Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Skinny on Dieting (Part 1)

Diets simply do not work when looking for long term results. Yet millions of people are dieting every day. You may lose weight initially because of caloric restriction. But what you need to understand about DIETS are that they will slowly destroy your body and reek havoc on your metabolism. Anyone that starts a diet ends up eventually going off the diet because it's too hard to maintain long term. By taking in less calories via any diet and not exercising you will lose weight but the question you need to ask yourself is - what type of weight? Do you actually think if you lose a lot of weight - it's all body fat. Wrong! People that are involved in yo-yo dieting will actually end up losing more muscle than body fat and that has a drastic effect on their metabolism. Remember muscle is "active" and burns more calories than "inactive" adipose tissue (fat). So, with all this dieting, you may lose weight initially when you stand on your bathroom scale but remember your also losing a high percentage of muscle too. Research has shown 30-50% of the weight lost can be from muscle tissue when dieting is performed long term in the absence of of strength training. Here in lies the problem. You can't afford to lose muscle especially as you age and with the loss of muscle your metabolism will not "rev" as high. Following a lifetime of dieting your body becomes inefficient at burning calories. You will eventually come to the realization that your able to gain weight more easily even though you may be consuming less calories on a daily basis.

Over the next few weeks forget about dieting and start thinking about becoming more active. Work on adding strength training (a few times a week) to your routine if you have not already done so. Eat smaller meals more often, cut down the alcohol and forget about eating after dinner. Your first step is to record your weight and %body fat and check back on August 16th for part 2.

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