May 15, 2013
In this newsletter . . .
Why do most dieters
get fat again?
Back in the 1970s, I bought a purebred Welsh terrier puppy. We named him Toby. He was to be the family dog and he turned out to be a real handful.
I still remember taking him to his first physical exam, and the veterinarian told me my puppy had a heart murmur. As you may know, there are different types of heart murmurs, some serious and some rather insignificant. But I imagined all sorts of bad outcomes: that he would be sickly or die early, among them.
The vet told me not to worry. Toby, he said, should follow a diet of pet food made for dogs with heart abnormalities; but he would otherwise lead a healthy, active life.
I asked him how simply eating a prescription food could make such a difference? I’ve always remembered what he told me: ”It’s because dogs can’t cheat.”
Toby lived 15 very active years.
And therein lies the reason the majority of overweight or obese people cannot seem to maintain a healthy bodyweight after successfully losing weight through dieting: People can cheat.
There’s really no big secret to losing weight. You simply stop eating as much as you have been and the weight comes off. The old joke about the best exercise for losing weight is to push yourself away from the dinner table is true.
Dieters who do manage to keep off the fat, once its gone, are the ones who don’t cheat. Their methods to resist falling back into their old ways are varied. But one way or another, they do resist.
So if taking off the fat sounds difficult, keeping it off is harder. There are statistics to back it up. Following practically any of the popular dieting plans will make you lose weight. Each may claim its “secret” reason why. But the fact is any diet works when you consistently take in fewer calories.
That doesn’t mean it is smart or healthy to eat anything you want as long as you eat less of it. It’s certainly possible to lose weight and harm yourself at the same time, if basic principles of good nutrition are ignored. And not all of the popular weight loss programs are properly balanced.
When I taught cardio-kickboxing classes, I handed out dietary recommendations. Some of the overweight people who regularly came to class lost a lot of fat and got really fit. Years later a couple of them I kept track of are still trim and fit. I featured one young woman in my book, Living the Fitness Lifestyle. She was determined to succeed and did.
I cannot say how many who came to my classes maintained their fitness later on because I lost contact with them. I would like to believe that all of them experienced long-term success. But statistics don’t support that. Most dieters get fat again. Sorry to say it, but it’s true.
But here is something that improves the odds of maintaining a healthy bodyweight once it’s achieved. If regular exercise becomes part of your life, too, you have a much greater chance of having a normal bodyweight permanently.
Another huge plus in getting regular exercise while dieting is how your body will look at a lower weight. Without regular exercise, dieters may be trim but flabby. With regular exercise, dieters lose fat while building or retaining muscle. Resistance exercise, in particular, is the antidote to flabby.
Find a free beginner’s exercise plan here.
Discover sound nutrition information here.
You've probably heard about the tremendous benefits of weight training and how you can retain -- or even reclaim -- the attributes of youth . . . Discover the way with . . .
Gray Iron: A Fitness Guide for Senior Men and Women
The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly to subscribers. The purpose is to provide honest and realistic fitness information for people age 50 and above.
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