I know you probably didn’t wake up this morning thinking you were going to jump out of bed look out the window at a bright sunny day and say, “Hello Red Deer! Today I am going to ruin my metabolism, put myself at risk of disease and try to gain body fat!”
Sadly though that is exactly what many people will do today.
If you are like most people, it’s never fun to hear the alarm clock first thing in the morning to get up and go to work.
And quite possibly, if you’re like most, you certainly don’t have time to prepare a proper lunch to take to work. This means you are either: skipping lunch (maybe breakfast also), consuming processed food in a restaurant or some convenience item you thought to grab, or eating an unbalanced snack of quick ready-to-eat whole foods.
In any of these situations you are creating metabolic turmoil.
Skipping meals is an easy way to destroy muscle mass in a hurry and ruin your metabolism.
The only thing worse is consuming heavily processed food that creates free radical havoc and leads to hyperinsulinemia (ongoing elevated blood glucose levels) the lovely precursor leading to Type 2 diabetes.
The second way you will ruin your metabolism today is by remaining dehydrated
(You have no doubt already been dehydrated for days or weeks).
Chances are you will make it even worse by drinking caffeinated beverages and engaging in stressful situations from work conflict to rush hour traffic. All combined has a pronounced effect on elevating cortisol (our primary stress hormone) and reducing our ability to produce the recovery hormones like estrogen/testosterone and growth hormone.
This in itself has direct links to conditions such as depression.
However, it is also easily avoidable by avoiding caffeine, artificial sweeteners and drinking more than 12 glasses of filtered water daily.
To top it off, you will get home and feel the need to unwind from it all.
You will be too tired to exercise (fatigue is a symptom of increased physiological stress and chronic dehydration).
As the evening winds down, most of us dread the coming of the next day so we procrastinate going to bed and turn to late night television or other forms of entertainment as a distraction from stress effectively inhibiting our ability to have a restful sleep.
I don’t recall the exact numbers, but the average person working full time accumulates hundreds of hours of sleep debt annually.
Missing sleep damages our circadian health, which combined with physiological stress has a further disastrous effect on hormone production.
Our body must progress through all the stages of sleep three times each night for optimal repair hormone release.
If you sleep less than seven hours and wake up at all during that time it’s safe to say you will experience the next day lagging behind. Unfortunately, this effect is cumulative, so you can begin paying the debt now or wait until you break down.
Thankfully, you can’t unravel your health in just one 24 hour period, and thankfully your body is so resilient that even with everything you have already put your body through with lifestyle changes much of the damage already done can be undone.
Although unknowingly you woke up this morning determined to ruin your metabolism, you have the simple tools to alter your course in history and begin to experience increased health and vitality.
Cabel McElderry is a local personal trainer and nutrition coach. For more information on fitness and nutrition, visit the Fitness F/X website at www.fitnessfx.com.