- Diet & Weight Loss
How I lost 40 lbs in 4 months and kept it off
The Secret to Weight Loss
The Secret Diet Companies Don't Want You to Know About
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), obesity costs the United States $150 billion dollars every year. As a result, the new Affordable Care Act gives doctors a bonus for counseling patients on their weight. This, and pressure from the media, has caused a weight loss craze across America. Some of it is healthy and some of it is not. Regardless, the diet and weight loss companies have a secret that they don't want you to know. What's their secret? Diets don't work.
Why don't diets work? Because they put the consumer in a mindset that the changes being made and the restrictions on their lifestyle are temporary. While the rules are being followed, the diet is successful. However, as soon as the diet is over, or the client starts falling back into their old habits, they gain back all the weight they had lost, and usually gain additional pounds as well.
So, what do you do to lose weight and keep it off? You make lifestyle changes. Permanent lifestyle changes.
Dreams and a Healthy Lifestyle Can take you Anywhere
Making Permanent, Painless Changes
If you want permanent changes in how you look and feel you have to make permanent changes in how you live. Makes sense, Right?
If it's that easy, why doesn't everybody do it? Frankly, because change is a scary word and humans tend to be creatures of habit. But, that doesn't have to be your story! With a little bit of effort, you can replace your current habits with better habits and you'll be feeling better in almost no time at all!
Does it sound impossible to follow your diet rules for the rest of your life? It would be, if it weren't for the 80/20 rule. When I was on the national (USA) Taekwondo team I was training with a personal trainer. She told all her clients to follow all the rules 80% of the time. Her clients saw greater success than any other trainer's clients, and she attributed that success to that rule. That's the difference between lifestyle changes and diets. Diets have hard rules that can never be broken. Lifestyles have room for special occasions, bad days and how you live your life.
Assess your Current Lifestyle
I love sparkpeople's website. I absolutely love it. It lets you track what you're eating, record your exercise, track your progress and has lots of articles, tips and tricks on health, nutrition, fitness, exercise and weight loss.
One of the reasons I love sparkpeople is it tells you where you are spending your calories, what nutrients are lacking in your diet, and easy ways to amend that. It can be really hard to know if a diet is healthy or not. Sparkpeople is completely transparent. Remember, skinny can be great, but healthy and happy is better.
Want to know easy ways to cut out a few extra calories from your diet every day? Record exactly what you eat on sparkpeople's website. Identify a few places you'd like to spend fewer calories, and make the changes. These changes don't always mean you're going without. They can mean cutting back or replacing something with something that's better for you.
Balancing the Calorie Book with the Right Calories
Want to lose weight? Burn more calories than you take in and take in the right kinds of calories. Think of your body like a bank account. If you want it to get smaller you have to spend more than you put into it. If you want it to get bigger you have to put more into it than you spend. For the most part, your body works the same way.
Banks usually process one currency better than another. Your body may be the same. It may not process all foods as efficiently as others. And, some foods may wreak havoc on your hormones and prevent weight loss.
If you're already spending about 500 calories more than your putting into your body in a day and you haven't seen weight loss in 2 weeks either you need to change up your fitness routine, or you should consider dropping some of the more processed foods, simple sugars and foods with a high glycemic index. Notice I did not just tell you to cut carbs from your diet. I told you to cut simple and refined carbs from your diet. Try replacing bread items with their whole wheat counter-parts. The chemicals and simple sugars that are found in many American diets cause our hormones to work against us in the weight-loss battle. Try limiting your intake for a week or two and see if that makes a difference.
If that doesn't make a difference, record how you feel morning, noon, evening and night and what you've eaten each day for two weeks to a month. See if you notice any trends. You may need to experiment for a while, but eliminating foods from your diet that your body doesn't like will make a big difference in how you look and feel. And, you probably won't miss them after a while because you'll feel so much better without them!
For a healthy tomorrow, today I will:
Set Yourself Up For Success Each Evening
Sometime during the day, input what you ate and drank and your exercise into sparkpeople. Examine your day,take note of what went well and set a goal for the next day. Make sure it's reasonable. Make small changes, like 1 more glass of water, an additional piece of fruit, or 5 more minutes of walking. Those small changes will add up quickly.
Once you've set your goal, place items where they will remind you of your healthy habits the next day. Put a jump rope or a yoga mat by the TV and exercise or stretch during commercial breaks or put a water bottle by your brief case so you'll take it with you, etc.
Consider stretching again before bed and try to get 6-8 hours of sleep. You'll be more productive the next day if you're well rested.
Become the Best You
Setting Yourself Up for Success Each Morning
Pick your favorite calisthenic exercise. Pushups, crunches, leg lifts, lunges, whatever you want. Set a goal to do 10 of them first thing in the morning every morning for the next 21 days. As soon as the alarm goes off, roll over, hit the floor and do 10 of your favorite exercise. Or, if you want, you can switch it up. What you do doesn't matter nearly as much as whether or not you do it.
After your shower, no matter what time of day you shower, spend 10 minutes stretching. Tight hamstrings and quads lead to low back and knee pain, tight calves cause shin splits, and tight neck and shoulder muscles cause headaches. Alleviate those aches and pains before they start.
Drink at least 8 oz. of water and a piece of fruit with your breakfast. If you usually don't eat breakfast, start eating breakfast. After 21 days these things will have become habits. And, they'll inspire you and your metabolism to make healthier choices throughout your day. Remember, it's the little decisions each day that shape your lifestyle and your body.
Baby Steps-One Step at a Time
Remember, you didn't gain the extra pounds in a day, and unfortunately you won't lose them in a day. Radical changes are stressful and hard to maintain and they almost always lead to eventual failure. However, small, consistent changes quickly become habits and healthier habits will lead to a healthier, happier, more fit you.
Remember, diets don't work. Lifestyle changes work. Make small changes each day until you have a healthy lifestyle that makes you happy and gives you the body you want! Don't forget, sparkpeople is available to help you every step of the way, just click here!