I read recently that weight loss is based 80% on nutrition and 20% on exercise. A happy thought, because I love to eat much more than I love to work out.
This being the second part of our two-piece Swimsuit Issue, I am still in pursuit of those six-pack abs. Time to discuss that other 20%. Whatever the state of your abs, the sad truth about many diets is that, if they do not address the need for exercise, the weight rarely stays off when you stop the diet. In fact, you might end up weighing more. And exercising longer is not necessarily the answer (I love this!). It’s fascinating how it works. Keep reading.
So, while summer’s favorite workout might be the horizontal hammock hang, we need to at least explore the concept of something a bit more rousing. We are, after all, in pursuit of optimum health, something that will have us feeling perky well into our golden years.
Swimsuit Issue, Part 2
The Yo-Yo Is a Toy, Not a Diet
How to Avoid Weighing More, Once the Diet Is Over
The saying, “What goes up must come down,” was, sadly, my friends, not referring to our weight. And who invented the term “yo-yo dieting” anyway? When I was a kid, it took no trouble at all to let the yo-yo hang at its lowest level. It took work to get it to bounce up.
No, the diets many people inflict on themselves are more like pogo stick diets: you work hard to get the weight down, and as soon as you let the effort off, it pops back up.
The basic question is, “Why?” Why does the body regain weight it’s shed? And what, exactly, do you lose on a diet?
Loss of three things will get your weight down: water, fat, and muscle mass.
Obviously, water is the easiest to shed. Hydration, however, is extremely important, not only for eliminating excess weight and toxins, but also for your general health, so getting rid of water just to watch the numbers on your scale plummet can be detrimental. Especially this time of year.
What you want to shed is fat. But unless you’ve incorporated some sort of exercise program, what your body will get rid of is muscle mass. Here’s why.
Muscle burns 50 calories per pound. Fat burns 4 calories per pound.
Enter the pogo stick diet. If you don’t exercise, you lose muscle mass. This means your body has a much reduced capacity for burning calories. So when you get off the diet, your body is in worse shape to deal with the food you’re eating. Hence, you gain the weight back. And more.
Time to diet again. Only this time, you have less muscle mass to help you burn calories. The mountain just got steeper, and you have fewer resources to help you climb it. So the second time around, you lose more muscle mass, making it even harder to burn calories. Instead, as soon as you quit dieting, you gain fat. Not a pretty picture, after all your hard work and self-denial.
So yes, my friends, we must exercise. But what will get you the best results with the least amount of time?
Not all exercise is created equal. Verrrrrrry interesting.
I read recently about a study that divided the subjects into two groups. The first had a very low-calorie diet plus aerobic exercise; the second had the same diet but did resistance training. After 12 weeks, the aerobic group had lost more weight, but much of it was muscle mass. The resistance group still lost quite a bit of weight, but all of it was fat.
What’s really the corker is that the Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) in the aerobic group went down significantly, while it went up for the resistance group. The RMR is the amount of calories your body burns while at rest, so a higher number is a good thing. After 12 weeks, the aerobic group actually had less capacity to burn calories than when it started out. This is not the direction we want to go.
To access the full study, go to: http://www.jacn.org/content/18/2/115.full
I do not profess to be an expert on exercise. The few times I’ve been in a gym, it’s taken me longer to read the instructions on the machines than it took to use them. I have, however, recently been doing some routines of short-burst exercises –squats, jumps, push-ups, etc. — that I can do at home and get my heart rate up and my muscles working but don’t take a lot of time. And — hallelujah! — NO crunches or curls, and yet my clothes fit much better than they did when I put in boring half-hours on aerobic exercises.
And, reflecting back on the low-carb approach we discussed in the last issue, apparently the best time to eat that limited amount of carbs is right after you’ve exercised. Consider it your ticket to guilt-free carbs.
A final word: Muscle weighs more than fat.
If you’re being good and exercising and the scales aren’t showing much of a downward trend, know that they don’t tell you everything. If you really want to know what’s going on in your body, something like the Tanita Ironman InnerScan monitor is great. It looks like a bathroom scale, but it tells you so much more. The model I have is BC-558. It tells weight, % of body fat, % of body water, bone mass, visceral fat, muscle mass, physique rating, basal metabolic rate, and metabolic age. Pretty nifty, huh?
But even without a fancy monitor, there are other things besides weight to guide you. If you’re doing this right, you will be losing inches. So before you begin your diet, measure your waist, hips, thighs, calves, upper arms, neck. Even if you don’t do this, you’ll notice your clothes fitting better. Isn’t it nice to be able to breathe again?
Now we can get back to the other 80% of the quotient, eating. Yum!
And speaking of percentages, I’ve decided to extend the offer of 20% off on all Reliv consumable products for new customers through August. Consider it one more way to enjoy summer. To access these savings, contact me at: https://whealth4u.reliv.com/
Okay, so I didn’t create the formula for Reliv’s newest product, the 24K. Actually, our lead scientist, the internationally acclaimed Dr. Carl Hastings, did that. And no, I didn’t even offer him any advice.
But that doesn’t stop me from feeling darned proud that the 24K was just given the 2011 People’s Choice Stevie Award as the Favorite New Consumer Product at the American Business Awards in New York City. That’s as in “the hottest new item that was created for you to buy” in the entire country this year. I mean, doesn’t that just knock your socks off? Way to go, Dr. Carl!
Want to try some for yourself? The 20% off offer for new customers is good through the end of August. Just contact me at: https://whealth4u.reliv.com/