Online physique coach and fitness experts, Sanne Leenman and Menno Henselmans, were featured in the Pune Mirror. An excerpt of the published article:
It’s a common misconception that your metabolic rate is responsible for weight gain or loss and most use this as an excuse to not head out to exercise or eat sensibly. Mirror spoke to online physique coach from Netherlands, Menno Henselmans, and nutrition coach, Sanne Leenman, who were in the city recently for a seminar on fitness and nutrition. Organised by the Pune-based Institute of Nutrition and Fitness Sciences (INFS), the seminar focussed on metabolism among other topics. Henselmans, who has authored studies on the subject, and Leenman, who has a huge following for her online meal plans, dispel some popular myths around metabolism.
HOW METABOLISM AFFECTS BODY MASS
There’s a lot of confusion around varying levels of metabolic rates that lead to higher or lower fat burning properties. “There is no evidence that low metabolism leads to weight gain. An individual’s metabolic rate doesn’t have nearly as much variation on an average,” says Henselmans, “The main issue is energy balance and the net energy storage or loss in the body.” When the energy input or intake of calories is higher than the output or energy expended, it naturally leads to weight gain. And since obesity disrupts the hormone system in the body, it could affect thyroid levels, which control the body’s metabolism.
THYROID AND WEIGHT GAIN
Lower thyroid levels, especially T3 levels, affect your metabolic rate. Those with hypothyroidism have a lower metabolic rate, but it is another myth that this causes a significant weight gain. “The lower your thyroid levels, the lower your appetite,” says Leenman.
Sometimes, those who want to lose weight even go as far as taking thyroid hormones to increase their metabolism. “This messes up your natural hormone system and your appetite will increase with your thyroid levels increasing, so that still balances out your energy equilibrium if you eat more than what you’re supposed to,” says Leenman, who has worked with hypothyroid patients to achieve successful weight loss.
There is also no clinical proof to suggest that more women are prone to thyroid issues than men. But there’s good news. “Generally women have better metabolic rates, better insulin sensitivity, lower issues with fat intake,” says Henselmans, “So when women consume a high fat meal, it doesn’t suppress insulin sensitivity or induce insulin resistance as much as it does in men.”
Compared to men, women also find that fat is more satiating, but it’s important to note that fat is really good for the female hormone production. Women benefit from fat, especially when they’re really lean, because it keeps their menstrual cycle intact. “Generally, women respond better in terms of both adherence and physical change on slightly higher fat diets than men do,” adds Henselmans.
DIET AND METABOLIC DAMAGE
It’s proven that dieting does not decrease your metabolic rate. “My research team offered a paper on metabolic damage because the theory that a lot of people have is that if you diet, you damage your metabolism and that’s why afterwards, you get fat because you have lower energy expenditure.
Read full article here.
Menno Henselmans is on the Board of Advisors for INFS and actively contributes in insuring its course content is updated with the latest findings in research in Nutrition and Fitness. If you are interested in a career in fitness or want to update your knowledge, explore INFS’s comprehensive courses in Fitness and Nutrition here.