JED WIGHTMAN PERFORMANCE/SPORTS NUTRITIONIST ADVANTAGE FITNESS LTD
This article has been written for Canadian Physique Alliance – May/June 2021 Edition
Over the 18 years of my career, I’ve come through many different scenarios and experiences of trying to help and teach people how to create healthier, stronger, more performance and effective bodies. From body composition, maintain and build muscle, burn fat, have a better immune system, reliable energy, Performance results, have better sex, libido, etc.
After all this time, and the vast array of clients from the elderly to professional athletes and all in between I’ve started to look at it like this. It’s really about finding and defining our genetic triggers, a sort of switch if you will. I live this every day, it is my love passion and purpose to help those I work with and ultimately I believe in changing the world for the better one person at a time.
Of course, people may choose to do it all or not. For me, a healthier, stronger, better performing and reliable mind and body is the best way to live. Now I’m not saying it’s the only way to live. But I am saying why wouldn’t we try to live our healthiest and most optimal life inside and out of our body if possible.
So for our brains and bodies to have that potential we need nutritional optimization on all levels. This said, what it comes down to really is having to know how to work with our body‘s natural hormone balance as a foundation, insulin being number one. We have to get to the point where our body recognizes a metabolic reset. Once recognized this will ultimately give the body the ability to quickly tap into stored fat as a consistent and reliable energy source, not encouraging the body to stay on the ever-present glucose drip addiction always searching for more blood sugar energy from carbohydrate resources. This really puts us in a place of always relying on sugar sugars and sugars. Ergo stimulating insulin and then lowering blood sugar. While that blood sugar is lowering our insulin is taking the energy that we don’t have room to immediately use (more muscle more efficient carb use, less muscle less efficient) and then storing it in reserves for later as fat.
Yes, our bodies are very efficient at this. It’s called a biological incentive of evolution for survival necessity. Especially if we have been a carbohydrate feeding machine from the time that we were babies through our youth and adulthood. Our brain wants those sugars and it will do what it can to get them. In the absence of that blood sugar, counter-regulatory hormones glucagon and cortisol release to find sugars for the brain to do this by turning muscle into that sugar-like available energy.
If we can get the body past that catabolism by keeping our bodies fed with protein, keeping those sugars out of our body will ultimately and eventually tap into stored fat as its new reliable energy source.
Ketosis and Metabolic Rate
Now if we can program the body to extract efficient energy from what is more available at the time in the body, fat, then we have a much more cued up and on point metabolic system.
There is one efficient, effective and rather quick way that we can achieve this, and in my professional opinion, it comes first before all else. It is the process of getting into ketosis. It is important to mention that proper intermittent fasting can play a very necessary part in this also.
Remember we are a carbohydrate feeding machine and if we never truly deplete our body of carbohydrates/glycogen, our bodies are always going to look for carbohydrates to burn first.
The unused sugars will store as fat. We store carbohydrates in our liver and muscle and fat tissue and if we truly never burn that out, we never get into an optimal fat-burning state.
So by triggering the body‘s production of ketones, we get into an optimal fat-burning state, and the way to do that is a complete state of glucose deprivation, dropping starch and sugary carbs. So from this, we are creating insulin sensitivity, lipolysis at its most efficient form, and we are resetting the body’s nutrient energy resourcing mechanism. This makes it much easier to switch back-and-forth between energy sources that are available as opposed to taking several days up to weeks in some cases for you to get out of the carbohydrate/glycogen burning mode and tap into stored fats. The highest state of fat burning comes from ultimate glycogen depletion.
When we are in ketosis and in an efficient energy resource and state, a body can be fat burning all week. I then can give somebody a high carb cheat meal and that can stimulate thyroid production by the release of insulin, increasing metabolism and then within a matter of hours because of how efficient the body is working with energy resourcing, the body goes back into a state of high-fat fuel use “ketosis”.
When this ketogenic state occurs it truly is a metabolic marvel. We are so used to eating carbs to meet energy levels, blood sugar stable as not to burn muscle to keep metabolism running etc. We are always on that 2 to 3-hour meal clock. Now that’s great because we want to continue to feed our body, especially protein, but protein itself does not give us a lot of energy right away. The body is always searching for energy from carbs and as our blood sugars go low we get pretty despondent, grumpy and out of sorts. Most specifically because our brain is eating a ton of milligrams per minute of glucose and without that available, there is an energy disconnect. By being in ketosis our neurological and our physiological energy is steady because we are feeding our brain a reliable source of steady stream energy from fats that are being covered and burned. Our body is fed and our energy in our blood is always stable and we’re not lowering it constantly by the insulin mechanism being triggered and trying to store the sugars that are not there.
There are very important specifics that we must follow, like not eating too much protein so we avoid gluconeogenesis which is the conversion of amino acids to sugars. Yet still, we are still eating enough protein so that we stay in an anti-catabolic state. Making sure we have enough essential fats, in the ratio necessary for a proper healthy immune system and metabolic stimulus. As well as anti-inflammatory pro and negative prostaglandin production and removal, insoluble fiber for regularity and lots of greens for our vitamins and micronutrients.
So, given that you if do this process correctly the results are thorough and effective, I feel that this is truly phenomenal.
Ultimately then when we are reintroduced to carbohydrate cycling, the body’s robust sensitivity to insulin, uses that glucose energy very effectively and our metabolism burns off any of the excesses because our body is primed for switching between fuel resources very effectively. Now the result, we have increased metabolism and our anabolism and fat-burning agenda in our body are drastically heightened.
If you will, we are in a performance state of energy recovery, mental focus, and organ health. As I mentioned earlier, by doing this properly we can create and have better body composition, maintain and build muscle, burn fat, have a better immune system, reliable energy, have better performance results, have better sex, libido, etc., and the coolest thing is as our bodies change and we continue to approach food with a scientific strategy such as metabolic resetting, we can always see more elite results. We just have to be focused and disciplined to the path and the program to see it come to fruition.
Our bodies are such incredible tools we have this profound ability within ourselves. By being able to identify genetic switches, turn them on and off and optimize our body’s capacity for all it has available. In my opinion, this truly is one of the most amazing parts of this journey that is our life.