On low-fat and low-calorie diets, people can do serious harm to themselves by overexercising. When the body isn't getting enough protein from food, it turns to its only source of non-dietary protein: muscle. The body will actually begin to consume its own healthy muscle tissue. If you think this happens only to starving people in developing countries, you're wrong. Do you know someone who eats half a bagel and fruit for breakfast and a salad and diet soda for lunch? And then goes to the gym right after work? Where is her body going to find the protein to fuel her for those forty-five minutes on the stair-climbing machine? It will turn to the very muscles she's trying to build and tone-not to the fat cells she thinks she's burning.
The other benefit of a controlled carb nutrition program is that your metabolism won't go into starvation mode when you start exercising. Consider this: When you restrict calories and increase exercise, your body reacts just as it would when we were cavemen. As far as your body knows, it thinks there's a famine going on out there and-by unfortunate coincidence-some bear must be chasing you at the same time. Your body goes into survival mode and wisely sends out an allsystems alert to conserve resources. It literally turns your metabolism down a notch.
If you instead give your body all the protein and fat it desires, your body will know that food is plentiful. It will then accept your running, walking, stair-climbing or bicycling and leave your metabolism to hum along, and maybe even step up its pace.
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