The Weight of It All 2

A look at the science behind losing & gaining weight, the importance of a rock solid support system, and Colorado’s fitness culture.

Losing weight doesn’t always come naturally. To some, pounds drop off easily, while others struggle round the clock. Does sleeping affect training? How do you lose fat and not muscle? To find the answers to these challenging questions, we reached out to a few of The Denver Athletic Club’s (DAC) top trainers.

The DAC Wellness Director Debbie Reiman says, “At The Denver Athletic Club, we give our members a fitness test. We talk about goals and what exercises and classes would work best for your specific goals and fitness level. We’re able to test your resting metabolic rate, which is the rate you burn calories at rest. This can give you an idea of how many calories you need at rest, with exercise and to lose weight. It is important to have an adequate amount of calories while exercising so you burn fat and not muscle. You can meet with a registered dietician for your specific nutrition needs.”

Carol Brown, a wellness specialist and personal trainer at The DAC explains, “Several factors must be addressed to gain muscle mass. To be clear, one can strengthen muscles without bulking up, but to increase muscle mass, one must exercise, eat and rest appropriately.”

Brown elaborates, “Eating right includes getting a minimum of three whole food meals at regular intervals with portions of protein, carbohydrate and fat appropriate for your size and activity level. Limit sugar, flour, processed (packaged) and chemical laden foods. Identifying and managing stress, getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep and limiting sitting throughout your day also enhance fat weight loss.”

The DAC’s Lead Personal Trainer Kyle Story says, “I don’t know if there is any one secret to success that can be applied to everyone; people just have different triggers. For me, personally, my catalyst is trusting the process. I have started from almost literally ground zero with health and fitness (maybe even negative), and through just staying the course, it has gotten me this far.”

A Culture Cure?

Colorado is touted as one of healthiest states in the U.S, according to a United Health survey. Could our great state contribute to our greater health as a whole?

Reiman says, “There are a variety of activities to participate in: hiking, skiing, mountain biking, not to mention all of the paths.”

It’s no secret, in Colorado, we are surrounded not only by picture-perfect weather and outdoor activities of every imaginable varying degree, but we’re also living among friends, family and co-workers who all opt-in for optimum health on a regular basis. When the weather is nice, it’s really two-fold: It motivates you to get out and explore with others, and it also keeps the desire to look your best at a premium. Let’s face it—baggy sweater/puffy jacket season in this state is short-lived.

“I get such a rush from accomplishing a new personal record or climbing over an obstacle—literally and figuratively—I previously thought impossible. It makes me believe there is nothing I can’t do. Success builds confidence, and confidence builds success,” says Story.

The racing community in Colorado is also as strong as ever. Competing is a natural fit for many Coloradans, who are not only in shape but also quite proud of it.

“If you can’t say you can absolutely achieve your goal 95 percent of the time, I would say it’s too big. Start slower, make sustainable lifestyle changes and soon you will gain some momentum. Celebrate your successes! Check in and reset goals regularly,” advises Brown.

When people truly value their lifestyle, not only does their quality of life shoot up but so does their attention to physical activity levels and proper food consumption.

She continues, “Consistency doesn’t require 100 percent adherence! Employ the 80/20 rule: Stick to your program 80 percent of the time and resume ASAP, without guilt, after a break. Surround yourself with positive, like-minded individuals—friends, family and professionals—who help you when you need it and celebrate your success!”

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