How To Stay Lean For Life
On any given day, half of all American women and a quarter of all men are dieting. So why has the number of people who are overweight increased from 59 percent of the population in 1986 to 71 percent in 1995?
Statistics gathered by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) show that within one year of completing a successful weight loss program, 90 percent of dieters regained every pound they lost-and more. These same NIH statistics showed that within three to five years, 95 to 98 percent of dieters "found" their lost pounds.
The Worst Way to Get Rid of Fat
The problem is that while dieting may be the fastest way to burn fat, it is the worst way to keep it off.
Dieting without exercise as a route to weight loss is doomed to failure because muscle is always lost along with fat. When weight is regained, most of the poundage returns as fat-not muscle. This means that with continued dieting, your body composition inevitably becomes more fatty and less lean. This can permanently slow down your metabolism because muscle burns 20 to 25 times more calories than fat. To maintain a pound of fat, your body burns two calories a day; to maintain a pound of muscle, your body burns 40 to 50 calories a day.
So if you lose 15 pounds on a get-slim-quick diet, and then regain it, you will actually burn 246 less calories than prior to the diet. This is why after an unsuccessful get-slim-quick diet, you not only regain more weight but you also have a harder time keeping it off.
After three or four "successful" diets, your body's basal metabolic rate can become significantly lowered-in some cases by up to 40 percent.
How Ms. Fitness Arizona Overcame Chronic Fatigue
and Slow Metabolism
Romy Seleznov, a two-time winner of Ms. Fitness Arizona and a qualifier in the Fitness America Pageant in l996, suffered chronically slow metabolism for years. In her own words, Romy explains how she fought and overcame it.
Romy details how just three products - and a healthy dose of persistence - turned her life around:
"For close to two years, I dieted so hard and consistently that my metabolism nearly shut down. It got so bad that when I tried to diet after my last show, I could not even lose 5 pounds. It was absolutely unreal - and ironic - because I was helping dozens of other people lose weight while I was fighting a losing battle myself."
"I tried every supplement I could find as I put myself through over 10 competition and non-competition diets. But my basal body temperature stayed chronically low. I experienced coldness, constant fatigue, muscle weakness, and other signs of a slow thyroid."
"Four months ago, I began taking Young Living's Thyromin, a supplement that contains the essential oils of myrtle. I also used myrtle oil itself as well as the essential oil blend EndoFlex on the Vita Flex points of my feet twice a day. In the last month and a half, my basal body temperature has risen almost one degree, and I have dropped almost four pounds. Even better, my energy levels have bounced back."
"One of the reasons why so many women have thyroid problems is because of the chemical estrogens that are bombarding us. Even the 7th and 8th grade students I teach have thyroid problems. This is why I always use and recommend natural shampoos and personal care products."
The Best Way to Burn Fat
The best way to permanently shed unwanted flab is through a combination of moderate exercise, weight training, and proper diet.
There are three reasons why exercising and weight training work to slenderize the body:
1. By adding muscle, you permanently raise your metabolic rate, since muscle burns 25 times more calories than fat. Muscle is active tissue that continually consumes energy - even while resting or sleeping. In contrast, fat is inert and requires little energy to maintain.
2. When you convert fat to muscle, you automatically slenderize yourself because muscle takes up less space than the same weight of fat.
3. Studies have shown that people with more muscles are more energetic. This encourages them to be more active and do more exercising. This creates a self-perpetuating cycle of fat-burning.
Because muscle weighs more than fat, this means that you might not lose weight if you convert fat into muscle. In fact, many people gain weight after starting a weight-loss program even though they look leaner. This can be very disconcerting to people who are conditioned to associating leaner bodies with less weight. If they stick with their weight training, they will begin to lose weight eventually. However, this is not the real goal. A true slenderizing program is designed to make the body leaner, regardless of what you weigh afterwards.
Why Weight Training Works
Resistance training generates one of the largest rises in growth hormone of any exercise according to a study conducted by Borst et al. in 1994. These researchers found that the activity of lifting weights at just 70 percent of lifting capacity resulted in a tripling of growth hormone levels.
Nothing can pare away fat, add muscle, and reverse the signs of aging better than growth hormone - a key hormone that steadily declines as we grow older. In a l990 New England Journal of Medicine study, Daniel Rudman, M.D., showed that growth hormone supplementation increased lean body mass by 8.8 percent while reducing fat deposits by 14.4 percent. Other studies have demonstrated similar results, showing that higher levels of growth hormone in older people can both rev up metabolism and literally resculpt the body, paring away fat as lean muscle tissue is added (Salomon et al., 1989).
Aside from weight training, aerobic exercises, like walking or bicycling, are the next best exercise to pare fat and improve health. According to Hippocrates, the ancient Greek patron of medicine, you have two doctors: your right leg and your left leg. He prescribed walking as a universal remedy for all mental and physical conditions.
Light walking (at 60 percent of maximum heart rate) is one of the simplest and easiest exercises to improve health, condition the body, and burn calories. Not only does walking carry the least risk of injury of any aerobic exercise, but it also does not require any special training or equipment. According to Marian Minor, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Missouri School of Health, "Walking is probably the most efficient way to burn calories for weight loss."
Research conducted at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis showed that walking a 15-minute mile burns almost as many calories as jogging or running, but without the wear and tear on tissues, joints, and organs. "At 5 mph, walkers' hearts beat harder than runners,'" states Wendy Kohrt, Ph.D.
Uphill walking can accelerate calorie burning and improvement in physical condition and can also result in better conditioning than running.
Start by walking for 20 to 30 minutes 3 times a week. Eventually, you should build up to a 30 to 40 minute walk every day. Ideally, you should be able to walk a mile in 15 minutes. In fact, walking three miles in 45 minutes provides better cardiovascular conditioning than running one mile in six minutes.
When to Exercise
Avoid exercising immediately before bed. Exercising within an hour or two before going to sleep can raise your body temperature and interfere with deep sleep.
You should always exercise before meals rather than after. Exercising after meals not only interferes with digestion, but it also raises levels of fat and cholesterol in the blood. A 1999 University of Missouri study found that exercising one hour prior to meals reduced blood fat levels by 40 percent. In contrast, exercising after a meal resulted in only a 5 percent drop in fat levels. "Exercise stimulates fat-clearing enzymes," according to the study's author (Thomas et al., 1999).
As you progress, the fat-burning action will accelerate. In fact, just increasing your walks from 20 minutes 3 times a week to 30 minutes five times a week can double your weight loss. This effect was documented in a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine study in 1999.
The Most Powerful Fat Burner
One of the best supplements for promoting muscle growth Be-Fit, a high-performance product that contains HMB (beta-hydroxy beta-methylbutyrat)-a natural derivative of the amino acid L-leucine. In double-blind, placebo-controlled study at the University of Kansas, researchers tested the effects of HMB on a group of volunteers who participated in a 3-day-a-week walking program and a two-day-a-week strength training program. After eight weeks, the group using HMB added almost 2 percent more muscle and lost nearly 5 percent more fat than the control group (Vukovich et al., 1998). Other researchers have reported similar muscle-sparing effects (Nissen at al., 1995).
How to Eat Right
How Many Calories Should You Eat?
A good rule-of-thumb for calculating how many calories to eat is to pick a target weight and multiply it by 10. This means that if you weigh 180 lbs and want to diet down to 160 lbs, you should consume 1,600 calories a day. Be sure to set a realistic target weight.
What to Eat
Eating too much fat is one of the biggest dietary sins. Not only is fat the most calorically-dense food (with 9 calories per gram compared with 4 calories per gram for carbohydrates and proteins), but it also gets converted into fatty tissue more easily. A 1995 University of Colorado study found that those overfed with carbohydrates converted 15 to 25 percent of the food into calories. However, people who were overfed with fat converted only 5 to 10 percent into calories, with the rest being stored as fat (Horton et al., 1995).
The ideal diet should consist of 25-30 percent protein, 55-60 percent carbohydrates, and 15-20 percent fat. The more resistance training (weight lifting) you do, the more protein your body requires.
Adequate protein intake-at least 25 to 30 percent of calories--is vital not only for building muscle tissue but also for creating thyroid hormone, the most important hormone for regulating energy and metabolism. Higher thyroid hormone in people who are deficient translates directly into higher energy and faster metabolism.
An added advantage of a moderate-to high-protein diet is that it can lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which are precursors of heart disease. A recent study at the University of Western Ontario found that replacing calories with protein dramatically lowered all measure of blood fat levels (Wolf et al., 1999).
A Breakthrough Fitness Nutrient
Over 15 percent protein by weight, the Chinese wolfberry is one of the most nutrient dense foods known, with over 21 essential minerals and 18 amino acids. It is also very low in fat, with most of the fat occurring in the seeds in the form of vitamin E. Dr. Robert Delmonteque, who is a Senior Medical Advisor to Muscle and Fitness magazine reported that by using a combination of wolfberry-rich foods, such as Seagal Power Meal and Wolfberry Power Bars, he achieved stunning gains in fitness and energy. According to Dr. Delmonteque, the wolfberry is a nutrition breakthrough.
If you choose to limit calories, the best way to do so is to eat high-weight, low-calorie foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods satisfy hunger and provide a feeling of fullness and satiety without adding heavy calories. A clinical trial conducted at the University of Auckland in New Zealand found that people allowed to eat as much as they wanted actually lost weight as long as they limited fat to 20 percent of calories.
Another study at Cornell University achieved similar findings using a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. Volunteers who ate without any limits actually lost weight as long as their meals were low in fat. The best low-fat foods are high in fiber and water, neither of which has any caloric content. In contrast, those who ate high-fat diets could not lose weight even though portions were far skimpier (Bernard, 1997).
When to Eat
According to Dr. Delmonteque, the ideal eating schedule should follow this rule: Eat like a king for breakfast, a prince for lunch, and a pauper for dinner.
Never eat before bedtime. Why? Because the food will elevate blood glucose levels and throttle back production of the two most important muscle-growing, fat-burning, and tissue-regenerating substances in the body-growth hormone and melatonin.
Grazing (eating a large number of small meals throughout the day) is far superior to eating one or two large meals. It promotes higher, steadier energy levels and better blood sugar and insulin control. This can lead to a higher resting metabolic rate and a faster calorie burn rate.
Researchers at Tufts University in Boston found that people who ate heavy meals (1,000 calories) burned 60 calories less during the day than those who ate smaller meals (250-500c calories) spaced throughout the day-even though the total daily calories consumed was identical for both groups.
Unfortunately, the average American consumes 46 percent of their calories after 5 p.m., with the largest meal being dinner; breakfast is frequently skimped or omitted. Is it any surprise that 71 percent of Americans are overweight?
Worst Mistakes Made by Dieters
One mistake made by dieters is shortchanging themselves of micro-nutrients. Dieters usually lack sufficient intake of biotin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, magnesium, potassium, chromium, selenium, and zinc because these nutrients are usually found in high-calorie foods that dieters avoid.
These nutrients, however, help convert carbohydrates into energy and stimulate the thyroid gland (our energy gland) and pituitary gland (which produces growth hormone). So by restricting the intake of nutrients required to burn fat, build muscle, and speed metabolism, dieters undermine their own weight-loss efforts.
Not drinking sufficient water is another mistake dieters make. Over half the weight of the human body is water. Unless fully hydrated, the body cannot efficiently convert fat and carbohydrates into energy. Water greases the wheel of the metabolic machinery, carting nutrients in and ferrying waste products out. "Water is quite possibly the single most important factor in losing weight and keeping it off," according to Anthony Conte, M.D.
Adequate intake of minerals is crucial because minerals act as metabolic spark plugs for all the body's energy-and-calorie-burning reactions. Replacing minerals becomes even more important when we exercise or drink large amounts of water, since these activities accelerate mineral loss.
How Marty Proved the Experts Wrong
When 62-year-old Marty Heppinstill heard that the medical profession claimed that people over 60 could not put on muscle, he set out to prove them wrong. He got himself a training partner, started exercising, and using supplements like Be-Fit, Sulfurzyme, Ultra Young, VitaGreen, and JuvaTone, as well as the essential oils of JuvaFlex, Motivation, Awaken, and En-R-Gee.
"When I first started my exercise program, I weighed about 200 pounds and had over 19 percent body fat. After training five days a week for 12 weeks, I had dropped from 19 ½ percent body fat to 13 ½ and had put on 5 ½ pounds of muscle."
Non-Stop Energy and Stamina
Sean Brown, a weight lifter from Abilene, Texas, is also seeing phenomenal results with Be-Fit, Wolfberry Power Bars, and the Master Formula vitamins. His energy levels are up and his endurance has improved since he started on them.
"On one occasion, I ran for almost an hour nonstop, and I could have gone even longer. After I got through running, I worked out for two or three more hours-all in one day. Even after all this, I still had a lot of energy. I also noticed that I could think more clearly. I can't believe what these supplements have done for me. They are amazing. I thank Gary Young for them."
*Reprinted from Essential Edge Magazine, Fall, 2000
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