There are few struggles so arduous as losing weight, that conjure the same level of eye rolling and despair of uttering the words, “I’m going on a diet.” Few of us have the willpower necessary to be on severely restricted diets, so let’s stop it once and for all and reveal the truth. The simple truth is that all “diets” work, but lifestyle changes are what last. It may be the south beach diet, the grapefruit diet, the master cleanse, the zone diet, the atkins plan, it doesn’t matter. I’ll say it again: “all ‘diets’ work, lifestyle changes last”.
Losing one pound is a simple metabolic calculation. For every 3500 calories burned, a pound is burned off. This can of course be achieved through shaving off calories- perhaps 500 calories a day will result in the loss of one pound a week. But circumstances do not always favor such a plan, and if you are already eating a low calorie diet and not seeing the results you need and deserve, it’s time to ramp up the commitment. Building lean muscle mass is one of the surest ways to increase our resting metabolic rate, and this is a surefire to increase our weight loss, as a higher resting metabolic weight means we actually burn more calories when we’re at rest than those with lower rates. Building lean muscle mass and therefore increasing your resting metabolic rate is a lifestyle change with huge payoffs.
Fad diets cause you to yo-yo from despair to elation with every pound gained or lost, and may do more damage to your overall weight loss goal in the long run, because when you are on an extremely restricted diet your metabolic rate takes a nose dive, going into “starvation mode” and holding on to its fat stores in order to prolong survival. This ancient throwback to our ancestors is a great survival mechanism, but not so great for those of us looking to shed a few pounds. In the long run, it is so much wiser to make long range choices that include a moderate diet and moderate exercise program that lead to a lasting change, rather than short term gains for long term loss.
Come and talk to our personal trainers to see how you can find the right balance between holiday cheer and staying fit for life. You’ll find them at Fit for Life Personal Fitness Training, 2126 Jackson-Keller Rd., San Antonio, Texas 78213. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest tips, tricks, and updates!