:: Editors Note: Quincy College’s Winter Weight Loss Information Session will be held January 8, 2018 at 5:15pm. Attendees are asked to meet in the Fitness Center, Lower Level Basement at 1250 Hancock Street, Quincy Campus at Quincy College. ::
Quincy Sun // Published December 28, 2017 // By Rita La Rosa Loud, Quincy College Community Health & Fitness Center Supervisor
Mary and Helen, friends since high school – now in their 50’s, have each experienced a steady upward spiral in their body weight over the past several years. Although they have been walking together several days a week and have successfully completed numerous diet plans, they can’t seem to maintain a healthy body weight. Even more frustrating, their weight, waist, and hips have all increased shortly after each diet program. Like many middle-aged adults, they asked themselves “Why can’t we keep the weight off?”
To help answer this question and support a healthy community, on Thursday, January 4th, 5:15PM, the Quincy College Exercise Science program led by Dr. Wayne Westcott will present the components of our Weight Loss/Weight Maintenance Program. We will meet in Room 019, Presidents Place, 1250 Hancock Street, Quincy. There is no charge to participate in this presentation, but please call 617.984.1716 to reserve your seat.
If you are like seventy percent of American adults, are presently eating a low calorie diet to reduce body weight, then it is likely that you, too, have been on more than one diet plan and have experienced the plateau of diet and exercise. If so, you realize that dieting works pretty well for the short-term, but is rarely successful for permanent weight loss. Actually, more than ninety percent of successful dieters regain all of the weight they lost, and many even exceed their pre-diet body weight.
There are two basic problems with the low-calorie approach to weight loss. First, many people choose a diet program based on what is presently popular rather than a sensible nutrition plan based on reputable research studies. Most popular diet regimens require too little food consumption (especially too little protein intake) that results in rapid weight loss, but is accompanied by muscle loss and metabolic rate reduction. These two undesirable consequences of inappropriate dieting are almost always responsible for program discontinuation and inevitable weight regain.
Second, like Mary and Helen, many people decide to begin a physical activity program, but don’t know how to exercise effectively to reduce their body weight, improve their body composition, increase their physical fitness, and enhance their personal appearance. For example, they typically do too much aerobic activity that burns additional calories, but, in conjunction with dieting, fosters even more muscle loss and metabolic decline.
Most people do not realize that a major reason for fat gain is the 4 to-8 pound muscle loss and the 2 to-4 percent metabolic slow-down that occurs every decade of adult life unless we do resistance exercise. This reduction in our muscle engine and energy utilization results in gradual but persistent increase in fat weight. Therefore, to counter this highly undesirable change in our body composition (less muscle and more fat), we need to perform regular resistance exercise that rebuilds our muscle, restores our strength, recharges our metabolism, and remodels our body.
Quincy College Exercise Science Department’s recent research studies have clearly demonstrated that moderately decreased calorie consumption and increased protein intake coupled with a basic program of strength and endurance exercise is the most effective approach for reducing body weight and improving body composition. Over a six-month period, our program participants concurrently lost 14 pounds of fat and added 4 pounds of muscle, for an 18-pound improvement in their body composition and physical appearance. Even more impressive, over a nine-month maintenance (no diet) period, they continued to lose fat and add muscle for enhanced health and fitness. The exercise program was relatively brief, approximately 40-50 minutes, 2 or 3 days per week, divided equally between strength training and aerobic activity.
If you, like Mary and Helen, have experienced muscle loss, fat gain, and metabolic decline, you may want to consider a combined program of sensible nutrition and essential exercise such as the one that we have used in our research studies. In addition to improving their body weight and body composition,
Mary and Helen should also experience reductions in their waist girth, hip girth, resting blood pressure, and blood glucose levels. There are few things in life as valuable as health and fitness, and there are few health and fitness programs as effective as Quincy College’s extensively researched weight loss/weight management program.
Rita La Rosa Loud, B.S., leads the Community Health & Fitness Center at Quincy College, and co-directs the
Quincy College Exercise Science Research Studies with Dr. Westcott.
For more information on the Exercise Science and Personal Training program
at Quincy College, visit: https://quincycollege.edu/program/exercise-sciencepersonal-training/.