Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Why You're Not Losing Weight

You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.
-Abraham Lincoln
LifeScript.com (healthy living for women) suggests 10 Reasons You're Not Losing Weight.  See the article for the full story and recommended lifestyle changes.
  1. Not enough muscle
    Muscles burn calories all day long.
  2. Your parents were fat
    Your body shape will very likely look like your parents'. If your parents are overweight, you'll have to be super diligent to avoid the same fate.
  3. You're older
    A slower metabolism is common with aging. Look at a young child and how they simply cannot stay still; they are constantly fidgeting. Whereas adults will sit for hours in front of a PC or TV. Get up and move about more frequently (and rebuild those flabby muscles).
  4. Evolution
    In cultures where starvation was common, bodies became very efficient at saving every calorie eaten. Normal eating packs on weight and dieting just kicks in the starvation protection mode.
  5. Drugs
    Some common drugs for high blood pressure, depression, etc have a side effect of making you hungry or stimulating fat storage. Talk to your doctor to see if this is the case and what options you have.
  6. Underestimating portion sizes
    Meal sizes have grown to giant proportions. Keep in mind that a serving of meat (3 oz) is the size of a deck of cards and a mere 1/2 cup is a serving size of pasta.
  7. Eating while distracted
    It's way too easy to chow down while on the PC or watching TV and empty an entire bag of chips or popcorn, etc. Give food your full attention while eating so your stomach and brain have time to catch up.
  8. Your diet is too restrictive
    You will get cravings and a diet must factor this in. A slice of pizza, ice cream, a doughnut, etc. You can't have these every day but a diet should allow for a personal favorite now and then.
  9. Splurging
    You have a great diet plan BUT you'll make a exception for a birthday party, or a night out at a restaurant, or some other event. One splurge meal can cancel out a week of dieting.
  10. Overestimating Exercise
    Exercise burns amazingly few calories. A 30-minute power walk might burn 200 calories of which you regain 100 with one can of soda.
Bottom Line

To paraphrase the quote at top, you can fool your body some of the time but not all of the time. Diets may work short term but a body will adjust to lower food intake and burn less calories making a diet less effective over time. And the period immediately after a diet is dangerous because the body has been trained during the diet to efficiently use every calorie so a return to normal food levels is like a feast with lots of opportunity for fat storage to restore what the body knows was lost.

Long term weight manangement requires lifestyle changes. Not famines or gimmicks.

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