Dieting, a Misnomer

Health


The truth is that many diets will help you lose weight only temporarily. Most conventional diets are just low-calorie eating plans that cause you to lose fat as well as valuable water, muscle and other lean tissue. In fact, studies show that up to 25 per cent of conventional weight loss comes from water, valuable muscle, bones and other lean tissue. If we go on a crash diet, the body goes into sedentary mode, meaning that it consumes less energy than normal, thereby reducing the overall burnout of energy.

When you lose muscle you experience a drop in your metabolic rate. Your body goes into famine mode, so when you eat normally again your weight rebounds, often above previous levels!

Nine out of ten conventional dieters will regain their weight (often more!) within a year. On these diets, you often also experience lowered vitality, irritability, food cravings and depression. Your hair and nails may become brittle, your skin drawn, and your eyes dull. It’s no wonder many people hate dieting.

A balanced weight loss diet should include some high-quality protein foods like chicken, lean red meat, fish, cheese and eggs, or vegetarian substitutes; as well as nutritious fruits, vegetables, nuts, natural oils and pure water. Some people need to reduce “high carbohydrate” foods like sugar, breads and starches. These foods can trick your body to produce too much insulin. Too much insulin can encourage fat storage. It is very hard to lose fat if you have a lot of insulin in your body.

Live an active life, which is full of physical action. You may not have to go to a gym to exercise or live an active life, what you just need do is to incorporate a small change in your habits. When you exercise regularly, food energy can be used for the activity rather than stored as fat. Research shows even moderate physical activity produces healthy benefits. Walking, cycling, and light jogging are exercises that prepare the heart and lungs to work more efficiently.

Activities that strengthen muscles help build and maintain lean body mass which produces a lean, trim look. Exercise boosts your morale. People who are active feel good about themselves. Rather than stimulate appetite, exercise helps regulate appetite so that it matches energy needs.

To increase your physical activity, determine how active you are now. Identify times of the day when you could add more exercise. Even parking farther out in a parking lot as you go to work or do your shopping increases activity. Squeeze in walks during lunch hours or after an evening meal.

If you’ve been a non-exerciser until now, start gently and slowly. “No pain, no gain” doesn’t apply here. It’s most important that you enjoy your chosen activity so that you will continue to do it. Exercise for weight management is good at all ages in life. Establishing an exercise habit should begin in childhood but if you haven’t had the habit until now, there are still benefits to be received.

Some of the tips mentioned below can be helpful in achieving this:

  • Walk as much as you can, don’t use an automobile or any other vehicle if you wish to travel short distances.
  • Take active part in your household chores like cleaning, gardening etc – they are not only enjoyable but also contribute to your calorie burnout.
  • Use stairs instead of elevators or escalators.

Don’t Overeat Fruits

Two a day should be maximum and only the low-sugar, high ­fibre variety. Apples, pears, plums and berries all are good choices. Bananas are not. For effective weight loss, fruits should be eaten alone or with something light like nuts or a little cheese. Skip the fruit juice.

Drink Plenty of Water

Water is the best liquid created by nature for our bodies. More than three-fourths of our body is water. Water is the best moderator and catalyst for the metabolic process of our body. Water not orily flushes unwanted chemicals out of our system (which slow down the BMR) but it also enhances the assimilation and utilisation of energy by the body. The importance of water in weight loss is now validated by many clinical studies.

So drink as much water as you can. If you are averse to drinking water, you can substitute it with diets that are rich in water content like legumes, melons, cucumbers etc. Coconut water is an extremely good replacement for normal water, which gives you all the benefits and refreshments of water and the natural energy required by your body. Drink at least 10-12 glasses of water, which is approximately equal to 3.5-4 litres.

Eat Slowly for Effective Weight Loss

Did you know that it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you are full? Slow eating has been seen as an extremely effective method of reducing weight. When we eat slowly, we not only assimilate the nutrients in a proper manner but also enhance our metabolic rate.

Large chunks of food are not easily digested in the system, thereby proving to be mere roughage in our body. This roughage is hard to excrete from the body and reduces metabolic rates drastically.

Eating Regular Breakfast. Helps Lose Weight

We burn approximately 450 calories while sleeping. Breakfast is good for weight loss. Have a light breakfast, preferably fruits, as your first diet. Lose weight by eating good food, not by starving yourself and then eating doughnuts!

According to research data compiled by the US National Weight Control Registry, eating a regular breakfast is one of four habits shared by long-term successful dieters.