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Eat Yourself THIN!

A Mathematical Formula for Weight Loss Success

The Atlanta Olympics seem like they happened so long ago. Weren't they amazing? After the supreme bravery of Kerri Strugg, the most memorable thing in my mind about the Olympics was a comment made by the nutritionist for the U.S. Women's Gymnastics Team.  

He told the TV interviewer he wanted these supreme athletes to eat a small meal or snack every three hours all day long. And, because they were so energetic, he wanted those waif like young things to eat more than 2,600 calories a day! 

Now I know you saw those young women on TV, too. There wasn't an ounce of fat on 'em anywhere. If that's the results of working out, grazing every three hours and eating lots of calories, I want to be out that diet, too! 

And I'm not joking. The team's nutritionist was just applying the inexorable laws of biochemistry to craft a winning eating plan for the U.S. Women's Gymnastic Team. Neither you nor I have the time or desire to work out as intensely as they did. But you can work out three days a week, eat five small meals a day and eat lots of calories (the exact math follows)to LOSE WEIGHT! 

Why do we can gain weight? What a dumb question. Because we overeat. You betcha, if you eat more calories than your burn off, those extra beers and hot fudge sundaes have a habit of hiding out in hips, thighs and jowls as unsightly fat. 

So, if people get fat because they eat too much, then it's safe to conclude that the best way to lose weight is to eat less. Right? Wrong! Friends, this is one of the most dangerous myths in the weight loss world. You literally have to eat yourself thin, not starve yourself thin. 

The number of calories you eat directly affects your metabolism. If you don't eat enough calories, your body goes into "famine" mode. Fooled into believing you cannot find enough to eat, your endocrine glands PURPOSELY slow your metabolism to conserve energy. Slowing the metabolism means burning less fat. Is this really what you wanted to do??? 

There's another deleterious effect if you cut too many calories. Dr. Wayne Calloway, a weight control expert at George Washington School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., says adults need at least 1,200 calories a day to keep the body from cannibalizing muscle tissue. That's the muscle tissue you've been working so hard in the gym to build! 

So, how do you know how many calories to actually eat to lose weight? Here's the formula. Get out your calculator. 

First, identify your perfect weight. Then, make sure your caloric intake equals 10 to 15 times that weight in pounds or 22 to 33 times in kilograms. 

Say your ideal weight is 150 pounds. (I'm making my life easy because I'm a nutritionist, not a mathematician!) So: 

150 pounds x 10 to 15 = 1,500 to 2,250 calories a day 

This range would be the same if you wanted to weigh 68 kilos. 

Now, divide that number by 5 to see how many calories you need to eat every time your graze. 

Here are some more numbers you need to know: 

1 gram of protein = 4 calories
1 gram of carbohydrates = 4 calories
1 gram of fat = 9 calories

Note: there are 28 grams in an ounce. 

However, proteins and carbohydrates contain a great deal of water and fiber. So, to be accurate, let 2 grams of lean protein or complex carbohydrates equal 4 calories. Fats contain nothing but fat. Do not double that number! 

Using the 150 pound weight goal and these numbers, a person should eat 14.3 ounces of lean protein, 14.3 ounces of complex carbohydrates and 22 grams or LESS THAN ONE OUNCE of fat per day on the Meltdown eating plan. Of course, you have to divide these numbers by 5 to get an idea of how much you should be eating per serving. 

Freud once said ignorance is no excuse for dumb behavior. In the Meltdown interpretation of those words, ignorance is a choice we make to prevent ourselves from making difficult changes in our lives even though we really know better. Don't cut your calories to lose weight. Get out your calculator and plug in some hard numbers. Now you have no excuse not to get thin! 


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