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Hunger, Energy/Emotions & Cravings

Dr. Geoff Lecovin’s Blog

Is Your HEC In Check?

This week’s Blog was adapted from Mike Mutzel’s High Intensity Health and Jade Teta’s new book, Lose Weight Here (See References/Resources)

HEC is the acronym for Hunger, Energy/Emotions and Cravings.  You can use these biofeedback signals to assess if your diet, exercise and lifestyle habits are balanced.

If your HEC is in check, it’s a good indication that you are primed for achieving your weight loss goals and optimum health.

Achieving this balance is not a “one size fits all” scenario. If it were, then the conventional approach to weight loss that looks at your body like a bank account (i.e. calories in/calories out) would be a lot more effective.

It is human nature to want  “black and white” answers in simplistic terms. Eat this, exercise like that, and take these supplements. The problem is that what works for you may not work for me and vice-versa.

In addition, these biases, which we have been conditioned to accept as fact, are oversimplifications that ignore some of the fundamental physiological, biochemical and metabolic processes in our bodies.

The fact remains that more than one-third (34.9% or 78.6 million) of U.S. adults are obese and these numbers are expected to increase. If what the experts say we need to be doing worked, the numbers would be going the other way.

The road to weight loss, optimum health and optimum performance  is determined by one’s metabolic individuality (your specific “signature” needs based on epigenetics).

The perfect diet, exercise plan, and lifestyle factors are the ones that work for you; these are usually created over time.

To determine your specific needs (i.e. diet, exercise, sleep, supplements, etc) you will  need to perform an experiment (N=1; i.e. You). This means trial and error. Use what works and discard what doesn’t.  To do this you need to start by letting go of your biases (e.g. Low carb/high fat, Paleo, low fat/high carb, Intermittent Fasting, etc) and listen to you body’s biofeedback signals.

How do you feel when you eat a certain diet or exercise in a certain way?

  • Is your HEC in check?
  • Is your performance optimum?
  • Is your body composition where you want it to be?
  • Does it improve your blood labs?

If the answers to one or more of these question is no, then you will need to adjust the macronutrient profile (carbohydrate, proteins and fats) in your diet as well as the type of exercise (resistance training, aerobic conditioning, flexibility etc) you are doing (or not doing).

The latest and greatest diet fad’s out there claiming to be the “magic bullet’ are generally written by people who found something that worked for THEM and they are excited about it so want to share it with YOU.  The problem is, what works for THEM may not work for YOU.

We all have unique metabolic ways of functioning. To quote Bruce Lee, one should:

  • Absorb what is useful for you
  • Discard what is not useful for you
  • Add what is uniquely your own

Here are some basic guidelines to start with:

  • Eat lean protein, fibrous and watery foods (vegetables and low sugar fruits)
  • Lift weights to build muscle and improve body composition. Muscle is an endocrine organ that releases myokines. These signaling molecules tell the body what to do, such as increase glucose uptake and improve fat breakdown. Myokines have favorable effects on metabolic disorders, such as  type 2 diabetes and obesity. Numerous studies on myokines suggest that they offer a potential treatment option for preventing metabolic diseases.
  • Focus cardio on HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
  • Move often throughout the day
  • Incorporate restorative yoga or meditation to reduce stress hormones

For more information, visit Dr. Geoff Lecovin.