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Graeme Hilditch- No Nonsense Advice

Friday, January 9th, 2009 Graeme Hilditch- No Nonsense Advice

Because it is that time of year and we are bombarded with advice from all the diet companies and celebrity endorsements. It will be useful to ensure accurate relevant information is on hand when choosing the regime that suits you as an individual.

Graeme Hilditch provides a no-nonsense guide on what are the effective regimes to follow to facilitate getting fit and weight loss. Notably, pet hates are the droopy bingo wings. The only way to get rid of these unsightliness is to do upper-arm exercise. Moreover, the upper-arm muscle - or tricep - is an area where many women begin to accumulate a little more fat than they feel is acceptable - a problem referred to euphemistically as ‘bingo wings’, ‘dinner-lady arms’ or ‘nanna wobbles’.

However, it has often been regarded that exercises that target specific muscle groups can help by firming and toning up the muscles but sadly it won’t. This theory of ’spot reduction’ has been tested numerous times on tennis players, comparing their playing arm with the other, redundant one. There is evidence of a clear musculature difference, in effect, fat levels are identical, thus exercising a particular muscle does not reduce the fat content of that body part.

Furthermore there is also evidence supporting the fact that weight can be lost through diet alone. When weight is lost without exercise you lose muscle. It has also been suggested that for those desperate to lose weight, this fact will seem irrelevant. Sadly, as long as the scales says the weight is coming off, then that should be good enough, unfortunately, this is not the case.

Fundamentally, a well recognised fact is that muscle needs energy - calories - to exist. If you start to lose muscle mass, you begin to burn less energy at rest. Your initial weight-loss may seem impressive but, over time, with less muscle mass and the likely return to your original eating habits, the fat reappears.

‘Vanity thy name is woman’ Many women are somewhat tense when it comes to weight training. Apparently, they assume that lifting a dumbbell any heavier than a glass of Shiraz will give them large and unfeminine muscles.

But it’s highly unlikely. First, muscle is difficult to build. Even the most dedicated, steroid-free and genetically gifted male body-builders who spend their lives weight training struggle to grow more than 14lb of muscle a year.

Another aspect to consider is the fact that muscle building relies on the hormone testosterone. Women most definitely lack this hormone which is pivotal in not achieving bulk.

Weight training most certainly has its own advantages ie weight training can actually give the appearance of smaller muscles - it boosts your metabolism, freeing fat from your body to fuel the energy demands of exercise.

Mediterranean oils such as Olive are mono-unsaturated fat scientifically proven to offer protection from heart disease, cancer of the colon and helps lower the bad form of cholesterol. Nevertheless, always regard Olive oil as a health option, but remember it is still fat and contains 9Kcal per gram.

There is no doubt that running, swimming, and cycling are the most common forms of exercise people undertake to get fit and lose weight.

However, a study by exercise physiologists found that while running at 7.5mph burned 11 calories a minute, cycling at the same speed burned 3.9 calories, and swimming (front crawl) at 3mph burned 15.7 calories.

But while cycling appears to be poor compared with the others, most people find it more convenient than swimming and are able to cycle for a lot longer at 10mph than swim at 3mph, let alone maintain that pace for any length of time.

Provided you’re doing your chosen sport on a regular basis, at a medium to high intensity and enjoying it, you’re splitting hairs when it comes to calorie expenditure.

With reference to sit-ups, the act is, performing sit-ups or ‘crunches’ strengthens and firms up the recturs abdominis muscle, more commonly known as the ’six-pack’. This may well give your stomach muscles the strength to bounce bullets but will do nothing to reduce the amount of fat on your tummy.

Abdominal fat is there because of excessive calorie consumption - the only way to get rid of it is to burn off the calories with a balanced diet and exercise.

There is one trick, however, that can give the appearance of a flatter stomach, regardless (within reason) of how much abdominal fat you possess. Underneath the rectus abdominis lies a band of muscle called the transversus abdominis - or ‘corset muscle’. Regular exercise will improve posture and the stomach will have a leaner appearance even when having lost no weight.

So Have a think, and choose an option to suit yourself.

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