Thursday, 24 April 2008

The first step

*This is for general healthy public. There are always "exceptions"*

This topic has been a regular subject amongst my clients recently. It's about food. Surprise.

I spend a great deal of my time explaining that the body doesn't respond well to food restriction. Sure, you'll lose weight. But it is not likely to stay off. One study, out of many, in the New England Journal of Medicine (1996) showed that a restricted diet had a 11% success rate of keeping weight off over a year.

That is not promising.

Then you start thinking about what does increase success. That study showed an 86% success rate when about 4 hours of activity a week was added. Not more food restriction.

Here is the short version: When we are active and the body is fueled supportively it doesn't appear to hold on to as much fat. I've seen it time and time again in my practice. Moms, dads, and athletes who struggle with weight who are under-fueling themselves. After a Body Composition Assessment is done and their Basal Metabolic Rate is calculated (and the shock wears off, "That much?") and a supportive food plan is put together the weight dips and lean tissues are maintained.

I really don't want to beat this too badly. Just take a look at what you are eating. Is it supportive or is it restrictive?

The kicker: with restriction comes mood swings, cognitive impairment, blood sugar control issues, difficulty avoiding late night snacking because impulse control drops. It is not a recipe for success.

Consider this. If you have special food considerations see an accredited dietitian or nutritionist, depending on where you live. Get your BMR assessed. Build a food plan for life.

Think strong,

Todd