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Monday, July 23, 2012

Why Controlling Calories Does Not Work For Weight Loss

How many times in the past have you tried to go on a calorie controlled diet? Maybe you have attended a weight loss support group or a slimming club?

I'm sure that we all know someone who has lost a lot of weight attending one of these groups but for the majority of us it just does not work. It may work initially and you will find that for the first few weeks you will drop around 1-2lbs per week but sooner or later you will be back to normal or your results will plateau and you will end up with more body fat than you started with.

So why exactly does this happen and what can we do to make sure that when you lose body fat so that it stays off permanently?

The first problem is that these groups focus predominantly on weight loss. This is a fatal mistake as far as I am concerned. The focus should always be on fat loss and not weight loss. Believe it or not it is actually possible to drop a dress size or a jeans size and not lose a single lb on the scales. This is because when you exercise in the correct way you will be adding to your muscle mass while burning body fat at the same time. The result of this is that even though the scales will not change you will find that you will get leaner and trimmer.

When you focus on restricting calorie intake you put your body under a lot of stress. This can have the effect of releasing a hormone called cortisol, which is a stress hormone and it can actually force your body to stop burning body fat and use muscle for fuel instead. This will have the effect of making it look like you are losing weight on the scales, but in reality what you are really doing is setting yourself up to put on more body fat in the long run because by losing muscle mass you are in fact reducing your body's ability to use fat for fuel and slowing down your metabolism.

What can you do about it?

Instead of counting calories your need to focus on nutrition. Your body needs to get the proper nutrients in order to function optimally and if it doesn't get these then it's just going to make you feel hungry until it gets what t needs. I'm sure you have all been to fast food joints in the past and felt hungry again with a very short space of time. This is because the nutrients in a typical fast food meal is low and your body is craving the nutrients that it needs.

If you focus on the nutritional aspect of losing weight you will provide your body with what it needs, get healthier and also reduce the amount of toxins that are in you body, which by the way are stored within your fat cells as a protection mechanism. Get rid of the toxins by eating a cleaner diet and your body will have no reason to hold onto body fat. This is by far the fastest way to lose body fat and get leaner while at the same time ensuring that you do not yo yo diet.

You should also focus on keeping your blood sugar levels stabilised and ensure that your body is using body fat for as much of the day as possible. You can do this by limiting your intake of simple sugars and white carbohydrates such as rice and potatoes.

If you want to speed up the results even more you can exercise in the correct way which means looking at metabolic resistance training rather that focusing on long boring cardio sessions in the gym.

Add sleep to the equation and making sure that you are adequately hydrated with enough clean water (mineral water) and you can easily drop at least a size in 28 days.

Liam Thompson is a Personal Trainer and Bootcamp owner in Manchester specialising in Weight Loss and fitness for females. Check out Personal Training Manchester and Weight Loss Boot Camp Manchester for more info on personal training and quick weight loss in Manchester City Centre.

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