Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Sports

December 27, 2012

Stopping the yo-yo of continual weight gain, loss

Question: Why do most people gain and lose weight and very few keep it off? How can we stop the cycle?

Expert: Lisa Swanson, owner of Fitness Together, AASDN nutrition specialist, ACE certified personal trainer and group fitness Instructor

Answer: Every year thousands of people across the continent vow to lose weight this year, saying this time they’ll keep it off.

How many times have you tried the latest fad diet in hopes that this is the one that will work? How many times have you beaten yourself up because YOU failed, you just didn’t have the willpower? The diet industry is a $68 billion-per-year industry with a 95-percent failure rate. There is a reason people regain their weight, and it’s not their fault.

There are many factors to consider when putting together a nutrition plan. First and foremost is the individual person. Everyone’s metabolism and body composition is different and needs to be treated that way. Some of us can handle eating carbs all day while others have to limit them to only two servings. Protein and fat serving needs vary as well.

Next, you need to consider your lifestyle. Are you a marathon runner or a weekend warrior? Do you sit at a desk all day, or is your job physically demanding? All of this plays a role in how many and what type of calories your body, specifically, needs on a daily basis.

All diets will work in the beginning. You will most likely be eating differently than you have been, so your body will react to that change. You’ll be able to follow the guidelines set forth in the diet since it is new and you’re excited. Then the problems start: you can’t stick to the diet because it is unrealistic to eat this way day in and day out; you didn’t learn anything from the diet, so you go back to your old habits; more than likely, if you were following a restricted diet, you lost some muscle along the way, which means your metabolism is even slower and you will re-gain the weight you lost and then some.

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