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Have you heard of high-low dieting?  This is the absolute ideal way to diet for weight loss while maintaining the most LBM (muscle) possible.  So what is it?  We always have to discuss the science first (If you have read any of my prior posts about adaptation then you will already understand how the body adapts and you can skip to the next paragraph, this first part is for the rest of you):

Your body has a constant desire for homeostasis, meaning that it will always try to balance what is happening internally with what is happening externally.  We use the S.A.I.D. acronym which means Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand.  To understand this concept just think about the words.  Your body will very specifically adapt to the demand, or stress, that you put upon it.

Understanding how your body adapts is extremely important to dieting because that adaptation is not limited to exercise or your job, but also includes your food intake.  If you constantly eat less calories than your body is burning then you will eventually find that your body adapts to those low calories and you will stop losing weight.  Think about those kids that you see on those commercials that are eating 300 calories of rice and surviving, even though it is not pretty you understand the concept.  Their bodies will not let them starve to death so it simply slows down the metabolism to balance in internal with the external.  Your body works the same way.

The point is that if you under-eat for an extended period of time you have asked your body to slow down the metabolism to protect you.  So to lose weight effectively long-term without having this happen then we need to send alternating signals to our body.  Now for the action plan:

Start by doing 3 low-calorie days.  Make a meal plan that is designed to have you at the bottom of calories that you can take in, knowing full well that if you stayed that low then you would shortly find your metabolism slowing down.

Then, on the 4th day, you need to increase your calories by at least 500 calories.  Ideally you should still be at a deficit but at a minor deficit instead of a major deficit.

Finally, repeat the steps over and over.

Now for the down side, and there is always a down side.  This style of dieting is more complex and does take more planning than simply eating less food.  In this case you are maximizing the body's response to diet so it cannot be as general as most diet plans are.  Also, there is very little wiggle room when you do this properly.  Many diets, in an attempt to make it easier and hopefully sell more programs, give you a free day once per week in an effort to accomplish the same thing.  The concept is valid except that on those free days you are allowed to eat things and calories that negatively impact your weight loss.  So though you may enjoy the treats that you give yourself, you are very likely storing fat on those days that you will just have to burn off again!

Finally, the upside.  You will burn the maximum amount of fat in the least amount of time, without doing damage to your metabolism!  Need I say more?

If you would like to try this then I recommend that you get organized.  Plan your entire weeks menu ahead of time, including calories for each day and each meal.  Then take an afternoon and devote it to cooking your food.  Prepackage that food into baggies and storage containers and put them in your fridge so that each morning your simply take the prepared food and put them in your lunch box.  Try this approach for 3 weeks and POW, you will have lost some real body fat and not chanced the yo-yo process! 

Now for my plug.  If you are interested in doing something like this and don't have the energy to figure it out on your own then please take advantage of our FREE 30 DAY TRIAL, available right here in Boise.  Good luck.

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