The Dirty Little Secret Of Fat Loss
OK, I know, I'm throwing my hat in the ring on a subject that has been HAMMERED by every health guru, wannabe, and pill pusher around. But having never been known to keep my opinion to myself, I'm going to make hubpages my personal soap box and say my piece about fat loss.
Fat Loss Is Simple
I know this may be offensive to somebody who truly struggles with losing fat, but can we keep it real? Losing fat is NOT rocket science. Everybody knows how to do it. It's not a matter of will-power, fancy diets, drugs, surgeries or any other external aid or gimmick.
It's about one, simple thing that I don't hear anybody else talk about: LIFESTYLE! Fat loss is all part of living a healthy lifestyle. That's it. And I know that may sound smug or simplistic or whatever, but it's a fact.
Fat Loss Tips
So here's tip number one for that person struggling with fat loss. *** Improve your lifestyle! *** That doesn't sound so bad, right? But I've seen this work for many people.
We tend to think solutions are "out there," when they are always "in here." In other words, your health is 100% within your control. I believe too many people give up control of their health to their doctor, shrink, chubby friends, pills, or fad workout equipment.
But I think the best thing a person can do is choose a new lifestyle, as simple as that seems. For me it was triathlon. As I grew older, controlling my weight got more and more difficult. I used to stay skinny without even thinking about it, but about age 35 that changed.
So I thought about what I could do that would be fun, keep me in shape, and help me maintain a healthy body weight. I decided short distance triathlons would be good. Swimming, biking, and running are all fundamental exercises, and I'm competitive, so I thought preparing for a race, and going out there with hundreds of other people to race would be fun.
I know, a triathlon may not sound like fun to you, but it's not about me, it's about you, so what exercise would YOU enjoy? If you pick something fun, you won't need will power to do it. That's the problem with these late night fad diets and machines. They require will power. They hone in on that part of us that's looking for an "out there" solution, and we buy something on impulse that we'll never use, and if we do use it we'll look and feel stupid doing it, until it gets thrown in the spare room until the next yard sale.
If you choose something proactively, that you'll really enjoy, then commit to it, you won't have to motivate yourself, you'll enjoy the process, and the fat will drop off naturally.
One last tip... become a student of health and nutrition. One of my favorite "Guru's" out there is Ben Greenfield, who is big into the science and practice of health and nutrition, see the video below for a sample of his "no BS" style and legit training. But if his style isn't for you, do a quick search on Youtube for other experts, and find somebody that really speaks to you, and follow their stuff. Be a student.
Ben Greenfield on the 3 Pillars of Weight Loss
"Strict" Diet is over-rated
I'm kind of a health nut, and have read more books on the subject than anybody probably should. I bet I've read over 200 books on nutrition.
And I have a personal problem: If I read something in print, I tend to believe it. So I read these health books, and they sound so good that I start living the way they suggest. For example, one book I read talked about eating nothing but fruit in the morning. I tried it for several months. During that time I lost weight, but some of that weight was muscle. It wasn't a good thing. I could soon tell that my body just didn't like this diet, and was missing something important.
Turns out what I was missing was protein, and when I "cured" myself of my belief in that book and it's principles, and started eating a diet higher in protein, I started to put back on the muscle and had more energy and strength.
So I have learned to not accept anything at face value, but to gather good principles where I can find them, and work them into my life.
And when I say that "Diet is over-rated," what I mean is this: The body gets all the nutrition it needs form a basically good diet. If we then eat some sweets, chocolate, or fatty foods, my personal belief is that our system is really good at converting that into fuel, then getting rid of the junk effectively, as long as we are exercising. In other words, I don't think a perfect diet is necessary, or even possible for most people.
One thing that lead me to this controversial opinion is the study by Boston University on centenarians. They found, among other things, that nutrition wasn't nearly as important as many "Guru's" would have us believe, that sense of humor is even more important to a long, happy life than diet is!
And another thing about Centenarians, while they don't generally have a strong nutritional bias towards fads, diets, organic foods, etc, they do tend to eat less food than the average person. That's a clue to fat loss right there.
So here's what I have come to adopt for my own health and nutrition program. Take from it what helps you, and create your own!
1. Drink lots of water. I cut way down on pop and flavored beverages a few years ago, and started drinking half my body weight in ounces of water each day. This one simple habit has helped me more than anything else I've done, I highly recommend it. So if you weigh 200 pounds, divide that in half (that would be 100, if you are mathematically challenged) so you would drink 100 ounces of water each day. This is easier to do if you start your day by drinking a full water bottle (I fill mine at night and put it by my bed so it's the first thing I do) and it will help your metabolism, elimination, and keep you fully hydrated and feeling terrific.
2. Graze. I started eating 5-6 smaller meals per day about six years ago, and this habit has served me well. It's much healthier than eating just 3 larger meals, and keeps your energy high. I try to balance each meal with proteins and health carbs.
3. Superfoods. My chiropractor gave me a list a few years ago of what he called the "Superfoods," and challenged me to add these to my diet. They include:
-Water. (see point 1)
-Eggs. I know eggs have been hotly debated, but he still believes they are a superfood, especially for breakfast, as they keep you full longer, have omega 3's, and natural protein. Try eating a couple of eggs with wheat toast for a week for breakfast and see if you don't agree with him.
-Berries. Blueberries are especially good, but eating more of all berries is a great habit. I love to dump some frozen berries in with a protein shake mid-morning, this makes for a quick, nutritious and delicious mid-morning meal!
-Garlic. Yes, my wife hates it when I put fresh garlic in my omelet. But it's SO healthy that I do it once or twice a week anyway. Especially if anybody is sick in our house, I know that if I eat some fresh garlic it keeps me healthier and helps me avoid sickness.
-Onions. OK, so we have two bad breath solutions in a row. But it is what it is, onions are very good for you.
-Cayenne Pepper. Now, I can't tell you exactly what's so great about cayenne pepper, but when I started combining a few of the superfoods for breakfast by creating an omelette with eggs (obviously!) chopped onion, fresh garlic, and then sprinkling cayenne pepper on it instead of regular pepper, I knew I'd hit a home run! It may sound gross to you, but try it just once, and see if you're not hooked. And yes, keep breath mints handy, it will do a number on your breath. But Saturday's, or other days when you don't have to be around too many people are a great time to try this delicious combination!
The right weight loss supplements can help too. In the last 5-10 years science has made a lot of improvements in natural nutritional research, and improvements in distribution have allowed for easier access to some of the worlds most powerful fruit and berry extracts, and other natural supplements that are aiding people in their fat loss.
Products like Green Coffee Bean, African Mango, Raspberry Ketones Garcinia Cambogia etc. have come into the market place and provide simple, inexpensive fat loss aids. Try to add one of these to your diet, and see if you don't lose a few extra pounds because of it!
I think most people would be better served by adopting a healthy lifestyle than by seeking health "out there." Choosing exercise they enjoy, eating a basically good diet, while not depriving themselves of sweets and chocolate (in moderation!) will help most people be healthy, while enjoying themselves and having fun as they burn off the pounds.