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Jake's health corner

By Jake Boly, Staff Writer

When dieting to gain, lose, or maintain there are never any wrong ways of dieting, but there are healthier and more fulfilling ways. Healthier not only physically, but mentally and internally. To be able to diet in either direction while keeping a level head is truly a gift.

Bros, I hate to break it to you, but we don't reach our full skeletal maturity (in most cases) until our late 20s. Don't get me wrong; this means that now is the best time to start building and progressing towards your ideal physique or health level. Not only do we have more energy and potential, we can create better habits for the future us.

This being said, a lot of people need to be able to decipher between realistic and unrealistic goals. We've all set unrealistic goals. What does that bring? Frustration between the correlation of our ideal progress and actual progress. It's never a bad thing to aim high, but remember to not get down if you're not progressing as fast as you like.

"Fifteen to twenty pounds of muscle in a year for the first few years of training is very respectable for a college student," said Alan Aragon, a college speaker who holds a master's degree in the science of nutrition.

Guys, if you're trying to pack on muscle and are bulking or eating at maintenance, make sure you take it slow. This is better in the long run and progressing more slowly helps us focus on our weaknesses, better allowing us to make adjustments accordingly. I'm bulking up as well and I try to keep the weight gain at a steady amount each month.

True, I could try to shoot for maximum gains by adding more fat, but by taking it slower I have less fat to cut off later on. If you're dieting down, use strength to judge muscle-fat loss. When you diet you lose some muscle even if you're as accurate as can be. Yet if you take it slower and use strength to judge your progress, the muscle loss can be minimized.

Ladies, like the guys there are realistic and unrealistic goals that you should have when dieting or becoming more fit. I can't tell you how many times a day I hear a girl say, "I want to lose weight." Or even worse, "I want become more toned."

The first aspect we have to look at when determining your goals is how you personally judge progress. A lot of girls start working out and don't lose weight. They only shift their body composition. "I'm liking the way I look but I'm not losing weight." Who cares? If you're comfortable with yourself and your body, who knows about the number on the scale except you? The point is the scale isn't always the best way to judge your progress. Judge your progress by your fitness and your new physical abilities. Weight loss should be taken slowly, one to two pounds a week is plenty. If you're losing more than that every week, you're most likely severely depleting yourself.

Slow weight loss means a better judgment of your body composition, fit level, and health. Make realistic goals for yourself and don't get discouraged when you're not where you want to be. Most of us haven't even peaked yet.


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