USSD FIT: How to Feast without Gaining Fat- 3 Metabolism Myths from a Master

USSD FIT: How to Feast without Gaining Fat- 3 Metabolism Myths from a Master

Written with Master Deric Terrell

Have you ended your summer with your ‘winter body’ ready? Does the thought of delicious holiday fare fill you with fear? Has your mental bargaining convinced you to wait to resolve your weight loss goals until the New Year?

The truth is that when people put off their plans to eat ‘healthy’ until after the holidays, they actually begin their New Year with an extra 10 to 15 lb. weight gain to add to their goals!

Here are three Metabolism Myths from a Master plus ways to enjoy your holiday meals without putting on the pounds!

1. MYTH: “I am older so my metabolism is slower”

TRUTH: Our metabolism does not slow down, we do! 

As we age, we become less active.  As a result, our bodies are not utilizing the calories we consume for energy, therefore, it gets stored as fat. Lean muscle also depletes, causing a reduction in your body’s ability to burn calories.

HOLIDAY HELP: Keep active!

If you already have an established exercise plan, don’t use the holidays as an excuse to slow down! You may have to adjust your schedule a bit; getting up earlier for the month, scheduling a class that you can’t miss, etc. but keep moving.  If you don’t have an exercise plan, get started by walking.  Most malls have a ‘Walking Path’ with the distance you traveled along the way. Plan your holiday shopping around that path or once done, take an additional half an hour to complete one circuit.  Also, we all know that walking instead of laying down after a big meal is not only good for metabolism, but digestion as well. Make an after dinner walk with the family part of your holiday tradition!

Martial Arts Fitness Fact: A person can burn 390 – 955 calories during 30 mins of Martial Arts. Click To Tweet

2. MYTH: “I will skip meals, save my calories for dinner and maintain my metabolism”

TRUTH: Eating less to ‘save calories’ throughout the day depletes lean muscle.

If you think you can save your allotted calorie intake for the big holiday dinner, you’re wrong! When we don’t eat throughout the day, there is no ‘fuel’ to build lean muscle and it begins to deplete. It does not ‘wait’ until dinner time. The loss of lean muscle reduces the amount of calories your body burns.  Calories distributed throughout the day will help you lose more weight than not eating and saving it for dinner feasting.

Holiday Help: Eat more!

It is important to note that despite the excitement you may have felt reading the above; it does not translate into ‘eat more cookies!” Eating more frequently with the right food choices throughout the day will help build and sustain lean muscle.  Lean muscle is what maintains good metabolism. Also, eating small meals and snacks will keep you satisfied and tame the temptation to overdo it at dinner.  Starvation and eating less will only be a temporary fix; in the long run you will be doing more harm than good.

Martial Arts Fitness Fact: Martial Arts builds lean muscle in the torso, arms & legs. Click To Tweet

3. MYTH: Some People Have Better Metabolism than Others

TRUTH: Though everyone’s metabolism can ‘vary’, some individuals are not ‘naturally’ better than others

This is a ‘myth’ that has sparked many a ‘weighted’ debate. However, before you feel the need to wave a finger at ‘the lucky ones’, find out what their lifestyle is like.  Do they have an active job or one that is sedentary? Do they eat out frequently?  Do they eat often? Do they have healthy lifestyle habits? Also, if there are hormonal or other ‘issues’ that may affect your body’s ability to metabolize food, check with your physician and come up with a plan that will work best for you.  You are not ‘resigned’ to ‘slower metabolism’ than others; you can change it!

HOLIDAY HELP: Remember the 80/20 Rule!

If you are unclear of any ‘challenges’ your body may have to metabolize food before the holidays, remember the 80/20 rule.  80 percent nutrition and 20 percent exercise. This should become your ‘standard’ from now on.  Focus 80% on the food choices you make.  Go with sweet potatoes instead of mashed. Avoid drowning everything in gravy.  Skip the bread. Stick with wheat or vegetable pastas and brown rice, instead of white.  Dark chocolate is better than butter cookies.  Add seltzer to your wine and make it a spritzer; cutting alcohol and sugar in half.

Martial Arts Fitness fact: Class value-lose weight, build muscle, & learn life-saving skills! Click To Tweet

Regardless of some of the many metabolisms myths out there, remember, you can still feel like you are enjoying the festivities without adding the fat! 

For more information on metabolism, health and how an activity like taking martial arts classes can burn fat while having fun; go to or contact Master Terrell at!

Deric Terrell is a Black belt Master in the art of Shaolin Kempo and has been in practice for over 20 years. He is presently the Chief Instructor/Owner of USSD Oceanside, the Bridge2base Academy Instructor and head of USSD Fit; where martial arts masters metabolism! 

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