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Weight Loss and Nutrition - Do FADs Really Work?


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By Gene Moss

The need to research, obtain information, and apply this knowledge to achieve a goal is mandatory in achieving the results you want. This could be an exam, a sporting event, general fitness, weight loss, or fat loss goals....

Note I say general fitness, weight loss or fat loss here. These are three completely different aspects in the perceived measurement of one’s physical state. But if given the right information and having the self dedication, anyone can achieve all three.

Hard work is needed to become a specialist in any field or area. This is no different here. So you have to ask yourself the question, how much do you want to be fit, lose weight or lower body fat?

This is very important, as every goal set needs to be a realistic goal. A diet can be tailor made to suit an individual’s wants and needs.

Consider how this term has been used – a diet is not a method of losing weight. A diet is the constituents made in order to reach a fitness and weight goal. I.E. a footballer’s diet.

A footballer’s carbohydrate consumption will need to be much greater than the average general fitness diet, as the greater intensity of the sport requires a larger carb intake. Greater intensity of exercise burns carbs at a faster rate, whereas a slow form of cardio will primarily burn fat stores rather than carbs.

It is also the norm that a person who dedicates more time, money, and effort into something will have a much greater chance of achieving their objectives, and to a higher standard than someone who puts in less.

And the aim(s) you have chosen above, do you want this to be a quick fix? Or do you want this long-term?

FADs (fast acting diets) do have their place and so I will not be critical for them. It is for those people who wish to achieve a quick fix, and being able to claim they have lost x pounds in x days. And I have no problem with that. I have been there, done that, and it is personal preference at the end of the day.

But be aware of the negative health and greater susceptibility to gain weight down the line when going on these types of diets. They are not designed for long-term fitness or health, but to obtain a temporary fast weight loss goal. So with this knowledge, do not complain if you have gained weight back on, and find it takes slower to lose the weight you lost previously.

This is due to the body’s overall metabolism rate having slowed down from the starvation mode it has been subjected to on the FAD recently used. Muscle also needs to be lost, in order to lose fat. The great muscle mass an individual has, the greater their metabolic rate and ability to burn calories consumed is.

So the next time you go on a FAD, your body’s ability to burn calories will have reduced. This is also a natural slowdown that does occur with age too, but a FAD diet will greatly accelerate this negative effect. This leads to greater weight gain, and a greater struggle to re-lose that weight.

Quite frankly, it will be a consistent and uphill battle to beat the bulge. And if you do think this is the route to take, from personal experience, never stay on this type of diet for a prolonged period of time...the lack of nutrients that the body has access to will lead to negative health effects, with the longer the absence, the greater severity of this detrimental effect.

The alternative method is the long-term solution. This requires an individual to make a healthy lifestyle change, form habit and, this then becomes part of their daily routine.

Providing your body with daily exercise, consumption of all the essential nutrients your body needs to function optimally and eating the right foods and the right times in good amounts will mean one can achieve all of the three aims highlighted above.

A little bit of useful information to throw in. Note the body has an increased ability to burn calories earlier in the day than later in the day. Also note these calories burnt will be in the carbohydrate form.

The body later in the day will naturally shift to being more efficient at burning fat stores later on in the evening, than burning carbs. So for your evening meal, lower your carb intake, and increase your healthy unsaturated fat intakes of omega 3, 6, 9s.

These healthy fats promote the burning of stored unhealthy saturated fats. Fat is another topic, but healthy fats actually help one to lose weight and body fat!

And not of course forgetting to mention the avoiding of processed foods and high sugary carbohydrate form. This promotes greater fat storage in the body. Fruit should essentially be the primary form of natural sugar consumption, providing great nutritional benefit and fast absorption. And they are great mood boosting foods.

Well I am sure you can guess that a FAD diet is a purely directed to weight loss. Lower calories will mean a poor performance in the gym and a progressively diminishing level of fitness. It will also mean the loss of muscle.

Muscle weighs more than fat, and is the big determinant in one’s calculated body fat percentage. With muscle lost on FAD diets, although one may have even lost some pounds, their body fat most likely will have increased, especially on a prolonged phase of ketosis (starvation of carbs, forcing the body to use fat as its primary fuel source of energy).

The Atkins diet is one that would fall into this ketosis category. I’ve been on this myself for a prolonged period of time in conjunction with a cutting phase bodybuilding technique (exclusion of fructose / fruits).

My carbs were slightly higher than the 20gram carb limit however, given I was hitting the gym each day, nearer to around 50.

These certainly did help to lose weight and shift fat at an immensely fast rate. But my level of fitness did diminish, my bones felt a lot more fragile, and my ability to think had greatly reduced, and of course progressively feeling more fatigued. So although it reached my weight and fat goals at a fast rate, general health was greatly compromised.

So all I ask you to do here is consider how important and how dedicated you are in having a good level of fitness, a low level of body fat, and a healthy weight level. Ultimately you are the one who has the power to make the choice.

Gene TJB Moss

Published: January 28, 2014