You never hear children complain about their metabolism. It seems that once you near 35, the word “metabolism” enters your vocabulary and it’s usually preceded by the word “low” or “slow”. You start saying things like “I can’t eat like I use to…” or “Now I just look at food and put on weight”. How many of us have ever used that phrase?
Why is it that metabolism and fat loss seems to get more difficult with age? Well, it seems that a certain hormone deficiency may be to blame…
Growth hormone – The Fat Loss Hormone Unmasked
Human Growth Hormone, HGH for short, is a substance produced by the body that is responsible for many important roles including growth and repair. One other important benefit of growth hormone is fat loss. No hormone appears to be more beneficial to the metabolism of fat. As we age, we seem to lose the ability to produce growth hormone and as these levels drop certain signs of aging begin to rear their ugly head. Such signs of aging include:
- Loss of muscle
- Slower metabolism
- More Fat
- Saggy skin
- Loss of bone
All of these signs of aging can be positively impacted if we can enhance the body’s ability to produce more growth hormone.
Phil Campbell, author of the book Ready, Set, Go!, suggests that the primary goal of exercise should be to promote growth hormone production.
How do we increase growth hormone naturally?
- Weight Training – Growth hormone’s primary role is to repair tissues. Through resistance training, we damage tissues in a good way. Weight training, especially when done in an intense manner, results in significant spikes in growth hormone. To get the most growth hormone benefit, shorten rest between sets to 60 seconds or less and use as many different muscles in your workout as possible.
- Interval Training – This is one of the fastest paths to spikes in growth hormone. By alternating between walks and sprints you will stimulate significant increases in growth hormone. A standard interval program consists of a warm up followed by alternating bouts of walking for 1 minute followed by 30 seconds of all-out sprinting.
- Prioritizing Intensity – The bottom line is the more intense your workouts the more growth hormone your body will secrete. Your days of prancing around the gym chatting with other gym rats are over. Put the ear buds in, turn on some motivating music and get to work!
- Decreasing Refined Carbohydrates – Whenever you eat carbohydrates you secrete insulin. Aside from insulin’s other negative effects on fat loss it also stunts growth hormone secretion! Try avoiding a high fat meal before working out and avoiding carbohydrates for 2 hours after working out (with the exception of low-sugar fruit).
- Sleep! Getting 7.5 hours of sleep will provide enough time for optimal growth hormone secretion and you get extra-credit for getting to sleep by midnight and extra bonus points for being asleep by 11 pm as this will dramatically increase growth hormone production!