A Healthy Weight Loss Program
The diet industry is a huge, multi-billion dollar one. The opinions on how best to lose weight are so varied and different it’s no surprise that many consumers are confused and frustrated. Fear not, gentle reader. I’ll try to simplify it all for you.
First, I really dislike the term ‘diet’, because for most people it signifies a temporary way of eating to lose extra pounds. It also has a tendency to illicit visions of bland, dry foods. In order to achieve a permanent weight loss you need to approach changes to the way you eat and live in a permanent manner. A ‘diet’ that you can’t stick to permanently is likely to end up unsuccessful.
Losing weight, for many people, is neither simple nor easy. And for good reason. Our bodies were designed by God to be active (which many of us aren’t), and to use complex biological pathways to prevent starvation in times of scarcity. Does that mean we throw our hands up in the air and head out for a pizza? Well, no, because being overweight or obese can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and can just plain reduce your quality of life. Let’s see if we can’t nail down some nutritional factors that will help out on your road to a slimmer body and a happier heart.
How Much You Eat Matters
There’s no secret to weight loss. You have to eat less calories than you use. The tricky part is knowing how many calories your body is using. Decreasing the number of calories you eat often has the effect of slowing your metabolism. So, as frustrating as it is, the net effect of all your hard work is less than you would hope. Why is that? As mentioned above, your body has complex, poorly understood ways of controlling your metabolism.
But fear not! There are things you can do to keep your metabolism running at a good clip when you start to reduce how much you’re eating. Here they are:
Some Practical Advice on How to Lose Weight
- Exercise. To prevent or minimize any drop in metabolism from eating fewer calories, exercise is your best friend. Go with a mix of strength and aerobic exercises.
- Set realistic goals. Depending on where you start, losing a couple pounds a month is healthy. Twenty pounds by Christmas is probably not.
- Eat 5 or 6 smaller meals throughout the day, as opposed to fewer large meals. This is a metabolism booster.
- Make sure those meals consist mainly of fruits, vegetables, lean meats, whole grains, and healthy fats.
- Don’t eat too FEW calories. This can cause your body to go into starvation mode and drop your metabolism way down.
- Turn off the TV. TV watching even burns fewer calories than other inactive things, such as reading.
- Limit your sugar water intake. By reducing soda intake to 1 can per week you’d be amazed at the number of calories you can cut out of your diet.
- Did I mention how important exercise is to keeping your metabolism up?
There Are No Magic Bullets – Using Weight Loss Supplements
Contrary to what supplement sellers would have you believe, no supplements on the market are both safe and effective for weight loss. In fact, some are neither safe nor effective. So at best you’re wasting your money, and at worst you’re risking your health.