Now is the time that many of you are thinking about losing weight.  When beginning a weight loss program the ultimate goal should not be to watch the scale go down quickly. The goal should be to find your individual eating style and allow your body to find it’s natural weight.

The purpose of any weight loss program should be to lower your body fat percent and increase your metabolism. Unfortunately, many diets have the opposite effect.

Diets that severely restrict caloric intake may offer immediate results (not long-term), but they trigger a “starvation response” in which the body slows down its metabolic rate to conserve energy.  Once the goal weight is reached and normal eating resumes, the body gains weight even faster because it requires fewer calories just to maintain normal body functions.

In addition, rapid weight loss results in the loss of large amounts of glycogen (stored form of carbohydrate; what your body needs for energy), water, minerals, and muscle and organ protein.  These undesirable losses of lean body mass are coupled with only minimal losses in fat.

Yo-yo dieting has a similar effect. The more weight we lose, regain and lose again, the more muscle tissue we lose. The loss of muscle tissue is responsible for lowering our metabolic rate.

So for this spring/summer season, do yourself, your body and your mind a favor; do not start another diet.  Start a program that will promote a sustained, healthy nutrition and exercise program built for you.

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Ellie Huff

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