Monday, October 16, 2006

Dieting and Metabolism

Master your Metabolism
by Jonny Bowden, MA, CNS (see more from this expert)

Taken from:,,3bc5,00.html

Q I've been dieting constantly on and off for years since I was a teenager, and have lost and gained the same 50 pounds more times than I can count. This last time I gained back even more. Have I ruined my metabolism?

A The idea that people can "ruin" their metabolisms is a very disempowering notion. To put it simply, you can't. You may have some metabolic issues due to yo-yo dieting, and understanding how your personal metabolism works can only help you in your weight loss journey. Let me explain.

For the sake of example, let's say you lose 50 pounds just by dieting. Let's further assume that about half of the weight you lost is fat and half of it is muscle. (These percentages aren't exactly right, but they're good for the purpose of illustration.) You've now lost about 25 pounds of muscle and 25 pounds of fat. Now let's say that you go off the diet and regain that 50 pounds. This time, almost all of the regained weight is going to be fat, and virtually none of it is going to be muscle. So at the end of the day, you weigh the same as before, but your body composition is significantly different. You now have a significantly higher percentage of body fat.

Why does this matter? Simple. Most of your calories are "burned" by muscle tissue. Fat is basically metabolic "dead weight." When you lose a lot of muscle, you lose one of your biggest allies in the war against fat. This shift in body composition is one of the things people refer to when they talk about their metabolism being "ruined" by dieting. To bring your metabolic rate up, one of the best things you can do is regain some of that lost muscle by adding weight training to your routine.

The other thing that frequently happens with yo-yo dieting is that you train your fat storage enzymes to be more efficient. When you repeatedly starve yourself, those enzymes simply become better at their job, an evolutionary strategy meant to keep you alive during times of famine. But by exercising consistently, eating fewer calories than you burn, and by eating the right kind of calories, you can re-train the fat-releasing enzymes to come out of hiding.

And speaking of the right kind of calories ...

Most people in your situation have been trying to lose weight using a low-fat diet. Unfortunately, that's probably exactly what you should not be eating. Low-fat diets are typically high-carb diets, and high-carb diets virtually guarantee that your body will constantly produce high levels of insulin, also known as "the storage hormone." The body does not burn fat in the presence of high levels of insulin. The solution? A moderate-calorie diet that is higher in protein and good fats (such as olive oil) and lower in carbohydrates than your average low-fat diet.

The point is that there are specific positive actions you can take right now to work with almost any metabolic issue you may have as a result of your dieting history. Put these strategies into action right now, and maybe the next time you lose that 50 pounds will be the last time you have to do it.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Calories and Weight gain

..."keep in mind that it takes 3500 calories more than your body needs to gain half a kilogram of weight.

So, if you've eaten a heavy meal and the scales register a two kilogram weight gain, for that to be accurate, the meal would have to equal at least 14,000 calories; that's like eating 8-12 whole pizzas, 23 Big Mac's or 56 bowls of pasta and tomato sauce!"

-- Weighing in on the Scale
Pat Fiducia and Anna Delany

Friday, July 07, 2006

Women's weight training

I cannot recommend this website enough.

All the information about nutrition, exercise and health you will ever need.

The information is straight to the point, informative and funny as well. women's weight training

Goodbye points!

I'm finished with weight watchers.
It was great, I lost 42kgs, and have kept it off.
However, I need to move on.
It's a part of my life that I'm done with. I don't want to count points all my life.

As of now, I'm on a healthy eating plan, with lots of exercise and weight training, and am going to maintain my weight that way.

So, this blog won't be updated much anymore as I need to distance myself.

Good luck to all of you on Weight Watchers, it's a great start for all who are trying to lose weight and gain healthy eating knowledge.

And a big thank you to all the lovely people who read this blog and the comments you've left for me.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Losing the loose

For everyone else out there who has loose skin, or is facing the prospect of it, here is some information for you.

From what I have read and been told, there are a few options on how to fix loose skin:

1. The Painfree option

Waiting. Apparently, if you maintain your weight for a few years, skin can eventually spring back.

My verdict: This is obviously the best option to take. HOWEVER I've found no proof that waiting will help. Still, even if waiting a few years doesn't fix the problem - you might find that over time you can accept the loose skin as a part of life and not worry about it any more.

2. The Whole lot of Effort option

Losing body fat (also called: changing your body composition) Usually includes strict dieting like Ketogenic and carb cycling diets. Be prepared to eat a lot of meat. And protein powder. And eat 6 meals a day.

My verdict: This sounds plausible. It also sounds damn hard and possibly dangerous to diet in this way to lose body fat. Also, if your body fat increases again, the the skin might again become loose.

3. The Drastic, Last resort option

Plastic surgery. Body lifts, tummy tucks, etc. Expect pain, and lots of it. Also, you'd better enjoy daytime TV, because you'll be watching a lot of it when you spend 2+ weeks at home recovering.

My verdict: This should really be a last resort. See a doctor and get thier opinion. Try every fix you can find before doing this. If you do go down this path, make sure your plastic surgeon is properly qualified.

More information: Dubious information

Skinny Fat?!

More information on 'skinny fatness' and body composition:

Thursday, January 12, 2006

This is the perfect antidote to my previous post


What styles will suit your body shape

Scans from 'Vogue Sewing, 1980'
This is like the 'what not to wear' of the 1980s.
Some of the terms aren't in use anymore, search google images to see what they look like.
Example: bateau neckline

Click the images to view them full-size.

Page 1 Page 2

How many points do I need?

1. Sex:
  • Female: 7
  • Male: 9

2. Age:

  • 18-20: 5
  • 21-35: 4
  • 36-50: 3
  • 51-65: 2
  • 65+: 1

3. Weight

  • 2 digit weights: use the first 1 digit of your weight (eg: 84 = 8)
  • 3 digit weight: use the first 2 digits of your weight (eg: 112 = 11)

4. Height:

  • Under 160cm: 1
  • Over 160cm: 2

5. Activity at work:

  • Sitting most of the time: 0
  • Somethimes sitting, mostly standing: 1
  • Sometimes standing, mostly walking: 2
  • Physically hard work most of the time: 3

6. Do you want to:

  • Lose weight: 0
  • Maintain weight: 4

Tally up your score.


  • If your total is less than 18, round up to 18
  • If your total is more than 26, round down to 26


  • If your total is less than 20, round up to 20
  • If your total is more than 30, round down to 30

Friday, November 11, 2005

Nobody is perfect

I found these sites really interesting. They show before and after examples of photo retouching (digital airbrushing) in fashion/beauty photography. I've had a lot of experience with Photoshop (the main tool used in retouching) and yet I still feel a bit inferior every time I see a flawless model on the cover of a magazine.

I will never look like those people, because those people do not exist.

And I'm glad I don't.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Fitness games for PS2

I'm very interested in the new genre of fitness games out at the moment.

I've been using 'Yourself! Fitness' for a couple of months now. It's a personal trainer game for PS2.
Your trainer Maya puts you through a fitness test, and adapts an exercise and eating regime for you. You choose an overall area you want to focus on (core body, lower body, upper body, cardio, flexibility or weight loss), and each day she selects a focus for you, which incorporated the overall focus area (for instance, if you choose weight loss as your overall focus, maya might still recommend 'upper body' for a workout - but she will include weight loss exercises within the session)
The workout sessions range from 15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes, and you follow Maya’s movements (just like you would in a normal exercise video).
You can also choose to incorporate your own equipment (hand weights, step bench, heart monitor and a Swiss ball). I use a step bench and a pair of 2.3kg weights. This game is great. It constantly gets harder as you gain fitness, but you can still make it go easy on you when you are having a sick day.
The eating plan is useless. One of the recipes was an apple covered in peanut butter! Smearing peanut butter over an apple is NOT a recipe.
Yourself! Fitness is not available in Australian format yet, but you can buy the US version from BURN, and use it with the help of a mod chip.

I also recently bought Eyetoy: Kinetic. It's similar to ‘Yourself! Fitness’ in that you can choose to have a personal trainer. The Eyetoy brings you into the game, which is really helpful for the cardio workouts and warm ups.
To be honest I’ve only used this game once (compared with the 30 or so times i've used yourself fitness)
I have to rearrange all my furniture so I can get my whole body into frame (I’m 173cm - not even that tall). My boyfriend is 6"2' and the game constantly tells him to move further back from the tv even when he's nowhere near it.
I really liked the cardio games. The flexibility game I am no good at, I have no idea how to play it and that frustrated me. You don't get stepped through how to play each mini game.
I guess it's pretty good. The upside is that you can choose your own workout, which means you can skip all the bits you don't like. The Eyetoy is well utilized. However, it's no good for floor exercises as the way I had place the camera to get my whole body in meant that it couldn't see me on the floor.
Overall its an ok game, but too much time is spent fiddling around with the camera, and reorganising the house to accommodate it.

MS Office templates: Diet and exercise

I've been using the 'Fitness progress chart for women (metric)' template for tracking my measurements - it's very good. It calculates your lean body weight, body fat weight, body fat percentage and BMI and graphs them too.