Weight Control Made Easy

I'm as sick of the Diet Wars as everyone else. I cringe every time I read about some "magic" food or combination of foods that will produce instant and permanent weight loss. I weep for the people whose weight fluctuates wildly; they go on diet after diet, and they end up fatter and weaker each time.

But nothing makes me more frustrated than the endless repetition of this simple statement:

"If you want to lose weight, eat less and exercise more."

What makes me nuts is the fact it's absolutely true, in the short term. You will lose weight if you consume fewer calories and burn off more. But without a good strategy to cut the foods you don't need and keep or add the ones you do, it's as useless as spurs on swim fins.

Look at it in a business context: If you're a manager and your boss tells you to cut 20 percent of your workforce, you're going to be damned careful about whom you keep and whom you cut loose. You wouldn't send all your accountants packing if that meant you had no one left who knew how to balance the books.

And yet most of the popular diets encourage you to cut calories so drastically that you end up paying the price in your corporeal bottom line: You lose muscle and slow down your metabolism. Downsized muscle and a downshifted metabolism mean most of the weight you regain will be in the form of fat. And, unless you have a metabolism-friendly weight-maintenance plan, you will regain whatever you lost. Plus some, in most cases.

"Exercise more" sounds good, too, until you try to figure out where the energy to do it will come from if you're cutting calories from your diet.

I have two goals with this chapter. The first is to explain a concept called "energy flux," which is a more sophisticated way to look at the classic "calories-in, calories-out" model of weight control.

The second part of this chapter looks at calories themselves: what effect they have on your muscles and metabolism, how to estimate your needs, and how to manipulate your daily intake to lose or gain weight. Then I'll discuss specific foods in the next chapter.

4 Steps To Permanent Weight Loss

4 Steps To Permanent Weight Loss

I can't believe I'm actually writing the book that is going to help you achieve the level of health and fitness that you always dreamed of. Me, little scrawny sickly Darlene that was always last picked in gym class. There's power in a good story here so get this book now.

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