Most people who exercise and decrease caloric intake can expect to see decreases in body fat. It doesn’t always happen as quickly as we hope. Research has shown that the body has an internal control mechanism that drives it to maintain a particular level of body fat. The term used to describe this phenomenon is “set point.” The set point mechanism acts much like a thermostat, turning energy expenditure up or down to avoid either weight gain or weight loss. When you restrict caloric intake the body attempts to maintain its weight and fat by lowering the metabolic rate. So, the body will lose weight gained in excess of its internally regulated point by increasing metabolism. This may explain why some people have to exercise quite a bit in order not to gain weight. Until recently we understood that the most efficient way of manipulating the set-point was by increasing exercise, thereby programming the body to store less fat. Now we know that after a certain amount of time this is no longer true. That internal control mechanism wants to maintain the equilibrium defined by your genes. So, although you can exercise your way to a leaner body than your parents, at a certain point it becomes counter productive. Most people who claim to be exercising more and eating less without seeing changes in body composition feel desperate. They begin to exercise more and eat less. In fact, the “cure” for a damaged set point is to drop back on your exercise program and increase the nutrient density of your diet. Stress is another well recognized cause for the inability to decrease body fat despite a physically active lifestyle and low calorie diet.
Permanent weight loss means understanding that your body functions optimally when it is exercised regularly and fed sensibly. The “fed sensibly” part means eating less fat, sugar and salt, and choosing more foods high in fiber and complex carbohydrates. “Fad diets” can be confusing and misleading unless you know how to spot false promises. The following questions will help you scrutinize diet plans and choose one that can help you lose fat and not your mind: Does the diet promise quick weight loss results? Remember: It is virtually impossible to lose more than 1 kg of fat per week. Does the diet depend on one food or product to work? A healthy, well-balanced diet includes a variety of foods. Does the diet have sufficient calories to provide the nutrients you need daily? Does the diet demands you eat certain foods at certain times of the day? This kind of diet ignores your lifestyle and food preferences and may prove too difficult or inconvenient to follow. Who promotes or endorses the diet? Look for endorsement by a reputable dietitian or nutritionist. Are behavior issues addressed in the plan? Although learning to choose foods more healthily is helpful to most people, food is rarely the issue for those who struggle with their weight on a daily basis. Addressing behavior issues is often the key to permanent weight loss.
The actual definition of “diet” is “a choice of foods.” Wise choices, without binges or deprivation, which is the key to long term success. Unfortunetunely the fad diets or diets provided by self styled dieticians who promises huge amount of weight loss without exercise, to attract people are more over starvation diets who charge exorbitant fees advising people to go virtually on a hunger strike.