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Losing Weight and Staying Composed

Aug 27, 2008
When people set their New Year's resolutions, one of the top items on many lists is to "lose weight." While this goal seems fairly positive for the overweight, successful body composition is better defined as building muscle and burning fat. After all, if you lose five pounds of muscle, are you really any healthier because of it?

From here out, instead of thinking about the term "weight loss" when it comes to the weight scale, we're going to use the term body composition. Body composition is a measure of now only how much you way, but what you're made of. A six-foot tall, 220-pound football player doesn't need to worry about weight loss. Considering most of that mass is muscle, they are far healthier than the six-foot tall, 220-pound man who works in the office every day. It's not about how much you weight; it's about what you're made of!

Fortunately, many people who are severely overweight will lose a lot more fat than muscle when their weight drops. However, as individuals begin to reach their body's "ideal weight," it becomes much harder to keep on the muscle when a body is under a caloric deficit. A more successful person would look to build muscle, rather than plainly lose weight. Bodies with more muscle burn more calories, and combined with a healthy, balanced diet, reaching a healthy weight is very simple to achieve.

The quantity of calories in a diet dictates how slowly or quickly your body composition changes. The quality of the calories in a diet dictates what part of your body composition changes. When it comes to the quantity of calories, you want to make sure your weight is fluctuating at a consistent and healthy rate, typically around 1-2 pounds a week. The quality of a diet could be measured on a variety of different factors. Grams of protein and fiber are two important things to consider, as well as cutting sugars and saturated fats. Don't forget to wash down your meals with several glasses of water every day!

Believe it or not, cutting fat from your diet doesn't necessarily mean you are going to trim fat from your body. If fact, recent research has shown that the opposite may be true. For individuals looking to burn fat from off their body, they should eat measurable portion of their calories from fat, and instead focus on cutting sugars. When your body's blood sugar is high, the body releases more insulin, a hormone that instantly puts your body into fat-storing mode. Definitely not what you want to be happening!

Aside from diet, the other main component of improving body composition is physical activity.

People looking to improve their body composition should aim to work out for five hours each week if they hope to see some major improvements. There are products that guarantee results in far less than that, but your results are going to be directly related by how much time and effort you invest into it. Try to work out at least four times a week. Working out keeps your metabolism high and forces your body to improve.

Find an ideal weight for yourself. Instead of focusing on a scale weight or body mass index, focus on keep body fat at a healthy level. Don't become a statistic. More importantly than the numbers is the way you look and feel about yourself.
About the Author
Exercise is not the answer for everyone when it comes to loosing weight. Safe drugs such as Reductil, Xenical and Acomplia have been clinically proven to quickly reduce mass.
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