Looking to Lose Weight? Eat More!

Fitness experts say key to weight loss is eating more, exercising less

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCChicago.com

    It's the heart of the holiday season, and that means turning a blind eye to indulgences of all kinds: from that third helping of turkey and gravy, to that extra dessert at a friend's house.

    For million of Americans, it also means there's a January deadline for a whole new way of living: eating less and exercising more.

    Key to Weight Loss: Eat More, Work Out Less

    [CHI] Key to Weight Loss:  Eat More, Work Out Less
    Nutritionists and fitness experts say New Year resolutions to get healthy almost always fail. (Published Tuesday, Dec 1, 2009)

    But fitness experts like Sergio Rojas from the NBC Chicago Fitness Team say that's precisely the problem. Rojas suggests exactly the opposite; that you exercise less and eat more.

    Really? Exercise less and eat more?

    Yes, and here's why:

    When you starve yourself and get in a cardio workout, your body isn't getting any energy, so it's going to use the sugar and energy from your muscle tissue.

    In effect, Rojas says, you're breaking down your body when you put yourself on a starvation diet. And that signals your metabolism -- the engine that runs your body -- to slow down and start conserving calories. And those calories are stored as fat.

    The solution? Eat more. In fact, eat every three to three-and-a-half hours.

    Eating revs up the metabolism in the first hour after eating. And the continuous eating means you're less likely to feel hungry.

    "And as long as you keep making it work, it's always going to stay strong and active," Rojas explained.

    As for the exercise, Rojas suggests ditching the hour of intense cardio.

    "Twelve to 30 minutes is all you need," he advises.

    And don't forget the strength training and movements that build muscle.

    "They're short workouts. You're not going to burn out and you're not going to create injuries," says Rojas.

    Five to six days of brief workouts is ideal, but the ultimate goal is creating a lifestyle that's sustainable for yourself.