By Roger Grant
The first method of weight loss is presented only to show an example of what not to do. It is the rapid weight loss method by way of a starvation diet. This diet involves depriving the body of a vital nutrient that it needs, which forces the body to break down muscle tissue to provide the nutrient.
Because muscle is much denser than fat, this will create a very rapid initial weight loss. Any real fat loss is due to a shortage of calories which is created. However, this loss in muscle tissue will cause a reduction in the resting metabolic rate, which will cause the caloric deficit to become a caloric equilibrium. While this is happening, the starvation state will cause the body to activate some very powerful defense mechanisms to protect the person from the environment as well as from himself.
One of these mechanisms is to discourage the person from wasting energy, which will manifest itself as lethargy and muscular weakness. The other defense mechanism is to encourage the person to consume concentrated sources of the deficient caloric nutrient as well as calories in general. This results in severe cravings, and explains why people in starvation mode are more likely to crave pizza or ice cream than celery or spinach. If the person inevitably succumbs to these cravings, then he or she will gain back all of the weight in fat, resulting in a higher percentage body fat than he or she had before the diet. If the person does not succumb and terminate the diet, then he or she will eventually die of starvation. As a result, this type of weight loss program is all but unsustainable, and creating beneficial habits are out of the question. Unfortunately, it is probably the most popular way for people to try to lose weight.
The next method is the first proper method of fat loss, and is the quickest healthy way to lose fat. This method causes fat loss at a rate of about 1 to 2 lbs per week, and provides the body with the vital nutrients needed for proper functioning while creating a shortage of the calories needed to power the Krebs cycle. This forces the body to tap into its own fat stores for the needed calories and will result in fat loss. In addition, both resistance and cardiovascular exercises are used to enhance the caloric deficit along with fat loss. As the person reaches his goal, he will increase his caloric intake to create a caloric equilibrium and maintain his new condition.
Because this method keeps the person out of starvation mode, it is perfectly sustainable and is suitable for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. However, the difficulties encountered in this program are likely to be psychological. The truth is that people are creatures of habit, and a fat loss program such as this demands major changes to those habits. It involves performing exercises when the person is used to being sedentary, and refusing hot dogs, potato chips, and other junk food that the person is used to eating regularly. In addition, the increased lean mass will often show an initial increase in weight even when girth measurements are shrinking. This can be discouraging to an impatient person.
The second proper method of fat loss is a slower way to lose fat, and it mainly involves increasing the lean mass. The resulting increase in the resting metabolic rate is a major factor in providing the caloric deficit and resulting fat loss. However, proper nutrition is still a cornerstone of this program, and it provides all of the vital nutrients without adding an excess of empty calories. The result is a noticeable increase in muscle mass combined with a loss of fat. Like the previous method of fat loss, the increase in lean mass renders weight measurements to be unreliable. Also, the slow rate of fat loss can be discouraging to someone who wants to see results quickly. However, because there is a less drastic reduction in caloric intake, it is much less stressful and much easier to maintain. In addition, the length of time required to reach the goal increases the chances that it will form a lifetime habit.
The proper methods have their advantages and disadvantages. A method that shows results in a reasonable amount of time, usually involves major changes in habit patterns. This makes it all too easy for the person to abandon the new habits in favor of the old bad habits. On the other hand, a slower method would involve less drastic changes in caloric intake, and makes it easier to form new habits. It is no surprise that most proper fat loss programs are somewhere in between these two types of programs. It also shows that the more quickly someone loses fat, the more difficult it is to keep it off.
In addition to maintaining his career as a professional pilot, Roger has spent much time pursuing formal and self directed studies of the human physiology and metabolism. He is also qualified as a health nutritionist and a fitness trainer. He has written articles for www.spartafit.com
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