More often than not, when people are upset with their excess body fat and wish to rid themselves of it, they will want to begin a diet program. Instantly, the confusion starts. The confusion often manifests itself in the form of a barrage of questions, such as, "Which type of diet should I go on?", "Should I do low carb?", "Should I do low fat?", "Should I do low calorie?" Sadly, this often ends up with the dieter choosing a fad diet, then deciding that it doesn't work, and therefore, the dieter picks yet another fad diet that they believe is the final answer to their dieting dilemma. This process is often repeated, and the dieter winds up with more disappointment than results. This is known as "yo-yo dieting."
The end of "yo-yo dieting" was the inspiration for this article, as I have been there personally. I found out through much pain and suffering that the best thing a dieter can do, is not be a dieter. Yes, you read that right. I am advising that you DO NOT go on a diet at all! "But how can this be, won't I get even fatter if I don't do something right now?" No, you will however get fatter if you do not make some minor changes. The changes that I am talking about are simple and any able-bodied person can do them.
From personal experience, you the "dieter" have two choices. You can either cut your calories a whole lot and cut out the things you enjoy, OR, you can eat a "regular" diet and workout intensely. I have tried both, and I find that working out intensely is much more enjoyable! Assuming you eat a typical diet and don't go overboard, you are going to eat a day's worth of food that looks like this...
Breakfast - 2 waffles with 3 tablespoons of syrup and a teaspoon of butter, one glass of 2% milk.
Lunch - A cheeseburger and a medium fries, a glass of soda.
Dinner - Medium sized plate of pasta with sauce, a piece of garlic bread, a beer or glass of wine, water.
Note the amount of carbohydrates in the above sample of a "regular" diet. The body stores carbohydrates in the muscles as glycogen. Glycogen is "muscular fuel," if you will. The problem occurs however when too many carbohydrates are consumed in a given day. Your muscles can hold only so much glycogen, and when your muscles reach their limit for the amount of glycogen they can store, the excess carbohydrates that are not stored as glycogen get stored as body fat. When you exercise intensely however, your muscles will be engaged and will therefore deplete their glycogen storages, which will be needed to fuel your workouts. So, the carbohydrates that you eat will then be stored as glycogen in your muscles and not as excess body fat! So in that sense, you don't really have to diet, so long as you are exercising regularly, preferably with weights or some type of resistance training.
If you think that intense exercise is not a minor change, consider how much time there is in a day and how much of that time you use watching television, working, etc. Now understand that intense exercise doesn't have to go past 45 minutes per day, for about four days per week. Seems pretty minor doesn't it? And the best part is, with a standard exercise bench and some dumbbells, you can perform most exercises without ever having to leave your home. And if that's too much, you can do most body weight exercises assuming you are not too overweight, absolutely free!
That is only one small change you can make, and you will see significant results from that alone. If you want to quicken your results, you can "cut corners" in your diet, without sacrificing the things you like, if you are willing to exercise just the smallest amount of discipline. Go over the above diet, and then compare it to this one:
Breakfast - 2 waffles with 2 tablespoons of syrup and 1 teaspoon of butter, one glass of 1% milk.
Lunch - A cheeseburger and a small fries, soda.
Dinner - A small plate of pasta with sauce, 1 piece of garlic bread, grilled chicken salad with 2 tablespoons of your favorite dressing, a beer, water.
Notice that in this revised diet, there is a small reduction in the amount of carbohydrates in breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and an addition of quality protein (grilled chicken in the salad) during dinner time, and yet, you the "dieter" do not have to sacrifice the foods you love. Combine a revised diet like this one with intense exercise and you have a winning combination for fast, cost-effective results that you will enjoy just as much as your food!
Yours in health,