How To Lose Weight - Quickly and Safely

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How To Lose Weight - Quickly and Safely

Post  Fitness Scientist on Sun May 16, 2010 9:35 pm

How To Lose Weight - Quickly and Safely

by Joe Mullen
Fitness Scientist
"I eat like a bird, why do I gain weight" Whenever someone asks that question, and stares at me waiting for an answer, I ask "What kind of a bird, a sparrow or a vulture?"

Hundreds, perhaps thousands of books and millions of words focus on helping people lose weight. Some are fact based, many are fad based, and the books always place on the bestseller lists. Yet, people in America are fatter than ever. Does this seem like a contradiction to you?

Losing excess body weight is simple, if you follow certain systematic procedures; however, you cannot make up your own rules, or follow advice of the uniformed.

For instance, we once talked with the director of a woman's fitness center who was very misinformed. She believed the only way a woman who followed a weight training program, will not "develop muscles like a man," is to "Breathe out when lifting the weight.

Many-franchised diet plan consultants recommend that clients do no exercise of any type. Apparently, they do not know that if one diets without exercising, some of the body weight loss will be muscle tissue. Many medical journals agree.

Muscle tissue is "productive" tissue, and provides humans with the ability to so such things as sit, stand, and walk. It is important to retain as much muscle tissue as possible. If you exercise while dieting you will not lose muscle tissue. Exercise and diet are two major components of weight loss. Two other major components to weight control are behavioral modification and a support system.

There are three elements to understand when determining how to go about weight management:

• If your body weight is staying about the same, you are in a state of Caloric Balance. Meaning: the amount of calories you are consuming is equal to the amount of calories you are using during your daily activities.

Daily activities include your thoughts, words, and actions throughout the day. For example, stress may not be a physical action, but it will affect the amount of calories one uses to get through the day.

• If your body weight increases slowly over a period: a week, a month, or yearly, you are in a state of Positive Caloric Balance and consuming more daily calories than you expend within daily activities.

If you notice that your weight decreases on a steady basis, you are in the state of Negative Caloric Intake and eating fewer calories than needed to complete daily activities.

Negative Caloric Intake is the condition one needs to remain in to lose body fat. Necessary daily energy comes from food intake, and is stored in the fat cells.

The weight loss takes place because the needed energy calories, when not eaten, are extracted from the body and used as the source of energy. In a sense, the fat converts to gasoline, burned and excreted from the body.

One little known phenomenon is that fat cells, although they shrink in size, never leave the body. If you decide to abandon your weight management program, and begin to enter into positive caloric intake, the fat cells expand and contain more fatty material than previously.

The result is that you will probably gain more body fat, and end up weighing more than before. This is very noticeable in those who are yo-yo dieters.

Just how does one decide how many calories are safe to eat and not gain weight? There are complex formulas used to arrive at the amount but we will use a simple formula. One we have used successfully with clients for decades.

All you need do is take your present body weight, and multiply it by the number 10 (if you are a sedentary person). If, as example, you weigh 150 pounds, multiply by 10 and the safe calorie amount is: 1500 calories.

If you are active, then use the multiple of 12 times your body’s weight. If very active, use the multiple 15 to determine you daily caloric allowance.

This is a guesstimate, but an excellent starting point. The total calories may be increased or reduced later, but for now 1500 calories are safe amounts for a person weighing 150 pounds. Consult with your physician if you doubt this figure.

Total calorie intake is vital to weight loss, and you must determine how to distribute them in proportions of protein, carbohydrate, and fat.

This approach has many different recommendations from many different practitioners. What we are about to share with you is not written in stone, but has worked with many, many people who had no medical problems.

Years ago, we hired a Professor of Nutrition from a prestigious New England to construct basic food plans for our clientele. We used these guidelines for many years with great success. We share these with you for use only after checking with your physician.

These food plans were typically high in carbohydrate calories (65%), medium in protein calories (20%), and low in fat calories (15%).

In recent years, we interchanged that balance and now advise a mix of 40% carbohydrate, 30% protein, and 30% fat. These are the amounts recommended by the popular Zone books written by Barry Sears. For detailed information on this approach, we recommend you refer to his books.

Let us move forward assuming you will choose a plan that meets your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs.

Having chosen the total amount of calories allowed, and decided on the mix of calories you will use, there is one more item to decide. How many meals a day should you eat?

More weight disappears when you eat several small meals a day rather than three large meals. In practice, this means to divide the 1500 calories into six or seven meals.

First meal is breakfast; second meal in between breakfast and lunch; next meal is lunch; next is a meal between lunch and dinner; then dinner and a final small meal about one hour before bed.

As you do this, the first development you notice is a major upswing in your energy level; then you will seldom be hungry. Themunches will be a thing of the past. Does this sound intriguing?

One work of warning: There will be a 10 day to 14 day "lag time" related to weight loss. Once you begin your diet, do not expect to see any significant weight loss for at least 10 days, and up to 14 days.

It takes the body's metabolic system a time to adjust to a reduction in food intake. Imagine eating 3,500 calories and reducing your intake to 1,500 calories.

The first reaction of your metabolic system is that it believes you are in a caloric trauma. It reacts as if you are not eating enough fuel to support your basic metabolic needs, and provide energy for your daily activities. It decides to hold on to its fuel reserves, meaning: the body fat you have already accumulated.

Before starting your weight management program, your metabolic thermostat was set to burn calories at a certain amount per minute. Decreasing your fuel supplies causes the metabolic thermostat to slow the amount of calories it would typically use during the day. The time for the metabolic system to feel you are not starving to death, and all is safe, is 10 to 14 days. Then, the thermostat resets to burn more calories per minute than it did previously.

At that point, you will begin to use body fat at the rate of 1 to 3 pounds per week. The amount of fat you lose is based on your caloric intake and you daily activity level.
At no time should you eat less than 1,000 calories per day without being under the care of a physician.

Many people assume that if X amount of calories will help them lose weight, eating fewer calories will cause faster weight loss. This is not true.

What happens is that your metabolic furnace will not reset itself from the trauma of lower caloric intake and fat loss slows to a trickle.

Stick with the formula of using your present body weight and multiplying it by 10 to decide how many calories to eat on a daily basis. If, at a point your weight loss levels off, increase your activity level to continue the loss. Always check with your physician before drastically reducing your caloric intake.

Along with a reduction in calories and an increase in activity levels, your diet should also:

• Satisfy all nutrient needs.
• Be acceptable to meet individual tastes and habits, including religious standards.
• Minimize hunger and fatigue.
• Be readily available and socially acceptable.
• Favor establishment of a lasting pattern of eating.
• Be conducive to improvement of overall health.

We have covered the basic dietary information related to safe, effective weight loss. Now, let us outline some behavioral modification and support suggestions.

Behavior modification is the most difficult weight loss component to master. Space does not allow an in-depth discussion of it here; however, here are some guidelines that work.

• Keep accurate records on a daily basis.
• Eat foods you enjoy but know when to stop.
• Enlist the support of friends and relatives.
• Weight yourself once a day in the morning before you consume food or liquids.
• Do not be so serious about things that you become depressed if you "blow it" occasionally.
• Do not expect to lose more than three pounds of per week. Chances are you will average one to two pounds per week. This is a tremendous amount of substance. Next time you are at a meat counter, ask the butcher for three pounds of fat. Have it put in a plastic bag, take it home, and look at it. You will have an idea about the amount of body fat you are losing. Seeing is believing.
• Expect about a seven to ten day lag time between when you start you weight management plan and when it actually begins to happen. Do not give up so soon.
• If possible, divide your total calories and meals into six or seven small meals. Eat something every two to three hours.
• Set realistic, long-term goals.
• Be patient. You can do it!

Because the body counts all food intakes as calories, it does not matter, technically, if the calories are in the form of steak or butterscotch candy. A calorie is a calorie.

What does matter is the nourishment provided by that food calorie. As an example: steak contains more nutrients than butterscotch candy, and steak is a better choice than candy.

For good health, which includes proper energy to perform daily tasks, tissue repair, growth, thinking ability and many other life factors, calories should provide at least the daily recommend allowance of all vitamins and minerals needed by the body.

Just as there are two basic components to weight loss: (1) lowering your food consumption and (2) increasing your activity level, there are two basic components to exercise as it relates to body weight and total fitness.

1. Aerobic exercise. This type of exercise requires you to move steadily for a prolonged period without rest. Many people think this means some kind of aerobic dance class is a mandatory ingredient. It is not.

Any continuous movement will suffice. That can be walking, jogging, running (on the road or on treadmills or elliptical machines), hiking, swimming, cycling (stationary and on the road), and rowing machines. These activities uses large muscle groups, that burn more calories per minute than smaller muscle groups do, and done in a rhythmic, coordinated manner.

A major set back of this type of exercise is that it exercises primarily the lower body; therefore, one must enter into another type of exercise to tone and strengthen the upper body muscles.

We contend it is possible to follow a total body exercise program and derive all the benefits from one program. We will talk about this later in this manual.

Historically, fitness professionals recommend these activities relate to a large increase in the pulse rate.
The commonly recommended formula is to use the number 220 as the base number from which you subtract your age. That number is: Your maxim exercise target heart rate.

It is this heart rate you should not reach or exceed. It is dangerous to do so. Instead, take a percentage of the maximum heart rate that relates to your present level of condition.

The percentage, called an exercise heart rate, can range from a low of 50% (or less) of the maximum heart rate for anyone who never exercised and presently deconditioned, too as high as 80% to the maximum heart rate for anyone considered in "normal" health. The exercise heart rate relates to the intensity of your effort.

Once the exercise heart rate, therefore, the intensity is decided, one must decide how long to exercise with the pulse elevated at this level. Duration of exercise is relative to the present condition of the person doing the exercise.

Initially, you may be only able to walk for a period of 10 minutes before you become tired. Eventually, as you become in better condition you may be able to walk for periods up to one hour. Let a common sense prevail.

We recommend performing aerobic activities at "a talking pace”. In other words, if you cannot hold a normal conversation at the same time you are walking, jogging, etc., then you are attempting a level of effort beyond your present, safe ability.

We also recommend that you pick the activity that places the less stress on the body. As an example, walking is less stressful than jogging or running. Less impact is placed on the body and the potential injuries associated with jogging or running does not materialize.

Studies show that with every running step one takes the impact upon stepping on the ground is equal to four times the body weight. It is no wonder that many runners are bandaged on various body parts because of running.

Check with your physician to determine your normal. The word normal is a confusing word because as it is generally used, normal compares to the average diagnosis of many people. In our opinion, normal should relate only to your normal -- given your past and present physical history and conditions.
Perform the exercises at a talking pace several times a week. The frequency can be from three to five days per week.

Related the frequency to the fatigue levels you feel at the end of each day.

The outlines we just covered are the four basic requirements one must meet as a state of aerobic conditioning. In short they are described as: (1) Movements that elevate the resting pulse, (2) that maintain it for a period of time, (3) using large muscle masses, (4) performed in rhythmic movement.

Keep these requirements in mind because, as you will later learn, any exercise program is aerobic in nature if it meets the above four requirements.

2. The second type of exercise and in our opinion the most valuable for losing body fat is anaerobic exercise. Anaerobic exercise consists of movements requiring muscle contraction against resistance.

The goal of anaerobic exercise is not to exercise for prolonged periods. It is to force muscles to work at a maximum level for a certain, predetermined amount of repetitions, and for a predetermined amount of sets. This is the general approach, which we do not recommend. We will talk more about this later.

A set of an exercise is complete when one finishes the amount of repetitions required for that exercise. If you complete 10 repetitions and then stop, it is one set of 10 repetitions of that exercise. The set will take about 60 seconds to complete before the muscle fatigues.

Free weights (barbells and dumbbells) and high-tech equipment are the choices for this form of exercise. We feel anaerobic exercise is very productive and produces greater weight loss in less time than aerobic exercise.

Design a program to exercise all body segments rather than just the lower body as aerobic exercise typically accomplishes. More importantly, the total body exercise approach will create much more lean tissue (muscle tissue) on the body. Lean tissue requires more calories to maintain and nurture it than will adipose, fatty tissue.

The net effect is more calories burn within the same time, whether or not one is just sitting around, or when exercising. In addition, total muscle tone and improved physical shape appear and strength, flexibility muscular endurance, and cardio respiratory endurance improved together.

In other chapters, we will specifically outline the exercise approach to create a new, total body effect. We call this approach the Time-efficient, Cost-effective method.


Joe Mullen
Fitness Scientist
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