Thursday, February 7, 2008

Secret of losing weight and keeping it off

I have heard so many times, “How could I gain weight? I am not eating as much anymore.” Or” I need to lose 15 pounds so I’ll just skip a few meals and that should do it.” Then you do it and you get on the scale and find out that you actually gained weight and you become discouraged. What happened? You may ask.
Well, before I answer that question let me first give you some information on how your metabolism works. First let’s define what a metabolism is. According to Webster’s, metabolism is the sum of the processes in the buildup and destruction of protoplasm; specifically, the chemical changes in the living cells by which energy is provided for vital processes and activities and new material is assimilated.
What this means is that your metabolism is a chemical that is used in your body to break down and use the food you eat for fuel. The bottom line here is that your metabolism’s job is to keep the body from dying. Now the question here is what happens when this food that you need to function is reduced or in some cases non-existent. Well, your metabolism will slow down and go into reverse and what I mean by that is that it will begin to store what you are eating so that it can keep the body alive and functioning. In the worst case, if you don’t eat long enough your metabolism could begin a process of shutting down your organs and using them as fuel. We don’t want that to happen so let’s not go there.
Now let’s say you are that other person where you eat too much. What happens then? Well the same thing except now what it does is begins a storing process with the excess food and where it stores it is in your adipose tissue (fat cells). Your fat cells are very elastic and can store a lot of excess food. Now the problem here is that you could get yourself into a situation where because of your obesity your body is working too hard and after a while will begin to shut itself down (i.e. diabetes etc).
Where is the happy medium and how do you know that you have found it? Well the average person, in theory, should consume 2000 to 2500 calories per day. You may say that that is a lot but it really isn’t. Let’s break that down to more user friendly term.

1) A simple breakfast which could consist of toast and eggs
2) A simple lunch which could consist of a sandwich or two
3) A simple small dinner which could consist of a meat and a vegetable

However, when that person who is looking to lose weight thinks that they need to go on a diet to lose weight, they will go down to about 500 to 900 calories. Now for a while that may seem like it is working but now what really is happening? At this point your metabolism would have slowed itself down to compensate for the fact that there is not a lot of food being ingested and start taking from your adipose tissue which may be fine in theory. However, what will happen when you go back to your regular eating habits? Your metabolism will continue at a slow pace and the food you eat will continue to be stored, most likely in your adipose cells as before.
I could go on but here is the secret to weight lose and control. Get your calorie intake to 2000 per day and eat three balanced meals and make your dinner a small one not a five course meal. Eat the majority of your food in the middle of your day and start everyday with a breakfast. Exercise at least three times a week and stop drinking the alcohol.