Shedding Fat & Building Muscle
Everyone's looking for the magical
formula to lose weight, shed fat, and build muscle. And every year,
there's a new diet book, diet product, diet pill, exercise gadget,
and/or exercise philosophy promising quick and easy results.
Read on to learn:
Diets Don’t Work
There are more diet books, diet foods, diet supplements, and diet
products than ever before, and people are more worried about their
weight and size than ever before. In fact, it’s estimated that
almost half of all women and about 25% of all men are on a diet at
any given time! Yet, despite all this dieting, the rates of obesity
are higher then ever. In fact, obesity has increased a shocking 50%
over the past decade!!! And, eating disorders are just as prevalent
as ever. There seems to be a direct association between “dieting”
and gaining MORE weight and developing more disordered eating
patterns. Click here to learn more about the effects of
why diets don’t work.
In order for your weight to stay the same, the energy (or calories)
you consume should equal the energy (or calories) you expend. In
most cases, it’s really a simple matter of energy balance: “Calories
In” must equal “Calories Out.” “Calories In” includes what we eat
and drink. “Calories Out” includes our resting metabolic rate, the
thermic effect of food, and physical activity. Click here to learn
more about calories and your personal calorie requirements.
The only way to lose weight is to create a calorie deficit. One
pound of fat equals 3500 calories. So, in theory, to lose ½ pound to
1 pound a week, you have to create a deficit of 250 to 500 calories
per day (either by eating fewer calories or burning more in physical
activity). Of course, genetic differences determine how easy it is
for you personally to lose weight. In one study, researchers overfed
a group of people 1000 extra calories every day for 8 weeks and
found that there was a huge difference in the amount of weight
gained (ranging from 3 to 16 pounds)! The researchers concluded that
the people who gained less weight were able to “waste” the extra
calories by fidgeting more and giving off more body heat. The people
who gained more weight lacked this capability and simply stored the
To maximize fat loss, minimize the drop in your metabolism, energy,
mood, and grades, and increase the chances that you won't gain it
back, it’s best to lose weight slowly! Decrease your intake slightly
by 250-500 calories per day and increase your exercise level. Aim
for about 0.5-2 lb. weight loss per week. If you are very
overweight, 2 lb. per week is acceptable. But, if you only have a
few pounds to drop, the rate should not exceed 0.5-1 lb. per week.
Click here for a listing of eating strategies for permanent fat loss
and sample meal plans for healthy weight loss.
What about Fat Burner Supplements?
Click on the link above to learn…
Whether the active ingredients in fat burner products are
effective and safe.
Are the new “ephedra-free” products really better and safer
What are the keys to losing body fat and keeping it off for good?
Is there a genetic limit to how lean and shredded you can get?
The only way to gain weight is to create a calorie excess. So, in
theory, to gain ½ pound to a pound a week, that means creating an
excess of 250-500 calories per day. Whether or not those extra
calories go towards building muscle or body fat depends on whether
or not you exercise. Of course, as with weight loss, genetic
differences make it easier for some people to gain weight and harder
for others. If your metabolism speeds way up every time you eat
more, you may have to consume many more calories before you’ll
achieve results. For more tips on weight gain, go to “Eating
Strategies to Gain Weight” and “Frequently Asked Questions about
What about Muscle Builder supplements?
Click on the link above to learn…
How much protein and amino acids you really need to build muscle.
If creatine is the magic bullet it is claimed to be.
Whether or not andro and other pro-hormone supplements offer safe
and effective alternatives to anabolic steroids.
What are the keys to achieving optimal muscle strength and mass?
Is there a genetic limit to how much muscle you can gain?
Sheri Barke, MPH, RD
COC, Student Health & Wellness Center