People who have struggled with their weight for most of the lives oftentimes claim to have a slow or damaged metabolism. They believe that if they could just heal this aspect of their health, then weight loss was be a cinch and robust health would surely follow. Oh, if it were only that simple to figure out. The fact is the functions of our body, including our metabolism, have much less to do with the genetics we were born with and more to do with what we do to it. Years of poor dieting advice in the form of high-carb, low-fat, calorie-restricted diets have only made the problem worse, not better. And nutrition and exercise science expert Maria Emmerich understands this dynamic better than most professionals in her field of work. She realizes there are consequences to consuming sugar and other culprit carbohydrates while neglecting the all-important fats our bodies need to be healthy and she shares the right way to eat and why in her book Secrets to a Healthy Metabolism.
This topic hits close to home for Maria starting off in Chapter 1 where she discusses what it was like being an overweight teenager who had to overcome the poor nutritional advice she was given to shed the pounds and get herself healthy. That drive to learn the truth has propelled her to use that experience to now help others who are dealing with weight and health issues. In Chapter 2, she explains the function of your metabolism and quickly moves into what you can do to feed it properly in Chapter 3. Ideas like eating more protein and fiber, consuming healthy fats while ditching the sugar and HFCS which she says is "destroying your metabolism" (Maria got an e-mail from the Corn Refiner's Association lady, too!), forgoing the alcohol and fast food, and questioning the health claims about milk. The difference between what most people think is "healthy" eating and what Maria means by that phrase are worlds apart and you get to see the side-by-side comparison of what she's advocating on pages 75-77.
Of course, we are all unique with our metabolic issues and these various conditions need to be treated in specific ways. Maria details some of the most common problems she sees in clients in Chapter 4, including menopausal weight gain, food allergies and sensitivities, toxic livers, and the mistakes people make when they are told they have "high" cholesterol. In fact, she addresses the myths about cholesterol, namely that it is somehow bad for your body, that it is caused by eating too much fat and cholesterol, that it is the cause of heart disease, and that we need statin drugs to fix it. WRONG on all four counts and Maria does an outstanding job of slaying this dragon once and for all. She even shares what it takes to beat your cholesterol woes, including cutting down on sugar and flour consumption, consuming more whole foods, eating quality fats while nixing the trans fats, adding fiber to your diet, exercising, and taking CoQ10 supplements. You'll even learn about the health BENEFITS of consuming saturated fats and why low-fat foods should be avoided like the plague. It's all right there in the book!
Since she is an exercise expert as well, Maria makes the case for adding in a good mix of strength training, cardiovascular exercise with tips for burning more fat, circuit training and even yoga with its multitude of mind-body healing advantages in Chapter 5. She dives into a peculiar concept known as Nutrient Timing where you feed your body specific nutrients at specific times of the day to coordinate with your exercise schedule. It's pretty cutting-edge stuff and the details are clearly explained about how it works in Chapter 5. For women, there's even a Menstrual Cycle Timing that caters to that special time of the month when exercise is probably the last thing on your mind. But Maria argues women on their period NEED exercise to limit the pain from cramping and take their fat-burning to the next level. It's a revolutionary concept that you probably haven't heard much about anywhere else.
And then she turns to the subject of hormones explaining on the intricacies of how these can wreak havoc on your weight loss plans, including malfunctions with your thyroid, glucagon and insulin, human growth hormone, leptin, ghrelin, estrogen and progesterone, testosterone, DHEA, and cortisol. Easy-to-understand charts make navigating through these complex hormonal pathways rather easily in Chapter 6. The importance of sleep is covered in Chapter 7 followed quickly by a detailed section on supplementation in Chapter 8. Anything and everything you ever wanted to know about 14 of the most popular diet and health supplements today is covered, including Maria's aversion to prescription medications for people trying to lose weight. Chapter 9 is probably the most practical one where shopping lists, meal plans, and yummy recipes are introduced along with permissible substitutions for the high-carb, low-nutrient ingredients you might be accustomed to. There's a fantastic list of "common ingredients to beware of" on pages 257-259 that will make you think twice about what you are putting in your mouth. But never fear-Maria gives you plenty of recipes to nourish your metabolism and help put your fat-burning desire on the path for success.
At the end of Secrets To A Healthy Metabolism, you get one last word of encouragement from Maria:
"Instead of feeling overwhelmed, feel empowered by having the tools you need for a successful journey. No more deprivation diets of fat-free, man-made foods...real food, real satisfaction and a health metabolism."
And that in a nutshell is what this book is all about.