A Magic Pill?

By: Bobby Solorio

Hey there Bobby,

I am at my wits end!  I am 44 yrs old and used to be skinny as a rail. Now I am fat and cannot lose the weight. I did Atkins for a while and lost a lot but gained even more back. I am so disheartened. I joined a gym and did the work outs for 6 months... I lost 5 lbs.!  Isn't there anyone or anything that can help!

I know it can be extremely disheartening to try all sorts of diets and exercise programs with little or no results.  Don’t you wish there was a pill you can take that would allow you to get the body of your dreams?  Well, I don’t!  My business would suffer greatly if such a pill existed! 

Diets such as Atkins, South Beach, and the Grapefruit diet all try to be that magic pill.  However they end up being more like the magic beans from Jack in the Bean Stock: exciting results at first, but ending with a big scary giant at the end.  Many times making those following the diet the giants.  The Atkins Diet has helped many people lose weight by cutting out carbs and focusing on eating lots of protein and fat.  You lose weight on this diet because:

  1. Carbohydrates cause the body to hold more water. So when you cut out carbs you lose water weight.
  2. Simple carbs such as refined sugars and processed flour (white) enter the blood stream quickly causing a peak in insulin, which in turn takes those calories and stores them in the fat cells.  By cutting out all carbs you are also cutting out the “bad” simple carbs.
  3. The amount of calories you were eating before you started Atkins was probably more than the amount you consumed while you were on Atkins.  The good thing about fat and protein is that it takes a while to digest and triggers a chemical in your body to signal you are full.  So most likely you didn’t take in as many calories because you felt satiated sooner.

Unfortunately you cannot follow such an eating plan for the rest of your life and at some point you will begin eating carbs again.  Carbs are the nutrients your body uses to fuel the brain.  A good amount of people on Atkins will gain back the weight they lost and then some.  This is because you gain back the water weight you lost and you begin to consume more calories than before. 

Also, your body is not used to metabolizing carbohydrates so now those carbs will go through your system much faster and be stored as fat.  After losing weight so quickly and then gaining weight it can be easy to give up and say “screw it!”. 

I’m glad to read that you have been working out, but I’m not sure where your eating plan currently stands.  My advice is to eat smart.  Meaning, lots of protein, complex carbs (whole wheat/whole grain), and healthy fats found in nuts, olive oil or fish.  You want to make sure you are feeding your body in such a way you can maintain for the rest of your life.  You will not lose double-digit pounds each week….in fact you’ll be lucky to lose one pound a week but know the weight lost will stay off. You will be retraining your metabolism and teaching your body to be more calorie efficient.  Be consistent in the gym, hit the cardio hard, and DON’T GIVE UP!!

Do you have a question for Bobby about how to improve your time in the gym? Send us an email.

(Photo: Getty Images)

Bobby_solorio_1A.C.E.- and N.A.S.M.-certified, Bobby Solorio has been personal training for over 10 years. You might recognize him from Bravo TV's "Kathy Griffin: My Life
on the D-List," where he trains his now-A-list client. For more info check out Bobby's website. 

Tags: Lifestyle