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May 12, 2011
ONE WITH THE LOT: Eating the wrong meals can leave you lethargic. Photo: LS Paul Berry
MILLIONS of words
have been written
about diets and nutri-
tion. Fads come and
go, but unfortunately the girth
often just gets larger.
Although some diets contain
basic truths, there are often down-
sides as magazines look for the
next big thing to attract a reader's
Even recognised diets such
as the high-protein, low-carb
Atkinson diet can lead to adverse
effects because carbohydrates are
an essential ingredient in effec-
tive daily energy generation.
By the same token, it is possible
to have an occasional treat -- even a
hamburger or a can of soft drink --
without stacking on weight.
There are some general rules
that will help you chew through
the fat and into a balanced diet/
Work your muscles
A basic fact about diet and
nutrition is the more you exercise
your muscles, the more efficient
they become in using stored
The basal metabolic rate
(BMR) is the daily rate of energy
expenditure of a person involved
in a given form of activity or
comparative inactivity. It is a
pivotal part of the human weight-
When you start exercising or
increase an existing regime, your
body responds to the new stimu-
lus. Weight training is a perfect
By putting a muscle under
pressure the body says, "if you
keep this up I'm going to start
using your energy reserves".
The body then starts directing
more energy into an increasing
number of motor units -- "par-
cels" -- that consume energy.
Those extra parcels all use
energy at the same rate, so extra
energy is expended -- even watch-
ing television. If you consume
the same amount of calories, then
your girth will respond.
Avoid bad habits
Healthy diet is not just about
what you eat, but how you take
in calories. A lot of people incor-
porate things that do not go well
with the BMR.
Irregular meals or trying to
lose weight through starving
only triggers the body's primi-
tive defences against starvation
and drops the body into a state
of energy economy. By missing
meals you induce lethargy.
Eating the wrong meals can
trigger high amounts of energy
levels in the blood system, but
these levels decrease just as
quickly and can leave you with a
lethargic, empty feeling, which
forces you to eat again, increas-
ing your daily calorie intake.
From nutritional aspects you
need to make sure you do not affect
the BMR heavily in the way of ups
and downs. You want to keep it
ticking away through regular meals
of protein, carbohydrates, fruit
and vegetables that keep the body
The problem people have with
the BMR is that they tend to think
they need to starve or reduce cer-
tain components that are looked
Carbohydrates have copped a
bad rap over recent years. If you
want to lose weight, you need to
include carbohydrates to maintain
a training format.
For more dietary information, visit
Chew the fat on fads
Digesting everything that's been written on diets may be biting off
more than you can chew. CPL Dean Cook provides some basic
truths you can sink your teeth into.
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