
per pound of body weight ever day; the average man, 11 calories
per pound.
There are three main types of calorie burn that happen
B U R N F A T D A Y A N D N I G H T 41
throughout your day. Understand how they work, and you’ll understand
exactly why the Abs Diet is going to turn your body into
a fat-burning machine.
Calorie burn #1: The thermic effect of eating. Between 10
and 30 percent of the calories you burn each day get burned by
the simple act of digesting your food. Now that’s pretty cool—satisfying
your food cravings actually makes you burn away calories.
But not all foods are created equal: Your body uses more calories
to digest protein (about 25 calories burned for every 100 calories
42 T H E A B S D I E T
Name: Jessica Guff
Age: 43
Height: 5'4"
Starting weight: 130
Six weeks later: 120
Jessica Guff doesn’t believe in stepping on a scale. See, numbers don’t
give a total health picture, Guff says. What really matters is how you view
yourself—not to mention how others view you, too. Take the time she was
walking into a client’s office. The people there hadn’t seen her for a
couple of weeks, and one employee said to another, “Who’s that skinny
woman over there?”
“It’s Jessica,” the other employee told her. “She’s on this thing called the Abs
That exchange took place just 2 weeks after Guff started the Abs Diet—and
she felt the effects immediately. Guff, 43, who runs marathons, has always
been in good shape. But the effect of having two kids had taken a toll on her
belly. “I was in pretty good shape, except for my stomach,” she says. “But
since going on the plan, I really noticed a difference. I could probably crunch
walnuts with my abs.”
consumed) than it does to digest fats and carbohydrates (10 to 15
calories burned for every 100 calories consumed). That’s why the
Abs Diet concentrates on lean, healthy proteins. Eat more of
them, in a sensible way, and you’ll burn more calories.
Calorie burn #2: Exercise and movement. Another 10 to 15
percent of your calorie burn comes from moving your muscles,
whether you’re pressing weights overhead, running to catch the
bus, or just twiddling your thumbs. Simply turning the pages of
this book will burn calories.
B U R N F A T D A Y A N D N I G H T 43
The key for Guff was changing the way she approached eating. Sacrificing her
own eating habits to get her kids out the door and keep up with her fitness
training, she’d start the day with tea—and often little else. “I used to go out
and run without eating anything, and that was really stupid,” Guff says. “I was
horrified to learn the truth—that exercising on an empty stomach causes you
to burn muscle, not fat.” But the simple strategies of the Abs Diet changed all
that. “Now I’m having smoothies for breakfast, and it’s made me fitter and
stoked up my energy,” Guff says.
Guff says she couldn’t do a program in which she’d have to count calories or
weigh food. “What I love about the Abs Diet is the flexibility,” she says. “All I
have to remember is the catchy acronym—ABS DIET POWER—and I can remember
the 12 Powerfoods.”
The results: She’s leaner—and stronger. When her 56-pound daughter fell
asleep on the couch, Guff was the one who picked her up and carried her to
bed. “I thought, either I’m getting stronger or she’s losing weight,” she says.
And she’s also more confident. “When women look at other women, they look
at their boobs, their butts, and their waists—especially women who’ve had
children. Every woman who’s had a child cares about having a flat stomach.”
But the true measure of her success came in the form of a pair of green satin
cargo pants. Guff says, “They’re kinda hot, but my stomach shows when I
wear them. I have two kids, so I have no business flashing my midsection.”
But after 2 weeks on the plan, she decided to put them to the public test.
“All these people started complimenting me. A guy I went to college with
said, ‘Nice outfit.’ My husband said I looked great,” Guff says. “I’m going out
tonight and I’m wearing the pants again.”
Calorie burn #3: Basal metabolism. This one’s the biggie.
Your basal, or resting, metabolism refers to the calories you’re
burning when you’re doing nothing at all. Sleeping, watching TV,
sitting through yet another mind-numbing presentation on corporate
profit-and-loss statements—you’re burning calories all
the while. In fact, between 60 and 80 percent of your daily calories
are burned up just doing nothing. That’s because your body
is constantly in motion: Your heart is beating, your lungs are
breathing, and your cells are dividing, all the time, even when
you sleep.
Add up the percentages and you’ll see that the majority of your
daily calorie burn comes from physiological functions that you
don’t even think about—the thermic effect of eating and your basal
metabolism. While exercise is important, you need to realize that
the calories you burn off during exercise aren’t important. Let me
repeat that: Exercise is important, but the calories you burn off
during exercise aren’t important. That’s why the exercise program
we outline in the Abs Diet is designed to alter your basal metabolism,
turning your downtime into fat-burning time. And it’s why
the food choices we outline for you are designed to maximize the
number of calories you burn simply by eating and digesting. I
want you to forget about the calories you’re burning during those
30 minutes in the gym and concentrate on the calories you’re
burning the other 231⁄2 hours a day.
In effect, the Abs Diet is going to change your body into a fatfrying
dynamo by several means.

No comments:

Post a Comment