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How to Cut Through The Weight Loss Confusion

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The weight loss arena is confusing to people because of outright lies and/or information overload. You are responsible for the health of your body. Do the research to see if the claims on the weight loss product label are true.

If it sounds too good to be true ...

A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) report, “Weight-Loss Advertising: An Analysis of Current Trends,” gives us the following information found in 300 weight loss advertisements:

--Consumer testimonials – “These testimonials and photos rarely portrayed realistic weight loss. The average for the largest amount of weight loss reported in each of the 195 advertisements was 71 pounds.”

--Rapid Weight Loss – “Rapid weight-loss claims were made in 57% of the
advertisements in the sample. In some cases, the falsity of such claims is obvious, as in the ad that claimed that users could lose up to 8 to 10 pounds per week while using the advertised product.”

--Diet and Exercise – “Despite the well-accepted prescription of diet and
exercise for successful weight management, 42% of all of the ads reviewed promote an array of quick-fix pills, patches, potions, and programs for effortless weight loss and 64% of those ads also promised fast results. The ads claim that results can be achieved without reducing caloric intake or increasing physical activity.”

The FTC concludes: “The use of false or misleading claims in weight-loss advertising is rampant. Nearly 40% of the ads in our sample made at least one representation that almost certainly is false and 55% of the ads made at least one representation that is very likely to be false or, at the very least, lacks adequate substantiation.”

As I always say, companies keep getting richer and the population continues to gain weight. Stop buying the products and the companies will go broke!

People don’t know what to believe when it comes to fat loss and weight loss. And, too many people look for quick solutions to weight problems that developed over months and even years.

Permanent fat loss and weight loss takes time. In fact, you never stop sculpting your body.

Here is how to put the fat loss and weight loss puzzle together:

1. Don’t gauge your weight loss success solely by the weigh scale. After three weeks on a strength and cardio exercise program, you could weigh the same (or even a little more) and have significantly less body fat.

You can build muscle mass and shrink your body (be leaner) as your body fat decreases. Muscle is metabolically active tissue and fat tissue is not. So, fat tissue contributes nothing to help you burn calories.

"Muscle is our largest metabolically active organ, and that's the backdrop that people usually forget," said Kent Adams, director of the exercise physiology lab at Cal State Monterey Bay. Strengthening the muscles "has a ripple effect throughout the body on things like metabolic syndrome and obesity."

Exercise regularly with strength training and short interval cardio sessions. Too many long, slow cardio sessions will eat away at your muscles.

It is safe to lose about 2 pounds per week (on average). At the beginning of a new exercise program, you will probably lose 6-8 pounds the first week (especially if you are obese). The weight loss will even out over time.

Don't become frustrated when one week you lose 5 pounds and the next week you lose no pounds. Growing your muscles increases lean body weight.

More lean body weight increases your metabolism which helps you burn fat! It's important to check your body fat every week to see if your body is shrinking.

You must continue to build and maintain your muscles or they will atrophy (use it or lose it). Muscle does not ever change into fat. Fat cells will shrink but they will fill up again when you are inactive for a long period of time.

2. You will gain weight and fat if you maintain a daily caloric surplus. A caloric surplus happens when you eat more calories than you burn. It doesn’t matter how hard you work out.

So, eat enough to build muscle and burn fat. That usually means maintaining a moderate daily caloric deficit of about 300 to 600 calories.

If you have one cheat day a week and have a small caloric surplus, that should not derail your fat loss efforts. Just continue to do your regular workouts and get back on track the next day.

3. Start a healthy meal plan that you can maintain. Severe calorie restriction diets cannot be maintained.

When you have rapid weight loss through severe calorie restriction, much of that weight loss will be water weight, and some muscle mass. Too much calorie restriction will damage your metabolism.

You will regain this weight quickly when you begin to eat the carbohydrates, proteins and fats that your body needs. Why? Because you will also replenish water stores in your body's cells.

Eat small meals of whole, natural foods every three to four hours. This helps maintain your energy and metabolism throughout the day.

Also, eat protein with every meal. Protein will help you feel full for a longer period and help repair and rebuild your muscles.

If you have a meal plan, you are more likely to follow it or at least eat similar foods. And, record what you eat in a food journal until you know what, when and how much to eat.

The weight loss lies will continue but you don’t have to believe and follow the advice.


The Federal Trade Commission report, “Weight-Loss Advertising: An Analysis of Current Trends”

Kent Adams, director of the exercise physiology lab at Cal State Monterey Bay

Mark Dilworth, BA, PES, CPT is a Certified Personal Trainer and former NCAA Division I athlete. Mark is the owner of My Fitness Hut, Her Fitness Hut and Sports Fitness Hut.

Mark’s Fat Blaster Athletic Training System has been proven to give his clients the fit, sculpted and athletic-type bodies they want. Visit Mark’s main site:

Your Fitness University http://yourfitnessuniversity.com/

Reviewed January 20, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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EmpowHER Guest

if you want loose your weight without dieting or gym, then you can take herbal supplement for weight loss. There are many herbal supplement available online.

August 4, 2016 - 5:33am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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