These days I am mostly a weight loss and body composition specialist. In layman’s terms you could say body composition translates to “toning up” for people who aren’t actually overweight. It’s all about improving the ratio of lean mass (muscle, for example) to body fat, which makes for better health and a more attractive figure.
There are approximately 8 million different weight loss programs out there, including all the famous (fad) diets, the “meal replacement” products… there’s one I read about a few weeks back where (I swear to god this is true) you don’t eat anything at all for 15 days and get a doctor to stick an IV drip into you to provide just enough nutrients to prevent you from actually dropping dead of starvation.
Think about it… DOCTORS will perform this procedure. Aren’t they supposed to keep people healthy, and have some sort of code of ethics that they swear an oath to uphold? I must be confused, because it seems quite unhealthy and questionably ethical to me… because you know… the other ultra extreme and ethically dubious approaches weren’t ultra extreme enough already.
So, do you reckon it actually works? I mean… sure you would lose weight, much like a person in the intensive care unit at hospital would lose weight when they can’t eat and are kept alive by a drip. But what happens when you come off that drip and start eating meals again? Obviously, you gain the weight back. Or in medical terms; you RECOVER, since the weight loss was only due to being in an unhealthy state known as starvation.
I’m drifting (as usual) away from the topic I originally intended to tackle, but my point is… these are the increasingly extreme lengths people are going to in order to lose weight. It’s not even like they think they’ll keep the weight off, either. They go into it fully aware that it is an extreme and unnatural approach, for a temporary result.
Now this is the most extreme and just… disgusting, morally offensive example I know of, but most conventional “weight loss products” aren’t really that much different. You lose weight due to malnutrition, and then put it back on again when you recover. Pointless and unhealthy!
So before we go on and discuss how to build a weight loss plan that will actually ensure success, first let’s look at the reason why people are overweight or obese in the first place.
Now. Usually when you ask this question people can list off a lot of what I would call “contributing factors”. Often this is to do with their schedule, how busy they are, or whatever else that stops them from being able to eat a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner. The actual reason though? Not consuming the appropriate range of calories.
Body weight is directly proportional to the amount of calories consumed on a regular basis. Eat too much, you gain weight. Eat too little, you screw up your balance of hormones, slow your metabolism, and store more fat. Sometimes it seems to be both problems at once; not enough calories from actual meals, leading to way too many calories from junk food snacks.
Either way, the absolute bottom line is, you can only achieve a goal weight (generally speaking, we’re talking about a “normal” score on the Body Mass Index) by consuming the appropriate range of calories.
On to part two and more on successful weight loss programs.