Losing weight is the main reason why people go on a diet and adopt an exercise regimen. Most people believe that less is more when it comes to calories. Low calorie restriction results in a tremendous amount of weight loss, but it comes with a couple of disadvantages. First, depriving your body of nutrients can actually backfire into a binge. Second, the weight you lose may return as quickly as you gained it once you go back to your regular eating habits. This is why keeping the weight off can be as challenging as losing it.
Calorie restricted diet does not result in toning your body. Remember, muscles give the body its shape and firmness. Muscles are metabolically active wherein a pound of muscle can burn up to 70 to 100 calories per day even without exercise. Therefore, gaining more muscle tissue by combining resistance or strength training with a healthy, balanced meal is the best way to lose weight.
So how does one start losing weight? Here are a few guidelines:
Establish your baseline numbers so you can monitor your progress – get your weight, body fat percentage and muscle mass by using a skin caliper or a body fat monitor. Getting your body fat percentage is far more efficient than simply relying on a weighing scale alone. For example, if your weight does not change, but your fat percentage declines, this means that you have lost a couple of pounds and gained some muscle weight.
Pay attention to the types of food you eat. This is less about the calories but more about the nutrients you are getting. According to a study by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, a board certified physician specializing in nutrition-based treatments for obesity, a portion-controlled diet does not provide the body adequate micronutrients and multiplies the sensation of hunger which results in people being unable to lose weight or keep it off. If calorie deprivation makes you hungry, a high micronutrient density diet mitigates hunger even though it is lower in calories and provides better benefits for long term health and weight loss.
In conclusion, the first steps to long term success in weight loss and keeping them off are taking body measurements and eating the right food. Do not be afraid of weight gain if it comes from muscle gain. Remember, it is not about the weight loss alone, but also the shape, tone and contour of your body. You will know you are in great shape once the clothes you have been waiting for so long to wear finally fits perfectly.
Written by: Edward Mendez. He is a TV personality, a sports science specialist and author of Your Dream Body Come True. He currently works with Sexy Solutions by Belo Medical Group as the company’s fitness director.