Weight Training And
Q: Is it possible to be on a mass-gain program and at
the same time lose fat? Also, how much exercise is needed on a mass-gain
program to keep those calories from turning into fat?
In order to add muscle to your frame, you need to gain overall bodyweight.
Unfortunately, it's not possible to gain pure muscle, so you goal should
be to put on quality weight. The best way to do this is to combine an
intense training program with a slight increase in your caloric intake. An
additional 500 calories per day should be enough to help you put on the
muscle you desire. Remember, it's not the total amount of weight you gain
that's important but the amount of lean muscle you add to your physique.
As with weight loss, if you gain the weight slowly, a higher percentage of
your gain will come in the form of muscle.
In terms of diet composition you want to limit
your fat intake, since dietary fat can only be used for energy or stored
as fat and eating it does little to help you gain lean bodyweight. Many
athletes find that they gain muscle easier when they increase their
protein intake slightly. Scientists refer to this additional dietary
protein as a means of establishing the optimal environment for muscle
growth. Rather than taking in one to two grams of protein per pound of
bodyweight, these athletes calculate their protein increases according to
their desired bodyweights.
Q: I wanted to
have liposuction done on my lower abs. I've tried dieting, and I get
really lean except in this area. What are the risks?
Liposuction has become quite common, with more than 100,000 procedures
performed each year. The surgeon makes a small incision and inserts a tube
like vacuums inside, removing localized fat deposits that are resistant to
dieting. The most common target areas for liposuction include the thigh,
glutes, chin and abs. There are some risks, however, and these include
infection and large, permanent skin depressions, as well as blood clots.
Some physicians have also noted that when they remove fat from one area of
the body, frequently the fat stores increase in other areas.
How many calories should I take in on a weight-loss diet? I want the
weight to stay off, and I know I should lose it slowly; so what's the
A: For long-term weight loss and
maintenance you have to make a combination of several dietary and
lifestyle changes. It's not so much how many calories you eat as it is the
source of those calories and your activity level that trigger weight loss.
Too many people severely restrict their calories and depress their
metabolism, and as a result they can't lose weight even when they eat less
than 1,000 calories a day.
It's essential to limit your saturated
fat, animal protein and cholesterol intakes in order to control your
weight. Animal protein-whether it comes from chicken, beef or fish-
contains saturated fat and cholesterol. While fish is much lower in
saturated fat, you should still limit yourself to one, or at most two,
four-to-eight-ounce servings a day. Also, avoid high-fat foods such as
full-fat dairy products, nuts and avocados.
The most effective way
to lose weight is to increase your activity level, particularly with
aerobic activities like running, walking, bicycling and dancing, which
burn fat and shift your body into a fat-burning rather than a fat-storing
mode. By combining these dietary modifications with a slight caloric
restriction and increased aerobic exercise, you should successfully reduce
you fat weight and improve your health, fitness and appearance. Another
weight-loss tip I give my clients is to finish eating at least two hours
before bedtime and go for a light walk after the last
Bodybuilders, as well as all other dedicated athletes, are in
constant danger of exercise addiction. Psychologists often call it
"exercise bulimia" or "athletic body image disorder."
bulimia is a new twist on the binge-purge syndrome that has only recently
come to light," said Adrienne Restler, head of the eating disorder clinic
at the Florida Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale.
In the beginning
a fitness program fills empty time, but if it becomes an obsession, the
workout "victim" can be overcome with guilt if even one workout is
Exercise can be a healthy compulsion, according to Doris
Zachary, director of anorexia and bulimia therapy at the Center for
Counseling Services in Plantation, Florida, but pushed to the extreme it
can also cost jobs and destroy families and
Counseling is usually the only way to help the
exercise-compulsive, "What we do in therapy is show them that when people
define themselves as what they do, they are in trouble," Zachary said.
"You must separate people from their behaviors. People are also feelings
and value systems. There has to be a balance of
Unfortunately, balance seems like an unattainable goal
to many fitness enthusiasts whose lives revolve around working out. This
one-interest existence is a very dangerous state of mind because it can
lead to loneliness, a distorted value system and physical
Don't get caught in the exercise addiction trap. Strive for
a balanced life with a variety of activities and
WEIGHT LOSS APPROACH
Research indicates that exercise is more beneficial than caloric
restriction for fat loss. This is because when you exercise, more weight
is removed from your bodyfat stores than when you diet without exercising,
as weight lost from dieting tends to come from lean muscle stores as well
as fat. Obviously, the optimum weight-loss approach is to change your diet
Dieters are frequently concerned about where the
weight will be lost. Will there be selective loss in their hips and thighs
if they do aerobic exercises like running or the step machine? There is no
scientific evidence that more fat is released from the fat pads directly
over the exercising muscle than from anywhere else on the body. Spot
reducing is a myth and does not work. Bodyfat is lost from total fat
reserves and usually from the individual's areas of greatest fat
Concentration, not the bodyparts he or she works the most.
also indicates that exercising at an early age is beneficial for long-term
weight control. In animal studies, when the subjects began exercising
early in life and then stop, that early exercise appears to retard the
expansion and proliferation of fat cells during adulthood. If these
results prove the same for humans, then exercise and activity during the
developmental years may set up an individual for years of leanness when he
or she grows up.
Apparently, exercise sets up the body's machinery
to burn fat more efficiently than it stores fat, while caloric restriction
does the opposite-it forces the body to become efficient at storing fat in
the fat cells. So rather than restricting your calories for weight loss,
increase you activity levels and change the composition of your diet to
one low in fat and high in carbohydrates.