Magic Secrets Revealed

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Traditional diets won't help

Diets Don't Work

Whilst the diet industry would like you to believe that you can shed weight purchasing their products it is unlikely that you will achieve any long-term benefits from the majority of diets and weight loss products on the market. Sustainable weight loss is best achieved by creating a negative energy balance – that is burn more calories than you consume.

The problem with traditional diets is that they often advocate eating fewer calories than those needed by the body to sustain its basic functions. If you consume fewer calories than this Basal Metabolic Rate the body will enter starvation mode and cling on to fat stores in an attempt to preserve life. If blood sugar levels drop as a result if inadequate nutrition, particularly for those on low carbohydrate diets, such as the Atkins diet, the body will create its own glucose for energy by scavenging amino acids from lean muscle tissue. This self-cannibalisation results in less lean muscle which consequently reduces the metabolic rate. In effect this means fat gain will happen even easier in the future.

A reasonable approach to sustainable fat loss has a number of elements. Energy out has to be greater than energy in. Rather than reducing your calories to amounts lower than Basal Metabolic Rate, additional calories should be burnt through exercise (incidental exercise such as walking to work and taking the stairs, or using the cardiovascular equipment in a gym).

Metabolic rate can be raised by increasing lean muscle tissue through resistance training (each additional pound of lean muscle burns approximately fifty calories per day at rest). Weight training also burns between 240 and 400 calories for a typical session.

Nutritionally, a balanced diet comprised of approximately 55-60% carbohydrate, 30% fat and 10% protein is recommended for health. There will be some variations depending on desired outcomes and exercise programmes. Carbohydrates should be from wholegrain, wholemeal sources and of low-medium GI (glycaemic index). Avoid simple sugars as these will spike blood sugar levels causing insulin production which will store the sugars as fat.

A useful aid to ensuring you eat enough to lose weight is the keeping of a food diary in which you record times, amounts and types of food eaten. For optimal results a programme of exercise involving both cardiovascular and resistance training is recommended. The anatomical adaptations that take place through a progressive exercise programme increase the ability of the body to metabolise fat as fuel whilst raising the metabolic rate and burning additional calories.

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