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Losing Weight: A Few Things You Should Know

Updated on April 28, 2015

Losing Weight: Quick Breakdown

Those who make the decision to lose weight are faced with a lot of obstacles. Losing weight is not an easy task. In fact, many dieters fail to achieve their goals due to lack of knowledge, motivation, drive or persistence.

Why do we gain weight?

Wouldn't it be awesome to be your high school weight throughout your entire life? Yea I agree. However, for most of us that isn't a reality.

So why do we tend to get fatter after our younger days are gone?

Well there are several reasons. Some in our control and some out of our control. I'll go over a couple below.

Slowing of our metabolism

This one is a biggy but also one of those that isn't in our power to control easily. Our metabolisms naturally slow down as we get older. As you may or may not know, our metabolisms are responsible for turning the fuel in the food we eat into energy for our bodies. Simply put, our metabolism is our engine.

So as you may have gathered by now, a fast metabolism, such as the one we have in our younger years, can do this process very quickly and thus burn off almost all of the nutrients in food and provide us with a crap load of energy. Which is also the reason kids seem to run on ultra strength batteries that never run out.

Now as we age, our metabolism slows down, thus slowing the process of energy creation and burning off the nutrients in food at a slower pace, which allows the body to absorb those nutrients and store them, usually as fat, especially if you eat crappy food.

Increase in appetite

This one is pretty obvious. As we grow, so do our appetites. When you get older, your body needs more and more food to convert into energy and keep you going throughout the day. We also naturally tend to eat more as adults, especially men.

Consumption of alcohol and easier access to junk food

Most people don't think about this one, but as you get older, your access to alcohol, junk food and other crap that is terrible for your body is increased tremendously.

As a kid you really don't have the means to eat whatever you choose, its always up to your parents. (which is sometimes also not great if your parents aren't the healthiest people either).

And you sure as heck don't have any access to alcohol (at least you shouldn't!). So naturally as an adult, you'll find snacking easier, drinking easier, eating out more often easier, etc.

Alcohol is a major factor in gaining weight during your adult years. A lot of us like to drink, why not its fun and makes you social. However, going overboard is an easy thing to do. One beer turns into 2, then 5, then you're a fat slob drinking 2-3 beers a day and you don't even realize the crazy amount of calories that alcohol carries with it.

So before you have your next drink, think about if its worth adding those extra and completely empty calories to your diet. Especially if you're carrying a little extra pounds on your.

Losing weight is simple, but not easy

While burning fat is not an easy thing to do, it is simple; once you get it. There are no secrets or shortcuts and most of it comes down to hard work and dedication.

Making the decision to lose weight is a crucial first step. From there, there are a number of things you should know.

Your alcohol habits

How much alcohol do you consumer per week?

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Exercise

  • Aerobic
  • Anaerobic

Supplements

  • Weight Loss Supplements
  • How To
  • Where to Buy

Realistic Expectations

  • Simple Goals
  • Timeframes
  • Staying on track

Calorie Maintenance

  • Calories In vs Out
  • Cutting Calories
  • Tracking Calories

Creating Realistic Expectations

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is setting unrealistic goals and expectations in your weight loss journey.

You need to understand what it takes to lose weight. It is not as simple as skipping a few meals and spending some extra time at the gym.

It takes a lot of discipline and dedication to achieve goals and maintain weight loss. To make the process easier to handle, dieters should set realistic goals. In doing so, they can avoid that feeling of failure that will ultimately lead to regression.

But most importantly, healthy weight loss take TIME. Lots of it. You aren't going to lose 20 healthy pounds in a month, i dont care who you are. If someone promises you that, then they're trying to sell you something.

Lets go over some tips to keep your expectations in check.

1.) Start with a simple goal

Weight loss is a slow process. One shouldn't expect to lose a considerable amount of weight in a short time frame.

Those who set a large goal are often met with false hope and undesired results. To ensure that the goal is met, you should start small. Losing anywhere between 5% to 15% of the starting weight is a good place to begin. It is a realistic goal that is achievable.

With this simple goal in mind, it will be easier to meet and move on to something more difficult.

Take out a pen and paper and write down some of your simple goals. You can include:

  • Go to the gym 3x this week
  • Run for 10 mins a day for a week straight
  • Eat one less piece of junk food for a week straight
  • Drink one less alcoholic beverage this week

Do this at the start of every week and you'll notice how quickly it becomes fun and how awesome it is to actually accomplish something.

2. Set a realistic timeframe

Not only is it unreasonable to lose a lot of weight in a short period of time, but it is unhealthy. Those who set an unreasonably quick time frame to lose weight are at risk for a number of problems down the line.

Not only that, but these goals are often not met, thus resulting in lack of motivation and eventually to quitting.

You should calculate a time frame based on the weight you want to lose. A reasonable goal would be to lose a pound or two a week.

Realistically you will see results after about 1-2months.

Remember, the mirror is a better friend to you than the scale. The results you see in the mirror are results that matter. Scale numbers often include water weight loss and other factors that will give you conflicting results and can discourage you or make you too sure of yourself.

3.) Stay on track

You should always think reasonably about your goals to stay on track.

That being said, it is good to have a larger goal in mind. For instance, a long-term goal to losing weight should be maintaining that weight loss by making a lifestyle change.

Smaller goals will lead up to this ultimate goal, making it seem more achievable as time goes on. It will keep you motivated since you will constantly be achieving something.

At the start of every month, write down a few long term goals you want to accomplish that month. Here are a few examples:

  • Don't skip any workouts for the entire month
  • Lose 2lbs for the entire month
  • Only drink alcohol on 2 weekends this month (you may think this isn't a lot, but its 24lbs a year, which is A LOT!)
  • Run every single day this month, no matter the length

MyFitnessPal is an awesome tool to track all your fitness and weight loss goals

Check Out This Awesome Video On Creating Goals!

Do You Track Your Goals?

Do You Write Goals Down?

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Counting Calories

Losing weight is a balancing act between calories and exercise. The best way to approach weight loss is by looking at it through caloric intake.

Weight loss comes down to the calories going in versus calories that are burned off. To be successful, dieters need to understand how calories work.

Calories 101

Essentially, calories are the energy in food. It is the fuel our bodies use to function. Calories come from nutrients such as carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. While they are important in our bodily functions, too many calories can be detrimental to our health.

Calories are burned off with everything we do. However, the calories that aren't burned off are stored within the body. To achieve weight loss, dieters need to burn off more calories than they are taking in. This is the basic concept of Calories In vs. Calories Out.

Cutting Calories

Cutting calories is the basic principle behind weight loss. To be successful, you need to restrict your caloric intake, reducing the amount of calories that are stored in the body as fat. It is not a difficult process.

To achieve weight loss, dieters need to restrict this amount by counting calories and taking in less calories than what their maintenance is.

To calculate your maintenance calories go here: Maintenance Calorie Calculator

As a good starting point, you want to eat about 300-500 calories LESS than your maintenance per day to lose weight.

Tracking Calories

Calorie information is readily available on food packaging and online. Using this information, dieters should keep track about the calories going into the body.

In doing so, they will know how many calories they need to work off on any given day.

You can keep a journal or use a calorie counting application to stay on track.

Check out Calorie King for Food Nutrition Information

Exercise

To avoid storing extra calories, you need to burn them off through exercise. The body naturally burns off calories with normal activities and functions.

However, exercise will help speed up the process and allow you to eat more while at the same time burning off calories.

If you need to stay 500 calories below your maintenance, then burning 1000 calories by running, or lifting weights or any other physical activity will aid you in that without the need to starve yourself.

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercises, often referred to as cardio, focus on cardiovascular endurance. Exercises like running and bicycling are referred to as cardio exercises. It is good to incorporate some type of aerobic exercise into a daily routine.

These exercises are great for dieters because they focus on the entire body and shedding pounds. There are a number of different aerobic exercises, each burning a different amount of calories. You should choose an exercise that burns the most calories and is enjoyable to do.

Consider these:

  • Running
  • Biking
  • Swimming
  • Hiking

Anaerobic Exercise

Anaerobic exercises focus on muscular growth. These exercises are often referred to as strength training.

They focus on one particular part of the body and tend to be shorter, but more intense. Not only do these exercises burn calories, but they can improve overall strength and health. Dieters can tone parts of their body as they lose weight.

Consider these:

  • Sprinting
  • Weight lifting
  • Jumping

Check out Bodybuilding.com's Awesome Exercise Database for exercise ideas.

Weight Loss Supplements

A discussion about weight loss wouldn't be complete without mentioning supplements. The truth is, supplements are not necessary.However, they can do wonders for weight loss if used correctly.

There are a number of different weight loss supplements available on the market today. Dieters need to understand what a supplement does before using it. Of course, there is no miracle supplement. Every supplement needs to be accompanied by reduced caloric intake and exercise. Without these, they are useless. And you should always consult your doctor before taking any supplements.

Fat Burner Pills

Fat burners are a great addition to any weight loss plan. They help to speed up the weight loss process by increasing metabolism. Metabolism is a chemical process within the body. In terms of weight loss, it is the body's way of burning calories. Fat burners work by boosting metabolism, thus increasing the number of calories the body burns off.

More Info on buying Fat Burners:

Keep in mind

Make sure to remember this very important detail: THESE ARE NOT MAGIC PILLS. These products will not work if you don't work. They were not created for you to burn fat while watching netflix and popping a few pills per day and washing it down with your mountain dew.

Before you even think about buying a fat burner you better make sure you have a few things down first:

  • You are exercising almost every day
  • You are eating clean healthy foods
  • You are counting your calories and eating below maintenance
  • You are getting enough sleep and rest
  • You are drinking enough water
  • You aren't drinking ridiculous amounts of alcohol and consuming junk food daily
  • You are staying active and not sitting all day

If you are doing all that, then you should talk to your doctor about adding a weight loss supplement to your routine. If he agrees, then follow the instructions on whatever product you buy and use it safely. Do not become dependent on them or use them too much, since like i've said before, losing weight is all about nutrition and exercise, not pills.

Summing it Up

To Lose Weight

  • Determine realistic expectations
  • Set your long and short term goals and write them down
  • Educate yourself on Calorie counting, maintenance and burning
  • Set up an exercise routine and stick to it
  • Consider a weight loss supplement
  • STAY MOTIVATED!

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