For years, it was assumed that if you ate less, you would lose weight, look better, feel better and be healthier. But most weight-loss diets aren't nutritionally sound, and experts have determined that starving your body simply confuses your metabolism, actually increasing weight-gain instead of helping you lose. Bottom line? Starving yourself to slim down is never the answer.
In fact, there are some health conditions that can't be corrected with diet. For instance, exercise, not diet, is the successful tool to staving off issues like high triglycerides, a precursor to high cholesterol. Sure, you can cut your fat intake and never eat anything tasty, but the real key to keeping the body healthy and reducing your weight is to exercise.
The problem with diets is simple - but complex, at the same time. First, we think we know what is best for us to eat and then find out, years later, that we were misled. For example, in the mid-1980s, the food pyramid as designated by the FDA suggested that we eat large amounts of grains. Proteins and fats were to be limited, but you could eat pretty much all the bread you wanted. Then came research revealing that processed, refined grains are a terrible health problem. They break down in the body just like simple sugars and are suspected to be contributing factors to the alarmingly high incidence of adult-onset diabetes and obesity.
Other examples: A few years ago, we were told that red meat, eggs and all fats were bad for us - and then science proved otherwise, turning dietary recommendations completely around. Once, we were told milk was little more than fat in a glass. Now, we are told that calcium may be an important building block of weight loss.
All in all, trying to keep up with nutritional research to determine what to eat is confusing, the recommendations ever-changing. On top of that, no one - other than those with serious psychological/medical problems such as anorexia - ever succeeds at starving themselves thin. The lost pounds - and usually many additional pounds - always find their way back.
The real key to weight loss, weight maintenance and a healthier body is exercise. High-impact exercise is not required . . . but some kind of exercise is. Simple stretching exercises can help tone muscle, creating new, lean muscle to burn calories more effectively. Isometric exercises help tone specific muscle groups, leading to a leaner look and a healthier body.
The best combination for having a healthy, trim body is to combine good nutrition and exercise. Starving yourself is not the answer - moderation and a simple exercise plan is what you need. With that combination, your body will burn the calories you consume and turn them into energy instead of fat. You may even find that once you begin a regular exercise program you need to eat more to supply the healthy lean muscle with the energy it needs to keep you going through the day.
Owner of IsoBreathing Inc. and creator of IsoBreathing(R) Ellen has been teaching life style and fitness over 20 years and is a certified fitness practitioner and personal trainer. Find out about Isometric Exercise, Weight Loss Exercise or buy her Exercise DVD - visit http://www.isobreathing.com