With summer right around the corner, it is customary for many people to want to lose a few pounds to get into their bathing suit or go to a wedding, etc. While there are many reasons to want to lose weight, the bottom line is that diets are on people’s minds during this time of year.
The definition of overweight is a person with a body mass index (BMI) over 25. A person with a BMI of 30 or more is generally considered obese. BMI is the Ratio of your Weight (kg) over your Height (in centimeters, square). Overweight can also be defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that presents a health risk. Some hazards of being overweight are high blood pressure, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, sleep apnea, joint disease, respiratory problems, atherosclerosis, gallbladder disease, hernias, bladder control problems, psychological problems, and some cancers.
As of today, over 126 billion dollars have been spent on weight loss programs and is rising by the minute. The typical dieter makes four attempts per year to try to lose weight. That’s pretty dismal because it means at least three diets fail, if not all four. On average people spend $800 per year on weight loss. 80 percent of dieters do it on their own, while 20 percent join a paid weight loss group or see a health professional.
Fads are part and parcel of the diet industry. Most diets are nutritionally inadequate, too hard to follow, results are too slow, use unsafe ingredients like stimulants, slow your metabolism which leads to the yo-yo effect. The vicious diet cycle or yo-yo consists of losing both fat and muscle, leading to a reduced metabolic rate and fewer calories being burned with increased fat storage. This leads to the famine response. You then fall off the diet as your body wants to recover the muscle, so then you feast on everything in sight. You regain the weight you lost plus about 5 extra pounds. Then you start the cycle all over again.
Why is this? and What can you do about it?
In many diets on the market, 40% of the weight lost is muscle due to inadequate protein and other essential nutrients. Most diets do not provide enough protein so you lose muscle along with fat. Remember protein builds muscle so it is essential as about 40% of your body’s weight is muscle. For instance, your heart, digestive tract, glands, arteries, and veins are all muscles.
Losing lean muscle sets you up for future weight regain because muscle is what burns calories. Muscle is key to your metabolism. Muscles are your metabolic engine, your calorie burning furnaces. Exercise heats up your muscles so you burn calories faster.
What you want is to burn fat but maintain 100% muscle mass. When you prevent muscle loss you will protect your metabolism resulting in enhanced fat loss leading to weight loss and inch loss. This increases your metabolism and increases your energy. Side effects are lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, lower elevated blood sugar levels and it helps to normalize blood pressure. Another beneficial side effect is that the yo-yo effect will be stopped as the body is not searching to replace lost muscle.