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If you eat more calories than your body can burn you will gain weight. If you eat less calories than your body burns you will lose weight. Itís as simple as that. Your body turns all surplus calories into fat. That includes extra calories from fat, protein and carbohydrates. The key is to ensure that your daily caloric intake doesnít exceed amount required to maintain a desirable body weight.
At same time, it is important that your diet includes a balance of all food groups including fat, carbohydrate and protein. Intakes of saturated and trans fats and bad carbohydrates should be avoided or reduced. Although unsaturated and non-hydrogenated fats are healthier choices, they should be used in moderation, because they are still fats and loaded with calories.
Itís important to keep in mind that while striving to attain weight loss, good health should not be compromised. Snack foods that induce further eating such as potato chips, salted nuts and chocolate should be avoided.
One diet method that is very effective is to cut your meals in half and add 2 extra meals (equivalent to half quantity of your normal meal). Let me explain. Letís say you normally take 3 meals a day each consisting of 1000 calories. You would cut those meals to half content Ė which would now consist of 500 calories Ė and add 2 more meals also containing 500 calories each.
Letís compare. Originally your 3 meals, each containing 1000 calories, would total 3000 calories a day. If you change that to 5 meals a day at 500 calories each, that would total 2500 calories. So in this example you would be saving 500 calories a day. This is a very easy and effective method to start implementing right away because you donít really have to do any calculations. Just visualize what your normal meal would consist of and cut it in half. Then add 2 more similar meals. Itís that simple.
Increasing daily number of meals also helps to make this transition easier. You would be eating less per meal but you wouldnít have to wait as long for next one. Furthermore, studies have shown that more frequent smaller meals increase bodyís metabolism. (2) And we all know how important an increase in metabolism is for weight loss.
An efficient weight loss system must include an adequate amount of physical activity Ė more so for people over 35. It seems that Iím picking on older generations here. The reason why I keep bringing up subject is because Iím talking from personal experience. Iím 37 years old and I know exactly how much more difficult it is to shed weight today as opposed to ten or fifteen years ago. In my twenties, whenever I noticed extra weight creeping in, I would start jogging 5-6 times a week for 30-45 minutes and within a few short weeks (sometimes 2 weeks) extra weight was gone. It was that easy - and without any adjustment to food intake.
Today I would need a combination of exercise and proper dieting to reach that goal. And it would still take a longer period of time. How much should you be exercising? Well it depends how much weight you want to lose. By way, besides weight loss, exercise participation results in many other health benefits. It improves flexibility, strengthens musculoskeletal system, improves blood circulation and heart condition, just to name a few.
To start getting results in weight loss you should be exercising 5-6 days per week for 30-60 minutes at a comfortably vigorous intensity level. Once you lose desired weight you can then tone it down to maintain weight loss. For weight loss maintenance you can reduce it to 3-4 days a week, 30-45 minutes at same level of intensity. Be sure, however, to get clearance from your doctor first.
Eat healthy, exercise, live a healthy lifestyle and have a great summer.
1.http://www.newstarget.com, ďYo-Yo dieting weakens immune systemĒ, retrieved 22 April 2005 from < http://www.newstarget.com/001427.html> 2.University of Massachusetts Medical School, ďPeople who eat smaller meals more often during day are less likely to be obeseĒ, retrieved 15 April 2005 from < http://www.umassmed.edu/pap/news/2003/07_11_03.cfm>
John Tiniakos is the author of NL Natural Weight Loss Program which can be found at http://www.nulife-weightloss.com/natural.htm. He also writes a free monthly newsletter with valuable news, tips and advice on diet, health and weight loss. For a free subscription go to http://www.nulife-weightloss.com/natural.htm.