Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Weight loss ~ the delicate balance

It is seems pretty obvious - reduce calories, lose weight... But it isn't always that easy... Yes, I think everyone can agree the best way to lose weight to have a negative caloric balance... But what is that for you?

The food you eat contains energy, measured in calories, as well as mass, chemicals and compounds used to build and maintain the cells and tissues of your body. Just as a car requires fuel to run, your body uses energy to fuel its daily operations. Many of your calories are spent on operating your skeletal muscles for motor movement, but a great many are also expended on other daily functions such as breathing, respiration, operating your cardiovascular system and cell repair. About 20 percent of your caloric intake is spent running your brain, and about 10 percent spent chewing, swallowing, digesting and eliminating the food you eat. You get the calories needed to fuel all these bodily operations by eating. When you consume more calories than required for your immediate needs, your body stores the excess calories for future energy use. If you eat fewer calories than you need for daily operations, then you tap energy stores to get fuel. Energy balance refers to the number of calories you consume relative to the number you burn. A negative balance means you burn more than you consume.

The energy in food takes the form of fat, carbohydrates, and protein. Your muscles, organs, tissues and cells throughout your body obtain much of their fuel from blood glucose, but your body can only use and tolerate so much glucose. Your body transforms the additional excess glucose into triglycerides and stores it in fat cells that are distributed throughout your body under your skin and in a fatty sheath of tissue that hangs off your stomach. Your genes determine the location of your fat cells, and the number is set by adolescence. Your diet determines how full those fat cells are.... So when you gain weight you aren't getting more fat cells... The fat cells themselves are just getting bigger - this gives you cellulite!!!!!!!!

To lose weight, you must create a negative energy balance. You must eat fewer calories or burn more calories through greater activity. Aerobic exercise, such as walking, running, swimming and jogging, uses your biggest muscles and so burns more calories than other forms of exercise. The longer and more intensely you exercise, the greater the calorie burn. Resistance exercise burns carbohydrates and fat and builds lean muscle, which requires more calories to operate and maintain, even when you’re at rest. Muscle mass burns 4 times more energy at rest than fat mass at rest!!! Regular aerobic and resistance exercises enhance your fitness, so you burn calories more efficiently. By combining a calorie-reduced diet with moderately intense exercise, you force your body to exhaust temporary carbohydrate stores and tap fat stores. AND TA-DAH WEIGHT LOSS WILL OCCUR!

What works for me, and what I recommend if you have plateaued is to have a CHEAT MEAL... What?! Yes, keep your metabolism guessing... I switch up my calorie count, the times I eat, everything! Why do you think Beachbody programs don't have you do the same DVD every day, because you have to keep your body guessing... One day I will eat 1200 calories, next day 1400, then 1200 for a few days, then a 1600 calorie day, then a day with no carbs... This way my body won't go into starvation mode... So zig-zag what you do... This is why other programs don't work, because you plateau, because you didn't out smart your metabolism....

PS - you should never consume less than 1200 calories/day!! Eating too few calories can put your body into a starvation mode and will cause your body to hold onto the calories you eat!!


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