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Army May 12, 2011
One with the lot: Eating the wrong meals can leave you lethargic. Photo by LS Paul Berry
MILLIONS of words
have been written
about diets and nutri-
tion. Fads come and
go, but unfortunately the girth
often just gets larger.
Although some diets con-
tain basic truths, there are often
downsides as magazines look
for the next big thing to attract a
Even recognised diets such
as the high-protein, low-carb
Atkinson diet can lead to adverse
effects because carbohydrates are
an essential ingredient in effec-
tive daily energy generation.
By the same token, it's pos-
sible to have an occasional treat
-- even a hamburger or a can of
soft drink -- without stacking on
There are two general rules
that will help you chew through
the fat and into a stable, long-
term and balanced diet/exercise
Work your muscles
A basic fact about diet and
nutrition is the more you exercise
your muscles, the more efficient
they become in using stored
The basal metabolic rate
(BMR) is the daily rate of energy
expenditure of a person involved
in a given form of activity or
comparative inactivity. It's a
pivotal part of the human weight-
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.
When you start exercising or
increase an existing regime, your
body responds to the new stimu-
lus. Weight training is a perfect
By putting a muscle under
pressure the body says "if you
keep this up I'm going to start
using your energy reserves".
The body then starts directing
more energy into an increasing
number of motor units -- "par-
cels" -- that consume energy.
Those extra parcels all use
energy at the same rate, so extra
energy is expended even watch-
ing 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 incorpo-
rate things that don't go well with
Irregular meals or trying to
lose weight through starving
only triggers the body's primi-
tive 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 feeling 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 ticking away through
regular meals of protein, carbo-
hydrates, fruit and vegetables that
keep the body slowly digesting.
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 unfavourably.
Carbohydrates have copped a
bad rap over recent years. If you
want to lose weight you need to
include carbohydrates to main-
tain a training format -- whether
cardiovascular or resistance.
For more dietary information, visit
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