Jim Karas was an overweight kid who slimmed down and taught fitness classes to help work his way through the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
Coupling his passions, he wrote the best-selling book “The Business Plan for the Body” and became a personal trainer to the rich and famous, including Hollywood star Hugh Jackman, Diane Sawyer, Paula Zahn, and Oprah’s best friend, TV personality Gayle King.
Karas’ pet peeve is bad weight-loss advice – he says he hears it every day. “I have 35 trainers working for me, but I’ll be in my office, and suddenly, I’ll hear one of the clients say something about weight loss, and one of the trainers say, ‘You have no idea what you just did,’ because they know I’m about to come flying out of my office to correct what I just heard.
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“People believe a lot of myths about weight loss,” Karas says.
Here, exclusively for Newsmax Health, Karas distilled the weight-loss wisdom he has learned over the years:
- Exercise is not everything. “People tell me all the time, ‘It doesn’t matter what I eat, as long as I exercise it off,’ but it doesn’t work that way. Weight loss is 75 percent diet, and 25 percent exercise. You can’t assume you are going to lose weight without making simultaneous shifts in your diet.”
- Calories count. “When it comes to dieting, the calorie is more important than anything else – even counting carbohydrates. When researchers at Yale and Stanford Universities analyzed 107 studies on low-carb diets, they found the fact that mattered most was that the most successful of these diets comprised about 1,100 calories.”
- Practice portion control. “We are consuming far more calories on a daily basis because the portion size of everything keeps growing. Take smaller servings, leave food on your plate or if you’re dining out take leftovers home.”
- Get plenty of sleep. “When you’re sleep deprived, your body makes less leptin, the hormone that makes you feel full, and more ghrelin, the hungry hormone.”
- Follow this adage: “Eat like a king for breakfast, a prince for lunch, and a pauper for dinner.”
- Don’t bank calories. “If you’re going out for a special dinner, still eat a big breakfast, perhaps lunch a little more lightly, but never skimp on breakfast.”
- Avoid the current cleansing and juicing fads. “You lose more muscle and water than fat, and these plans also slow your metabolism.”
- Ignore quick weight-loss schemes. Losing weight slowly is better than quickly. “Everyone loves a diet that says, ‘Lose 10 pounds in 10 days.’ Well, no you can’t. You’ll lose muscle and water, but you won’t lose fat.”
- Gastric bypass surgery and lap band procedures are not the answer. “These procedures restrict the body’s production of ghrelin, the body’s ‘feel hungry’ hormone, which is why they work in the short run, but over time, the body pumps up ghrelin production, so people regain the weight.”
- Don’t listen to people who tell you not to eat fruit. “When was the last time you heard an overweight person say, ‘I’m addicted to apples.’”
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