1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Lahore, Pakistan
    Blog Entries

    Traditional Diets DO NOT work

    The Every Other Day Diet is not a traditional diet, and I am having great success with it. Let me tell you how and why it works
    but first a little background info.

    I know it happens every year, particularly around traditional/cultural occasions and functions. We over-indulge, put on a few pounds (or worse), and make a New Year Resolution to lose the weight. We head off to the book store, pick up the latest fad diet book, and work our butts off to lose the weight we gained. More often than not, this weight loss will require calorie counting, or at least restricting what you eat to proportions that leave you hungry all day & night.

    By reducing your intake of calories, you are not only starving your body of essential nutrients, but you are also changing the way your body reacts to food. You body goes into starvation mode, reducing your metabolism, and therefore your caloric requirements. In other words, your body starts requiring LESS calories to maintain itself.

    OK, you lose a few pounds, but then likely plateau as continued starvation has little effect on your stubborn fat. It’s time to come off the diet and just be happy with what we lost, right?

    The big problem is that your body is now in a different state to the one it was in when you started the diet. It now requires LESS calories to maintain your current weight, and since you are now off the diet, you go back to eating the way you use to (the way that got you those extra pounds in the first place). Eventually your metabolism returns to its original rate and your body weight starts to level off again, only this time at a higher weight than before your diet. You end up heavier than before your started that darn diet!

    Many people will just hit another diet, and the same thing will happen. You’ll starve yourself to lose some weight, come off the diet and pile those pounds back on. There is a reason why the term yo-yo dieting is used for this type of behavior.

    Notice the upward trend in your weight? That’s quite typical of most calorie-starvation diets.

    The big problem with these traditional diets is the change that happens in your metabolic rate as you remain on low calorie diets for so long. But what exactly is metabolic rate?

    Think of your body as a machine that requires fuel. The fuel is anything that you put into your mouth. As you put more food into your system, your body “furnace” works at burning up that food into small units that can be used around the body. The more food you put in, the hotter the “furnace” and your metabolic rate increases. When food is in short supply (like when you are dieting), that body furnace has very little to fuel the flames, and your metabolic rate drops off. As metabolic rate falls, so does your capacity to burn up calories.

    Think of it this way. Paul has a low metabolic rate, and Julie has a high metabolic rate. Each eats a piece of cake with 900 calories. Paul is less able to burn up those calories to use as energy in his body, whereas Julie’s high metabolic rate quickly turns that cake into energy to be used around her body. The outcome is that while the cake is not great for either person, Julie is unlikely to store it as fat, whereas Paul’s body will. Paul’s body will use what it can for energy, and send the rest to the fat processing plant.

    This is the simple fact of dieting:

    If calories eaten exceeds calories required by the body, then excess calories can be stored as fat.

    If calories eaten are less than calories required, then the body will make up the difference by burning up some of its own tissue (hopefully fat tissue but not always).

    The interesting bit in the above statement is the “calories required” bit. The higher your metabolic rate, the more calories your body will require.

    One of the secrets then of any diet is to keep the metabolic rate high. The very best way of doing this is to increase your levels of activity. Increased activity means increased metabolic rate.
    Therein lies the problem. Most people who want to lose weight don’t want to have to increase their exercise levels because they either cannot be bothered, or they don’t think they have time. Unfortunately these people are more likely to stay fat.

    Increasing exercise levels can mean just going for a 30 minute walk three times a week. If that isn’t something you have been doing so far, then that’s constitutes an increase in activity levels. Walks can be fun, and if you have an iPod, you can listen to music, catch up with podcasts, even learn a foreign language (something I do on my weekly walks).

    However, I have a secret weapon in my arsenal of fat busting tools. While I have seen fantastic results myself (and my wife did too even without doing any increased activity), my results may not be typical of everyone. However, with that being said, it’s a diet that doesn’t leave me hungry. In fact I feel full of energy all day long (except the first few days on the diet when my system was adjusting). What’s more I don’t count calories, I eat balanced healthy food, and I can even drink beer, eat cake or go for a pizza if I want to. It sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?

    I thought so too, but in my first week I lost 3 Kg. Since I started the diet (I hate that word as it conjures up thoughts of going hungry, so let’s call it the lifestyle change instead, OK?) I have now lost around 15 Kg, and have reached a weight that I haven’t seen for 20 years.

    The diet itself has an eating plan which you need to stick to (though some foods are unlimited so you won’t go hungry). However, every other day you can eat your favourite treat, and in fact, the diet’s success relies on you having a piece of cake, or chocolate on these “cheat days”, just to stop your body from switching into metabolic foreclosure.

    Now I am no medical doctor, though I do have a scientific background in Biology, so let me tell you what I think is happening on this diet, and why it works so well.

    The diet itself is a fairly low carbohydrate diet with the main carbs coming from apples, pears and fruit. All of the carbohydrates on the diet are fully nutritious and healthy (I’m not talking about the cheat days here).

    Much of the calories you would normally get from carbohydrates such as potatoes, bread, rice etc are replaced with calories from nuts.

    Let’s consider for a moment how your body handles carbohydrates. Your liver and muscles store carbohydrate for when it is needed. Carbohydrates can quickly be converted to energy, so having these energy stores in your muscles and liver are a safe-guard for your body to ensure you always have energy to run away from that T-Rex chasing your fellow hunters.

    On a diet rich in carbohydrate, these carbohydrate stores quickly become full. Excess carbohydrate is then converted into fat and stored in fat cells. Fat cells are an alternative way your body stores energy, though getting at that energy in times of a T-Rex attack won’t be as easy.

    Once carb stores become full, the excess carbs you eat get converted to fat.

    However, consider a low carbohydrate diet for a moment. On this type of diet, your internal stores of carbohydrates are lower. What happens then when you eat that piece of cake?

    Let’s see:

    In this situation, eating that piece of cake does not result in fat being stored. Your carbohydrate stores increase, but since they are low to begin with, you have plenty of room to store it in the muscles and liver without having to send any to the fat-processing plant.

    On the diet I follow, this is what happens. On my diet days, my stores of carbohydrates are kept low, and when I go off my diet every other day, my carb stores are topped up, but never to over-flowing point.

    This cheating every day helps to keep my metabolism high, and the higher your metabolism, the higher the energy needs of your body, so that in itself helps to keep those carb stores low.
    As I said earlier, I am not a medical doctor, so my description of how this diet works is merely based on my background knowledge of Biology. What I do know though is that this diet has changed my life. I don’t find it difficult to follow, and even though we have just had a Christmas with typical over-indulgence, my weight has not increased.

    If you are looking for a diet that actually works without all the yo-yo effects, this one is worth trying. You should of course consult your doctor if you do decide to follow any diet.

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