Posted by: Dia | 2009/07/08

Restricting too much?

I' ve been trying to tone my body (I' m full of wobbly bits), but I' m just not managing. Five weeks ago I joined to gym and I have been going four times a week for an hour each visit. I also moderate what I eat. A typical day includes:

Breakfast: one bowl All-Bran flakes w/ fat-free milk
Snack: an apple
Lunch: one bowl Woolies veggie soup
Snack: 150g fat-free yoghurt
Snack: a pear or rye crispbread with sugar-free peanut butter
Dinner: One biggish bowl pasta with sauce (no cream or cheese sauces) or a chickenpiece, sweet potato and green veg
I also occasionally treat myself to a block or two of chocolate or a few bicuits. I only drink water and tea (fat-free milk, no sugar).

Since I started gymming, I' m looking " softer"  than ever and some people tell me it' s because I eat too restrictively and my body is burning muscle and also converting everything I eat to fat because it' s in " starvation mode" . Is this possible? I' m 1.62m tall and weigh 53kg.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Dia
Seeing that your present BMI = 20,2, you certainly don't need to restrict your energy intake so drastically because I suspect that what you need is not to lose weight (your BMI is already below the ideal of 22 for adult women, for which you would need to weigh 57 kg!), but to firm up your muscles if you have "wobbly bits". Now firming up muscles take time and hard work. You should concentrate on doing exercises with weights and targeted exercises like sit-ups and thigh rolls (ask the gym instructor for specific exercises). However to do a proper muscle building workout you also need plenty of fuel or energy which you can obtain from using additional carbs (only 16 kJ per gram). So add 2 slices of wholewheat bread or low-GI bread with 1 t of polyunsaturated margarine to your lunch and eat extra fruit during the day. If you feel tired and sluggish after your workouts, use an energy drink like Energade diluted 50% with water before, during and after your exercise session to provide you with additional energy and to also replenish your energy stores in the body. Starvation mode either stops weightloss (which you don't need any way) or breaks down muscle tissues for energy if you simultaneously start doing strenuous exercise.
Best regards

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