Say No To Diets

When people think about losing weight, the first thing they think about is going on a diet, which usually involves limiting food intake. Studies show that fad diets don’t work in the long term and that only 5 percent of dieters will be successful at keeping off the weight that they lose.Why? Well, in plain English, no one is going to have lettuce and water for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the rest of their lives.

Instead of going on a diet, the key to weight loss is eating a healthy diet most of the time. Notice that I said “most”. If you want a piece of cake or some ice cream one in awhile, then eat it. You will not gain fifty pounds from one slice of cake, the key is having the cake, or any other treat in moderation.

Eating healthy does not mean eating bland food, such as rice cakes and plain salad. There are many healthy, flavorful options out there such as linguine with tuna puttanesca, antipasti salad, and steamed mussels with fennel and tomato. Healthy recipes like these can be easily found on the Internet and in books. Many people are constantly on the go and fast food is convenient, but not healthy, so instead of grabbing a burger and fries for lunch every day, try bringing healthy food from home to work or school if possible.

In addition to eating healthy, exercise is also an important part of weight loss. Many people have gym memberships, but how often do they actually go to the gym? Going to the gym once every two or three weeks is not going to help with weight loss. Exercise has to be a lifelong commitment if you want to lose weight and keep it off. Exercise can be more than just a few rounds on the treadmill and it doesn't have to be tedious and monotonous. Here are a few ways to make exercise less tedious:

Walking. Taking a leisurely stroll can work wonders for the mind as well as the body. When the weather is nice you can walk at your own pace and you don’t need any special clothes or equipment to do it. My personal experience: A few years back, I started getting off the train a few stops before my job and walking the rest of the way to work. I did this every morning and by the end of the summer I had lost a significant amount of weight. People wanted to know my “weight loss secrets”, but there were none. I just walked and ate sensibly as usual.

Invest in exercise equipment. I used to be one of those people who paid for a gym membership, but rarely went. I personally found it very tedious to lug an extra bag of workout gear around around the city every day, so I started putting off working out. I put it off more and more until I wondered what I was paying a $90-a-month gym membership for. I canceled the membership and bought my own exercise bike. Now I can exercise any time I feel like it and again, I don’t have to worry about special clothes. I can work out in my old leggings and ratty tee shirt because no one will see me.

Exercise equipment doesn't have to be expensive either. Many stores often have sales on exercise equipment and you can also shop online to get deals. If space is a problem, compact  equipment can be found. I live in a studio and I was able to find my small, folding exercise bike on for under $150. Also small hand weights, jump ropes, and exercise balls can be purchased inexpensively at Target or KMart.

Buy exercise DVD’s or watch exercise videos online. Again, with these videos you can work out when it is convenient for you. Early morning, night, afternoon, whatever. There are many types of videos and everyone can find one that suits them. If you find ordinary aerobics to be boring then you may want to try something a little more exciting like a Hip Hop workout or a striptease workout.

Workout with friends. Exercise is a lot less tedious when you have someone to do it with. A spouse, a family member, or friend can make it fun and help keep you motivated. Back in college, my friend and I would diligently do our Abs Of Steel workout every night. We’d then go to her apartment on the 16th floor and walk down the stairs to the first floor then back up the stairs to her place. It was a lot more fun doing this with a friend than it would have been if I had done it alone.

The key is losing weight and getting in shape is having realistic expectations. You can’t expect a quick fix. Losing too much weight too quickly is actually dangerous to your health. Weight should come off gradually. Also remember that muscle mass and height play a factor in how much you weight, so don’t be concerned about just the numbers on the scale, pay attention to how you look and feel. There are also genetic and cultural factors that come into play, so you may not have the body of a supermodel no matter how much you exercise.

In conclusion, losing weight doesn't’t have to be torturous. Varying foods and exercise routines helps to integrate diet and exercise into your life without them being chores. Once this happens, you will never have to “go on a diet” again.

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johnyjane 5 years ago from London

Rightly put!

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