After a short time on a weight loss program, one may reach a plateau and seem unable to lose more weight. With decreased food intake and insufficient exercise the metabolism level may drop and be unable to burn stored fat. Dr. Martin Katahn's sensible, balanced ROTATION DIET can "fool" the subconscious or our body into maintaining a metabolism rate high enough to burn fats. Although there is little scientific evidence, in my experience the diet worked. A man starts with a 1200-calorie-a day diet for three days followed by four days of 1500 calories per day. The next seven days allow 1800 calories each. The third week he returns to the 1200/1500 schedule. The fourth week he returns to his former "normal" diet. The entire process is repeated until the desired amount of weight is lost. For women the calorie levels are 600, 900, 1200. Obviously, calorie levels may be adjusted upward or downward according to the individual's activity and the rate of weight loss which should not exceed three pounds a week. Probably one pound a week is safer after the first three weeks.
In order to help the dieter stay on the program, the author allowed snacks of "free vegetable:" asparagus, celery, chicory, Chinese cabbage, cucumber, escarole, lettuce, parsley, radish, spinach, watercress and zucchini. These can be eaten in unlimited quantities. If these do not satisfy the need to munch, he provided for a single "safe" fruit in place of the "free" snack. Safe fruits are apple, berries, grapefruit, melon, orange, peach, pineapple or tangerine. He felt it better to stay on the regimen by adding a few extra calories than to discourage the dieter.
Another way to stimulate the metabolism is to increase exercise, e.g. to walk longer and/or faster. It is advisable to exercise at least twenty minutes a day at our target level heart rate. In other words, we walk at a speed that elevates our heart rate to the desired level. This can also be attained by any aerobic activity.
To determine our target level we first find our resting pulse rate when resting with no physical activity. Then we determine the maximum pulse rate by subtracting our age from 227 (female 220 (male). The working pulse rate is then found by subtracting the resting rate from the maximum rate. Since we are probably somewhat out of shape, we will calculate a practical range of exercise pulse rate. 50% of our working rate added to our resting rate is the lower limit. 60% of our working rate added to our resting rate is the upper limit of the pulse rate. This is called the target level range: lowest rate = (50% of working rate) + resting rate; upper rate = (60% of working rate) + resting rate. As we get into better shape this range can be raised. Every adult should maintain this pulse rate for 20 minutes per day - not only those who want to lose weight, but for everyone to have the healthiest cardiovascular system.
The facts of obesity, except for very, very rare cases with hormonal causes, are simple: we take in more energy (food) than the body is able to burn. The excess unburned energy is stored as fat. When this energy imbalance is corrected by reduction of food and/or increasing exercise, there will be a loss of weight. With weight loss there will also be a loss of stored body fat. Though exercise by itself will ordinarily not reduce stored body fat, it is usually necessary to keep the metabolic rate high enough to burn the fat.
Drink plenty of water to help remove the wastes from the metabolic process. Keep a balanced diet. Exercising before eating helps to control the appetite. Any aerobic exercise may be used, but walking is less strenuous and very good. It is not really necessary to go on a special diet. Every month or so there is a new diet so obvious they generally do not work. Some of the "starvation" and "liquid food" diets are really hazardous. Choose your correct weight from the charts, make a commitment (vrata), and begin a new life of health. Our motto: use COMMON SENSE, EAT LESS FAT, AND WALK.