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Every Diet is Great. Not!

Hard Bodies Created Here
Hard Bodies Created HereMike Phelps, 2011 Mr. Alabama

There are so many diets and diet fads out there. It seems like a new one is added weekly. Every one makes the same claim (lose more weight and faster). The consumer has to be completely confused by the tons of information available on weight loss. Unfortunately, a lot of the "information" on weight loss out there is "mis" information.

The methods and claims made by each diet program sound great. But, the reality is that many diet plans do not work in the long term. Programs will make claims like "lose 7 lbs your first week". And this type claim is for the most part correct and would apply to most diets today. But don't be fooled by a slick talker trying to sell you something. Here is how most diets advertised work (and for that matter, most all diets period):

  • Diets typically advocate cutting calories and most of the time the most of the calories cut are from carbohydrates. When you cut carbohydrates, it depletes the glycogen stores in your muscles. This causes immediate water loss (water weight, not fat weight). After the water weight loss you typically start burning fat (and muscle if the diet is not correct in portion and proper foods). The average person will lose 4 to 8 lbs. during the first week of most diets...but it is all water weight. So don't be fooled, it's NOT the fabulous diet doing wonders for you. It's your body reacting normally to lower glycogen levels.
  • If you are in a starvation mode (not getting enough nutrients to the cells, especially muscle cells), you will begin to lose both body fat AND muscle weight. Losing muscle will never help you since losing muscle weight means you are slowing down your metabolism, the exact opposite of what you want to do on a diet. After you lose your initial water weight the first week, you should be losing 1 to 2 lbs. per week. If you are losing more than that, you can pretty much be assured that you ARE losing muscle weight too.

A good rule of thumb is that you can typically lose 1 pound for every 100 lbs. you weigh and not reduce muscle. Dieting slowly this way, pulling off pure body fat, speeds your metabolism drastically. This makes the fat loss (which is what we all want) start to accelerate like a snowball rolling down a hill. The more muscle you add or keep while you burn body fat causes your metabolism to speed up, making you a literal "fat burning furnace".

Once you lose the body fat you want to lose, you can start to add back cheat foods sparingly like pizza and burgers. You will notice that they do not make you gain body fat back like they used to. A faster metabolism allows you to enjoy some foods not on your strict diet. Whereas if you tried eating those foods on a starvation diet that produced muscle loss, you would immediately store body fat.

So which do you want? Do you want to diet correctly, lose pure body fat, add or keep muscle and enjoy a variety of foods? Or do you want to do a fad diet that does not provide proper nutrition, depletes muscle and keeps you on a strict diet from now on? By the way, when your body thinks its starving, it does NOT want to give up body fat. It holds onto it like crazy (which means that weight you are losing is probably a LOT of muscle).

For more information on how to achieve the body you really want through diet and exercise, email mikephelpsmail@gmail.com. Or visit www.mikephelpstraining.com. And, if you are interested in trying to compete in any physique competition and looking for a gym in Baldwin county that specializes in contest preparation, visit www.easternshorefitnesscenter.com (opening again soon).