‘I am fascinated by the scientific concepts behind what I am doing’

Never stop learning: It’s Science!

Basal Metabolic Rate. Ketosis. Branch Chain Amino Acids. Visceral Fat. These are just four examples of the numerous new words and phrases that have entered my vocabulary since starting the Suwanee Get Fit Challenge.

Early on at Crux Fitness, I heard Trainer Dan LeBlanc say time and time again, “It’s science!” I also learned when asking Dan a question, beware, you may be in for more than you bargained for. A question like “how many calories should I eat per day?” (and a willingness to listen) triggers an unleashing of vital information from Dan … With every detailed and technical explanation ending with the exclamation: “It’s science!”

Dan has met his match with me. I’m never satisfied with just knowing “what.” I must know “how” and “why.” I think this way of critical thinking has always come natural to me, but it was certainly reinforced in my studies of rhetoric in college and by the Socratic method practiced in law school. To be a competent lawyer, I must continuously research and study, learning not only the law but the concepts of my unique cases (for example, I practice mental health law and have studied the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and treatises on psychopharmaceuticals). So when Dan says “It’s science,” CHALLENGE ACCEPTED. It’s study time!

I have taken it upon myself to study the scientific concepts that I’m employing in this challenge. I’ve purchased books, like “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance.” I’ve listened to podcasts of bodybuilders, nutritionists, and doctors. I’ve followed blogs dedicated to fat loss and muscle building. Warning: It’s a scary world out there! There are so many competing philosophies, theories, and studies when it comes to diet, health, and fitness. And then there are the down-right no good, snake oil peddlers putting out false claims backed by no proof or science.

Thankfully I have an expert guiding me. Dan has kept me focused on what I actually need to learn. So, I’ve learned that my basal metabolic rate is the rate at which my body burns calories through normal body processes, not including exercise. I’ve learned that a rising BMR is an indicator of muscle building. I’ve learned that ketosis is a metabolic state in which the body is burning fat as energy (via ketones), rather than carbohydrates (i.e., glucose). I’ve learned that a number of micronutrients like Branch Chain Amino Acids can affect how the body builds muscle. I’ve learned that visceral fat is a measure of how much fat surrounds the organs in the body, and can be a measure of overall health.

I am fascinated by the scientific concepts behind what I am doing to burn fat through diet and exercise. I didn’t come into this Challenge thinking, “I’ll read books, that’ll help burn the fat!” But now six weeks in, I am convinced that knowing the science behind the concepts I’m employing to get fit will be the most important thing I take away from this Challenge. When this Challenge comes to end, I may not have the City of Suwanee to hold me accountable, but I will never think about health, fitness, performance or food the same way. After all, it’s science!