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Why Diets Don

» Introduction
M any, years ago Jack La Lanne the pioneer of the fitness revolution enlightened us of the benefits of adopting an healthier lifestyle.
» Step 1
Every since then itís been virtually impossible to escape the deluge of information concerning the ineffectiveness and potential dangers of dieting on a long term basis. From the News programs that inform us of the horrors caused by some fad diets and radical weight loss procedures. To the television talk shows which includes the Oprah Winfrey show, that once touted the now controversial failed Opti-Fast liquid protein diet. She now is also joining in chorus with the likes of others such as, Covert Bailey who is the author of Fit or Fat, Fitness Gurus Richard Simmons and Tony Little, her trainer Bob Greene and Dr. Oz, among many other healthy lifestlye advocates, and the message being conveyed is unambiguous. Diets donít work!!!
» Step 2
Sadly in spite of the overwhelming evidence, people in their futility continue to spend over 30 Billion dollars a year on weight loss products and gimmicks that can lead to not only serious complications but sometimes death! Unfortunately weíre a nation that tends to seek instant gratification, so we fall prey to the allure of all the false promises and bogus claims of rapid weight loss made by the proponents of these diets. What's so incredible about this is that the integrity or validity of these manipulators are seldom ever questioned. But amazingly the very same people that follow these diets to the point of obsession will scrutinize good sound healthy advice from highly reputable sources.

"I guess sometimes the truth is literally to hard to swallow."
» Step 3
Psychologically the reason fad diets often fail is because some of them tend to be very restrictive not only in calories but also because they do not incorporate much variety in the way of food. Remember the cabbage soup diet? Itís pretty much the same thing day in and day out. They are a shear test of will power causing binging. They are also very unimaginative, and monotonous, making them very undesirable to be on for an extended period of time.

Physiologically by severely restricting your caloric intake you compromise your metabolism, which is your bodyís ability to burn off calories coverting them into energy. Instead it stores them by going into a self preservation mode, this can be known as your set point or plateau which is a point at which you can not lose weight regardless of how hard you try. Sounds familar?
» Step 4
When you resume your normal eating habits after dieting eventually you will gain the weight back and often even more. Then with each succeeding diet after you lose, you inevitably gain the weight back. Again and again. This is commonly known as the Yo-Yo diet syndrome. Though the jury is still out on the long term effects of this phenomenon, common sense would tell you that this is not something you want to do on a regular basis. Excessive dieting can result in malnutrition, osteoporosis, deterioration of the heart (the heart is a muscle) and immune deficiencies making you highly susceptible to viruses and infections.
» Step 5
I often ask individuals who say they have lost or would like to lose weight. What type of weight? Because according to the scale you may indeed weigh less but most of it is not from losing fat when you are essentially starving yourself, that much I can guarantee. Most of it is from precious lean body mass consisting of muscle which plays a crucial role in burning calories, along with bone mass and the liberation of fluids.

1 to 2 lbs a week is the average weight loss for results that are safe. Losing weight from dieting is very misleading, because most people usually identify being lighter as being healthier but being obese (30% body fat or more) is not necessarily synonymous with being overweight. Iíve once took someoneís body fat that was only 115 lbs but had 31% body fat, so in spite of their weight they are still at risk of diseases associated with obesity such as high blood pressure, type II diabetes, and heart disease. Essentially, you can be a skinny fat person!
» Step 6
Weight is only relative according to how much body fat you have in ratio to lean body mass. Women typically should be between 16-22% body fat and Men between 12-15% .The reality is, except it or not, is that if you want to lose body fat you have to increase your calories if you are on a very low calorie diet. You canít do it by starving yourself and thatís a fact, and if any self proclaimed expert would tell you anything different it would be simply B S (Bad Science).

Contrary to conventional diet wisdom, the only way that you can successfully lose body fat and increase lean body mass to burn more calories is to exercise, and to exercise you must supply the body with the fuel and raw materials that you need for energy and to repair itself. There is no way around this either, because your body perceives exercising as a additional threat when on a low calorie diet of 1200 calories or less and your metabolism slows down even more to protect itís vital organs but if prolonged the body eventually starts to cannibalize itself, evidence of this can be seen in anorexics.
» Step 7
Mind you I am not talking about increasing your calories beyond your bodyís ability to use them but equivalent to your daily requirement. To find out your daily calorie requirements according to your own Basal Metabolic Rate (the rate at which the body burns calories at rest) multiply a realistic weight goal by 10. For example if youíre 5'3" and your goal is 120 lbs, 120 x 10=1200 calories, these are the amount of calories needed for your body to function efficiently and optimally at rest. To find the amount of calories you need to maintain lean body mass while exercising multiply the 120 lbs by 15, 120 lbs x 15 = 1800 calories per day.
» Step 8
When increasing your calories only increase them gradually such as 100 nutrient dense calories per week until you have reach your targeted caloric intake. Think of it this way, in order for a car to idle it needs a steady flow of fuel otherwise it will stall, the harder, faster and further you drive the car the more fuel you need. I would estimate an endurance athlete or any individual that trains intensely for hours at a time could easily consume upwards around 6,000 calories a day in training. When was the last time you saw a fat marathon runner? Though 2,000 calories is more than adequate for the average person, it would likely be woefully inadequate for an elite athlete.
» Step 9
Eating healthy and exercising to lose weight is not a difficult philosophy to comprehend, weight loss is only made to seem like such a great mystery by individuals that perpetrate their doctrine of halve truths, deceptions and lies for financial gain.To paraphrase Covert Bailey. "If exercise were a pill, it would be the most widely prescribed drug in the world".
» Step 10
"There has not been, nor do I feel like there will ever be anything proven to be more effective than sensible eating habits and exercise for permanent weight loss."

Anthony Kelley is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 732-208-6903.

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