Saturday, September 09, 2006

Common Pitfalls to Weightloss Part 1

The Journey Begins

So you've finally decided to drop those unsightly pounds and bring out the chiseled body beneath the fat eh? Well welcome to the club that millions of people have tried, and failed to accomplish!

Sounds disapointing right? Well, I am going to produce some common pitfalls to weight loss, which, if avoided, you too can also avoid joining the millions that have fallen back into their rut and into a lifetime of unhealthy weight and appearance.

If anyone has new ideas for this section, please leave a comment with your insight, or post in the message board, Thanks!

The Pitfalls

1. Eating too few calories

One of the biggest misconceptions in the quest to lose weight, is that in order to do so, one must eat next to nothing! This is entirely NOT TRUE! While fat loss is a simple equation (less calories in + more calories burned = fat loss) sometimes it just isn't that simple. One must keep in mind that calories are what your body uses for energy, if you fail to feed your body a necessary amount of calories every day, guess where your body gets its energy source from? Your Muscle!!! And all this lean muscle mass on your body acts as your metabolic furnace, when your muscle mass is converted to energy, your metabolism crashes as well.

So lets take an example of such an event: Let's say Joe decides that he wants to drop 50 lbs and have that perfect summer body; well Joe decides that in order to do so, he needs to eat as little as possible, so he tries something like a soup, grapefruit, or hollywood diet. 1200-1500 calories a day and Joe starts his journey. Wow Joe thinks to himself, as the first 2 weeks into this diet he has lost 15 lbs, astounding! Joe's clothing starts to fit looser, and he knows this diet is "working". Well as time progresses his weight loss each week drastically slows down, Joe begins to get frustrated, not only is he frustrated that he isnt losing much weight anymore, but he doesnt look lean or ripped, just soft and pudgy, albeit thinner.

Finally Joe's metabolism totally crashes, you see, without muscle mass to support his metabolism, it has slowed to such a point that weight loss is no longer possible with Joe, weeks go by and he even starts gaining a bit of weight! What is going on he thinks to himself? Without the adequate calories to maintain your muscle, your body has started using the muscle mass for energy, that is what is going on!

Frustration and stress gets the best of Joe, he falls back into his rut, back into the routine of junk food, pop, and fast food - his weight gain accelerates beyond what he originally weighed in at, all because he went about losing weight the wrong way!

The best method of weight loss is a slow and steady one, just like the old saying: Slow and steady wins the race!

A simple equation to follow would be:

  • Removing 500 calories from your daily food intake + burning 500 calories a day in a cardiovascular/weight training exercise = 1000 calories x 7 days/week = 7000 calories deficit a week = 2 lbs(3500cals/lb) of weight loss per week.
  • 2 lbs a week is about the maximum one can perform before their body literally "freaks" out - meaning it will go into starvation mode - holding onto every last calorie in an attempt to stop the precious fat loss.
  • Weight training is also incredibly important in the weight loss process - the more muscle one has, the faster their metabolic rate, the more calories burned, even when sitting around!

What I have shown you is just one of many pitfalls to weight loss, this section will be updated often with new pitfalls as time progresses, so stay tuned for more!



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