You may eat like a bird but look like a blimp. Think of your metabolism as a furnace, dieting progressively lowers your metabolic rate until it is more of a flicker than a fat burning flame.  If being fat was merely a matter of vanity, we could probably put up with the extra jiggle and bounce. But excess fat is more dangerous, the leading culprit in heart disease, the many forms of cancer and adult-onset diabetes. Fat has killed more people than the atomic bomb.

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IT’S NOT FUN BEING FAT

being too fat lowers our self-esteem. Have a look at the magazine covers; our society has an addiction to thinness. Overweight and obese people are often subjected to cruel treatment and discrimination. Statistics show that we’re not only getting fatter but we are resorting to accursed crash dieting in droves. Sometimes the urge to be thin is so powerful that many women drive off the dietary deep end into eating disorders, inviting metabolic ruin where fat they temporarily lose is insignificant compared to the other loses; hair, teeth, bone density and in some cases their lives.

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OUR LOVE-HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH FAT

We loathe it because it jiggles and pads our curves and endangers our health, but we love it because it tastes good. We have inherited a preference for fatty foods dating back to the prehistoric days when eating fats ensured that we would survive long enough to reproduce. Our high-fat diet enabled us to survive those Palaeolithic times. Fat cushions our internal organs and plays an essential role in the human body, necessary to dissolve vitamins that we consume in food and for the production of hormones.  Skimping on fat can cause mental and physical problems such as depression, skin problems, and malnutrition. Fat provides bodily warmth and gives us smooth soft skin and shiny hair. A little fat can help keep us youthful looking, women over 40 are encouraged to gain a few pounds to plump out facial wrinkles.

TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING

Let’s get back to the twenty-first-century fat issue. Right now we are having too much of a good thing. Due to the abundance of convenience foods along with our inactive lifestyles people are consuming more calories than their bodies actually require.  The problem is overeating fat calories. The disaster combination for gaining weight is when we consume fats along with sugars. To make matters worse we go on repeat diets which may foster eating disorders. Woman panic when gaining weight and sometimes starve themselves to lose the fat. Studies show those women who eat less will ultimately have a higher body fat percentage, than of those who eat more.

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METABOLISM WORKING AGAINST YOU

Dieting and starving one-self has a counter effect; the body knows that it is being deprived of nutrients. Our bodies were built to last through thick or thin, feast or famine and our metabolism is conditioned to burn fast or slow depending on the available food resources. Therefore every time you go on a diet or starve yourself, you lower your metabolic rate.  Your metabolic rate can decrease up to 30% because your body senses starvation and resolves to slow down bodily process to conserve energy to preserve life for the longest time possible. When resuming normal eating habits you gain weight, an additional 5% each time. This is because your body has become accustomed to less, and stores the extra calories as fat. The dieting and the starving yourself thin, has worked against you. Some people inherit a slower metabolism, and it also slows with age, which is why people who were thin all their lives suddenly develop a pot belly or big thighs in the mid-life.  No matter what your metabolic rate is now, you can increase it to a normal “high-burning” level in a matter of months by eating a low fat foods, complex carbohydrates and fibre. When you lose weight through dieting, part of the loss is lean muscle tissue, which weighs more than fat.  When you regain weight, you gain it back primarily as fat, which is lighter and requires fewer calories to maintain. Therefore exercise regularly to build fat burning muscles, and to increase your overall percentage of lean muscle.

HOMEOSTASIS

Most of us can pig out one day, and under eat the next, and still manage to keep our weight on an even keel. This is because Mother Nature does a fine job of regulating body fat within a small range, among people who eat appropriately. This is a phenomenon called homeostasis.

The problem with weight gain occurs when we pig out consistently – not occasionally. Ours bodies have an amazing ability to maintain a normal weight range if you listen to your appetite and adjust you’re eating accordingly.

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BURN CALORIES BY EATING

It is essential to understand that metabolism takes place in every single cell in the entire human body from head to toe. Every cell in the body metabolizes nutrients via the mitochondria, there are hundreds of metabolic pathways for metabolizing nutrients. Muscle tissue contains more mitochondria than any other tissue in the body.

Energy cannot be created and cannot be destroyed! Therefore when you consume food for energy, (often referred a to as calories, which is the measurement of energy that we get from food) it is the mitochondria’s function to metabolize energy. Any excess is converted to fat and stored.

From the moment you begin to eat peristalsis occurs this is the contracting and squeezing action of muscle surrounding the alimentary canal which starts from your mouth and ends at the anus.

This motion of peristalsis consumes calories. Therefore it is wise to consume foods that are calorie lean. These food types are “low calorie to volume ratio” such as an entire bowl of lettuce and broccoli. Opposed to a “high-calorie low volume ratio foods” such as a piece of chocolate.

In other words eating an entire bowl of salad will assist your body in burning calories as it requires more energy during peristalsis. Bearing in mind, that consuming a piece of chocolate which is “calorie dense’ does not trigger that same effect!

THE BOTTOM LINE

It is highly recommended that you go read through the Nutrition section, the information provided will prove most valuable.

Ensure that you have breakfast, this will kick-start your metabolism for the rest of the day followed by small regular meals throughout the day. Contrary to popular belief, carbohydrates are not inherently fattening.

  1. Therefore you are encouraged to consume complex carbohydrates and fibers.
    Sugars should be avoided) replace sugar-based beverages with water and or sugar-free cool-drinks.Note eating an 80g portion of cooked rice will provide approximately 280 calories, containing almost zero fat calories) along with a feeling of satiety. This is a far better option opposed to eating savory biscuits and pies. (Read Carbohydrate section)
  1. Eliminate Saturated fats and Trans fats from your diet, (foods such as red meat with visible fat, sausages, mayonnaise, margarine, chocolates, biscuits, cakes, cheese and full cream milk) instead opt for the preferred unsaturated fat sources like avocado, canola oil and olive oil. These “beneficial” oils are required in small amounts. Supplementing with omega 3 and 6 is highly recommended.
  1. Have adequate protein daily, preferably from quality protein foods that have less saturated fat, such as seafood, chicken and egg whites. Protein supplements such as Whey protein which is an excellent source of milk protein.
  1. Consume large amounts of vegetables and leafy salads.
  2. Exercise with intensity, if you can read or talk comfortably whilst doing cardio; consider putting more effort into it. Weight training is extremely beneficial if you want to reduce body fat and build a lean physique, it is therefore highly recommended for men and woman (Read Training Section)

The key to success is to plan and organize your mind. Adopt a positive attitude and believe that anything is possible. Aspire to become the best version of you, and most of all love yourself.

Your shopping list: Take time to read the labels carefully, take note of the ingredients listed for your meals ahead. Ensure that you prepare healthy meals for the day ahead.