Why Can’t I Lose Weight?

It’s the never-ending cycle of the yo-yo dieter. You count calories, deprive yourself and go hungry for weeks, maybe even months. You’ll very likely lose some weight this way. The problem is, using this method, the pounds will never stay off. In fact, you’re very likely to gain even more weight when the diet ends.

To understand why it’s very close to impossible to lose weight and keep it off with this method, first we must examine what happens to your body when you starve it of calories and fat. Let’s say you lose 20 pounds by significantly reducing your food intake. Using this type of diet means you’ve likely lost weight in the following proportions:

** 10 pounds of water
** 5 pounds of fat
** 5 pounds of muscle

Because the more muscle you have the faster your metabolic rate, this loss of muscle mass means a slower metabolic rate. Because of this, more of the food you eat will be stored as fat and your body will have a harder time to burn it off.

Simply put, muscles actually help you increase your metabolic rate since they need energy and that energy is calories. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories your muscles need for energy, thus increasing your metabolic rate.

But, let’s get back to our example. Because it is almost impossible to maintain a deprivation/starvation diet, when you give up this impossible lifestyle, you gain the 20 pounds back. Here is what happens:

** You put the 10 pounds of water back on
** And now you put on 10 pounds of fat (because you lost the muscle mass and replaced it with fat)

With yo-yo dieting, the situation is even worse because after putting back on the weight and gaining extra fat, when you decide to go on another deprivation diet, you lose even more muscle mass. Yo-yo dieting is a vicious cycle and it usually leaves you with more fat than when you began dieting.

Luckily muscle burns fat, so the simple solution is to add muscle to your body. And no ladies, we’re not talking about looking like a body builder; it’s about getting a toned and sculpted physique. When you add muscle to your body, you boost your metabolic rate and burn calories more effectively. Even sitting on the couch, in front of the TV, a toned body at rest burns more calories than a flabby one. Some other good news is that when you eat healthy foods at regular intervals, the body uses those foods for energy instead of hoarding it and storing it as fat.

By leading a healthy lifestyle including muscle building resistance training and fat burning cardio, while making healthier eating choices, you can turn your body into a fat-burning machine instead of a fat storage plant.

Lisa Sims is a certified personal Trainer and co-owner of MamaFit Online, an online workout program that provides participants with an online personal training regimen including several fat burning, body toning workouts each month. Beat workout boredom with fresh workouts at a fraction of the cost of hiring a trainer. For more information, visit http://mamafitonline.ca/

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