From the frozen steppes of the far north to the cosmopolitan cities of Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia is a land steeped in culture and tradition. Athletic physique and performance is valued in Russia, as evidenced by the country's impressive showings in the Olympics and at other competitions in nearly every international sport. Images of Russian beauty include strength and fitness. Russian weight-loss secrets include practical strategies and hard, heavy work.
A low-carbohydrate diet helps drop weight as well as reduce blood pressure, reports Pravda, the leading Russian newspaper, in its English-language edition. The Russian Air Force diet is an example of a Soviet-era weight-loss diet that emphasizes low carbohydrates and high protein, according to Dr. Rao Ivaturi at WebDietitian.com. The one- to two-week diet features meats, eggs and small quantities of green vegetables. Russian Air Force dieters can supplement their meals with non-fat condiments like herbs, vinegar, mustard and ketchup, reports the Diet Channel. While the low-carbohydrate Russian Air Force diet may lead to rapid weight loss, both the Diet Channel and WebDietitian.com note the nutritional deficiencies of staying on the diet over the long term. In addition, weight may return after quitting the diet, as underlying eating habits have not permanently changed.
Eating small portions of nutritious foods and engaging in regular exercise remain the most effective ways to lose weight, according to Pravda's MedPulse health writer Irina Shlionskaya. She advises that it is also critical not to lose too much weight, or not to lose weight too quickly. Rapid weight loss can cause dehydration, a weakened immune system and ongoing digestive problems, Pravda reports. Too little body fat can also fail to keep you warm, create difficulties conceiving and decrease your stamina. Diet and exercise are the secret to weight loss, in Russia as elsewhere around the world.
Kettlebell weights have been the secret training device of Russian weightlifters and fighters for hundreds of years -- and may have even originated in ancient gladiator training, according to Northwestern University's Medill Reports. Kettlebells allow for dynamic weight-training routines that work several muscle groups at once, while also building endurance. The Russian method of strength training based on research by Vladamir Zatsiorsky is referred to by American sports trainers as conjugated periodization, according to the Denison College athletic department, which employs the technique in its football team training. Conjugated periodization does not work on a linear progression but rather develops maximum strength, explosive power and speed simultaneously. Strength training bolsters weight loss in several ways, according to the SUNY Downstate Medical Center, including burning more calories through added muscle mass, and improving physical performance to allow you to work out longer and stronger.
- English Pravda: Ten Reasons Not to Lose Weight
- English Pravda: Control Over Carb Consumption Keeps Your Blood Pressure Normal
- English Pravda: Two Cups of Fat Make You a Completely Different Person
- The Diet Channel: Russian Air Force Diet
- Northwestern University Medill Reports: Ancient Russian Workout Hits Chicago Fitness Scene