Monday, August 16, 2010

Dieting Rules You Should Never Violate

So, you want to lose weight? Or better said, you want to lose fat . . .

More people fail on diets than ever succeed and there are many reasons, most of which go to a lack of real commitment.

Other reasons for failure fall into what I'll call the technical category -- good intentions but a failure in execution.

Under this heading there are three rules that should NEVER be violated if you're serious about losing fat . . .

1. DON'T EAT OUT. The universal truth in dieting is understanding energy balance, meaning calories coming in must be less than calories being burned. If you take the calories used by your your basal metabolic rate and add your exercise calories each day and then subtract the calories you want to take out of your diet each day, you will get to the number of calories you can eat each day.

But you can only get to that number if you can count those calories. And that is where restaurant eating doesn't work. You don't know the quantity (weight) of the food you are being served. You don't know what went into the food. You don't know how much oil and fat was used in cooking the food. Don't argue. You don't know. And because you don't know, you don't know the calories you've consumed and if you can't count them, you can't be accountable for them and if you're not accountable you will NOT lose weight. Exception -- If you just have to eat out in order to have a happy life, limit it to once per week, one dish at one meal that you don't count. Consider that your one "cheat meal" each week.

2. STOP DRINKING ALCOHOL. That's right. Alcohol = empty calories. More importantly, your body stops burning fat when it is metabolizing alcohol. I didn't make the rule so don't blame the messenger. That's the way it works. I have found that even when I stay inside my calorie range, if any of those calories are made up of alcohol, I will not lose weight. My metabolism is shut down long enough to allow the body to retain fat. So, when I'm dieting, when I want to lose fat, I stop drinking altogether. Exception: If I do a cheat meal, instead of a dessert I might have a glass of wine as my "treat" that week.

3. EXERCISE EVERY DAY. Every day. Every day. Every single day. The key to losing fat is keeping the metabolism revved. That means at least 30 minutes of vigorous exercise a day -- that's minimum. We get 5 days a week with the weights - 1 1/2 hours a session, plus 6-7 days a week of cardio (30 minutes per session.) You don't have to jump off the deep end like that unless you want to, but I can tell you as a matter of certainty that if you don't exercise daily, the weight, if it comes off at all, will come off much more slowly. Why? You let your metabolism slow down. Exception: There are no exceptions to this rule. Exercise every day.

Train hard; diet harder!


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