The best weight loss program
WHAT IS NOT THE BEST WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM.
The best weight loss program is probably NOT about diets, diet pills, fad diets, or even diets! While it does involve physical activity … we’re all adults here, I’ll use the word … exercise … it’s NOT about pushing your physical limits, embarrassing yourself in front of the neighbors, joining an expensive gym, or hiring a personal trainer. It is NOT about joining a cult, avoiding friends, alienating your family, eating only unappealing and unappetizing foods, or feeling guilty and depressed. Above all, it should NEVER be about BEING ALONE in your fight.
WHAT IS THE BEST WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM!
Simply put, the best weight loss program is the one you will follow. Let’s tweak that a bit and say it’s a healthy, doable, rational, and flexible program that you’ll stick with … that works!
THE BASIC FACTS ABOUT DIET AND WEIGHT LOSS!
Diets don’t work. Yes! It’s that easy. Oh, if you want to lose 5 or 10 pounds to look good at your sister’s wedding, a fast diet might be fine. But if you really have a weight problem, like more than 50% of Americans, it is a lifelong condition and requires lifelong measures. However, do not consider yourself condemned to a life without pleasure or happiness, and do not give up. Go back and read the first paragraph and realize that there are things that CAN be done, and YOU CAN DO THEM. In the meantime, however, let me cover a few facts. Quick and dirty. You can scan them and get the basics. This article won’t be big enough, or intimidating enough, to include everything.
WHY DIETS DON’T WORK.
Diets don’t work for many reasons, physical and mental, but I don’t have enough space here to cover them all. The main reason a diet doesn’t work is that your body has some really effective self-regulating mechanisms. If you deprive it of your expected caloric intake for a period of time, it will adjust to need fewer calories. Although you will eat less (and you will definitely not enjoy it), your body will adopt a new pattern and your weight will stabilize with just a small weight loss. Worse yet, when you stop dieting, as you know you will, your body will maintain its new level of calorie needs while you revert to your old eating habits. This brings us to another point.
THE BASIC LAW OF WEIGHT LOSS AND GAIN.
Everyone’s body works at its own pace and needs, but everyone follows the same law. If you eat more calories than your body needs, it will store the excess as fat. Bottom line. Done. End of discussion … almost. Using the information in the previous paragraph, you can see that when you abandon your diet and go back to eating the old way after your body has adjusted its needs downward, you now have EXCESSIVE MORE CALORIES TO STORE AS FAT! This is why people often GAIN WEIGHT after a diet … or a series of diets.
WHAT IS THE BEST WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM?
As you can see, you are back at the beginning of this discussion, but with a bit more information. We can still say that the best weight loss program is the one to follow, and now you know a little more about why. Since we are all different, the obvious fact should be that what you need to find is not THE best weight loss program, but YOUR best weight loss program … the one YOU will follow. The big question on your mind is …
HOW DO YOU FIND “YOUR” BEST WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM?
There are many things you can do to improve your health, your life and your personal weight situation, such as drink more water, get enough sleep, do things you enjoy, for example. All of these can contribute to weight loss, but let’s look at two things for now.
1. Get more active: Mind you, I avoided saying “exercise.” Whoops! I said. Look, exercise equals activity. If you want to do the Richard Simmons and “Sweat to the Oldies” tapes, more power to you. If you choose to buy a Bowflex and in a few months you look like Grandma in your TV commercials, that’s great! However, you most likely just need to make a few lifestyle adjustments and become more aware of the opportunities that exist to “exercise” in your daily life. Sure, a planned and scheduled exercise program is great, but so is walking, or gardening, or swimming, or cleaning the house, or … well, you get the idea. The only need is to do it regularly, at least 4-5 times a week, and make it challenging.
Only you can assess what is a challenge. What is challenging today can be simply walking to the mailbox and back. One lady started her “exercise program” with that simple step (no pun intended). Another gentleman began his program by walking to the end of his block. That first day, she thought she couldn’t even go home. A few weeks later, he was walking over a mile. At one point in my life, I regularly ran more than 6 miles at a time. However, the first time I tried running, I didn’t do it half a block. The key is to get started, do it regularly, and challenge yourself.
Being more active not only burns calories during activity (remember, the more calories you burn, the less fat stored), but continuing the activity over time (I was going to do it regularly) causes your body to shift to a new level. where you automatically burn more calories than you used to. The facts behind this aren’t complicated, but they require a lot more space than we have here, and I said I’d stick to the basics.
People abandon “exercise programs” for many reasons. For your purposes, do the activity as it fits your schedule, choose the activity that you like the most, and vary the activity … if you cleaned the house yesterday, take a walk today. By the way, if I told you to exercise, to go for a walk, you could start that avoidance process that causes people to abandon planned, formal exercise programs. Why don’t you take the grandkids to the zoo? If that’s not training, I don’t know what is. Be creative. It is your “exercise program”, do it however you want.
2. Eat sensibly: You know how you MUST eat, right! Return to basic. Many vegetables, reduced in portion sizes, have an apple instead of a cake or chocolate bar. Get the sugar out of your life. There are all kinds of dietary tips. None of them are worth a hill of beans … but a lot of them add up to a lot more than a hill of beans. Changing just one thing probably won’t make a big difference, but … IT DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Changing seventeen things can make a big difference, but there is a secret …
Don’t try to do all seventeen, twelve, or thirty changes at once. Start with one change, and once it’s a part of your life, make the next one. You may want to learn a little about Kaizen. Small steps in the area of nutrition will help you get where you want to go eventually, just like taking that little walk to the mailbox one day can get you walking a mile or two at a time.
HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO STAY IN THIS WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM?
Well, for the rest of your life. That is why it is important to choose activities that you enjoy and learn to make better nutritional decisions while enjoying the pleasure of eating. Also, many people have trouble losing weight because they have personal problems with life. Your personal weight loss program, regular activity plus nutritional common sense, equates to a sense of control over a situation that has many negative effects on your life. A sense of control over that situation allows you to eliminate many of those negative affects and move on to reorganizing other parts of your life that may need attention.
One last point. I’ve kept it as simple as possible, but it’s based on a lot of information. If you really want to create the most effective weight loss program for yourself, you will have to learn a lot more than you probably do now. The public library is a good place to start, as is the Internet. However, keep in mind that many people will try to lure you in with diet pills and quick weight loss plans. Stay focused on a lifestyle change that will last a lifetime. Even if diet pills, fad diets, and things like weight loss belts or devices that supposedly work out for you work, their effect is short-lived (and sometimes dangerous) and, as noted above, once stop the pill or the program you may regain even more weight than you lost.
A FINAL ADVICE:
Find a weight loss partner. Share your goals and the information in this article with them. Make sure they have the same wavelength. You may want to walk with them, you may want to shop with them, but most of all, if there is no one else who understands what you are going through … they will, and that is worth more than gold.