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Consider a Healthy Lifestyle Instead of Weight Loss

Updated on May 26, 2014
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The Problem

Throughout this article I will use the word 'diet'. Don't be fooled by this word. I'm not referring to an actual diet plan, but rather the primary definition of diet which is, "Food and drink considered in terms of its qualities, composition, and its effects on health: Milk is a wholesome article of diet."

The first problem with people who are overweight, and want to lose weight, is that they fixate themselves on weight loss rather then on a healthy life style. We need to get past the numbers on the scale and realize that the actual goal should be health. For the sake of our spouses, children, families and even for ourselves it is important to step back and realize what a healthy decision is and what a weight loss decision is.

There is another problem that we should deal with as well. Lately there has been a lot of overweight people talking about how happy they are to be overweight. I get it, everyone should love themselves for who they are and we can all skip through meadows and sing together. As an overweight person who loves herself, i hate to break it to you but your fat is not you. You will still be the same person whether you are fat or a healthy weight, the only difference is you will live longer and have a better quality of life. You can love you for you and still want to improve you as a person.

With that said, in this article I will discuss the difference between healthy choices that will allow you to lose weight over time and choices that will allow you to lose weight fast but wont work toward a healthy new you goal. Even if you only choose one thing at a time to improve your over all well being it is an important step to being a healthy new you.

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What do you drink most everyday?

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Water

I will start out with saying that this topic has been widely debated. How much water do you really need? Do other beverages count as water? Do your fruits and vegetables count as water?

The first question is difficult to answer. The Mayo Clinic recommends, "Generally if you drink enough fluid so that you rarely feel thirsty and produce 1.5 liters (6.3 cups) or more of colorless or light yellow urine a day, your fluid intake is probably adequate." I realize that most people don't measure their urine output on a daily basis so lets look at the other part of the statement. If your pee is not light yellow or colourless then you probably are not drinking enough water. If you feel thirsty you should drink some water. Keep in mind that if you are primarily drinking soda, coffee or other caffeinated beverages you are actually dehydrating your body. The same is to be said about alcohol. With this in mind do not count though beverage as part of your water requirements. However items like milk and juice can count toward your requirement, but make sure to keep them within moderation no one needs 5 glasses of milk a day either.

It's a good idea to up fruit and vegetable intake, i will discuss this in more detail later, but don't start counting it as water you are drinking. They do have more water in them than grains and proteins do. There is also research stating that foods with water in them will keep you fuller longer, whereas plain water will not do that. To me this just seems like a lifehack that won't work. If you are trying to get healthy stop trying to say things like, "I eat watermelon so I don't have to drink water." and just pick up a glass of water and drink it.

Some of you may already drink water, some of you might not drink any at all. This is probably the most basic thing you can do to improve your life. Drink water! You actually need water for your body to complete basic functions such as proper digestion. Some individuals drink soda, coffee and other beverages throughout their day, but neglect good old fashion water. Don't expect to watch weight fall off of you when you switch over, but you do have the potential for that to happen. Start by having a glass when you wake up in the morning, one in the afternoon and one a few hours before bed. I promise that your body will thank you and you will start to feel it within a few days. Continue to slowly increase your water until you have removed most of the other things you are drinking from your diet. I'm not implying that you should only drink water, unless that's what you want, but drink more water than other things and work your way up.

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Diet Supplements

Many people choose to take a supplement specifically geared to helping them lose weight. supplement doesn't have to be some newfangled product, it is just something that you are adding to your diet to supplement something else. I suggest supplementing crappy burgers with healthy food, but that's just one option. There are many of them on the market and as supplements they make a lot of claims that they really don't have to back up. Just like a vitamin most claims are either loosely proven or after many studies only the 1 study that gave the results they wanted was published. So here is some information on those weight lose supplements.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D can be a very important partner in helping you with your weight loss goals. The levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH) in your body are controlled by vitamin D and if your vitamin D levels are too low you will produce too much PTH. This causes a kind of hibernation mode to occur in your body where sugar is stored as fat, just like a bear preparing for winter. While some people choose to take a Vitamin D supplement, this might not be necessary. Just 2 servings of milk provide 90% of your daily Vitamin D needs, check the container to see if yours is providing you with Vitamin D. You can also get Vitamin D from the sun. It will depend on where you are in the world and what time of year it is, but your body is capable of making its own Vitamin D supply. Check the link below for details in your area. A great natural way to get Vitamin D is to eat it. You have to eat anyway so why not eat the thing you need to help your body be the best it can be. The link below has information on foods you can eat to get your Vitamin D, lots are fish but not all.

Green Coffee Extract

Always be careful taking a product that give outrageous claims, even if it is on the Dr. Oz show. Also make sure that you understand, there are side effects to everything. If you are going to take this make sure that for starters you are taking the decaffeinated version of the product. The caffeine is not actually what causes the weight loss in this case and so to avoid the jitters avoid the caffeine. Secondly it is hard to ensure that what you are taking is "pure". There are not many regulations on natural products and some contain ingredients not even close to what is on the bottle. I know people who say it works and it is promoted on T.V. as working but I would still avoid it if you can. Healthy weight loss is not a fast fix, it is a slow progression of changes that will lead to a healthy you that you will be capable of maintaining.

Raspberry Ketones

Another new supplement another billion dollars for someone. This is also all over the T.V., in every health food store and everywhere on the internet. The problem with this supplement is that there is very little proof that it works at all. Be aware that when they say, "when combine with diet and exercise it works amazing." You could just diet and exercise and see results on your own without adding some virtually untested product into your body. All I can find online are studies done on mice, mice are not people. Once again, if you choose to take this be very careful to stop if you have any side effects.

I feel that if you can not get a supplement by eating food or having your body make it naturally, you probably don't need it in the first place. Not everyone feels that way, so just be aware that diet products are not always, if ever, monitored for quality and content.

mmmmm Greek salad.
mmmmm Greek salad. | Source

Eat Right but Have a Treat

Eating the right foods is will account for 80% of your weight loss goals. That's right, putting down the Big Mac and picking up a grilled chicken sandwich can solve most of your problems. This can be a really hard for some people who have been eating junk for years and year.

There are many great aps that you can download on your cell phone for free that will help you determine what you are currently eating and where you can improve. A good thing for you to do is to get a baseline. Enter in the food that you are currently eating into one of these applications to see how you are actually doing. Most will show the data you entered and how it compares to what you should be eating. Make sure you don't get discouraged, this is a journey not a sudden weight loss miracle. Slowly make changes to your diet to fall more in line with what you should actually be eating in terms of; vitamins, fats, carbs and protein.

With all that said, it is really important to allow yourself to have the things you like as a treat. This can be a dangerous slope, so be careful. If your big problem is eating chocolate bars and instead of having them you are adding chocolate chips to pancakes and eating chocolate cereal you won't be doing yourself any favours. Make sure that everything is in moderation and limit the amount of treats you are giving yourself once you have eliminated all the bad foods from your diet over time.

example of a wall sit
example of a wall sit | Source

Exercise

Yup, that's right. If you want to lose weight and keep it off you will need to get off the couch. Lots of people say that they just don't have time for exercise, but considering it will ad years to your life you should always have the time for it. I am not suggesting starting out with a 10 KM jog by any means. Make sure that you are not only doing cardio but also muscle building exercises while losing weight, especially large amounts of weight. There would be no point losing 80 pounds and just having all that loose skin everywhere. Tighten as you go for best results.

In Conclusion

There are a great many things you can do to be a healthier person and although loving you for you is important, being overweight will have you loving you for less time on this earth. I am sorry to be harsh about this, but it is true. I love me fat but I will also love me healthy and fit and I hope that you feel the same way and take a few steps to improve your life.

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    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      Eating right and drinking water is better than just about any other thing folks tend to try. There is no minimum daily requirement for refined sugar so cutting down there is a good thing.