I went to a fitness conference in Birmingham this past weekend. Not sure what is wrong with me, but sitting in a classroom for 10 hours over a weekend was awesome! I learned a ton and met some really cool people. So over the next few days I want to share some of the things I learned. Or you can come by my house and look over the 30 or so pages of notes I have. Today's topic will probably interest many of you. It was the very first class and it was called Women, Exercise, and Metabolism.   This lecture was by Dr. Ginger Patterson a dietitian from Fort Meyers, Florida. Really interesting lady who didn't go to college until her kids did. She said she didn't want them thinking they were smarter than her. I'm going to give you the highlights in nugget form. Who doesn't love nuggets? Some of this may be new information, some of it not, but it can all help/inform/interest/entertain you.   -Your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) is responsible for 60-75% of the calories you burn every day. Your RMR is what you think of when you talk about having a slow or fast metabolism. -What effects your RMR? Genetics, age, fat free mass (muscle), surface area (how big or small you are), temperature (hot or cold temps), caloric restriction, hormones, menopause -Lifestyle can override genetics -If a child has 2 obese parents they have a 70% of being obese, 40-50% with one parent, and 15-20% if neither is obese -Average female has 27 billion fat cells, obese have as many as 75 billion -You don't add more fat cells, they just get bigger -It is easier to lose fat off the stomach than off the hips (is that news to any of you?) -The average woman gains 20 pounds between the ages of 25 and 55 -After child bearing years women will begin storing fat in their stomach (as opposed to the hips) -It increases your metabolism to shiver or sweat (see why boot camp is outside in August?) -Reducing caloric intake below energy needs results in a lowering your RMR by an average of 15% (Ever went on a nothing but salad diet, lost 20 pounds, then gained 30 back?) -Studies show increased fat storage with caloric restriction (increase fat storage + a decreased metabolism=not good) -If you don't feed the exercise (eat after your workouts) you will not get the Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption (EPOC that is also known as the Afterburn and can result in calories being burned up to 36 hours after you stopped exercising) -Every woman should have her thyroid checked -The reason you crave chocolate during your period is because of estrogen. Estrogen makes you more sensitive to insulin, lower blood sugar makes you crave sweets. -The first 2 weeks of the menstrual cycle increases your metabolism an average of 200-300 calories/day, but the second 2 weeks bring on the cravings that result in an average increase caloric intake of 200-300/day. -There is no research that shows menopause causes weight gain -The weight gain in menopause is mainly attributed to decreased activity levels -A study compared female athletes and sedentary women between the ages of 18-69. They found there was no difference in body fat percentages between the youngest and oldest athletes. Also, the older athlete's metabolic rates were similar to the young athletes not the older sedentary women     I don't want to overwhelm you with all of this, so I will be back with more tidbits tomorrow.