Exercise helps raise your metabolic rate
Low carbohydrate diets have become popular in recent years, originally promoted by Dr Atkins. However, studies have shown that these only work well for about 6 months. After this time, other weight loss methods start to produce equal or better results.
Do low carb diets work?
Dr Atkins followed the diet he promoted for most of his life, and when he died, he had serious health problems (he weighed 258 pounds – 18 stone 6lb – at his death and had a history of heart disease). Clearly, it didn’t work for him.
How to lose weight without risking your health
One of the major drawbacks of the low-carb diet system is the “eat as much fat as you like” philosophy that seems to come along with it. As you know, diets that are high in fat lead to clogged arteries, heart disease, obesity… And reducing carbohydrate intake does not stop these effects. Not something I want to risk, anyway.
The energy content of your food can be measured in several ways. The traditional way is with calories, and now we see the same information printed on packets in kilojoules. But regardless of the measuring system used, the fact remains that your weight goes up or down according to the difference between the amount of energy you consume (in your food) and the amount you use (in your day to day life, and with exercise).
Weight for weight, fat contains three times as much energy as protein or carbohydrate. This means that by reducing your fat intake, you automatically reduce the amount of energy you are taking in, so that you can start to lose weight.
Ten easy ways to reduce dietary fat
- Eat as much fruit, salad and vegetables as you like
- Do not put butter on your potatoes, vegetables or bread
- Choose low fat cheese or cottage cheese instead of standard cheese
- Do not eat fried food
- Substitute fruit for snacks like crisps or biscuits
- If you are still hungry after eating your main course, have a piece of fruit or some fresh fruit cut up with low fat yoghurt poured over
- Remove skin from chicken
- Cut down red meat and substitute chicken or turkey
- Trim fat from meat you eat
- Substitute low fat dressings or lemon juice for mayonnaise
How to burn up your food intake more quickly
You may know people who seem to be able to eat anything they like, and stay as thin as a beanpole. Others say that no matter if they just look at a cream cake, they put on weight. Why is this?
Not everybody burns food at the same rate, it all depends on your metabolic rate. The ones who stay stick-thin have a higher metabolic rate (they burn their food faster) than the ones who seem to get fat just by looking at fattening foods.
What not many people know is that you can CHANGE your metabolic rate. You can “turn up the furnace” so that you burn calories faster – and lose weight faster.
How do you do this? By taking regular exercise.
It was once thought that exercise could not help with weight loss, because your appetite would increase to use up the calories you burned while exercising. But studies have shown that exercise actually speeds up the rate at which you burn food. So regular exercise is like a magic button, helping you lose weight more quickly.
For this to work, the key is regularity. You need to do about 45 minutes of exercise every 2-3 days (the rise in metabolism starts to drop after about 72 hours). The exercise should be vigorous enough to raise your heart rate – say, a brisk walk (outside or on a treadmill). If you can, get yourself a portable heart rate monitor, so that you can see that you are walking fast enough (and not too fast – no need to risk a heart attack).
When you get back from your walk, resist the temptation to fill up with fatty foods (yes, I know the cream cake is tempting, but if you want to lose weight…).
So there you are. Ten quick weight loss tips, and a bonus. I have lost a couple of stones in this way, at the right speed (do it too fast, it tends to go straight back on again). Put these tips to the test for a month, and I know you will start to see results, as well. And yet another bonus: you will feel healthier, more energetic, and generally better all round.