Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Truth Behind Losing Weight

Lately I've been reading all over the web about the Dancing with the Stars participants. How many of them have lost weight. The most recent is Ricki Lake. The (arguably) most celebrated celebrity is Kirstie Alley.

Anyone who keeps up on this sort of thing (like me) knows both these women have gained and lost weight over the years (also considered "yo-yo dieting"). In other words, they may be famous, but they're just like everyone else. Their bodies respond to what they eat and the exercising they do (or don't do).

I'm not surprised they're losing weight quickly. Dancing is physically demanding. If you do it eight hours a day for weeks on end, you're going to lose a lot of weight, and need to eat more calories to compensate.

Here is the problem for most of these celebrities once they are no longer participating in the DWTS show: when they stop dancing, the weight is likely to return. Why? Because they will be used to eating the same amount of calories they consumed while on a physically grueling schedule, but they will have stopped the hours they've spent dancing.

This is why it's best not to go too gung-ho when beginning an exercise routine. If you start off exercising two hours a day five times a week, you may find yourself increasing your calorie intake. Bodies love carbs and protein to keep them running. But when you taper off exercising (and this is more likely the case then not), you might not taper off in your calorie intake. Why? Because your body becomes used to the calorie intake.

My advice? First of all, attempt to snack on healthier fare such as bananas and blueberries when you start out exercising. Slowly increase your workouts from 30 minutes to 2 hours so your body can adequately adjust. If you are starving after a workout, fill up with lettuce sprinkled with feta cheese and a small amount of vinaigrette. Do not think you can go for the double cheeseburger at Mickey D's. You may have burned off 300 calories, but why consume 400 or more afterward?

Get your body used to the workouts, and have a healthy snack with a little protein afterward to help muscles recuperate. But don't think you can eat more because you are working out. In fact, try to keep your calories at or below where they were before you began an exercising routine. (This is if you are looking to shed pounds, not maintain the weight you are at.) Don't overdo the workouts. You aren't trying to starve yourself. Hungry people grab whatever is available to them with no regard to calories or fat grams. I speak from experience!

Good luck, and drop me a line if you end up on Dancing with the Stars.

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