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By Michael Collins
In this article I'm going to discuss why and how you need to exercise if you're going to lose weight and keep it off.
In doing a one on one evaluation with a new client the other day, she jokingly asked “Can't I just diet and not do the exercise?”
Sure you could. As Christopher says
"You could also jump off a building, but that doesn't make it smart"
There are 3 main reasons why you want to exercise along with eating properly.
I'm going to cover the first 2 for you here, since losing weight is the topic at hand.
Short Term Implications on Weight Loss
Your body is an adaptive organism. Meaning whatever you throw at it, it will eventually catch up to and neutralize it's effect.
When you diet, you're just restricting calories. Will you lose weight? Sure. At the beginning you will lose weight because you've created a caloric deficit (eating less calories than you burn each day or each week).
Lets say your metabolism is set so that your body will burn 1,800 calories every day- without exercise. That means if you were to eat 1,300 calories, you'd be in a 500 calorie deficit. You'd have burnt off 500 calories. Great.
After a week of doing this (7 days) of (500 calorie deficit), you'll have lost 3,500 calories. This is roughly one pound of body weight. I say body weight and not body fat, because it's not all going to be fat. You'll have also burnt off protein (muscle fiber) from your muscles and the stored glycogen.
Sound's great right? Let's continue doing
Where do you think that 1,800 calories was coming from to burn off that food?
The problem you create here when only dieting is that you're burning off the muscle fiber- that same muscle fiber that just last week helped you burn off that weight.
Remember, the body is an adaptive organism.
The body senses everything that changes in the body. At the end of the week,
your body will start to make adjustments.
First off, it recognizes that you're taking in less calories. So in order to survive, the body will lower the amount of calories it burns each day (This is what we call lowering of the metabolism). On top of this, you burnt off some muscle fiber while you were dieting during the week.
So now instead of burning 1,800 calories each day, you'll be burning maybe 1600 calories.
If you keep going on your “just diet” protocol, you'll still be burning off 300 calories per day.
(1,600 burnt daily)- (1,300 eaten)
At the end of that week, you'll have lost 2,100 calories. Less than 1 pound.
(By the way, to help with your weight loss endeavors, when you sign up for our free newsletter, you also get our special report: The Dark Side of Dieting: 21 mistakes to avoid. You also get a fat burning foods chart with calorie counter! To sign up free, just put your name and email below)
Long Term Implications on Weight Loss
You can see where this is headed if you keep “just dieting”, right?
Directly into the yo- yo dieting abyss.
Eventually you'll be taking in 1,300 calories and burning 1,300 calories. This means no weight lost. In your efforts to get it going again, you drop another 300 calories from your diet. But then the body catches up... again. Then what?
Well, your metabolism totally slows to the point where fat loss is impossible, you feel like crap and have a foggy brain. In your demoralized mental and physical state, you head for the box of donuts. (Or pizza or ice cream or cookies or whatever).
After a week of binging you pack on all the weight you lost, and within 10 days you become fatter than you were before.
Here's the really sh*tty thing about it...
Not only are you fatter now than you were
before, but your metabolism is damaged. Go back a month ago, you were
burning on average 1,800 calories per day. So if you ate 1,800 calories, it
would be a wash.
But, you ran your metabolism into the ground by severe dieting and not exercise. Now, instead of burning 1,800 calories daily, you're burning 1,200 calories. So those same 1,800 calories that you would have eaten and would be a wash, are now turning to 600 calories of body fat!
Ok, ok! Get me out of this nightmare! So
how can I keep that muscle, but still lose weight?
More specifically, strength training. Intense strength training.
You start out again burning 1,800 calories,
but this time, you add in some strength training exercise 3 days per week.
By virtue of the workout itself, let's say you burn off 400 calories just
performing the exercise. Great, that's 1,200 calories extra you're burning
this week... and you haven't even changed your food intake yet.
Here's where the true magic of strength training comes in.
The workout creates damage to the muscles. Breaks it down. This is good. The body now needs to repair that muscle (which takes calories to do). It's estimated that “repair” of the muscle is being performed by the body for about the next 36-48 hours. So you're burning calories watching TV, doing work, or sleeping!
The body, being brilliant, doesn't want to just repair the muscle to it's previous state. It builds that muscle back up even stronger (adding even more fat burning muscle fiber). Let's say between the rebuilding of the muscle and the addition of muscle fiber, the body is now burning an additional 150 calories per day (even on the non- exercise days)
So now we've burnt an extra 2,250 calories per
week or 320 calories per day through adding strength training exercise, and
we haven't touched the diet yet.
healthy weight loss plan calls for about 1-2 pounds per week lost.
This insures that you're not going to create backlash by the body, and it
also progressively gets you to your goal.
So lets aim for an easily doable 1.5 pound
weight loss per week.
On average, you'll be burning 320 calories per day as a result of all the processes involved with strength training (the workout itself, the repair and the added muscle)
On the diet side, you'll only have to create a
caloric deficit of 430 each day. There are ways to create a caloric deficit-
including ways that you can avoid being hungry, and not even feel like your
dieting that we cover in depth in
black book of secrets
Here's two simple ways to create a caloric deficit right now:
1) Eating green apples, which contain pectin, which acts as a natural appetite suppressant
2) As Eugene wrote about in his "getting ready for swimsuit season" article, Don't drink your calories - order a glass of ice water with lemon or lime. The act of your body heating up the ice water will cause you to burn a few extra calories, to boot.
So to wrap up the “right way to weight loss”
I. Always incorporate strength training in your weight loss efforts
II. When dieting, don't so excessively, as it has short and long term consequences. Let the power of the strength training make up the other side of the equation.
Is cardio the best way to get toned? I'm a mom just starting to get back into working out after a long layoff off due to work and family commitments. I haven't been to the gym in a little over 2 years even though I kept the membership and I feel like I'm starting from scratch. I need to lose about 30 pounds and want to shape up as soon as possible.