|F i t n e s s||
Sunday, September 27, 1998
EVERYONE, thin or fat, needs exercise. Your body can be regulated by what you eat. Food is a biological necessity, but when we regularly eat far more than we need, as well as more than what our body needs for health and energy, we become overweight.
Those who are not overweight can look emaciated due to the wrong diet. Even though slim people need not cut down on all the goodies that the others crave for, a diet wholly based on junk food is not the answer.
A diet based on junk food may give you the calories you require but whether or not it is healthy, is another story. Anaemia, fatigue coupled with skin, hair and eyes that lack a healthy glow could signify that the body is not getting what it really needs.
Those who are overweight want to lose weight, while those who are underweight will want to add some. There are also those who feel the need to maintain their weight. For all these people there will be different diets that need to be followed. The underlying factor in all the diets will be to get nutritionally balanced meals from whichever diet you follow.
Weight is closely related to metabolism. The latter governs the rate at which you burn up the calories that you take in when you eat. Everyones metabolic rate is different. Some people have a rate of burning food than others. This is how one person can eat chocolate cakes every day and not show any weight gain while another person may feel fatter within just a week of overeating moderately.
Though our metabolism does affect the rate at which we burn off calories, it certainly should not be used as an excuse by people for being overweight. Our metabolic rate slows down as we get older, thus making us more prone to putting on weight with what ever we eat.
Calories basically refer to energy units. You do not need worry about them unless you are either overweight or underweight. Cutting down on calories in no way means starving yourself. Just choose the low calorie food option instead.
Overweight people become so because their intake of calories is greater than those that are used up. This excess is then converted into fat and stored in the body. The common way that overweight people resort to losing weight is to go on a crash diet. They try to reach near-starvation levels. This will, in no way, help you to lose weight. In fact, it often works in just the opposite way. Often starvation diets are so restrictive about what you eat, that many people tend to drop them very fast. The second problem is that if you simply go on a diet to try to reduce without adding any form of exercise to your regime, the body tends to slow its metabolic rate.
The change that occurs after this (though you tend to lose weight) is your body reacts to the crash diet as though a famine has occurred. The body then switches to a lower metabolic rate to try to conserve its energy. This stage comes in within four to five days of a severe diet. In the next stage, the body starts eliminating lean tissue, at the same time conserving the inactive fat. This further lowers the bodys metabolic rate.
What is it that influences our bodys metabolic rate? As a rule, the people who are larger and heavier, with more lean tissue, have a higher metabolic rate.
Women, who generally have a higher ratio of fat than men and tend to be smaller and lighter in weight, have lower metabolic rates. Dieting slows down the bodys metabolic rate. The more severe the diet, the greater the slowdown. When you go on a diet there will be some weight loss in the first couple of days but, thereafter, the scales stubbornly refuse to show a drop in weight. At this point many people reduce their intake further. Soon they find that to lose more they have to eat less and less until they are existing on almost nothing.
A simple explanation for this annoying phenomena is the fact that the body is trying to safeguard itself and tries to stop at what is called the "set point". At the end of the first week of a diet your metabolic rate will drop by 6 per cent. By the end of the third week of the diet, your metabolic rate will reach 15-20 per cent. The best bet is to try to raise your bodys metabolic rate with a combination of exercise and diet.
Experts suggest , "as
muscle keeps you firm and fat makes you flabby, the most
effective strategy is one that enables you to lose nearly
100 per cent fat while keeping or even gaining muscle. Do
this by following a restricted, nutritious eating plan.
Also, remain active both while losing weight as well as
afterwards. Switching surplus fat for stronger muscles
will result in a leaner, better looking body and your
metabolic rate will not drop as low."
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