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No website based on the many ways and means to lose weight should be without a primer article that outlines the fundamental, or essential tips that exist and from which all peripheral information and advice comes from.

So here is this website's starter into this realm of mystery and intrigue that attempts to demystify and clarify those very basic rules that govern the process of losing weight.


From an exercise standpoint, we can already see that in order to maintain a healthy body weight and size, a suitable amount of muscular work is essential to cause the body's metabolism to be sufficiently elevated and efficient so that it will burn at least as many calories as are being fed into the body through the consumption of food and drinks.

This is pretty obvious to most people, yet so many people shy away from the necessity to exercise on a daily basis in order to stay fit and control their weight. So they tend to opt for what they see as the softer option, which is to maintain their weight solely through their diet.


Maintaining a healthy diet is another basic essential element in the battle to maintain a healthy weight. While it is seen as the softer option than exercise, it is often more difficult than many people imagine to stick rigidly enough to any diet for it to be at its most effective.

The theory is sound in that as long as you restrict your intake of calories to equal or less than what your body burns, then you will maintain the correct weight for your body shape and size. Unfortunately there is a side to the theory that falls down due to the nature of the human body and its genetic and instinctive makeup.

The Human Body's Fundamental Survival Program

Our ancestors lived a tough life of foraging for food and when food was plentiful, the families or tribes would eat well. But when food was scarce, people often would have to go several days without any food. This was part of life and in order to survive, the human body has an inbuilt program that enables it to weather the storm when it had to cope with little or no food for prolonged periods of time. This is basically how it worked.

In times of plenty, the people would gorge themselves on all the available food because there was no way to store it and so it had to be eaten before it spoiled. During this period of plenty, the body accepted all the excess calories that it was consuming and converted that excess to fat to be stored in special cells that we have located around the body.

When a time of plenty was followed by a time of scarcity, the body, still requiring fuel to convert to energy to keep it running would be able to take that fuel from its store of fat. Should the time of scarcity be prolonged, the body's store of fat would become depleted.

In order to survive, the body would go into a starvation program whereby the metabolism would be slowed down and all non essential muscular work would be reduced as fuel was restricted. Muscle density and bulk would begin to decline so that the muscles, such as those in arms and legs which use most energy to work, could continue to function with less fuel and what little stores of fuel the body had remaining would be used to keep essential muscles running, such as the heart, brain, lungs and other organs.

The digestive system would also be restricted in order to allow the body to function on much less fuel until such a time as food became available again and the body's stores could be replenished.

In the modern human, with access to refrigerators, freezers, canned and packaged food in supermarkets and other retail outlets as well as the proliferation of restaurants and takeaway food places, there are no times of scarcity of food unless the person is living in poverty and cannot afford to buy food. But for those who can afford it, and that is the vast majority in western society, we live in a permanent time of plenty. Our bodies are fed daily several times during the waking hours and they never get a chance to switch to fat burning mode because there is always more than enough fuel to keep them running.

In fact, the whole reason people get overweight and obese is because of this fact. The body just keeps on storing more and more fat with all the excess food in preparation for a time of starvation that is never coming!

The Calorie Restricting Diet

When an overweight person puts themselves on a diet, they mimic the body's starvation mode to a certain extent. The body is quick to recognise this situation and very quickly switches its metabolism to start burning its store of fat to cope with the sudden restriction in calories consumed.

The result is that weight is lost, the amount varying depending upon the length and nature of the diet and the person's own personal physical condition and makeup. This would be perfect except for one major problem.

As soon as you terminate the diet and resume your normal eating habits, the body rapidly switches back into its mode for coping with times of plenty. It recognises the excess in calories consumed and once again begins storing them as fat in earnest anticipation of the next period of starvation, which often is not going to happen.

All the weight that was lost during the diet is replaced and usually a few extra pounds as the body's rate of fat storing in increased at this point. So essentially, the pain and deprivation suffered by the person on the diet was pretty much all for nothing, or just a short term reduction on weight that was later negated. So how do we counter this problem and make the weight loss more permanent?


Yes, back to the initial point of exercise being the most effective way for losing weight in the long term. This works best when combined with a healthy diet that is not restrictive of calories. The reason for this will become clear when we refer back to the point made in the previous paragraph that described the way starvation mode works.

In starvation mode, the body depletes muscle density and bulk to cope with the lack of fuel to drive them. But when you exercise to burn calories instead of standing still and hoping that just restricting your calorie intake will be enough, then the muscles are not depleted but in fact the opposite happens.

The muscles are strengthened and their density and bulk is increased. This causes them to demand more fuel to burn in order to continue to do the work required of them. In this way, the excess calories are burned rather than withheld and the difference is a fitter looking, toned and slimmer body shape than you can get through dieting alone, because the muscles are all tighter, more defined and stronger.

The final benefit is probably the most important in that this is something that will be maintained in the long term because as long as some daily exercise is done, the muscles will always require as much fuel as you consume and you will therefore not gain fat because the body never has to place itself in starvation mode. It similarly cannot store more fat even though it is experiencing a time of plenty, because the metabolism is so elevated with the fuel demands of the stronger muscles that it cannot store much, if any fat.

So now you have the essential tips in knowing how the body works and then you can use this knowledge to your advantage in order to maintain a healthy weight, as well as a healthy body!

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