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Weight Loss Q & A's
Here is another page full of Questions about dieting and losing weight. If you can't find the answer to your question try our other Q & A pages:
If I lose weight will my fat cells go away?
Unfortunately, we cannot reduce fat cell numbers through diet or exercise but we can certainly change the size of them. We all have billions of fat cells which swell as they store excess fat. Each fat cell can stretch up to 1000 times its original size, but we cannot eliminate them. What happens when we lose weight is the fat cell shrinks in size as fat is taken from it and burned off through exercise.
I RECENTLY FOUND YOUR WEB SITE. I HAVE FOUND IT VERY INFORMATIVE. BUT I HAVE A QUESTION. I HAVE BEEN TOLD ALL MY LIFE THAT I NEED TO KEEP MY HEART RATE AT THE HIGHER END IN ORDER TO BURN FAT, NOW I READ IN ONE OF YOUR ARTICLES THAT THAT IS NOT SO. YOU ARE SAYING I NEED TO KEEP IT IN THE LOWER RANGE IN ORDER TO BURN FAT. I HAVE BEEN EXERCISING FOR 8 MONTHS EVERY OTHER DAY ON A TREADCLIMBER, AND TRYING TO EAT RIGHT. I HAVE GAINED MUSCLE, BUT HAVE LOST NO WEIGHT. I AM 46,180LBS.5'7 AND LARGE BONED. I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO LOSE 40LBS. AND I AM HAVING A REALLY HARD TIME IN DOING THAT. I HAVE BEEN KEEPING MY HEART RATE AROUND 150-160. RECENTLY AFTER READING YOUR ARTICLE ON HEART RATE I HAVE SLOWED WAY DOWN, KEEPING MY HEART BELOW 140. IS THIS REALLY BETTER FOR ME IN ORDER TO LOSE WEIGHT. I WOULD REALLY APPRECIATE AN ANSWER TO THIS BECAUSE NOW I AM A BIT CONFUSED ON WHAT THE RIGHT THING IS TO DO.
In order to burn fat I usually train at the higher end of my target heart rate zone. This way I burn off more calories and slightly help improve the speed of my metabolism. However, training at the higher end of the zone requires a greater level of fitness. Generally speaking most overweight people tend to have a lower level of fitness, thus for safety reasons it is often best for these people to train at the lower end until they gain some fitness, then gradually work up to higher intensity levels.
Remember successfully burning body fat requires numerous factors, one of the most important is the fitness level of the individual. With less fit people the Cardiovascular system is often not strong enough to deliver sufficient levels of oxygen to the working muscles in order to keep burning fat (fat requires oxygen to burn). This is why many overweight and/or unfit people should train at the lower end. Our articles on burning fat are written for this reason.
As for yourself, if you have been training at the higher end for many months without any problems then working out at the high end should be fine, although you should still check with your doctor before continuing intense exercise. Just remember to make sure you're getting sufficient recovery between workouts. Hard training always takes longer to recover from, it also requires good, complete nutrition.
I often alternate training routines, if I run at a high pace on Monday, then on Wednesday I'll go swimming or do rowing at an easy pace. This helps recovery of potential minor injuries in the knees or ankle areas as there is no weight bearing on these areas.
If you are not getting the results you desire you may need to train more frequently or look for ways to increase your general activity such as making sure you're busy all day. I believe having a busy lifestyle is actually better than going to a gym 3 times each week. It can be surprising how much more energy can be burned by completing everyday duties, work, housework, cleaning, maintenance, etc. Also, I find keeping busy takes my mind off food so I tend to eat less as well.
You may also need to look into your diet more closely and adjust it slightly so you ingest less calories. All diets will only work for so many weeks as our body will adapt to the new calorie intake. For this reason we always need to adjust slightly to improve results. Just remember every adjustment should be done slow and gradual, never cut food intake immediately or you'll have nowhere to go when you reach that weight loss plateau.
As always you should still consult with your doctor before attempting any new type of exercise or diet!
Also, have you read Tom's article on losing the last few pounds of body fat?
It's a very good read. Click on the following link to view it...
Losing stored Abdominal fat
What about oats? i make porridge in the morning with skim milk and add strawberries and honey on top- it's my favourite part of the day and my biggest meal. I heard anna-nicole smith ate "Alot of oatmeal and fruit" when she lost her weight. I've lost a bit of weight but seem to be at a stand still- do you think it's because of the oats? i do have 2 cups of them...and don't purge...too much?
Oatmeal is a good healthy food, a small portion can be a great contribution towards a healthy, balanced diet. You may find that it's the overall calorie consumption which has lead to your weight loss slowing down. Any excess calories, even "healthy calories" can stop or limit losing any weight. You always need to burn slightly more calories than your body needs in order to lose weight. When we reach a plateau in weight loss it is usually because our body has adapted to the diet and/or exercise regime. In order to continue losing further weight you must adjust the diet and workout to maintain a negative calorie balance.
Read more about why weight loss results stop.
I've read that a daily dose of fish oil is good for my kids. Is it beneficial for adults too?
Fish oil contains omega 3 fatty acids. Not just any old omega 3 - but long chain omega 3's. We should eat 3 times more oily fish than we currently do as a nation. There are health benefits in terms of lowering heart disease risks and it's good for things like immune function and skin. It's also important for women going through pregnancy..
I started a new diet at the beginning of the year. What suggestions do you have for helping me stick to this year's diet?
Try the following suggestions. Incorporate as many of them as you can at one time. Don't try to do all of them at once to begin with.
Choose a weight loss diet that includes all groups in the Food Guide Pyramid: milk; meat; bread; fruit; vegetables; fats, oils and sweets. Remember that you need to maintain healthy nutrition in order to feed the muscle which in turn will help burn body fat.
Set a realistic goal of around one to two pounds a week, although you may well lose more than this during the first few weeks. Work on short-term goals of one month at a time and be prepared that your ideal weight may take time. To focus on the total amount you want to lose may seem overwhelming. It would be unrealistic to expect to lose quickly and you would be setting yourself up to fail. Weight loss that is slow is more likely to be kept off.
At home, remove all high calorie, high fat, high sugar foods from your kitchen cupboards, refrigerator and freezer. These include snack foods, cakes, pies and ice cream. Above all, be patient, it'll be best to get prepared for the FINAL long haul now rather than having to keep going back to the start line every year!
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