Nutrition, Muscles and basal metabolic rate

Actually, that ‘fat’ we really hate is the main reason why the human specie is still on Earth.

Fat allowed us to survive two ice ages and very long dry seasons as well as hunger, but now in our era it is killing us. Our body’s ability to store fat granted us survival for 150.000 generations. Only in the last four, in which food is always available and in exaggerated quantities, but our brain seems to ignore it.

Fat or adipose tissue are an extraordinary energy storage, if we think that 1 Kg of fat is 7000 calories. Which are in our body ready for future usage and it doesn’t even etch on the basal metabolic rate energy usage.

Basal Metabolic rate is, in short, is what our body consumes at rest, only to live. A young and big man needs around 1600-3200 calories a day (70/140 calories an hour). Muscles burn calories, while fat doesn’t.

Our specie didn’t extinct for hunger in 200 thousand years and our ancestors were not as active as we think. The work of the anthropologists observed that prehistoric men did less than modern men. In Australia, the aboriginals alternate between the modern world and their traditional life in which they are less active. Therefore, it is scientifically proven that physical activity is not enough to not store fat.

Let’s move to workouts and how false is the belief that ‘If I go to the gym, then I can go out and eat pizza with no regrets’. They are fooling you around, it’s false! Now we will see why 1 hour of gym is useless and often helps to put on more fat storage rather than lose it.

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In 1 hour of workout you use around 300 calories; with a pizza you take in 700 calories, but be careful the 300 calories used include basal metabolic rate, that means that if you didn’t go to the gym you would have burned 70/140 in an hour anyway, therefore, you only burned less than 230. If after your pizza you have a small dessert, then it’s another 600 calories and since you went to the gym maybe you will have pizza the next day as well, because “you earned it”, but it is not true, you get fat!

In Europe, there is the cultural habit of multiple servings and this is a tragedy for health and for fat storage control, try to eat only 1 plate and then wait 20 minutes, the hunger is gone. Know that there is a 1000 calories difference between being satisfied and being full and, apparently, we need another 2000/3000 calories to get from full to ‘sick’. If you go eat at your mom’s and eat until you feel sick, you an easily introduce 4000 calories. When this happens, we go for a jog the day after to ‘burn calories’. But to burn this much calories we would need 27 hour of workout! The problem is not that we don’t burn enough calories, but is that we throw in too much. Moreover, even if absurdly we would run for 27 hours, we would not burn only fat but also other tissues, including muscles and this is another big problem; we will see why later. In short, aerobic workout like jogging/running and other creative activities invented in western countries to make you spend money and time at the gym, if you do it only 1 hour a day it doesn’t burn much calories like we think, but often helps to get fat because it puts you in mental condition to go eat the famous pizza and dessert or a tasty dinner at the restaurant.

Why does it work for young people? Why when we were younger we could eat anything after a workout and we were always in good shape? Something changed over 20 years. The answer is simple: MUSCLES! Muscular structure consumes a lot of calories also at rest. The main difference for most adults is that they have less muscular mass. After 30 years old a natural loss of muscular mass occurs, and physical activity becomes harder therefore the calories used for basal metabolic rate is less high. Another thing that helps a lot is to sleep more. Ellington Darden has recently discovered that adding hours of sleep is essential for weight loss; in his research he found out that subjects who slept less didn’t lose fat as easy as the ones who slept enough and were well rested.

A trip to Thailand can become more fun and it can help to improve your physical and mental shape, as well as sportive performance. The complete training holiday center, oriented to Thai Boxing, has recently open. At 7 Muay Thai in Rayong province, a specific program to burn excess fat has been studied, which is very effective for 3 reasons:

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  • Intense physical activity, the beach and the pool, reactivate the muscular mass and the calories burnt by the basal metabolic rate, also when you are not working out.

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  • The studied meal plan with no salt, sugar or additives like MSG, helps to control the calories intake
  • Heat helps the liquid flow, sweating and drinking a lot of water during the day and during training.
  • Feeling tired from training and from the beach, help to relax and to sleep longer hours.

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