Is It Really Just About Calories?

We’ve been taught for many years that the best way to lose weight is to increase how much we exercise and decrease the number of calories that we consume. Correct? Well that’s only partly true…..

If you go on a diet ( reduce what and how much you eat ) then over a period of time you will probably lose weight. That’s good isn’t it? The problem is that the substances you lose may be water, muscle and possibly some fat.

It’s very likely to be a high percentage of muscle and this is where the problem lies.

Muscle tissue is metabolic and that means that the more muscle tissue you have the faster you burn calories. So if you lose muscle when you go on a diet you are slowing your metabolism down which means that you’ll easily put weight back on if you start to eat a bit more. Once you’ve put that weight back on what do you do?……You go on another diet and hey presto you lose more muscle tissue and slow the metabolism down again. Can you see how the vicious cycle starts? How many of you have spent time on diets, feeling great when you lose the weight and then despondent when it creeps back on?

The other problem with starvation diets ( reducing how much you eat ) is that the body is designed to protect itself and therefore when it feels it is not getting enough energy the brain sends a signal telling it to hold onto vital fat which can then be used for energy at some later stage. In the meantime it will use muscle tissue for the energy that it needs so another vicious circle begins – you diet, you lose weight, your body thinks it’s starving so it holds onto fat, you use muscle, your metabolism slows etc etc……

Diets do work BUT to get true FAT loss you need to throw in some other elements.

A recent article in The American Journal of Physiology gave interesting results showing the difference between working out for 30 minutes and working out for 60 minutes ( as most of us seem to have got into the habit of doing).

Although the group who worked out for longer( 60 minutes ) burned more calories than the other group, when they measured the amount of ‘fat’ lost it was an almost identical amount. Surely this proves that working harder and smarter but for shorter periods of time is a much better way of changing your body shape and getting the toned physique that you are really after?
My new 30 Minute Effect class does exactly this and the great news is that you work to your own level of fitness, there is no complicated choreography and it doesn’t take all day! Starts next week with sessions at 11.30am and 12.15pm on Tuesday and Thursday. See you there.