The following post was written by Tom Fenstermacher, Owner and President of FACTS Fitness. Watch for the follow up post: Eating Habits 101
Common sense tells you that to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. This means you will change your daily patterns by increasing physical activity while decreasing food consumption.
A person can exist in the following 3 states of energy balance:
1. Neutral Energy Balance – You burn what you consume and will stay the same as you are today.
2. Positive Energy Balance – You consume more than you burn and will gain weight. If you require 2000 calories and consume 2,100 per day, even if the extra 100 calories is a banana you stand to be 700 calories per week in positive energy balance. This will eventually result in 36,400 excess calories per year divided by 3,600 calories per pound of fat is over 10 pounds of weight gain per year.
3. Negative Energy Balance - You consume less than you burn and will lose weight. Reverse the scenario above and you can see over 10 pounds of weight loss per year from that same banana!
Diets DO NOT WORK! – Wouldn’t you rather be in negative energy balance due to an exercise regimen that burns excess calories and increase 24 hour a day metabolism and will ultimately help you live longer and reduce your risk factors and improve quality of life?
CRASH DIETS ARE ESPECIALLY BAD!! Consider this: You go on a crash diet and begin to deprive your body of its essential needs. Your body doesn’t know you are trying to lose weight, it assumes there is a food shortage in nature and goes into survival mode.
What is survival mode?
It is conservation of energy stores.
What are energy stores?
Your body will burn anything it can EXCEPT fat. So, when you lose your 20 pounds on your crash diet and 10 pounds of that loss was in lean muscle that your body consumed what do you think happens?
For starters, it is important to understand that your lean muscle is the key to your METABOLIC RATE or your daily caloric requirement and the more lean muscle you have, the more calories you will burn.
It’s a fact that 98% of people on crash diets gain the weight back. Consider the information above: when you gain your 20 pounds back, the muscle will not return so the net gain is all fat. So all that your CRASH Diet helped you do is become fatter! The problem is that now you have less muscle to burn calories on a 24 hour basis, so you will be predisposed to gaining even more weight.
When attempting to loss weight, check with your doctor first. The next step is to combine common sense food choices and start with an exercise program that will fit your lifestyle. Start slow and work your way into moderate levels of exercise.