So you want to lose weight? The issue is not can you, for you can. The issue is how, and how effectively and easily.
I agree there are probably countless quick fix programmes around that may work for a few, but how many can you trust? Bear in mind that amongst these quick fixes there are genuine weight loss programs that with the right attitude will keep you fit, trim and healthy.
My aim is a series of articles explaining reasons for weight gain and ways to lose weight naturally and keep it lost.
You may try, lose some, then, it comes back with a rage. There are reasons why weight loss programmes fail.
Knowing a bit about the nature of our body can help understand these reasons.
Most diet programs rely on the fact you stop eating so much. In a way this is right, but it does not address correctly the energy balance. As crazy as it sounds the key to losing weight is to actually eat more. In fact, many experts are now coming round to the idea that the three main meals should be supplemented with snacks. Healthy snacks!
The following equation is the essence of nature:
Energy In (calories) - Energy Out (calories) = Energy Gain (calories)
If EO is less than EI the gain is positive. If EO is greater then there is a loss. However, nature does not like this imbalance, for energy cannot be created or destroyed. The Law of Energy Conservation states that the equation must equal zero. So, if you burn more than you eat you have an energy deficit. The body must make this up so will burn what you have stored, to make up this energy loss, in the order, sugars, proteins, then fats. Conversely, if you eat more than what your body's resting balance can cope with, to maintain the equation at zero, you need to increase your energy out by exercising to raise the resting metabolism. Otherwise, if not used it has to be converted into material for storage.
It must then seem strange that you should eat more to lose weight. Consider this, even when resting, the metabolism is working. It takes energy to burn what you eat. It takes energy to release energy for all the body's processes whether external physical activity or internal biological. If you keep the body fuelled regularly your metabolism will stay high creating a high energy out. Coupled with light exercise this could cause excess energy out such that your stored substances, fat, starts getting used.
Also, diets that actually restrict how much you eat do more harm than good because you are effectively starving your body not only of energy but also essential nutrients. By doing this you actually end up storing more fat as your body attempts to conserve its energy. If the body is led to believe it is in famine status then it will horde for later. This is a legacy from our prehistory, from which we have not yet evolved out of. Thus we carry extra weight combined with a lack of nutrients that are involved in metabolism.
One of the biggest mistakes people make is skipping meals and stuffing themselves in the evening to feed their hunger. Sometimes this can't be helped. You may have to work a long day and not have the chance to eat. However, that is tough, as it will still result in unwanted fat.
Rather than having three large meals a day break them up into six smaller meals two to three hours apart. This will not only give you more energy throughout the day but it will enable your body to process the food in good time and therefore you will be able to burn calories naturally throughout the day. It will also help if the meals get smaller throughout the day. Big meals early to fuel the body while active, smaller meals for less fuelling while sleeping. Also, the less hungry you are through the day the less you'll feel the need to reach for a chocolate bar after you haven't eaten for a few hours.
The key here is not how much you eat but what you eat. Eating a burger and chocolate six times a day is not going to do you any good. But, by knowing the right foods, you can actually eat more and weigh less. A common observation of westerners is that Asians are always eating. We average six healthy meals a day, and, we are mostly slim.
There is, perhaps, a psychology issue when it comes to diet programs in that the choices of what you have to eat are often boring. They need not be. As long as you eat healthy and varied foods the odd little snack of your favourite food will not do too much harm. Eat healthily all week and occasionally have your favourite food no matter what it may be.
It is useless following a diet plan that makes you unhappy. Most of these fad diets focus on quick results by ensuring you hardly ever eat and when you do it might as well be rabbit food. This will just make you unhappy and lacking in energy. Instead focus on eating regularly and having the odd treat here and there. By doing this, coupled with a simple exercise plan, you will soon notice that you actually eat more and lose weight at the same time as increasing your energy levels throughout the day.
By Dung Nguyen Ngoc
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