Low-cal, low-carb, and low-fat diets all have one thing in common: deprivation. This kind of deprivation cannot be sustained forever. Even if you meet your goal you’ll gain the weight back the minute you stop starving yourself.
When you eliminate an entire food group or many calories from your diet, you lose weight but you don’t necessarily lose fat. With this kind of diet, your loss consists of healthy lean tissue and water, not the fat you’re dying to get rid of.
If you’re interested in getting and keeping a healthy body, its best to shift your focus away from the scale. Your goal should be to look and feel good, not lose a specific number of pounds.
How to exercise smarter, not harder
If you’re frustrated by the results you get from cardio workouts, it might be time to rethink your strategy. A reduced calorie diet, combined with heavy cardio-exercise actually burns muscle along with fat.
You might also have noticed that this formula never changes your shape, only makes it a little smaller. If you start out pear-shaped and lose twenty pounds in this way, you just end up a smaller pear.
A better choice is a nutritionally balanced, higher-calorie diet and resistance training to build lean muscle mass. The more lean tissue you have, the more fat you burn. And the more fat you burn, the more lean tissue you have. Also, resistance training allows you to sculpt your body, an important goal for changing your shape. It’s a healthy cycle that leads to life-long success.
Where to turn for advice, training, and support
When you’re looking to make lasting changes in your health, it can help to have a bit of support. The diet-industry does not exactly inspire trust with their gimmicks, empty promises, and high-priced temporary solutions. So where can you turn when you need to get a handle on your love handles?
Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re looking for a little help:
- Look for fitness solutions that offer education as opposed to slogans. You’re not looking for a quick-fix solution or gimmick. Find a program that equips you with the knowledge and motivation to truly change your lifestyle.
- Any weight-loss plan worth your time should have structured nutritional guidelines without demanding extreme deprivation. Look for balanced nutrition rather than the latest fad diet.
- Any program you choose should encourage accountability. Friendly competition can be a great motivator. Competition can spur you on even when you’ve had a stressful day and don’t feel like hitting the gym, or when you’re debating that candy bar in the office vending machine.
- Don’t shy away from programs that demand your fidelity and participation. If you are truly dedicated to the goal of a healthy body, you will want to find programs that encourage and facilitate that goal.
Nothing good comes easy
Remember, this is a lifestyle change you’re working towards here. There is no quick-fix or miracle solution for weight-loss. But with dedication and determination you can make your body leaner, stronger and healthier.