TO YOUR HEALTH
Try the Rubik’s Cube of fitness, one swivel is bound to work
Bewildering World of Weight Loss
Ever feel that losing weight is like solving a Rubik’s Cube? There are 43 quintillion (that’s 43 with 18 zeros!) possible permutations of the cube’s squares, yet only one correct outcome. Yes, it is solvable and by more than one combination of moves―and many have solved it. In the same way, you know that weight loss is possible because so many do it. And, yes, some make it look easy. Well, don’t hate, because many have tried 43 quintillion (give or take a few) methods to get there.
And then there is the even tougher question of how to keep the weight off.
As you search for the solution to your own weight loss puzzle, keep these realities: Weight-loss is not just a simple equation. You might think calories taken in and then figure out how to expend or burn more than that. While there is a degree of truth in this concept, there is so much more to take into account!
For instance, timing is everything. When you eat has a profound impact on weight loss. The same 50 carbs (hopefully healthy, slowly digesting ones) at breakfast when your body’s hormonal balance is primed for burning them, will be a fat-depositing disaster when your metabolism is slowing for sleep.
The Biggest Loser is not, in reality, a reality show. One study shows 13 of 14 contestants gaining back an average 66 percent of the weight they’d lost. Sadder still, four were even heavier. As a personal trainer, I have seen time and time again that extreme weight-loss tactics usually do not lead to sustained weight loss.
About 90 percent of those losing and maintaining weight loss exercise, on average, an hour a day. You are probably groaning imagining seven sweaty hours per week on a treadmill or elliptical machine. It does not have to be that. Walking to the grocery store, washing the car, mowing the lawn—anything that keeps you moving for any length of time— counts. As does gym work and the 2.5 hours (minimum) of medium-intensity cardio you need for heart health.
No one weight-loss plan works! Though most humans fit within a rather universal physical template, there is tremendous diversity within that template. For example: You and a pro tennis player have a lot in common physically . . . and clearly you also have many physical dissimilarities. And that is just what you can see! Metabolic, hormonal and physiological differences also abound. Some of us can handle carbs more efficiently than others. A very low-carb (“keto”) diet can cause some to gain weight due to stress. Some have faster metabolic rates and burn more calories, even at rest. I could go on and on. These are some of the reasons why no single diet will work for everyone. Here’s the good news: If you do not solve the Rubik’s Cube puzzle of weight loss on your first (or second or third) attempt, do not be discouraged―you are not alone. Keep moving, keep trying and keep learning as much as you can, and sooner or later you will hit on the solution to your own personal weight-loss puzzle.
Tony DiCosta is a Certified Personal Trainer C.P.T. and fitness writer. As a competitive physique athlete in the Masters Divisions, Tony has been the Over-60 Florida state champion and holds numerous regional and international titles. Tony can be contacted at the Sanibel Health Club.