Losing Weight – A Matter of Life

Losing weight effectively is simple, unless you are genetically disposed to obesity, or you have a condition that causes obesity.

Let us examine if you are a candidate for losing weight. You can find your ideal weight either through your doctor or through an “ideal weight chart” for males and females. If you are more than 10 pounds above the “healthy weight” for your height, you should definitely lose weight and go on a regimen to do so. So if you are, e.g. a male and 6 feet tall, your “healthy” weight is 165 pounds. If you weigh more than 175 pounds, you should seriously consider losing weight.

Losing weight effectively is simple and involves the following:

1. Losing fat

2. Maintaining muscle tone

3. Maintaining a steady weight at least over 12 months–your weight should not vary more than 5 pounds.

Unless you accomplish all four of the above, you will be deluding yourself about losing weight. Because the true benefit of losing weight is to keep it off and not go on a roller coaster of higher and lower weight. This not only plays havoc with your metabolic proficiency but also affects you emotionally. It causes you to go on binge diets, which are the worst for weight loss.So how do you do it? Again, simple. As I said, unless you have a genetic disposition towards obesity (e.g. a thyroid condition), weight loss is simple and is driven by the following.

Regimen

Involves regular exercise and consistent lifestyle, which further includes stress management, attitude and regularity of sleep. All are important to a healthy regimen. A regimen should not feel like you are being ordered by someone to follow it, but it should come naturally. However, certain fundamentals are common. If you get anxiety attacks, see your physician. Stress is bad for weight. So is sleep deprivation or irregularity.

Diet

Regulate what you eat. Diet does not mean dieting. In fact, stay off of weight clinics or regulated programs. They rarely work. Forget their TV ads. Have you ever wondered why they choose only celebrities to tout their weight programs? Because they fail most of the time and over time become addictive, because you put the lost weight back on. Why? Because the program is a general purpose one, not designed around your lifestyle and regimen. We often rebel unconsciously against a mandate, unless it is explained to us why it is uniquely good to us. This is where the expensive diet clinics fail.

So how do you regulate your diet? By consistently not exceeding your caloric intake over your caloric output. Intake is fat, carbs and sugar in your diet. Output is exercise, regular sleep and lack of stress. So e.g. if you stress, your weight will go up. It will go up because your digestive system will become inefficient–you will stop tasting your food, worry about other things, and your body will not process the food efficiently-hence the weight gain.

Also control outside eating. Make a restaurant visit something to celebrate, not because you are bored or tired of your cooking.

Willpower

Willpower involves consistency of exercise, no-snacking and controlling your alcoholic intake.

Another important tip. Invest in seeing a dietician or a nutritionist. These experts can design an ideal diet around your personal habits and likes and dislikes.

The One Size Fits All Philosophy Does Not Apply to Weight Loss

Magazines and well intending trainers, doctors, weight loss clinics, and weight loss programs are giving the same impression that it is simple to lose weight. They give the impression that willpower and a diet is all you need for weight loss.

Usually these programs put you on a diet and tell you to exercise. You follow the diet, exercise, maybe go to a gym and do 1 hour or more of exercise. But are you getting the results you want? Losing body fat is not that simple! And if you are losing on the scale what are you losing? Is it muscle, water or fat?

There is no such thing as doing 100 or more sit ups and losing the belly fat. Doing one exercise will not trim your waist. If you are exercising, are you using the correct modality for weight loss and muscle growth? Are you doing too much cardio? Are you weight training and if you are, are you training in excess? Are the weights heavy enough to bring about a metabolic response?

Losing body fat is not simple!

There are 119 million American adults that are overweight. It is projected that 73% of adults could be overweight or obese by the end of 2008. Being overweight or obese increases ones risk of 35 major diseases. The direct and indirect costs of obesity, amounts to more than $117 billion dollars a year. This includes medical services and lost productivity.

After 15 years of assisting hundreds of women and men to lose the extra body fat, I can tell you for sure that that no one can lose 20 lbs in 1 month, or similar claims. (Maybe they can get close to this number on the first month but most of it is water weight). When you read these ads and watch The Biggest Loser you are seeing the weight loss on the scale. You are not told the fat – to- muscle ratio. This is crucial in any weight loss program along with keeping the fat off.

When you diet and do not eat the right ratio of nutrients along with the proper modality of exercise most of the weight loss on the scale will be muscle weight. When you lose your muscles your body’s BMR (calories burned at rest) is lowered and your muscles are not as efficient. A poor fat-to-muscle ratio will have a negative impact on your healthy lifestyle. When you lose muscle you can become a skinny fat person. This is a term that describes someone who looks smaller but who has a soft, undefined appearance. Additionally, because you did not lose the body fat your health risk are still elevated.

Composition Counts

If your goal is to trim up your body and become healthier, the first step is to get your body composition taken by a reliable method. At my studio we use the BodyMetrix Ultrasound measuring techniques. This ultrasound technology for measuring human body composition has been shown to be more accurate then the caliper (skin fold) method.

The BodyMetrix measures tissue thickness by millimeters by an ultrasound imaging. The information we receive helps us develop the appropriate program. It is also gives the lean body mass which by that we can determine the amount of protein our clients should have daily to either maintain or build their muscles. Also the fat-to-muscle ratio will give us an idea how many calories our clients need to eat on workout days or their off days.

By re-measuring every 6-8 weeks we can keep track of the fat-to- muscle ratio. One- for-all weight loss or exercise programs simply do not work. Body Composition will give the information needed to develop an appropriate program.

Hormones and Chemicals!

For millions of Americans who are overweight there is not one simple solution. In my practice as fitness professional and after working with hundreds of individuals who have tried every diet and have continued to exercise with poor results we have found that losing excess body fat requires a Multi-factorial approach.

In addition to accurate body composition measurements there are many other factors to take into consideration. Hormonal function, toxicity, metabolism and nutrient imbalances have to be taken into account for a complete personalized weight management, fat loss program

Hormones such as Cortisol and Insulin have shown to be the major factors in fat gain and fat loss. If there are excesses the body will manufacture more fat. Both of these hormones are fat producing hormones. Cortisol is produced in excess in the body from too much stress, if you do too much exercise (especially aerobic exercise) and if you do not sleep adequately. Insulin can be secreted in excess if your meals are not timed right or if your ratios of protein, carbohydrate and fat are not balanced for your metabolism.

Adrenal fatigue can cause an increase in body fat by not allowing the metabolism to shed excess fat. It is well known and researched that the Thyroid is a major contributor to excess body fat especially women over 35. Imbalances in the Female hormones, Male hormones, Perimenopause, Menopause and the Birth control all can contribute to an increasing body fat storage.

Chemical messengers in the brain, called neurotransmitters, that relay signals between the cells can be compromised by any hormonal imbalance. Imbalanced neurotransmitters can strongly influence weight management, especially in terms of appetite control, mood elevation and feelings of satisfaction. They are also involved in sleep pattern, stress management and mental / emotional balance.

Toxins, Nutrition & Other Factors

If your body has a toxic overload of heavy metals the ability to shed the excess fat is compromised. Toxic metal loads can also increase muscle soreness by increasing excessive inflammation. In turn inflammation can cause the body to hold onto excess fat and water. Toxic substances in our fat cells can also contribute to inflammation and prevent the body from shedding excess fat.

Body fat is cycled through the liver. If the liver is toxic it cannot detoxify efficiently and fat metabolism can be impaired. Yeast (Candida overgrowth), too little fiber and not enough water are all major barriers to body fat loss and can increase body fat gain.

Food Addictions such as: Chocolate, cheese, wheat, gluten, and sugar can contribute to fat gain and prevent fat loss.

Imbalances in nutrients – including protein, carbohydrate, fat, vitamins, and especially minerals – can be major contributors to inefficient fat metabolism and the tendency to increase body fat.