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I am sure you have heard you have to build more muscle so you can burn more fat. I'm sure you have also heard that you have to put your body into extreme calorie deficit in order to lose weight. I'll bet you've also been told that eating a high protein diet will make you lose weight faster.
Do not do high protein diets! Too much protein can cause kidney failure. Be careful!
If all we had to do is burn more calories than we take in, weight loss would be easy. Why? Because most people stop eating when they want to lose weight. It works for 2-4 weeks but then all of a sudden, it stops. Your body adjusts to the lower calories. Now you have to drop your calories even further to keep losing weight. Pretty soon, you're starving yourself.
Think about this. Let's say your body required 1600 calories per day. If you ate only 1000 calories that would mean you would lose weight according to the theory. If that's the case you should be able to eat all the STARCHES and SUGARS you want as long as you did not exceed 1000 calories. Let's take it one step further. Let's say you eat nothing but 1000 calories from doughnuts. Well, you should lose weight, right? Definitely not!
Besides getting sick you would gain weight. But why? Because the body utilizes each and every calorie you eat in a different way. The body uses calories from proteins differently than calories from starches. So the bottom line is not HOW MUCH we eat, it's WHAT AND WHEN WE EAT! How about that! You can eat more and lose weight. The key is to eat mini-meals every 2.5 to 3 hours, keeping your body fueled and your metabolism humming.
Make sure you include vegetables at every meal and fruit in at least 3 meals. Choose whole (unrefined) grains such as old-fashioned oatmeal, brown rice or buckwheat groats and natural starches such as sweet potatoes and beans. Also, eat small portions of protein with each meal. Your portion size should equal the size of a deck of cards. As for fat, it's best to get your fat from flax oil, salmon and other sources that provide essential fatty acids (Omega 3, 6 & 9). To limit the amount of saturated fat you eat make sure you eat skinless chicken breast and remove all visible fat. If you want an omelet or scrambled eggs, use one whole egg and 5 egg whites.
The body not only utilizes each and every calorie you eat differently it also BURNS each and every calorie differently. Your activity level will determine which calories the body will utilize for energy (protein, carbs or fat). Most people will only burn calories from the foods they've eaten during the day and never tap into their fat stores. In other words, they eat so they can go to the gym and burn it off; a never-ending cycle. Unfortunately, some people don't eat enough and they go to the gym and burn off muscle proteins. They lose weight, BUT they also get flabby due to the loss of muscle tissue.
The idea is to supply your body with the calories it needs to maintain proper bodily functions, AND burn off calories from stored fat. If you over-eat, your body will store the excess calories as fat. No matter how much you exercise, you'll still be storing fat, not losing it. If you eat too little your body will think it's starving and hold on to its fat stores. No matter how much you exercise, you'll keep your stored fat and lose precious muscle.
If the body's functions are met first by supplying it with the amount calories it needs, several times throughout the day, it will rid itself of fat incredibly fast. Trust me, the human body is not meant to be fat.
My fat loss and fitness plan "Every Body Loses" will give you the tools you need to begin a healthy fat loss program. The style of eating and exercising outlined in my book is one that you can follow for life without feeling deprived. If you're serious about losing fat and getting fit go to http://www.aim4nutrition.com and get started TODAY!
Aimee Deak is a certified personal trainer, nutrition analyst and author of the book, "Every Body Loses", an easy-to follow, step-by-step guide to fat loss.
You can find more information about fat loss and exercise on her website http://www.aim4nutrition.com
National Nutrition Month: Raising a Healthier Generation through Diet, Education - USDA.gov (press release) (blog)
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