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Add Mass
Calorie Guidelines
Weight Training And Exercise Addiction
Weight Loss Approach




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?

A: 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?

A: 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.






Q: 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 right formula?

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 meal.










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."

"Exercise 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 missed.

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 relationships.

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 behaviors."

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 abuse.

Don't get caught in the exercise addiction trap. Strive for a balanced life with a variety of activities and interests.






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 and exercise.

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.

Research 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.