Revving Up Metabolism, Dr. Oz Offers Diet and Exercise Advice
Recognizing that midlife weight gain is partially due to a slowing metabolism, Dr. Mehmet Oz today offered simple diet and exercise advice for kicking in your body’s fat-burning potential.
You’ve heard the term, but do you really know what metabolism is? A person’s basal metabolic rate (BMR) refers to the number of calories the body burns while at rest. The body needs calories to perform daily functions such as breathing, pumping blood and maintaining body temperature. The higher the BMR, the more calories the individual burns without lifting a finger.
Our metabolism is at its peak during our childhood years, but once we reach 20 it gradually slows as we age – by about 2% each year. Metabolism is influenced by a lot of factors as well, such as gender, genetics, hormones, and body fat percentage, so each individual has a different metabolic rate. Some factors are not modifiable, but check out Dr. Oz’s list of metabolism-boosting tips and see if you can make changes to kick your body into high gear.
Daily Diet Plan
Your first step when planning a daily diet is to best understand how many calories it takes to fuel your body. Most of us eat much more than we need and don’t realize it. Your metabolic rate can be measured by gas analysis through either direct or indirect calorimetry, but most of us do not have access to this technology. So we must rely on an equation that estimates BMR. The Harris-Benedict equation is used by most dietitians to estimate the number of calories needed in a day based on height, current weight, gender, age, and physical activity level.
BMR for men = 66 + (6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) – ( 6.76 x age in years )
BMR for women = 655 + (4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) – ( 4.7 x age in years )
Once you know your BMR, use the following physical activity factor to determine your total daily calorie needs:
• If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.2
• If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.375
• If you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.55
• If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.725
• If you are extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.9
Dr. Oz metabolism advice begins with a booster known as “The Calorie Confusion Plan.” Alternating high calorie days with low calorie days can ignite metabolism. Dr. James B Johnson MD, author of “The Alternate-Day Diet” says that this achieves an overall reduced calorie diet and is based on animal studies which indicate that the diet pattern can turn on the “skinny” gene.
Remember that any diet you adopt should include lean protein sources such as egg whites, fish and seafood, turkey breast, and nonfat cottage cheese. High-fat proteins will cause the body to store fat. Not eating enough vegetables is another common mistake made my many which leads to a craving for the wrong foods and overeating. Aim for at least 3-5 servings each day. Lastly, ensure your diet includes adequate fiber – at least 25 to 30 grams through whole grains, fruits and vegetables. This is key to staying full and keeping blood sugar in check.
Drinking plenty of water is also essential, so Dr. Oz offers an easy trick to ensure we are getting enough. Slip 5 rubber bands on your wrist every morning. Each rubber band represents a 16-ounce glass of water. For every glass you drink, remove 1 rubber band until you’ve gone through all five. A recent study showed that your metabolic rate jumps within 10 minutes of drinking ice-cold water, and it stays up for an additional half-hour after you drink it. Drinking that much cold water could help you shed an additional 5 pounds in a year!
If you need a break from water, try drinking Oolong tea. The combination of caffeine and antioxidants has been shown to increase post-drinking caloric burn by about 5% for an hour. Also, the tea may help inhibit the absorption of some fat consumed at meals.
You can also make Dr. Oz’s “Rocket Fuel” beverages at home. The first, called “Belly Blast Hot Shot” is rich in vitamin C and limonene. Combine 2 tablespoons of tomato juice with a half-teaspoon of horseradish, then add a dash of hot sauce and a squeeze of lime. The “Spicy Red Icey” is an alcoholic beverage using a spicy red wine like Rioja or Malbec and adding ice chips and a bit of mint. Adding ice chips to your red wine forces your body to burn calories, as it has to use its own energy to warm the liquid to body temperature. The mint will add an interesting kick, and its scent has been shown to stave off those late-night hunger cravings
Special Foods and Dietary Supplements
Some special foods you may want to include are spicy wasabi peas and organic raw cacao. The heat from the wasabi peas stimulates your body’s metabolic engine, while their fiber helps keep you full. Cacao, the starter ingredient for all chocolate, is a rich source of magnesium which helps metabolism by reducing the negative impact of stress on the body. Also, cacao contains theobromine and anandamide – theobromine is a natural stimulant and anandamide is an endorphin. Together, these nutrients stimulate the body internally to get your engines revving for more metabolic burn.
Certain spices – those that contain vanadium - may also help boost metabolism. These include black pepper, dill seeds, and parsley. Vanadium may help control blood sugar spikes and boost muscle mass to burn additional calories.
For increasing metabolism, Dr. Oz recommends spirulina, a dehydrated blue-green algae packed with protein. Spirulina is available in bar, cookie, chip and powdered form for a delicious, healthy snack any time of day. Another type of edible sea weed found in supplement form contains fucoxanthin which may help burn stubborn belly fat. Oz recommends Xanthigen, which combines fucoxanthin and pomegranate seed oil.
Five other supplements Dr. Oz presents as additional options for fat-burning include:
• Sacha Inchi is derived from a nut grown in the Andes Mountains and rainforests of Peru. It’s loaded with vitamin E, omega-3s, and anti-inflammatories that attack belly fat. It is available online or at health food stores; Dr Oz recommends 600 mg once a day.
• L-arginine, when combined with exercise, may boost and restore the hormonal balance that promotes lean muscle mass. Take 2000 mg 3 times a day.
• L-carnitine, an amino acid found in meat, acts as a shuttle, pulling fat into the cell to be used as fuel. 500 mg twice a day at breakfast and lunch is recommended.
• Rasberry Ketones improves fat-burning capacity, helps keep you full, and controls cravings. Aim for 100 mg before lunch and again at dinner.
• White Kidney Bean Extract is a carb blocker that may also work to keep blood sugar balanced. A goal is 300 to 500 mg two times a day with meals.
One last word of advice on supplements – these are not magic bullets, and they won’t erase bad eating habits or lack of exercise. Taking the right supplements along with a clean, lean diet and regular daily exercise is what brings about the best results.
Also, if you have a chronic health condition, such as diabetes or heart disease, be sure to detail your nutritional supplement use with your doctor –especially if you are on other medications. Many people forget that dietary supplements can interfere or cause changes in the way your medication works, so they must be disclosed for safety reasons.
Last, but Most Definitely Not Least – Exercise
We eat seven days a week so we need to move seven days a week for at least one hour a day. Get yourself a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps per day. Weight lifting is also an essential component, as it builds up muscle we lose gradually over time. Muscle burns calories, even while we are asleep. Also, lifting weights will tighten and tone giving you a leaner body even if you don’t lose pounds on the scale. Dr. Oz recommends a circuit style workout that combines cardiovascular exercise with weight training to burn fat and build muscle.
Don’t forget to stretch; flexibility is a key component of fitness. The Super Power Stretch may also help boost metabolism. Stand with your feet and legs together, then bend your knees like you’re sitting in a chair. Keeping your chest lifted, twist to your right, using your left elbow on your right knee as an anchor. Hold the position for 20 seconds, then twist to the other side and do the same.