Everyone once and awhile I have a frustrated member who asks me why they are not seeing results. They explain to me that they are eating perfect, exercising the right amount, sleeping well through the night, not stressed, drink plenty of water throughout the day, and are still not able to make any progress with changing their body composition. They search high and low for the answers in hopes that someone will give them a secret technique or special answer to resolve their problem.
Here is my answer:
1. If you are training correctly (100% honest workout) and changing the prescription every couple of weeks, (which I highly recommend) and using the right amount of intensity to provoke progressive overload and not overtraining and are not seeing any results then I look at nutrition next.
2. If you are eating 100% clean and healthy with minimal pollutants and valueless foods (alcohol, simple sugars, etc.), eating 5-6 small meals a day loaded with good sources of nutrients, keeping protein intake up to match the daily required intake and are still not seeing results I then look at psychological well-being.
3. If you are stress free and are not struggling with anger, depression, anxiety or other disruptive behaviors, and you’re getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night, and still aren’t seeing results, then I look at anatomical / physiological systems of the body.
4. If you go to the doctor and have all of your organs tested, kidneys, liver, heart, intestines, stomach. And everything checks out to be normal, then I would look at the glands.
5. If your adrenal glands, thyroid gland, pituitary gland, testis are all normal and functioning fine, and you are still not seeing results then I would look at the hormones.
6. If your hormone levels, testosterone, growth hormone, leptin, ghrelin, cortisol and cholesterol levels are all normal and you still are not seeing results then I would look at your hereditary factors.
7. If disease, obesity, high cholesterol and / or diabetes runs in your family then you are at risk of developing these issues as well.
Overall, there are many factors to why a person doesn’t see results from exercising. Perhaps this is due to increasing an inflammatory effect to their systems when they were younger. Not everyone that I see has been exercising and eating right their whole life. There might have been years that they chronically abused their systems.
REMEMBER EXERCISE IS ONLY A METABOLIC BOOSTER. HOW HEALTHY AND SUFFICIENT YOUR METABOLISM IS, AND HOW WELL YOUR BODY BREAKS DOWN AND DELIVERS NUTRIENTS TO THE VITAL ORGANS AND MUSCLES IS DEPENDENT ON BIO-INDIVIDUALITY.
When we are young we can beat the hell out of our body systems and most of the time can recover with ease. But what this really means is that the immune system is superior during those years and can combat the damage. However, as we age some of the damage that has been done, the immune system can no longer defend against, eventually giving rise to the inflammatory processes. For example, if someone drank a lot of alcohol in their youth from 18-32 years old. They have damaged many of the cells of their liver. The immune system helps combat some of the ill effects keeping the person alive. But when the natural process of aging takes affect and the persons natural hormone levels and immune system levels drop then the damage that has always been prevalent finally takes over, leaving the person with a harder time of utilizing the full capacity of the system. Let’s face it folks! If you have 100,000 liver cells and damage 40,000 of them you lose 40% of liver function. As you get older this gets even worse, because as we age we naturally lose cells and they don’t regenerate (so is the process of life) leaving us with less ability to process nutrients. This process of nutrient degradation as we age means that the cells aren’t able to sustain their number and will ultimately reduce significantly.
In my book, diet EARTH I have written extensively on the aging process and the differences between acquired age and time dependent age. If you would like more information on this topic I strongly urge that you purchase my book, or if you have the book all ready, please refer back to that section.
Here are some key points that can affect your body composition as you age.
1. Eating disorders when you were younger from the age of 9-28 years old.
2. Smoking from age 9-100 years old.
3. Drinking alcohol from age 9-100 years old.
4. Chronically drinking coffee from age 18-100 years old.
5. Eating excessive amounts of junk food, high carbohydrate garbage from age 8-100 years old.
6. Taking anabolic steroids from age 18-28 years old.
7. Being stressed out, type-A personality from age 21-100 years old.
8. Smoking the weed from age 9-28 years old.
9. Taking prescription drugs from age 9-28 years old.
10. Excessive exercise addict from age 10-40 years old.
11. Chronic insomnia, or lack of sleep for many nights from age 21-60 years old.
12. Being an angry bastard from age 25-60 years old.
13. Being depressed from age 15-80 years old
14. Not eating enough protein from age 28-50
15. Not exercising regularly from age 15-40
These are just some of the most common reasons for damaging the regulatory systems of the body affecting body composition.
Like I always say what you eat today will affect your body composition 3 days from now. How you treat your body while you were young will affect how you will look when you are older.
For every year you remain in an inflammatory situation you add 5 years to your age. So, if a 20 year old person abuses their system for one full reproductive cycle (1 year) they have now increased their physiological age to 25 years old. The more years of abuse the older they become. A great example of this is the 25 year old alcoholic. An alcoholic at age 25 often times looks 30-35 years old. A forty year old alcoholic looks 55-60 years old. Smokers are the same. Look at a person who has been smoking for many years they look much older than they appear. Sometimes a forty year old smoker looks 60-70 years old. Over eaters also have the same aging effect. Those that are grossly over weight tend to look a lot older than they are. All this is because of the physiological damage they have inflicted upon themselves.
Staying fit and healthy during the younger developmental years are crucial for staying fit and having good body composition throughout life. This is because the cells and hormones are at their greatest concentrations during the maturation of the human body. If no damage is present the DNA can stay intact and protein synthesis is stabilized. If damage is present then irreversible damage to the cells develops, creating acquired aging which will influence time dependent aging.
DON’T GET FRUSTRATED!
For those of you who suffer from insufficient results. Realize this, even though you aren’t seeing a change in the scale when you weigh yourself, if you haven’t gained any more weight then you are making progress. If you were not exercising you would be much bigger than you are. So in essence you have slow down the aging process and have been able to maintain your body composition. You might never have the six pack that you always dream of, but you can keep the abdominals conditioned enough to help reduce back pain, and from collecting more fat around that area.
Don’t think for a minute that your efforts are fruitless. What you have done to the internal organs is tremendous. And your nervous system thanks you for keeping it charged throughout the day.
So, if you are doing everything possible and have checked every aspect of your body then it might be time to accept what cannot be changed and keep pursuing on to what can be done to help keep what you have.
Daryl Conant, M.Ed
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