Today, the world has realized the importance of a healthy and fit life. Good health is achieved through a balanced diet, proper sleep and less stress. One of the most important factors is including regular workouts in your fitness plan.
Obesity related issues are increasing all around the world at an alarming rate and it’s important that we get our facts right. The obsession with weight loss has become so great that it often becomes the focal point of each action and reaction in our life.
A healthy diet plan combined with the correct amount of exercise is the basic keys to achieve a healthy and fit body. But always make sure to watch out for all the “fad diets”. These are over-hyped diets which promise endless dreams of providing very positive results in a short span of time. But the truth is that they eliminate the basic calorie requirements and basic food groups. The body actually starves itself and once you are off the diet, the weight comes right back.
Let me tell you a story which will hopefully clear up the myths and facts about weight loss. Generally, people go on a diet plan or weight loss program when they have pressure to achieve a specific goal. It may be to reduce excess weight because of a disease or for a special event such as an upcoming wedding. However, once this pressure is off, the person goes right back to their unhealthy eating habits and regains all of the weight back.
When a person goes on a fad diet and looks for the quick and easy solution to lose weight, they often remove a major macronuntrient out of their diet (low-carb diets and low-fat diets). When this happens, the brain receives a signal that the body is not getting adequate calories so the brain believes the body is starving and sends an impulse to activate the storehouse of energy. So now, the body utilizes the energy reserves which stores glycogen (the stored form of glucose).
When the body metabolizes glycogen, it leads to the production of energy in the form of ATP molecules and water. This is the reason that the body produces more urine and you end up urinating more frequently when you are skipping meals or fasting. Therefore, after a few days of following this regimen, the person may lose one to two pounds quickly but this is merely the loss of water. In addition, once the person goes back to their normal eating pattern, the lost water weight is regained. Your body weight is a combination of fat mass, lean body mass (muscle mass) and water weight. When you lose water or muscle, body fat remains and when you go off your diet, you quickly put more body fat on since you now don’t have the same amount of muscle mass to burn extra calories.
The key to weight loss is the balance between calories consumed and calories expended, or burned. Now, when a person follows a healthy eating pattern and starts weight training, the body starts forming new muscle tissue. The new muscle tissue requires energy and the body has to burn more fuel to attain this energy. Mitochondria are components of our cells and they are a powerhouse of energy and burn our body’s food (fuel) to provide energy. As muscle mass increases, mitochondria divide and increase in number and start burning the extra fat stored in adipose tissue in order to fulfill these energy requirements. If this is continued regularly, it helps to reduce extra body fat and provides the person with a lean and fit body!