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Different Weight Loss Methods And Which Are Most Effective Long Term

By Kim Eastlund

A Hundred Different Ways To Lose Weight

These days there is no shortage of weight loss programs on the internet promising results, so how do you know if you are choosing a program that is really looking out for your best interest?  There are some important factors to consider before you spend your hard-earned money on a weight loss program.  A lot of us without much thought would of course choose a program that produces the quickest results, but is it worth it?

Rapid Weight Loss

Weight loss plans that promote rapid weight loss will ultimately be a disappointment.  There are numerous repercussions of engaging in plans that have you eating below the amount of calories your body requires at rest. This is referred to as your basal metabolic rate or BMR. Each person is individual and a 1200 calorie diet doesn’t work for everyone because your BMR is determined by height, weight, gender and muscle mass.  Furthermore, rapid weight loss is usually a result of water and glycogen loss as well as muscle and this can occur with a weight loss of greater than 2 pounds per week.  When weight loss occurs at a fast rate, it can affect your energy levels, recovery time and overall health.  And if that’s not counterproductive enough, another reason to avoid rapid weight loss is to prevent muscle loss which not only burns more calories per pound than fat, but will also help minimize sagging skin. Muscle gives skin volume and if you lose a significant amount of weight quickly you may find a lot more sagging skin than you would have encountered had you taken a different diet approach.

Lifestyle Change

Just about any weight loss program can work, but some are far superior than others in protecting your overall health, improving your body composition, and producing long-term results.  The best nutrition plans will focus on lifestyle changes which promote gradual weight loss and encourage good eating habits through customized meal plans.

WHAT ARE MACRONUTRIENTS?

Macronutrients are nutrients that provide calories or energy. Nutrients are substances needed for growth, metabolism, and for other body functions. Since “macro” means large, macronutrients are nutrients needed in large amounts. There are three macronutrients:

  • Carbohydrate
  • Protein
  • Fat

COUNTING MACRONUTRIENTS, IS THIS NECESSARY?

Yes, to a certain extent.  A customized meal plan should consist of your total recommended daily calories and your macronutrient ratios based on several factors; your current body fat percentage, body weight, activity level and goals.  For example, a long distance runner logging lots of miles would consume a far greater percentage of calories from carbohydrates than a recreational runner, and a bodybuilder would consume a far greater percentage of calories from protein than someone who exercises 3 days per week at a lower intensity.  For best results, macronutrient ratios should be designed around your particular lifestyle.  Besides the varying individual differences in total recommended calories, if we were all given the same macronutrient percentages, results would mixed.  The purpose of customizing meal plans by determining your proper caloric intake and macronutrient ratios is to assure you receive results which will be far easier to maintain than results achieved through rapid weight loss methods.

An experienced professional will be able to determine your calorie and macronutrient needs and provide you with specific meals that meet these requirements.

HOW ARE PROGRAMS CUSTOMIZED?

It’s not difficult for an experienced and certified nutrition specialist or nutritionist to customize meal plans via the internet as long as the right information is in their hands.  Some of the telltale signs that you may be in good hands is if you are asked certain questions, such as:

  • Any current health conditions (if yes, need medical clearance)
  • Any special dietary needs (if yes, refer to Physician or Registered Dietician).
  • Current weight
  • Height
  • Body fat percentage or BMI.  BMI calculators can be relatively accurate for sedentary individuals, but not for active individuals.  Make sure to obtain your current body fat percentage by having an experienced professional test you using the caliper method.  It is not recommended to use handheld computerized devices often found at big box gyms, as these are not very accurate.
  • Activity level (hours per day you are active)
  • Goals
  • Body measurements

Additionally, the professional you are doing business with should respond to any questions you may have promptly.  You are paying for a service and if someone is passionate and knowledgeable about what they do, they should jump on the opportunity to help you further.

Ideally, it’s nice to do business with someone locally, but online nutrition planning services can be cost effective and produce very good results if you know what to look for.

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