The No Diet Way to Lose Weight and Keep it off!Written by Meri Raffetto RD
Yes, you read it right…no diets! The first step in this weight management program is to gather all of your old fad diets, quick weight loss remedies, and “magic cures”. Once you have them all together in a nice, neat pile- throw them into trash! One thing we have learned in last 20-30 years is diets don’t work and actually can make things worse. Fad diets may provide short term weight loss but they are generally too difficult to stick with for a lifetime. The majority of people who lose weight on fad diets regain that weight within 3 to 5 years. Over time this yo-yo dieting effect can slow your metabolism, way our bodies burn calories from food that we eat. Most fad diets require you to significantly restrict your caloric intake by limiting or even eliminating specific foods from your diet. They lead you to believe that it is these specific foods that are causing you to gain weight. The fact is; a cookie or a slice of French bread is not responsible for weight gain. It is total number of calories that you consume in a day compared to amount of calories you use as energy. The calories you don’t use as energy turn into stored fat and over time this translates into more body weight.
Yes, its true consuming excess carbohydrates can result in large insulin spikes and cause you to store fat more readily and stimulate your appetite. However, does this mean that everyone in America is eating too many carbohydrates? Not necessarily. Does this mean we need to completely eliminate all carbohydrates from our diet? Absolutely not. It means we need to learn how to eat right kind of carbohydrates and right amount.
It’s also true that eating excess fat can make us gain weight because fat carries more calories than protein and carbohydrates, but does this mean that everyone’s issue is too much fat? Once again, no. Therefore, we must approach weight management on an individual basis because not everyone is eating too many calories from bread. Just same, not everyone is consuming too many calories from cookies. We are all individuals and our eating habits are all unique which is why one size fits all diet plans don’t work. The ultimate key to success is BALANCE.
8 Ways to Rev up Your MetabolismWritten by Meri Raffetto RD
Yes it’s true- and so unfair. As we get older weight gain begins to creep up on us. You hear people every day in grocery store, around water cooler, at parties complaining of this additional weight they can’t seem to lose. You used to eat anything and not gain an ounce but now it seems 2 chips will send your weight up another notch on scale. So what is this weight gain mystery?
One thing we know for sure is that our metabolism is slowing down as we get older. Simply put, metabolism is way our bodies burn calories from food that we eat. The shift of midlife weight gain actually begins in our 20’s – 30’s. We naturally gain body fat while losing lean body mass. This loss of lean body mass can greatly affect our metabolism. Starting at about age 25, a person’s metabolism declines approximately 5 percent every decade! So it seems we are entering into battle of age vs. metabolism. We can’t control ageing, so what now? Do we wave our white flags and succumb to what seems a natural progression of unwanted, continuous weight gain?
Absolutely not! There are several simple and natural ways to triumph over this battle at any age.
•Increase Muscle Mass The most important factor of metabolism is lean body mass. Muscle burns up to 90% more calories than fat. The more muscle mass you have, more calories you will burn in a day. By adding three to five pounds of muscle you could actually burn 100 - 250 additional calories a day. Try adding a weight bearing activity 2-3 times a week such as lifting free weights, walking, or resistance training. Simply carrying your groceries home could be considered weight bearing! Lifting 5-8 pound hand weights while watching your favorite television show could go a long way towards burning calories.
•Don’t Skip Meals! The myth that skipping meals decreases your total calorie level and helps you to lose weight is not true. When people skip meals or decrease their calories significantly (< 1000 calories/day), they actually decrease their metabolism. They go into “starvation mode” where body tries to compensate for low calories. Your metabolic rate can actually decrease as much as 10-15% and your body will hold on to fat and burn lean muscle instead. Always eat at least 3 meals and avoid dipping below 1000 calories a day.
•Regular activity Regular exercise routines such as biking, walking, or hiking will help raise your metabolism during activity and for several hours after. Even simple movements such as taking stairs, house cleaning, or simple yard work can help increase your burn rate. •Adequate Protein Protein provides building blocks for muscle. Without adequate protein you may actually lose muscle. You need about .4 - .5 gram of protein per pound body weight. For a woman weighing 160 pounds she would need approximately 64 - 80 grams of protein daily. •Sleep! A 1999 University of Chicago study showed that sleep loss affects way we metabolize carbohydrates resulting in glucose intolerance and possibly leading to increased hunger and a slowed metabolism. Lack of sleep also can interfere with our energy levels during day and cause us to skip our exercise routine because we are “too tired”. How often have you told yourself that?