Lose Weight or Lose Fat

Being on a diet seems to be the in thing today. At any social gathering the conversation at least once through the evening is focused on fitness or weight loss. Fantastic, atleast everybody is more aware and health conscious or weight conscious.

But, we need to be very, very careful about what we are doing or trying. Many diets, machines, powders and pills are available, but many or most can have seriously damaging effects on your body. The biggest damage you can do is to lose weight and spoil your body composition. The normal body is composed of 30% bone and fluid, 15% fat mass and 55% muscle mass. The 30% bone and fluid is constant in an adult body. When you are over weight or obese the fat mass may become 30-40% and then the muscle mass will be 40-30% only. The ideal weight loss should be to bring down or reduce the fat mass while we try to preserve and build up the muscle mass.

In order to do this one must be very aware of the composition of food, the fat contents of food and the importance of exercise in building up your muscle mass. If you decide to eat only boiled vegetables and chapatti for a month but occasionally indulge on a masala dosa or a cream pastry, by the end of the month you may lose 6kgs. However along with your weight loss, you may start losing hair and your skin may begin to sag. What is wrong? The problem is there is not enough protein in your diet and you have lost muscle mass too.

Only vegetables and roti gives you carbohydrate energy but you need protein too, namely, milk, curd, dhal/pulses, egg or non-veg daily in the diet to build up your muscles and supply material for daily hair growth. Also if a fat percent analysis is done you will see that the fat loss will not be so good as the fat from the dosa and pastry would have got deposited but the muscle loss will be very high as for 30 days there is hardly any protein in the diet.

Every single day the body requires a balanced amount of carbohydrate foods - bread, rice, cereal, roti, vegetables, fruits etc. plus protein foods as mentioned above and 2-4 tsp unsaturated oil which is used for seasoning of vegetables(sabji), dhals, etc. Even while losing weight this basic carbohydrate, protein and little fat, requirement of the body must be met on a daily basis. If any dieting is done, even for a day, without this basic mix of food, the body composition is destroyed and vitamin, mineral deficiency occurs.

So we do not recommend any unbalanced diets, fasts or detox methods, even for a day. Similarly powders, shakes or meal substitutes could also be harmful. The correct method of weight reduction is healthy balanced eating and completely cutting out fatty food. Yes, fatty food means all the goodies but nothing will happen to any body if they abstain from goodies for few days. In one month you can lose 3kgs of fat, in 3 months you can lose about 10kgs. What is 3 months of your life time to be healthy and fit for the rest of your life?

Fat reduction means eating three regular carbohydrate and protein balanced meals, while completely avoiding fatty foods likeĖ cream of milk, icecream, butter, ghee, cheese, paneer, all fried foods and snacks,chaats, pickles, papad, pastries, desserts, chocolates, mittai, red meats and mayonnaise.

After you have reached your target weight you may eat a fatty food once or twice a week to maintain weight but during the reduction phase, donít touch it!!!

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