Most dieters want to lose weight quickly. The problem is that plan tends to backfire. You can lose weight fast or lose weight forever—but not lose weight fast and forever. Most dieters regain about two-thirds of their weight loss within a year and all of it within 3 to 5years.
If you have lost weight quickly, your body will fight for food as a response to having been starved. You’ll have to white-knuckle the situation for as long as you can (but you’ll unlikely win the war against extreme hunger).
If you have lost weight slowly, here are some tips to help you maintain that loss of undesired body fat:
--eat fewer fatty foods
--watch less TV
--have strong social support
--sleep more than 5 hours a day.
Chewing gum can help lean people consume fewer calories, but that is not the case for obese gum-chewers. (Perhaps the act of chewing increases their desire to eat?)
To stay on track, successful dieters should plan ahead by predicting everything that could possibly go wrong with their eating plan and develop strategies to deal with the unexpected. For example, if the waiter serves the salad soaked with dressing (the dressing is not served on the side, as requested), the dieter knows he or she can
Q. I am using an app that tells me I need to lose weight by eating 1,400 calories. I am having a really hard time eating that little bit of food. What should I do?
A. Without knowing your height and weight, I can only take an educated guess at answering your question. My guess is: If you are having a hard time following the diet, don't even try! A 1,400-calorie reducing diet is lower than I would recommend for even a sedentary couch potato.
For many of my dieting female fitness exercisers, I recommend 1800 to 2,000 calories to lose weight and 2,000 to 2,400 for athletes who are doing hard training. While that may sound like “too much”, it is not! In order to lose weight, you only need to chip off 100 to 200 calories (from your weight-maintenance calories) at the end of the day. Theoretically, this will contribute to a loss of 10 to 20 pounds over the course of the year.
Slow weight loss, with a small calorie deficit, allows you to still have energy to exercise and function effectively in your daily life. Semi-starvation diets tend to backfire. While you may lose weight quickly by sheer will power and white- knuckling the hunger pangs, research suggests you will gain it back —plus more — in a short amount of time. Weight loss is far more complex than any app can figure out, and not as simple as eating less and exercising more. After all, if weight loss were simple, than everyone who has ever been on a diet would be thin. Not the case! Rather than rely on an app, I highly recommend you get personalized help by meeting with a sports dietitian. To find this local nutrition professional, use the referral network at www.SCANdpg.org.
Do you know how sumo wrestlers "get fat"? They skip breakfast!
To their detriment, many athletes think skipping breakfast will help them "get thin" by saving a few calories. Wrong! Think again!
My typical weight-conscious client complains, “Every time I go on a diet, I end up blowing my diet and gaining weight.” This has little to do with will power but rather physiology. Just as a person cannot breathe normally after staying underwater for too long, a dieter cannot eat normally after having eaten too little food for too long. That’s the physiology of hunger. The body wants to overcompensate for the perceived “famine” (diet).
My words of wisdom to dieters are: If you want to lose weight, enjoy a hearty breakfast and lunch, and then “diet” at the end of the day so you can lose weight when you are sleeping, not when you are trying to train and perform well. Please, do not eat like a sumo wrestler!
With best wishes for high energy and low body fat,
For more information, refer to the weight reduction section in:
Nancy, Im trying to lose about 20 pounds and I want to know how to burn the most fat. Ive heard I should 1) exercise on an empty stomach, because that results in more fat burning, and 2) do low intensity fat burning exercise rather than push my self very hard. What do you suggest?
Answer: Burning fat differs from losing body fat. Burning fat occurs with low level activity. Two perfect examples of fat burning exercise are sitting and sleepingbut I doubt if those are the most conducive way to lose body fat!
In order to lose undesired body fat, you have to create a calorie deficit. Any type of exercise can contribute towards this deficit. If, by the end of the day, you have burned more calories than you have eaten, this calorie deficit will contribute to loss of body fat.
I vote against exercising on an empty stomach. I suggest you fuel yourself with 100 to 300 calories of a pre-exercise snack. This fuel will boost your blood sugar, energize your workout, and help you enjoy your exercise program. The snack will help you have energy to exercise longer and harder, and youll end up burning more calories than if you were to work out on empty. The pre-exercise snack will also curb your appetite so that, after the workout, you will be less likely to reward yourself with 400 calories of treats that you rationalize you deserve to eat.
The E in exercise should stanf for Enjoyment. You should be exercising because it helps you feel good, feel good about yourself, relieve stress, enhance fitness and improve your health. Please dont use exercise as a form of punishment for having excess body fat.
When I counsel either casual exercisers or competitive athletes, I ask them what they typically eat in a day. I then do a more thorough food intake, gathering details of all that they eat, More often then not, they “try to stay away from” bagels, crackers, pasta, juice, bananas, and other “carbs.” I ask them “Why?” With embarrassment, they mumble, “Because they’re fattening.” The athletes know in their intelligent minds this is not true, but somehow they have fallen victim to fad diets.
If you are among those who “try to stay away from carbs”, think again. Remember that carbs are NOT fattening (excess calories are fattening) and that carbs (such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables) should be the foundation of each meal because they fuel your workouts. I invite you to enjoy whole grain bagels, sandwiches, and pasta – and also enjoy higher energy during your workouts.
Do you really want to never enjoy potato or pasta again.....???
For more information about carbs/weight, please read the chapter on how to lose weight and have energy to exercise in my Sports Nutrition Guidebook (www.nancyclarkrd.com).
Yesterday I received a phone call from a writer for Backpacker magazine. He talked about “dieters’ hikes” (sort of like “fat camps”) for people who want to lose undesired body fat. He participated in one of the hikes, and said he lost weight — that is, until he returned to civilization and immediately stuffed himself with an over-sized Mexican dinner.
While he raved about the dieters’ hike, I reminded him losing weight is just part of the process. Dieters have to keep the weight off—and that means learning how to manage the American Food Supply, not just be denied and deprived while restricted to the wilderness.
The bottom line is: If you want to lose undesired body fat, please think about learning how to EAT, instead of embarking on a food program you really don’t want to maintain for the rest of your life. (Do you really want to never eat bagels, potato, or pasta for the rest of your life?)
Your best bet if to get personalized nutrition advice from a board certified specialist in sports dietetics (CSSD). You can find your local sports nutrition expert by using the referral network at www.SCANdpg.org.
Sports dietitians are an under-utilized coach. You’ll wish you hadn’t waited so long for profesional food help. You can also find helpful information in my Sports Nutrition Guidebook (2008; www.nancyclarkrd.com )