Real Help With Weight Loss

 

 

JB's eaten a bit too much.

 

What’s the secret to losing weight and keeping it off? I’d like to say I have all the answers, but the more I look into the topic, the more confused I get. Basically, many of the things we believed to be true about weight gain and dieting a few years back are false. Worse, go out on the internet and search on the topic of weight loss or dieting and you’ll inevitably find ads, articles, and ads posing as articles and they’re all saying the same thing. Regrettably, few actually cite original studies to offer proof of their claims. Yet even when they do, the studies are often worthless as there are far too few participants. Honestly, I’ve seen studies with as few as 5 participants. How can you make any claim about food or diet with only 5 examples to back you up?

 

One thing seems clear: Those who claim some sort of expertise or special knowledge about food and nutrition seem just as likely to get it wrong as the next guy. So how do we decide what’s right or what action to take when it comes to permanently shedding pounds?

 

Our bodies go into starvation mode.

Diets can actually enhance our cravings for sweets. That makes keeping the weight off difficult.

I believe we should start by reexamining the whole notion of dieting. Why? Though nearly all dieting plans result in short-term weight loss they also lead to long-term weight gain. Have you ever really thought about that? Maybe we need to be more concerned that we place so much emphasis on the short-term and so little on the bigger picture of our overall health. In a sense, we can’t see past the size of our ever-bulging bellies. We shed 10 pounds on a fad diet and are complimented for the effort. Yet short weeks or months later most of us are back on the scale at an even higher weight. That’s not success. That’s illusion—a recipe for a long-term health disaster in the making.

 

I’ve been reading up on metabolism. You can think of your metabolism as the sum total of the physical and chemical processes occurring within your body that convert the food you eat into the energy and nutrients necessary to sustain life. When your metabolism functions at its best we say you have a high metabolism. Or, if the processes occurring within aren’t up to the task we say you have a low or slow metabolism.

 

 

I know when I was young I could eat anything and never get fat. I’d consume multiple meals and snacks loaded down with sugar or fats without the least concern I’d gain weight. I clearly was blessed with a high metabolism. That all changed, of course. I remember turning 27 and suddenly noting my pants were too tight. And every few years since I run into the same thing: My body ages and my metabolism slows just a little bit more.

 

These veggies look delicious.

There are things we can do to boost our metabolism, like eat more veggies including spicy peppers.

One might easily conclude that having a high or low metabolism, and thus a more or less efficient ability to process the foods we eat, is primarily a matter of genetics, aging or the associated hormonal changes that go along with it. However, it turns out several other factors come into play that can make a huge difference to the level at which our metabolism operates. The problem, of course, is deciding whether our long-term health is important enough to permanently alter the way we make the day-to-day decisions affecting our lifestyle. Believe me: It takes a conscious and concerted effort to change the habits learned over a lifetime.

 

Somewhere along the way, I decided I care enough about my health I needed to make a number of changes. Yet as I looked around I found there are far too many gimmicky diets being pushed, few real success stories, plus many of those I hold closest to my heart are worse off them I am. Let’s be honest: As a society we’re fat and getting fatter. And the consequence of that is ill health: Knees and hips give out too early, joints inflame, arteries fill with plaque, hearts are stressed, blood sugar spikes, and on and on. In short, you could say obesity plays an overwhelmingly negative role in our ability to be and stay healthy. Now, that ought to imply the lifestyle choices we’re making are dysfunctional, yet most often it seems we’d rather ignore the problem altogether.

 

Maybe it's time to do something different.

Cutting calories alone isn't going to work. It's not just about diet. It's about embracing a healthier lifestyle.

In truth, you aren’t going to lose weight unless and until you commit to doing something different than you’re doing right now. I hear Einstein’s famous words as I write that. Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.” That makes most of us crazy, right? I mean, haven’t you tried at least a dozen fad diets or promised to “cut back” a gazillion times? Did that work for you? Or what about that exercise program you started a few months back? Still on it? Right. I thought not.

 

Here’s some shocking news: Simply cutting calories alone is not going to help you lose weight. In fact, you’re more likely to be heavier in just a few short months if that’s the extent of your diet plan. Sure you can achieve short-term weight loss success, but there’s a major obstacle you’re overlooking. You see, your body is conspiring against you. When you cut calories, the body goes on red alert. It’s used to playing by a certain set of rules—rules that might as well be carved in stone. Try and change them and the body screams “We’re all going to die! Let’s move it! We’ve got a long cold winter coming on, people, You’ll be lucky if we find crumbs. Restock the pantry on the double! Store up as much fat as possible, bust out a seam, and hang on for the ride!”

 

Okay, I know you’ve been patiently waiting for the secret answer to the whole issue of long-term weight loss. Ready? If you want to lose weight and keep it off there’s really only one option. You have to change your current lifestyle and do it permanently. That means you need to do five basic things: One, you need to go get a check up and tell your doctor what you’re planning. Two, you need to get at least 7½ hours of good sleep every night. Three, you need to find ways to cut stress and work out emotional problems without resorting to stuffing feelings by stuffing your body with food. Four, you need to start being more active—and I don’t mean you need some fancy exercise routine. And five, you need change your eating habits and use the food you eat to kick your metabolism into a higher gear. That’s it. Simple, right?

 

How’s that sound? Ridiculous? Confusing? Silly? Well, don’t worry. In next part of this series we’ll start delving into the nitty gritty and tell you exactly what you can do to start down a path toward a healthier lifestyle. Stay tuned…there’s lots more to come.

 

To read Part II – “Your Doctor: Get The Right Help Losing Weight” – click here.

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