Repeated cycles of dieting can make you fatter than before. That’s because when you lose the weight, it often comes from water and muscles. But when you gain it back, it returns in the form of fat. Up to 50 percent of women are on a diet at any given time, according to Judy Mahle Lutter in her book “The Bodywise Woman.” Up to 90 percent of teenagers diet regularly, and up to 50 percent of younger kids have tried a diet at some point.
The more dieting you do, the more your body thinks it has to store fat. Fat-Storing Enzymes LPL enzymes are responsible for storage of fat. When you diet, the LPL become more active and grow in number. The problem is, when you finish your diet, the LPL levels don’t return to normal until you regain most of the weight you lost. Your task, if you want to lose weight, is to outsmart the following defense mechanisms. Metabolism- the speed at which the body uses food. If your metabolism is slow, the food you eat will be stored as fat. Strangely, the way to increase your metabolism is by eating more, not less(1000 calories/day). Our metabolism is responsible for using 60% of the calories that we take in with the remainder being used or burnt by our movements.
|According to data published by the University of Colorado, 35 percent of people who start by dieting occasionally become addicted to dieting. As of 1990, the average dieting age for girls was 8 years old. That’s down from 14 in 1970|
Get Your Metabolism Rolling
A high metabolism (BMR) is where calories are burnt by the body at a higher or faster rate than normal and less fat is stored. Its difficult to stay away from dieting trap in the present senario of a sedentary, overly stressed lifestyle supported with lesser time left for cooking ones own meal.
Here are ways suggested by WF experts to keep a track of your metabolism and lose unwanted fat.
- Watch what you eat: By eating breakfast on a daily basis you can boost your metabolism by around 10 per cent! Coming back on what to eat- whole grain cereals, oat meal, whey protein, salmon, almonds, eggs, oranges, spinach, low-fat milk, celery, cucumber, olive oil, Jalapeno, Habanera, Cayenne should be an integral part of your diet. Make sure you have ample fiber in your diet. Drink plenty of water. Cut down on foods that are high in or even moderately high in sugar, reduce tobacco intake if you are a smoker and alcohol if you like to drink as these are brilliant ways of giving your metabolism a much needed boost.
- Calories: Start by figuring out how many calories you need to eat and burn off a day to lose one pound a week. If you go on a diet of just 1000 calories a day you are more likely to give up and binge because starvation cannot thrive for long. Drastically reduced calories send signals to your body that there is not enough food available. Radical diets might result in initial weight loss, but the body soon adapts to the sharp reduction in fuel by shutting down and putting itself in protection mode. Metabolism and energy levels drop and calorie needs drop further. The body further responds by slowing down metabolism and storing any extra calories as fat.
- Smaller Meals, a better choice: Break down three big meals- breakfast, lunch & dinner into five or rather six smaller meals in a day. Eating more often won’t give your calorie-burning mechanism a chance to slow down or shut down. Your metabolism will be revved up from the time you have your breakfast until well after your dinner. Snack on an ounce of lean meat and half a cup of fruit. The combination of protein and fruit will drive away cravings for sweets, too. Try sliced chicken breast and fresh pineapple chunks or steamed shrimp and mango slices. Eat complex carbohydrates with vegetables for lunch.
- Get your thyroid checked: The two main thyroid hormones produced are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). Although the thyroid gland produces more T4 (80 percent) compared with T3 (20 percent), T3 is 300 percent more active than T4 and is the thyroid hormone responsible for increasing metabolism. Factors such as nutritional deficiencies and medications can inhibit this conversion. Nutritional deficiencies such as iodine, iron, selenium, zinc, vitamin A, riboflavin, pyridoxine and B12, along with the use of certain medications including beta blockers, birth control pills, estrogen, iodinated contrast agents, lithium, phenytoin and theophylline can inhibit the conversion of T4 into T3. Other factors that can cause this inhibition include aging, alcohol, alpha-lipoic acid, diabetes, fluoride, lead, mercury, pesticides, radiation, stress and surgery [Source: Brownstein].
Thyroid hormones stimulate diverse metabolic activities in tissues, leading to an increase in basal metabolic rate. Increased thyroid hormone levels stimulate fat mobilization, leading to increased concentrations of fatty acids in plasma. They also enhance oxidation of fatty acids in many tissues. Thyroid hormone stimulate almost all aspects of carbohydrate metabolism, including enhancement of insulin-dependent entry of glucose into cells and increased gluconeogenesis and glycogenolysis to generate free glucose.
- Get enough B vitamins: Among supplements, if you are suffering from flagging energy, you need to make sure that you are getting enough B vitamins- B6, B12, folate, thiamin and niacin. Vitamin B-12 in particular is one that is essential for energy. To ensure you’re getting enough B vitamins, consider taking a B complex, plus a separate sublingual B-12. Get the bulk of your B’s from food, where they pair up with other vitamins and minerals for a complete synergy of action. Foods high in the B’s include: spinach, asparagus, beans (navy, soy, black beans), melon, broccoli, fish, poultry and eggs.
- Keep Moving: Far too many women simply cut down on their calorie intake when they go on a diet, without adding exercise to their regime, according to Dr Wendy Doyle of the British Dietetic Association. Exercise will boost your metabolism meaning your body will burn calories faster. Also, for each pound of muscle you add to your body you need an extra 75 calories to maintain it, so toning up your muscles will also help you lose weight – and look more honed. Many women think going to aerobics once a week or going to the gym is all the exercise they need. But the best way to keep your metabolism going is by exercising for around 20 to 30 minutes a day. Interval training or speed play is a great way to pump up your metabolism and make your workouts more fun.
- Lift Weights: Weight training with free weights or machines several times a week can help increase muscle mass, which in turn allows you to burn more calories faster. Studies show that weight training can increase your metabolism overnight by five to 10 percent. Working out can increase your metabolism for up to 21 hours after an intense workout.
- Be Realistic: A weight loss of 1-2 lbs/week with a reduction of 500 calories/day is an idle way to proceed. Slight reductions in calorie counts, combined with aerobic and weight-lifting exercise, results in steady and lasting weight loss. Pay special attention to your mental and emotional connections to food and exercise. If you find yourself sitting on the sofa, watching television and eating ice cream rather than working out, ask yourself why. There has to be some benefit to it, some payoff that, at the time anyway, seems greater than your long-term goal of health and fitness. You have to identify and acknowledge your fitness downfalls before you can do anything to change them. Remember that you can’t continue doing the same thing the same way and expect different results. Allow yourself a little indulgence, but limit the amount and the frequency. For example, if you can’t resist eating your mother-in-law’s famous chocolate cake that’s served at Sunday dinner, cut back your desserts during the rest of the week.
If what you’re doing is not working, make changes!