So You Want to Lose Weight…
Diet books, diet programs, diet buddies, gyms, weight loss supplements…so why is America so obese and getting more so? Well, it’s just plain hard work to lose weight.
Most of us really do want to lose weight and in a day or so. We’re all busy looking for that “quick fix,” instead of planning to lose weight slowly and steadily, using good nutrition and an increase in exercise to lose that flab.
Below are some tips to help you fight the bulge properly and keep the weight you lose off permanently.
First, you need to forget about that “quick fix.” So, no die pill, supplement and/or fad diets unless you’re under a specific medication/regimen prescribed by your physician. Fad diets usually do work in the short term but you need to actually change your eating habits and lifestyle (exercising) habits to keep that weight off.
In order to lose weight, you need to consume less calories than your body burns. That doesn’t mean you have to figure out how to do this every single day but you should try to eat fewer calories per week than you burn up in activities and exercise.
So, if you end up splurging at a social function one day, you can eat a bit less the next couple of days and up your exercise time to burn up the extra calories. Try to eat foods from all the food groups, especially veggies, fruits and whole grains. Eliminate as much processed foods, sugar and fatty snacks as you can.
Try to lose only about two pounds per week. If you try to lose more than that, your body might try to go into “starvation mode” and this will reduce your metabolism (burning fat.) And, if you lose much more than two pounds per week, you’ll start losing muscle instead of fat.
You need to exercise. Just dieting without exercising will not allow you to keep from regaining the weight after you return to a more normal eating habit. And, once you start to exercise, you need to do it – for the rest of your life. Try to find something you love, or, at least, really enjoy doing. Who says you have to hit the treadmill if you’d rather take your dog for a walk instead. Just be sure you walk at a good pace, getting that heart rate up. You’ll want to check with your doctor before starting any exercise regimen. Start small and gradually add the time you walk, bike and/or whatever other activities you do. Little things help too – doing the housework yourself instead of hiring someone to do it is smart. So is, parking at the back of the parking lot, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, getting off the bus a few blocks before your office, etc. As you move along in your exercise program, gradually add weight training. It will help burn more calories, build muscle, and strengthen your bones. Overall, being more active (and, you don’t have to call it exercise!) will help lower blood pressure, aid in preventing diabetes and osteoporosis, and be a deterrent to heart disease and strokes. An exercise buddy is a huge help – just don’t call each other if one of you can’t make it – the other might decide to forego the session too. Regular exercise is the single most important thing in order to keep weight off.
Keep track of when and what you eat and if you’re really hungry when you do eat. Frequently we eat out of boredom, emotions and/or stress. Substitute eating that snack when you’re bored by finding and doing something you really enjoy doing. This is the time to take up knitting, scrapbooking, etc. Encourage your office staff to keep candies and snacks to a minimum. If that doesn’t work, bring your own healthy snacks to keep from dipping into the high fat/sugar goodies.
Weigh yourself no more than once a week or less. You’ll notice the weight loss by your clothes fitting better and eventually, looser. Reward yourself with something special every week. Perhaps a manicure once you’ve lost five pounds. A new blouse in a smaller size, a new lipstick or eye shadow if you haven’t move down to a smaller size yet, etc.
Accept you’re going to mess up every once in awhile. That’s OK, just get back to your new, healthy eating regimen the next day.