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How to Effectively Lose the Pounds

Updated on May 19, 2009

There is a lot of talk about weight loss. There are diets to be discovered everywhere you turn, whether it is the news, infomercials, magazines, or other venues. Weight loss is on the mind of many people, and rightfully so.

Being at the proper weight is important for health. But how do you get to that place where you are healthy and feel and look good? Following are ideas that have been proven to work, and that I have experienced in my own family, and among friends who needed to lose the pounds and keep them off.

The importance of being at the right weight

You probably have heard of all the reasons to lose weight. But let me remind you.

Following are some hazards of of being overweight:

high blood pressure- leads to stroke, heart attack, damage to the arteries

storage of bad fats- not all fats are bad, as we will learn later, but storing up the wrong fat in your body causes many problems, among which is damage to the brain- your brain is fat and the wrong fats causes your brain to malfunction, leading to memory problems, focusing problems, and other more serious complications

loss of energy- when you are overweight you cannot function at optimal speed. Being overweight causes you to be lethargic, and irritable due to lack of energy.

High cholesterol- A skinny person can have this problem, but being overweight is a sure way to raise your cholesterol, leading to heart disease. The main cause of high cholesterol is your liver's inability to process the junk in your body quickly enough to expel it from your body. So, what happens is your liver just throws the junk back into your body until later. Over time the cholesterol builds up and eventually heart disease can occur.

This is a short list, but you get the point. Being overweight is a serious matter, not for the purpose of looking attractive, but of being in good health, and sticking around to watch your kids grow up and enjoying your family and friends.

By the way, what is the right weight for you? Don't allow yourself to get caught up in looking at charts dealing with your age, etc. Those charts change often. The right weight for you is where you are healthy. If you are healthy, then you are at the right weight.

Causes of being overweight

While genetics can make it more difficult for some to stay at a good weight, here are some of the causes that you can control.

Thyroid problems

The Thyroid is so important to the health of your body. It regulates and controls so many functions of your body. When your thyroid is low it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain a good weight. It is important to have your thyroid checked to ensure it is functioning properly. My wife has thyroid problems. She struggles to maintain a good weight. Actually, her thyroid is dead, so she has to take hormones to act in place of her thyroid. Doctors can check the thyroid through blood tests, and sometimes an ultrasound is necessary. For years, doctors were interpreting the results of blood tests on her thyroid with the wrong conclusions. So, the treatments they offered were actually causing more problems. We found a doctor who read the test properly, and now she is on her way to recovery.

Candida

Candida is a yeast growth gone wild in your intestines. It causes you to not be able to properly digest food, so the food just sits in your intestines. Because of this you grow fat. When you have a large abdominal area, it isn't because your stomach is bigger, but because fat is all around your intestines.

Candida can lead to colon cancer, if fecal matter is not able to be expelled from your body. You should have a healthy bowel movement (not loose or constipated) 1-3 times per day. If you don't you could have candida.

A quick note- one cause of candida is consuming sugar. Candida yeast feeds off of sugar. One way to get rid of candida, along with strong medicines that kill it, is to eliminate sugar from your diet and to take probiotics (good bacteria that helps break down food in your intestines).

Wrong calories

Note that I did not say that too many calories causes you to be overweight. In western society there is too much emphasis on counting calories. Consuming a lot of good calories from healthy foods is essential to good health. Cutting down or eliminating bad food from your diet will aid in losing weight.

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Bad eating habits

One of the most obvious causes of weight gain is eating poorly. I will later talk about foods that contribute to good health, but for now consider the junk that you are putting into your body. Bad eating habits don't just involve eating the wrong kinds of foods, but also eating too much food, or overemphasis on one kind of food.

For example, while whole grains are necessary for good health, you can't live on just whole grains. You also need fruits, vegetables, protein, and other foods that help make for a balanced diet.

Some foods to avoid are sugar (along with sugar varieties such as sucrose, fructose, etc.), complex syrups, laboratory created foods (those ingredients with the long names that your can't pronounce), and foods that you are allergic to.

Eating a balanced diet based on your individual needs, eating organically if possible, and eating the simple foods can go a long way towards losing weight and maintaining a good weight.

Lack of exercise

Exercising properly is one of the most difficult things to do in maintaining good health. The main benefit of exercise is that strengthens your organs. It also helps with metabolism and your basic mood.

A key to exercise is doing something you enjoy. You should find a good combination of things you enjoy so that you get a full body workout. I love to bike, but biking doesn't work every part of my body. So, I need to do a variety of exercising to get the benefit I need. Doing something you enjoy will help you stick with it.

Try to avoid fads too. Just like fad diets, fad exercises come and go without leaving long lasting benefits to your health.

Food to eat:

Nuts (including different nut butters such as almond butter)- provides oils and proteins

Grains- provides protein and helps regulate your intestines

Fruits- Provides real sugar that your body can break down- good cleaning agent for the body

vegetables- eat all colors, especially the deep purples- vegetables provide so many benefits such as fighting against cancer, broccoli is very high in Vitamin C, the list is long as to the benefits of the various vegetables

Essential oils- the best is olive, but safflower, sunflower, flaxseed, fish, and other Omega 3 and 6 oils are essential to your brain function. Just as your car breaks down without clean oil, so your brain begins to break down without essential oils.

Beans- great for protein- many people struggle to break down beans, but cooking them thoroughly helps break them down before they enter your body

How to lose the pounds

That being said, how can you lose the weight? Following is some helpful hints on achieving and maintaining good health.

1. Eat right

Eating properly is so critical to good health. The food our bodies need can be found in nature, not the laboratory. Fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, fish, and other natural foods contain the essentials that your body needs.

Don't forget the water! Water is so important to your health. Water speeds up your metabolism, flushes toxins out of your body, and generally cleans out your system.

So, how much water? Just like I said earlier about following charts as to your right weight, so I encourage you to not look to charts about how much water. You usually hear that you need 8 glasses of water a day. Really? A 200 lb person and a 100 lb person needs the same water?

Here is the recipe for getting the right amount of water- Take your body weight, divide it in half- that is how many ounces of water you need.

For example, if you weigh 200 lb., then you need 100 ounces of water! That is a little over 12 glasses a day!

So, as you lose the weight you will need less water. Drink water. It causes everything to function so much better. If you can get a pressurized water filter (I use envirowave) to get the chlorine, toxins, and other junk out of your water.

A couple of hints to help with eating right- juicing your fruits and vegetables helps your body absorb them better. Instead of sugar try 'stevia'. It is a leaf that is very sweet, and good for your intestines. You will need to experiment with it as you will need to get used to it after years of sugar, but it tastes great and is good for you.

Another help is taking a probiotic- this is healthy organisms that live in your intestines and breaks down your food. Taking a good probiotic helps with regulating your system and absorbing your food.

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2. Exercise

I already talked about this, but exercise benefits your overall health. Exercising throughout the day is good. In doing this you are being more holistic. We can tend to compartmentalize everything. With exercising throughout the day, we don't have to do so much at once. Again, find what you enjoy and what fits your lifestyle and go for it.

3. Dealing with blockers

By this I mean those things that block your path to losing and maintaining good weight. It may be a particular health problem. It may be a bad habit. It may be genetics. But talk to your doctor, get the problem taken care of, and then you can be on your way to great health.

4. Accountability

Let's face it. We struggle with good healthy habits. When it comes to maintaining good health, most of us are lazy. We need someone who loves us enough to hold our feet to the fire. So, find someone who will not let you go until you reach your goals. This is important when the excitement goes away, and you are just going through the daily routine of eating and exercising. Also, find someone who encourages you too. Just being pushed isn't enough. We all need words of encouragement too.

Oh, and one more thing

There are those our there who think that unless you have a medical degree that you know anything. But educating yourself and taking ownership of your health is the key.

That being said, I want to make it clear that I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. I have not been to medical school. These things I have written come from my own extensive, unbiased research, personal experience, and the experience of those in my life. They also come from the wisdom of the ages passed down to this generation. Anything you do should be done with the direction of a good doctor who takes a genuine concern for your health. They can guide you well.

I personally have a naturopathic doctor, who is very balanced in his approach. A prerequisite for him to get his degree was to take courses on food and what it does for the body. So, he is well equipped. In finding a doctor to help you ask lots of questions, and find one that lets you make the decisions on your health.

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