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Choose to Lose Weight-Loss Plan for Men

The following was excerpted from Choose to Lose Weight Loss-Plan for Men (© 2000 Dr. Ron and Nancy Goor, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston). No part of this excerpt may be reproduced without written permission from Dr. Ron and Nancy Goor.

How Choose to Lose Works and Why

To lose weight you need to reduce the amount of fat in your fat stores. The three Choose to Lose strategies effectively accomplish this goal. In this chapter we will explore the scientific basis for each of the three strategies and show the unique way they work together to maximize your weight loss.


Your Body Needs Energy To Operate

We will start with energy because weight loss is all about how your body uses and stores energy.

Basal Metabolism. Your body needs a certain amount of energy to function - to power your heart, lungs, brain, kidneys, and other organs and keep them in good repair. The amount of energy you use when you are completely at rest is called your basal metabolism. The rate at which you burn energy when you are completely at rest is called your basal metabolic rate (BMR).

Each person has his own BMR determined partly by heredity and partly by lifestyle. Your heredity sets the upper and lower limits of your BMR. You can maximize your BMR within this range by doing daily aerobic exercise and by eating a lot of nutrient-dense/fiber-rich carbohydrates. The higher your BMR, the easier and faster you lose weight.

Physical Activity. Physical activity is not fixed within a range like your basal metabolic rate. The more exercise you do, the more energy you need to fuel it.

Total Energy Needs. Your total energy needs are the sum of your basal metabolism plus the amount of physical activity you do. The higher your BMR and the more active you are, the more energy you need.

Food Supplies Energy

Where does your body get energy to power your basal metabolism + physical activity? Just as energy stored in batteries powers machines to do work, energy stored in the food you eat powers your body.

The energy in food comes packed in three types of nutrients: fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. The amount of energy supplied by each of these nutrients is measured in calories.

Not All Calories Are Equal

Many people believe that whether you eat fats, carbohydrates, or proteins, if you eat too much, the energy is stored and becomes fat. Not true. What is true is that the body handles carbohydrates, fats, and proteins differently and the calories from each have a totally different effect on weight gain. Each of the Choose to Lose strategies takes advantage of the different ways the body uses these nutrients to help you lose weight.



Fat is the villain. Fat makes you fat. Unlike carbohydrates and protein, fat is not burned off when you eat it. Almost all (97%) of the fat you eat slides right into the fat stores that pad your body. It is as if you took the hamburger you just ate and wadded it onto your belly except that it is happening from the inside.

The capacity for storing fat knows no bounds. The normal lean person stores about 140,000 calories of fat. Contrast this to the body's limited capacity to store carbohydrate (about 1200 - 1500 calories). But with fat storage, there is no upper limit. A person who weighs 300 pounds is storing about 200 pounds of fat.

Whereas it is extremely difficult to overeat carbohydrates if you are eating nutrient-dense/fiber-rich food, there are no mechanisms to protect you from overeating fat. You can overeat fat one day, and the next, and the next and the fat stores grow larger and larger.

In short, you are overweight because you have put too much fat in cold storage.

Creating a Deficit

Each day fat from the foods you eat is added to your body's fat stores. Some is removed to furnish energy not supplied by the carbohydrates you eat. Your weight is determined largely by how much fat you add to the fat depots versus how much you remove.

If you eat just the amount of fat that is removed from the fat stores to furnish the energy not supplied by the carbohydrates, your weight will remain the same. If you eat more fat, the excess will go into the fat stores and you will gain weight. If you eat less fat than is required to satisfy your energy needs, then the body will have to make up the deficit by removing fat from the fat stores and you lose weight.

Strategy #1, eating a low-fat diet, ensures that you add less fat to the fat stores. The less fat that you add, the less you will have to remove later.

Strategies #2 and #3 are aimed at removing the fat that already pads your frame.



Carbohydrates include both sugars (simple carbohydrates) and starches (complex carbohydrates) such as potatoes, other vegetables, rice, pasta, and bread. Fiber, a nondigestible form of carbohydrate, is found in vegetables, fruits, and whole-grains. Fiber is filling and helps prevent overeating.

Carbohydrate: #1 Energy Source

The body burns a mixture of carbohydrate, fat, and protein stored in the foods you eat to produce the energy it needs. But, the primary and preferred fuel is carbohydrate. Carbohydrate provides most of the energy to fuel the muscles and other bodily functions and, in the form of the simple sugar glucose, is the only fuel your brain can use.

Eating a lot of carbohydrates keeps your BMR chugging along at a maximum rate.

The Fate of the Carbohydrates You Eat

Each day you consume about 50 to 60% of your total calories as carbohydrates. Most of it is burned within a few hours of consumption to fuel your physical activity and internal functions and is not stored or converted to fat.

A small amount of carbohydrate from each meal tops up the carbohydrate stores that have been partially used up between meals. The carbohydrate is stored as glycogen - long chains of the simple sugar glucose - in the muscles and in the liver.

Glycogen in the muscle is used for short bursts of intense activity, like playing tennis, and for "fight or flight" responses, such as jumping out of the path of a speeding car. Glycogen in the liver provides a constant supply of glucose to the brain, especially between meals, when glucose levels might otherwise drop. If glucose supply to the brain falls too low, you lose consciousness Ė a major inconvenience.

Keep Your Carbohydrate Tank on Full

It is essential to eat a lot of carbohydrates so your glycogen stores never fall too low. If you skimp on carbohydrates because you are following a low-calorie, low-carbohydrate and/or high protein diet, your glycogen stores will be inadequate and you will feel it. You will have diminished energy, stamina, and endurance.


Excess Carbohydrate Calories Don't Turn To Fat

Although scientific research has proven over and over that excess carbohydrates are burned and released as heat, people still believe that carbohydrates turn to fat. Scientific experiments have shown that only if you were to eat more than 2200 calories of pure carbohydrate in addition to your normal daily total caloric intake for 5 to 6 days in a row might the excess carbohydrates possibly turn to fat. This is called glycogen loading and is not so easy to do.

Finding the Perfect Carbohydrate Balance

You need to eat lots of carbohydrates to keep your BMR at a maximum level, fuel your activity, keep up your energy level, and fuel your brain. But you donít want to eat so much that your energy needs are satisfied without having to draw fat from the fat stores. How do you limit the amount you eat so you eat enough carbohydrates to reap the many benefits without eating so much you spare the fat from being mobilized and burned?

Bulk Provides Brakes. The built in safety mechanism against overeating carbohydrates is provided by eating a healthy, nutrient-dense/fiber-rich diet. The bulk provided by fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains ensures that you won't eat more carbohydrates than your body can handle. Imagine eating 5 baked potatoes at one sitting. Your body would cry "NO MORE!" before you even finished two.


Daily aerobic exercise helps you to reduce fat from the fat stores in two ways.

Exercising Increases Demand for Energy

First, and most important, by exercising you increase your total energy needs. To supply the additional energy, the body draws fat from the fat stores and you lose weight. That is, of course, if you are eating a low-fat, high-fiber diet and not adding more fat to the fat stores than you are removing.

Muscle Burns Fat and Raises BMR

Second, aerobic exercise builds and preserves muscle. Muscle is the tissue in the body that burns fat. The more muscle you have, the more fat-burning capacity you have. The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolic rate (BMR) and the faster you burn fat.

If you don't exercise, the muscle is broken down and not rebuilt. Over the years the loss of muscle can become significant. Sedentary adults may lose as much as 40% of their muscle mass - and their fat-burning capacity - between the ages of 20 and 70. It is no wonder that sedentary people who eat a high fat diet gain weight as they age.

This doesn't have to be you. By exercising you protect your muscle from being broken down.

An aside: If you have been sedentary, you are fighting the battle of the bulge with one arm tied behind your back. But, it is not too late. You can reverse the negative effects of a sedentary lifestyle at any time and at any age by starting to exercise and build fat-burning muscle.

Protein: Overrated

The role of protein in our diets is greatly misunderstood. Although many people associate rippling muscles with a diet of steak and chops, the protein you eat doesn't build bulging biceps and triceps. It is used to rebuild muscle.

We tend to think of muscle as a permanent structure, but it is constantly being broken down and rebuilt (in response to use). When muscle is broken down, protein is released, broken down, and excreted. Since only small amounts of muscle are broken down and rebuilt each day, you don't need much protein in your diet. Scientific research has shown that adults only need about 12 - 15% of their calories from protein. And, no matter what we eat, we generally get that amount.

Most Americans eat more than enough protein for good health. Consuming too much protein can put stress on the kidneys. In addition, since many people equate high-quality protein with red meat and since red meat is filled with saturated fat, by eating lots of red meat you may be raising your cholesterol level and putting your heart at risk.



To lose weight you need to remove more fat from the fat stores than you add. The three Choose to Lose strategies work together to make it happen. First, eating a low-fat diet adds less fat to the fat stores. Second, eating a high-fiber diet limits the amount of carbohydrates you eat so carbohydrates alone do not satisfy your energy needs and the body has to raid the fat stores for the balance. And third, exercising increases your energy needs, thus increasing the amount of fat you need to withdraw from your fat bank.

Defeating the System

The Choose to Lose Weight Loss Plan is a great weight loss system that really works, but you have to follow all three strategies. This is what happens if you donít:

Fat makes Fat: If you donít eat a low-fat diet (Strategy #1), and you eat too much fat, your fat stores get larger and so do you.

Fiber-Free Is Not Self-limiting. If you eat mainly processed, fiber-free foods like nonfat cookies, fat-free ice cream, and fat-free crackers, instead of a fruits, vegetables, and whole-grains (Strategy #2), you consume hundreds and even thousands of empty carbohydrate calories. Because these foods provide no bulk, there is no brake on overconsuming them. Since your body cannot store carbohydrates, it burns these calories instead of burning the fat from your fat stores and your weight loss is stalled.

No Exercise Means Muscle Loss. If you don't exercise (Strategy #3), you reduce your total energy needs, you lose muscle, and your BMR slows down. With lower energy needs, you don't need to withdraw fat from the fat stores and you don't lose weight.

Choose to Lose Strategies Bring Success

By incorporating all three strategies into your life, you will be on the road to healthy, safe, and permanent weight loss.

Now, on to Chapter 3 so you can determine your Fat Budget and get going on the Choose to Lose Weight Loss Plan for Men.

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