• Jeff Black

Metabolic Syndrome - WTF is it?!?!?! Part 1 Of A Lot

Updated: Feb 26, 2020

Metabolic Syndrome – It is something we all need to know and understand because it is plaguing our rapidly evolving society more and more each day. According to the Mayo Clinic’s website metabolic syndrome is defined as:


A cluster of conditions that occur together, increasing your risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. These conditions include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels. Having just one of these conditions doesn't mean you have metabolic syndrome. But it does mean you have a greater risk of serious disease. And if you develop more of these conditions, your risk of complications, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, rises even higher. Metabolic syndrome is increasingly common, and up to one-third of U.S. adults have it. If you have metabolic syndrome or any of its components, aggressive lifestyle changes can delay or even prevent the development of serious health problems”


Now that you know that, I want to bring a few hot trendy things said in the fitness industry that is applied to describe the above; Starvation mode, weight loss resistance, adrenal fatigue, and insulin resistance to name a few. Basically this stuff is something you cannot sleep in a wrap to rid yourself of – you need a lifestyle change to get back to healthy.


All of us have heard from the fitness industry or anyone we know who has dropped some weight about oh that is a myth, but this right here works. Some are highly educated (I am talking to you Dr. Oz) and some are not. Some put out truthful and fact-based stuff, while others find one study and sell you the next great thing. All the talk, all the videos, all the social media is enough to even make my mind spin. It sort of reminds me of a saying by Osho, a cool philosopher: "The less people know, the more stubbornly they know it.”


On the other hand, if you're someone who has struggled with lack of motivation, low libido, overtraining, illness, auto-immune disorders, constantly stressed, no energy, brain fog, digestion issues, constant bloating, terrible sleep and/or feel you've done all the right things but can no longer respond to diet and training the same way, then this info is for you.

When I work with my clients I refer to the situation they are in as starvation mode, because 95% of the clients I train are lifestyle and general population clients. For this reason, I tend to use words that stick with them to help them grasp what is going on. In essence, the body really is starved of vital micronutrients needed to run your body at a healthy rate, day in and day out, let alone optimal. Your body is starved of these micronutrients to properly fund their cells daily also can help you age faster, while also increasing your chance of even bigger obstacles that could befall you down the road by not taking care of your health.


The funny thing is when you see what starvation mode really is, you'll likely get what we're talking about very quickly. I've found that confusion on these topics usually comes from a lack of an organizing framework to understand things.


Now before I get into starvation mode, I want to say that this article has a few different pieces to it, that I will be covering in weeks ahead. There are going to be multiple blogs/articles for all this to make sense when you step back and look at it as the big picture it is.

In reality, starvation mode is arguably the most accepted occurrence in all of the dieting research. But researchers don't call it "starvation mode," they call it adaptive thermogenesis. I call it the Law of Metabolic Compensation. I refer to it as a law because it's a reliable and predictable phenomenon that occurs in any dieting scenario. It is the degree that varies.


You can think of this as a natural protective mechanism honed by the metabolism over millions of years. It's what kept your ancestor from starving when their next meal was never a guarantee. Whether you're a lean bodybuilder, an elite athlete, or your average Jane or Joe trying to lose some weight, you will be impacted by the metabolic compensation of the body.

You can think of this as a natural protective mechanism honed by the metabolism over millions of years. It's what kept your ancestors from starving when their next meal was never a guarantee. Whether you're a lean bodybuilder, an elite athlete, or your average Jane or Joe trying to lose some weight, you will be impacted by the metabolic compensation of the body.


Now you're a few weeks or so in and you start feeling hunger, your energy falls, and you find yourself craving salty, fatty and sweet foods. You might have uncomfortable bloating after meals. Your bowels might be off and even your sleep quality might be slowly dwindling like the bright flame that was your motivation when you started this journey. What these biofeedbacks are is a sign the body is starting to move into metabolic compensation where it is downshifting hormones and other body processes due to the stress you are exerting on your body. A key point to remember and take away always is that your body perceives eating a caloric deficit and working out as stressors. When these signs start appearing I want you to think of this as Starvation Mode Level 1.


Because of this compensation, you notice that your fat loss, muscle gain, and scale weight begins to slow down. Perhaps it halts altogether. And if you're one of those people that has a very pronounced metabolic decline you may notice you even start gaining weight. Perhaps best of all when you arrive here, the hunger, energy, and craving issue keep getting worse.

But you're not playing games. You pride yourself on your iron will and rock-solid work ethic. You double your efforts by cutting calories further and ramping up your gym time. Nice. Now you're getting some movement again. Another pound or two down. But it doesn't last. A few weeks later and you're stuck again. This time the hunger and cravings are worse, but even better your energy is in the toilet. around 80% of them suffering from something known as, “leaky gut.”


And next week for my blog, I will go over level 2 and what all cool things that involve. Excited? I am too. :)

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