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Diets don't work. Millions of people each year diet and come to the conclusion, diets don't work. Perhaps a new approach is needed. Actually, it is not a new concept, just a different view. With 68% (2012) of all Americans currently overweight, something must not be working.
There are many reasons why diets do not work. In today's world everyone is looking for the easy way out. That is why people buy into the scam of diet pills, shakes, and miracle diets. Of course, none of these scams work. As with anything, you get out of something what you put into it. If you want to look and feel better about yourself, you must be willing to put in the time and effort to achieve your lofty goals. If you are looking for a quick and easy approach, the only thing you will be achieving is making your wallet lose weight.
The main reason diets fail is because of the every stigma associated with the word "diet". People, in general, usually decide to diet for so many weeks. They starve themselves; lose water and muscle weight, and a small amount of fat. At the end of their designated "diet" they eat a lot and the fat and water weight comes right back. The muscle does not come back. Thus that person is left weaker and with a higher percentage of body fat than before their "diet".
When a person follows this type of crash diet, the body reverts to a fight or flight response. The body realizes less food is being taken in and in turn slows down the body's metabolism so as to burn fewer calories. The longer the diet continues, the slower that person's metabolism becomes. The body slows down all processes in order to conserve energy and starts to breakdown the protein in muscle tissue rather than stored fat to use for energy. Once the starvation period ends, the body stores even more calories than before the diet in order to prepare for the next starvation period. Again, what is stored is fat and water.
There is a healthy and proper way to go about changing your body composition. First, it is important to eat healthy, not just for the sake of looking good, but to maintain the proper functioning of your organs, bones, and tissues.
In order to change your body composition, let's first throw out the word "diet." What is needed to lose fat is not a five or 10 week period of starvation or eating only "healthy" foods, but a slow and gradual change in one's health-style.
To most effectively lose body fat while maintaining or building muscle, you need to utilize these guidelines. First, instead of eating 1, 2, or 3 large meals per day, increase the frequency of your meals to 4-6 meals per day. These meals will be smaller, but the calories will be divided up a bit more evenly. Of course, you need to be taking in an adequate amount of calories. Eating smaller but more frequent meals will work to increase your metabolism as well as help your body burn more calories efficiently. Thus, the food you take in will be utilized throughout the body, decreasing its chance of being stored as fat.
Eating smaller and more frequent meals will help to speed up your metabolism and store less fat, the key to its success is what you eat. You should monitor your fat intake. This is not to say eliminate all fatty foods. Fat is an essential part of life. Monitoring fat means eating fat in moderation. You can eat ice cream, cake, and chocolate, and not "penalize" yourself by not eating for the next two days. Do not eliminate your favorite fatty foods; just don't let all those foods make up the majority of your calories. Actually, if the majority of your calories come from low fat food sources, the fat you take in will be used more for energy, and will less likely to be stored for fat.
There is one more piece to this equation, and as you can probably guess, it's exercise. A combined exercise program of weight training and some form of aerobic exercise done 3-4 times per week will keep your body and metabolism in great condition. To dispel two myths; weight training does not make you "big", ladies; and aerobic exercise does not only mean aerobic classes.
Forget the diet pills and miracle foods. If you want to lose weight, get in better shape and be healthy, there is no secret formula. It takes work and discipline. The changes and progress do not happen overnight. They occur at a steady and gradual pace. But the progress made and benefits received from exercising, eating smaller but more frequent meals, and watching your fat intake are well worth it. Plus the benefits accrued from this type of program are permanent. No yo-yo rebound affects. Change your way of thinking and start your new healthy lifestyle today.