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May 12, 2011
ONE WITH THE LOT: Eating the wrong meals can leave you lethargic.
Photo: LSIS Paul Berry
MILLIONS of words have
been written about diets
and nutrition. Fads come
and go, but unfortunate-
ly the girth often just gets larger.
While some diets contain basic
truths, there are often downsides as
magazines look for the next big thing
to attract a reader's attention.
Even recognised diets such as the
high-protein, low-carb Atkinson diet
can lead to adverse effects because
carbohydrates are an essential
ingredient in effective daily energy
By the same token, it's possible
to have an occasional treat -- even a
hamburger or a can of soft drink --
without stacking on weight.
There are two general rules that
will help you chew through the fat
and into a stable, long-term and bal-
anced diet/exercise lifestyle.
Work your muscles
A basic fact about diet and nutri-
tion is the more you exercise your
muscles, the more efficient they
become in using stored energy.
The basal metabolic rate (BMR)
is the daily rate of energy expendi-
ture of a person involved in a given
form of activity or comparative inac-
tivity. It's a pivotal part of the human
When you start exercising or
Chew through the fat of fads
Digesting everything that's been written on
diets may be biting off more than you can
chew. CPL Dean Cook provides some basic
truths you can sink your teeth into.
increase an existing regime, your
body responds to the new stimulus.
Weight training is a perfect example.
By putting a muscle under pres-
sure the body says "if you keep this
up I'm going to start using your
The body then starts directing
more energy into an increasing num-
ber of motor units -- "parcels" -- that
Those extra parcels all use energy
at the same rate, so extra energy is
expended even watching television.
If you consume the same amount of
calories, then your girth will respond.
Avoid bad habits
Healthy diet is not just about what
you eat, but how you take in calories.
A lot of people incorporate things
that don't go well with the BMR.
Irregular meals or trying to lose
weight through starving only triggers
the body's primitive defences against
starvation and drops the body into a
state of energy economy. By missing
meals you induce lethargy.
Eating the wrong meals can
trigger high amounts of energy levels
in the blood system, but these levels
decrease just as quickly and can leave
you with a lethargic, empty feel-
ing which forces you to re-eat and
increase your daily calorie intake.
From nutritional aspects you
need to make sure you don't affect
the BMR heavily in the way of ups
and downs. You want to keep it tick-
ing away through regular meals of
protein, carbohydrates, fruit and
vegetables that keep the body slowly
The problem people have with
the BMR is that they tend to think
they need to starve or reduce certain
components that are looked upon
Carbohydrates have copped a bad
rap over recent years. If you want
to lose weight you need to include
carbohydrates to maintain a training
format -- whether cardiovascular or
For more dietary information, visit
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