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Most often, when someone decides that they want to lose weight, they begin a “diet. Dieting of any kind never works properly when taken to extreme measures. Generally, people who are desperate to lose weight approach dieting with that same desperation. In most cases, it doesn't work and it's not healthy. Any diet under 1,000 calories a day is starvation. You can't stay on it long term and not only is it not good for you, it's ultimately not safe either.
Health is not the only issue. There are other factors that need to be considered such as:
1. Muscle loss - When you follow such a low calorie diet your body burns muscle for fuel instead of fat. When faced
with perceived starvation, your body will use up muscle first, which needs more calories to maintain itself, saving the fat for last. Then, when you begin eating normally again, your body will hoard calories and store them as excess fat to prepare for the next starvation.
2. Metabolism – Dieting alters you metabolism (the rate at which you burn calories) causing your body to need fewer
calories. You will deplete your body of alot of valuable nutrients found in whole and natural food. Most commercial
liquid diets are not natural foods. They are processed and packaged, and although they may fulfill certain requirements
for vitamins, minerals and protein, there's nothing of nature in them.
This live nutrient depletion will eventually set the stage for cravings and binges, and the diet will go down the drain. When you diet on less that 1000 calories a day, in order to keep the weight off permanently, you would have to remain on a diet for the rest of your life. We can all see how unrealistic this is. The truth is you can only lose about 2 pounds of actual fat per week. There are no short cuts to losing weight and keeping it off. You need to drop your food intake so you are about 500 calories below your normal daily requirements (any more than that and your body will cut into your muscle stores for fuel). This drop will result in about one pound per week weight loss. You should make sure that you get plenty of fiber in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables and that you drink between 6 and 8 glasses of water every day. This method will make the weight loss permanent and you'll give your metabolism a chance to adjust and work for you rather than against you.
Exercise will help speed up weight loss by one pound per week. It does this by burning more calories and building more muscle, which burns calories for its own maintenance. In other words, muscle burns fat. A professionally
designed weight training program, with some type of aerobic activity will help you reach your weight loss goals.
When choosing your aerobic activity, remember that walking is as good, if not better than running. Recent studies indicate that you will burn more fat calories at the lower end of your target heart rate zone (your target heart rate
zone is 65-85% of your maximum heart rate -220 your age). This is another case where more is not necessarily better.
It is important to monitor your heart rate zone when exercising aerobically to insure you do not exceed your target zone. Exercising above 85% of your maximum heart rate can result in cannibalism of muscle tissue.
Researched & Written by Robert Bovee Certified Master PPT & E/FT, PRS, MES, SNS, RTS, ETS, LSS
Regional Director of Education and Certification for Rochester and Buffalo Athletic Clubs
Corporate Wellness Director to all Rochester Athletic Clubs & Regional Advisor & Consultant to all
Professional Personal Trainers and Exercise/Fitness Therapists for Rochester and Buffalo Athletic