Tonawanda News

Features

June 9, 2013

Fit for Life: Don't be like 'Crash Diet Kelly'

Tonawanda News — I’d like to try to explain why crash diets don’t work. So, I’d like you all to meet ‘Crash Diet Kelly.’

Kelly is a “yo-yo” dieter and this is a fairly common trait, especially among women who hope to lose a few pounds before an important event such as a vacation or a wedding. Many of us do the same just after the New Year, when holiday eating and drinking tanks all our efforts to eat healthy.

In attempt to offset months of poor eating, some start off drastically reducing calories and increasing activity level, most likely from a sedentary state.

This will lead to weight loss, however it will be mostly muscle tissue. Maintaining an excessive cardio-exercise regime like running or aerobics, while consuming inadequate calories, can only last for so long.

Once the trainee resumes “normal eating” or a reduction in activity, weight gain and an increase in body fat is inevitable. The unfortunate thing is that this weight gain will be all body fat.

This means you could weigh the same (or slightly more) than when you started your crash diet but have a substantially slower metabolism.

Why is metabolism important? Your metabolism is important because it controls how much (or how little) you can eat to maintain your body weight. Those with a faster metabolism will be able to consume more calories than those who unfortunately have a slower metabolism.

Why is a metabolism slow? There are a variety of reasons. Including these:

• Set point theory — In a nutshell, this theory states that each individual has a weight/bodyfat percentage that it will strive to maintain.

• Loss of muscle/weight gain — As you age (unless you’re proactive with weight training) your body will lose muscle tissue, and muscle tissue is more metabolically active than adipose (bodyfat). Less muscle tissue means a slower metabolism. Your body would then be conditioned to store fat, something we definitely do not want.

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