Why Diets Don't Work

Most people who decide to lead a healthier lifestyle go on traditional diets. The truth is, however, that 95% of those who go on such diets fail; what's worse, they often end up in worse shape than when they started.

Aerobic Exercise Aerobic exercise metabolizes calories and raises the metabolic rate. The heart rate needs to be raised to a comfortable level for 20 - 30 minutes at least 3 times per week. By exercising aerobically, calories will be burnt at a rate of 300 + per hour depending on your weight and fitness level.

If you consider that just 1 pound of body fat has around 4,100 calories, then you can get a rough idea, of just how long it will take to shed those extra pounds permanently. Look again at how long it took to put them on, normally years or a complete lifetime of your own bodily abuse.

Now comes the debate of how hard to work. Personally I recommend that you work at a level that you know that you can maintain for a minimum of 20 to 30 minutes.

The debate comes in, when various fitness bodies suggest training at a high heart rate 75/90 % of max, or for short periods or 55/80 % of maximum heart rate for easier longer periods.

I am no scientist, but I have tried both methods on a number of clients, and have found like most things in life, it may work for one person but not necessarilly for another.

In short try both methods, unless you are a complete beginner to fitness, in which case I would recommend training at a steady pace for as long as comfortably possible.

Aerobic exercise will also raise the metabolic rate for up to 24 hours after you have finished training. This helps to burn up extra calories and prevents the metabolic rate declining.

Resistance (or weight) Training Look in the section on this web site dealing with weight training for guidelines, or speak to a qualified trainer to aid you in both the correct exercises and techniques for yourself.

Inactive people lose about 10 % of their muscle mass every 10 years after the age of 25. However with regular resistance training it is possible to regain this muscle mass.

Resistance training should be carried out 2-3 times per week for around 30 minutes. Although not generally effective as aerobic training for burning calories, resistance training will still burn about 250-500 calories per hour and will raise metabolic rate.

Don’t feel that by doing weight training that you will develop a body that resembles a body builders, as these men and women spend a great deal of their time as well as strict diets and grueling weight sessions to achieve the physiques that they have.

Another important point is that muscle will not turn into fat, if you stop training. The muscle tissue will naturally break down and shrink in size, (hypo trophy)

Important point because lean muscle tissue weighs more than body fat, your actual body weight may stay the same, during the early stages of your new lifestyle regime.

Don’t be alarmed, the weight will come off, however if it does not, your overall ratio of body fat compared to lean muscle tissue, will certainly be in a healthier ratio.

Try and avoid using the scales, unless they can monitor your body fat as well, instead measure your body at various points e.g. your hips, chest, stomach and thighs. Using an item of clothing is also a good way to measure yourself, as with a bit of time and dedication, you will find that the clothing fits you properly.

Healthy Eating Good nutrition is very important for fat loss, and focusing on health and health promoting foods is far more productive than focusing on fat loss and denial of favorite foods.

Adopting a whole food diet, avoiding salt, fat, sugar, additives, preservatives, processed and refined foods, needs to become part of a life style change.

By increasing natural foods with a high fibre and water content (fruit and vegetables) more food can be eaten to appease the appetite without gaining weight.

A whole food diet also has a much higher vitamin and mineral content than a typical diet containing processed and refined foods.

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