by Keven Rush, Certified Fitness Consultant
As I have said in the past, most people who work out want to win the battle with their waistline. And the older we get, the harder that battle becomes.
Many of the people I talk to have already tried a variety of fad diets. These diets might take off the weight in the short run, but it undoubtedly comes right back. In fact, more than 95 percent of dieters will put lost weight back on, plus an additional 5 pounds.
The truth is, diets just don't work. I know, we have all heard stories about one person or another who has lost weight by eating nothing but pomegranates for seven days. And maybe that's true. I also have heard stories about men and women who have jumped out of airplanes, plummeted to the ground because their parachutes failed and, by some miracle, survived. Be careful: just because a few have been successful, does not necessarily mean the idea is a good one.
The truth is and science will back me up diets just don't work (except for that 5 percent). The key to permanent weight loss is to change your daily behavior regarding exercise and good nutrition.
When you diet, you do lose fat, but you also lose a lot of muscle. In fact, the majority of the weight you lose can likely be credited to muscle loss, not fat loss. This decrease in muscle mass will cause your metabolism to slow down. This means that you will be unable to burn as many calories each day. As you age, this metabolic slow down begins to occur naturally. After the mid-20s, the average person's metabolic rate decreases about 5 percent a decade. With that in mind, you can see why it is important to be smart in the battle over your waistline.
In order to lose weight correctly, you must create a calorie deficit. In other words, you must get your body to use more calories than it is taking in. This is best done by increasing your activity, not by decreasing the amount of food you eat.
Through exercise, you will be able to burn calories and add muscle. For every pound of muscle you obtain, an extra 350 calories a week is burned in order to support that muscle. You will actually be using up extra calories even while you are asleep.
Aerobic exercises, such as walking and jogging, are excellent ways to burn calories. Light weight training is a great way to begin increasing your lean muscle tissue. And finally, eating three well-balanced meals with two nutritious snacks in between is the best way to get the nutrition your body needs. Avoid binge eating and drink plenty of water.
There is nothing easy about losing weight. If you want to be successful, you need to be committed to doing things the right way. The weight may not come off as fast, but it will come off for good. So, if you are looking to lose a few pounds, and have become frustrated with media-hyped diets, do yourself a favor and make the commitment to change your lifestyle. It will change your life.