Cholesterol is a part of fat which has a bad Rep. Actually it’s an essential building block for the cell membranes. Every cell in our body needs this in order to function. Aside from this, Cholesterol has a part in the creation of multiple hormones.
Cholesterol is also a precursor to Vitamin D which helps with the recovery of muscle tissue, regulation of inflammation and it supports the immune system …. so it’s pretty essential for us.
- In the US, 73.5 million adults suffer from high “bad” LDL levels (30.1%)
- 1 out of 3 has their situation under control, usually with the use of medication
- People with high cholesterol have around 50% more chance of heart disease.
The Good, the Bad, The Ugly
We might need to acknowledge the good part of Cholesterol, not just the bad. Structurally, cholesterol is a fat particle bound to proteins and transported through the body. There are multiple kinds of these “transport wagons” but we’ll limit ourselves to the well-known LDL and HDL.
LDL is the so-called “Bad Guy“. It transports cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body. A low amount of LDL is needed to help repair tissue damage but these parts can get “Stuck” in the arteries and have negative effects, such as high blood pressure and blockages, eventually increasing the risk of stroke.
HDL is the cholesterol “good guy“. It takes LDL away from the body and transports it back to the liver where it’s broken down.
If you ever get your blood checked (you should), these are the number to look for:
-Ideally, should be lower than 5.0 (mmol/l)
-5.0-6.4 Slightly increased
-6.5 – 7.9 Increased
-> 8.0 Strongly increased.
LDL levels: < 2.5 is optimal
HDL levels: < 0.9 is too low
Triglycerides (amount of fatty acids in the blood, often measured in the same package ) : > 2,1 too high
What actually matters: the Cholesterol Ratio
This is the relationship between the “good and the bad” of cholesterol. If you have a high level of LDL with a low amount of HDL, that’s not good.
If it’s the other way around, there’s no need to worry, even if your LDL is slightly increased. The higher levels of HDL will take that away and back to the liver. Make sure your ratio is in check!
Calculation of the Ratio is done like this: HDL + LDL Divided by HDL. In most cases, however, it’s already calculated for you on the result sheet.
As long as the value is under 5, you’re fine. but the lower the better!
Below you can see my latest bloodwork. My results can be interpreted as this:
Cholesterol: slightly high. No need to worry yet, let’s take a look at the HDL and the Ratio, remember?
HDL: 97 mg/dl = 2.50842 mmol/l. The value should be higher than 0.9 so this is a great level.
: 123 mg/dl = 3.18078 mmol/l. The value is slightly high, but my HDL compensates for that.
Ratio: (2.50842 + 3.18078 / 2.50842 = 2.24 ) which is a great value
Cholesterol can be a silent killer and yet can be easily controlled through diet. Being aware of your levels and being proactive in managing them can increase your quality and quantity of life. Aside from that, it can save you a lifelong of statins, but more on that next time.
Let me know if this was helpful and any questions are welcomed!
And if you need some one-on-one time for me to sit down with you and help you out, book a session
If you’re wanting to join a gym, make sure you get a program that is tailored not only to what you want, but also to what your body needs.
By getting a Movement Screening done, it’s possible to predict risk on injury. A logical step from there on is to spend some time on corrective exercise to make sure you’re balanced, healthy and prepared to go all out in the gym
During a Movement Assessment, the trainer will look at all the main weight-bearing joints to see if there are any imbalances.
After pointing out the weaknesses and discussing them with the client, a corrective exercise program will be set up.
This approach makes sure the client is aware of any weak spots before jumping into a rigorous exercise program and teaches him/her what needs to be done to restore balance.
Pricing can be found on the Website – SPOILER ALERT – It’s worth it.
The Next Step
If you’re trying to lose weight, you’re well on your way and just calculated your RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate).*
Great work! This will give you a good indication of the amount of energy your body needs on a daily basis.
The next step is to take a look at your Physical Activity Level. This gives us a good idea on what kind of energy you spend on movement.
Because as you may recall from the previous article, the RMR only tells us the amount of energy we spend when we rest.
We use the PAL-value to calculate the combined amount of the RMR and the activity per day.
This value tells you what value to multiply the RMR with to calculate the total energy expenditure over a day.
PAL = Physical Activity Level. (It runs from 1.1 to 5.0)
Which description fits you the most?
Sit (almost) all day: 1.1-1.2
Seated work, no sports activities: 1.4-1.5
Seated work with interruptions, lack of exercise in free time: 1.6-1.7
reasonably active during work, recreational exercise: 1.8-1.9
Much physical activity during work and leisure: 2.0-2.4
Extreme physical stress: 5.0
To calculate the total energy requirement: Multiply RMR with PAL
* Thermal effect nutrition does not take part in this calculation.
This calculation gives a good estimate but still needs to be adapted to the individual. Remember that underestimating this need leads to weight loss and low performance in sport. Overestimating the value lead to weight increase.
Calculate, Weigh yourself after 2 weeks, and adjust. That’s the magic formula.
I weigh 75 kg and my RMR is 2035.
My work is Physical and I work out every day. My PAL value is 2.0-2.4
To calculate my energy expenditure, I multiple my RMR with my PAL level ( 2035 x 2.0) = 4070 Kcal on workout days.
Not too difficult right?
Let me know if there are any questions and share your value with me here below!
- If you didn’t calculate your RMR yet, you can do so here. Takes you 10 seconds!
Oh and if you need any more help, book a one-on-one session with me right here
Want to lose weight?
Energy is key to lose weight
If you are trying to lose weight, you need to realize this: even when you don’t do anything – meaning, laying on the bed watching Netflix – the body is going through a lot of energy.
We express this energy in calories, and contrary to popular belief, these are not little creatures that come out at night to make your clothes smaller. They are most valuable to us in many ways, and make sure that we can move, recover, grow, and even think. Yep, even that requires energy.
The reason some people fear calories, count calories, or try to pick low-calorie options for our daily drinks (cola light anyone?) is because we think that calories make us fat.
And the truth is….well… they do.
But only when you consume too many of them. The science behind losing or gaining weight is actually quite simple: you take in more energy than you use, you end up storing that extra energy for another day. The body is smart that way. Unfortunately for us, this usually means additional fat which is not really desirable for most people. And it’s also pretty useless once you get over a certain % of body fat.
So the key point to not get fat, and the key point to any attempt in getting your diet in order is to calculate the amount of energy that your body needs. It all starts with a magic formula with which we can calculate our RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) and the outcome of that formula tells us exactly how many calories your body goes through during the day, as it’s busy regulating all kinds of processes like keeping your organs working, your brain active, and your body temperature steady.
After using this formula, you’ll know exactly how many calories your body needs for it’s daily set of tasks. The important takeaway here is to not eat less than the body needs for its basic functions!
Believe me, lots of former clients of mine have made this mistake in the past and even though weight loss will occur in the initial phase, it should be clear that this is not a good approach long term.
The formula (for Men) is this: 88.362 + (13.397 x G) + (4.779 x H) – (5.677 x L)
Doesn’t look fun right?
Luckily we’re living in an age where there are people that have done the calculating for us, which is why I present to you a quick and easy version right here (for men and women of course)
It’s easy, just fill in the metrics and BOOM! There it is. You’ve made your first step into figuring out what your body needs.
Ready for step 2?
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