Author: Jim Robertson
There's no mystery about how to lose weight: you need to consume fewer calories each day than you burn during that day. And there are only three choices available to get the job done - you can reduce the calories you take in, or you can increase your activity so you will burn more calories. The third choice is to do both, and in this case one plus one definitely equals three.
The point at which you've burned all the calories you've consumed, or more accurately, all the energy readily available in your bloodstream in the form of glucose (which is created from the calories you consume) is your break-even point. Calorie demands beyond that point force the body to use up stored fat for the energy it needs - hence, you lose weight. If your daily calorie expenditure falls short of your break-even point, the unused glucose in your blood is stored for later in the form of fat. It's simple math, really, but the bio-chemistry that kicks it all into gear is anything but simple.
This is why diets don't usually work, or at least not as well or as quickly as advertised. Because depriving your body of calories at a level that is significantly below the break-even point, which is what severe dieting does, can be dangerous, and you won't lose much weight in the process (if you do lose weight, you are experiencing the same life-sapping change that anorexics experience, and sooner or later it will kill you). The reason is that the body senses this calories deprivation and adapts to it by hoarding its fat cells, making it even harder than ever to drop pounds, even if you exercise strenuously. The idea is to create a reasonable daily calories deficit that is in the "fat-burning zone," usually between a 500 and 1000 calorie shortfall per day. To make this happen, there are certain rules about dieting that apply:
-Make sure your diet plan does NOT take you below your daily minimum intake for an inactive person, or about 1200 calories for women, 1500 for men.
-Your target daily deficit is 500 to 1000 calories per day, as defined by your daily minimum for your level of activity. Any more than that will trigger a starvation-mode response that will prevent you from losing much weight at all.
-You cannot eat anything you want to get to that target calorie intake level, because in a calorie-deficient environment your body is even more in need of proper nutrition, including a balance of proteins, complex carbohydrates and essential fats (see below for more on these). If you cut out or deprive the body of any of these elements, even if you are ingesting more than your daily minimum calorie need, you may trigger the starvation-mode response anyway, and more likely, you'll be counter-productive to your metabolism in ways that cause you to feel fatigue and alter your bio-chemistry in really ugly ways.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to this: you have to give your body what it needs, even if you are trying to lose weight. If you don't, you won't lose the weight you want to lose, you won't lose it efficiently, and most of all, you won't lose it in a healthy manner. And worst of all, whatever weight you do lose with an improper diet program will come back, and quickly, once you resume a more normal eating pattern. And then you'll just have to start it all again.
Remember, the definition of insanity is the attempt to create different results by doing the same thing over and over. And dieting without observing these rules, and without supplying your body with the daily protein it needs to build new cells, the complex carbohydrates it needs for energy, and essential oils it requires (especially the omega oils) for optimal heart health, is truly insane.
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