Healthy Weight Loss - Why Fad Diets and Gimmicks Do Not Work

INCOMPLETE NUTRITION - Fad diets usually restrict one important macro-nutrient: carbohydrates, fats, or protein. The problem is that for a well balanced healthy diet all of those macro-nutrients are required. Protein is used to build muscle, fat has nutrients in it that promote a healthy heart, and carbohydrates provide energy. The key to weight loss and consuming a well balanced diet is choosing foods that are healthy and contain healthy fats and complex carbohydrates.

UNSUSTAINABLE - Many fad diets require extraordinary effort in diet and exercise. These efforts are often too difficult or impossible to sustain for long periods of time. Some diets may have you on liquid only for a week - well of course you will lose weight, but you will gain it right back the next week. Unless you can learn and stay with a healthy diet you will not be able to keep the weight off.

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METABOLISM BOOST MYTH - You cannot permanently boost your metabolism. Metabolism is the process you body uses to turn food into energy. Most people have an average metabolism that adjusts itself to your body's daily needs. If you live a non-active couch potato lifestyle your metabolism will be "slower" than an Olympic athlete's because you do not require as much energy throughout the day. A person with more muscle will also burn more calories throughout the day than a person of the same size and weight that has more body fat. Besides your body's basic energy needs physical activity also helps determine your metabolism rate. The more physically active you are the more calories you will burn, that is why exercise is so important in a weight loss program.

EXTREMELY LOW CALORIE DIETS - Starving yourself puts your body in conservation mode. Unless supervised by a doctor, a diet that holds you below 1000 calories a day is not going to work! Your body needs energy to breathe, walk, think, and circulate blood. If you are not eating enough calories your body will try to conserve energy and will burn less calories = which means less weight loss - or none at all.

DIET PILLS - Diet pills interfere with your body's natural functions. They can create disturbances in hormone balance, cause you to become addicted, or make it harder for you to maintain a healthy weight when not taking the pill. Many diet pills have serious side effects and do more harm than good. There is no magic way to lose weight - diet and exercise are the only way!

BODY VIBRATIONS - For most healthy adults body vibrations is not going to produce any fitness gains or weight loss. Having a machine vibrate your body doesn't burn calories - you must use energy to move your body to burn calories. Just like letting a machine do a bicep curl for you while you sit and relax does not make your muscle grow stronger.

THE BOTTOM LINE: You will NOT lose weight unless you consume less calories than you burn off.

The only way to lose weight and maintain it is through proper diet and exercise


PERMANENT CHANGES IN EATING AND EXERCISE HABITS - To lose weight successfully and to maintain a healthy weight you must make PERMANENT changes in your diet and exercise routine.

LOSING 1-2 POUNDS A WEEK - It may seem like you can lose or gain a couple pounds between days - not a week. However losing 1-2lbs per week is a pace that will help you maintain weight loss instead of adding the weight back on. If you lose weight faster than that, it may not be fat that you are losing - its probably water weight.

BURNING MORE CALORIES THAN YOU CONSUME - 1 pound of fat contains 3,500 calories. To lose 1 pound a week you must burn 500 calories more a day that you eat. To lose 2 pounds you much burn 1000 calories more a day that you eat. Walking for 1 hour burns about 200 calories and running for 1 hour burns about 700 calories while a big mac value meal from McDonalds has over 1,100 calories.

PORTION CONTROL - The average American consumes more food a day than needed. Restricting your caloric intake will aid in weight loss; however, consuming too few calories can impede weight loss by putting your body into conservation mode. This is where portion control comes in - moderation is key! When you start feeling full - stop eating. Do not go back for seconds. To learn exactly how many calories you need a day consult a doctor or specialist.

SAYING NO TO ADDED SUGAR - What do juice drinks, soda, candy, ice cream, canned fruits, yogurt, and snacks have in common? Extra sugar that you don't need! Lots of foods have extra sugar added to make them "tastier" such as canned fruit and yogurts. Check the nutritional labels and if high fructose corn syrup or sugar is one of the first few ingredients - do not eat it!

EXERCISE - Exercise helps burn off calories. Exercise plus a healthy diet is the best method to weight loss. Some exercise is better than no exercise. Exercise also has other health benefits such as increased self-confidence, improving you cardiovascular system, and reducing blood pressure or cholesterol levels. Also exercising is your way of controlling how many extra calories you burn a day after regular daily activities. Interval training is a great way to burn the optimal amount of calories during exercise (look for more on interval training next week)

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