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Lose Weight Doing These Fundamental Things

Updated on April 26, 2018
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Jonny has been a fitness and mental well-being enthusiast for more than twenty years, documenting his progress for published projects.

Don't Diet, Learn About Your Diet

Diets do work; but only for a short time. Can you see yourself staying on a diet permanently?

What will benefit you in the long run is understanding that food is fuel for your body and each food group does a different job. So getting your general diet balanced will help your metabolism function better plus evacuate excess weight. Plus knowledge about this lasts a lifetime.

Balancing means eating less of the rubbish we both know makes you fat. Notice I didn't say 'none', for this is about balance. So try eating with the 4:5 ratio rule. Four quality meals to one junky treat (if you must). Practice trying 'less' of something rather than enforcing unworkable rules where you say no and then chastise yourself when you break them.

Eat a balance of:

  • five-a-day fresh fruit and vegetables
  • thirty per cent starchy and fibrous farinaceous foods (base foods like pasta, potatoes, bread, cereals)
  • dairy for calcium (milk) and protein (cheese and yoghurt); and
  • dedicated protein from beans, pulses, fish, eggs and meat

Eat free range where possible to ensure your body is not getting sneakily fed inhibiting toxins and to promote animal welfare... which in turn makes for a nicer world and better quality food.

Eat less processed or packet stuff (it's not really food), usually kept in the middle aisles of supermarkets, where the lengthy ingredient lists that are difficult to read work to increase shelf life, not nurture you. Have an awareness of excessive amounts of fat, sugar and salt in junk takeaway like pizza, burgers, fried stuff or 'party' treats like crisps, cakes, sweets: the unnatural feelgood/taste nice hits are short lived and designed to make you buy more of it, not help you stay in natural shape.

Real Food Doesn't Need to Advertise Itself

Authentic food has a purpose: a balanced diet will balance out your body shape
Authentic food has a purpose: a balanced diet will balance out your body shape

Learn How to Drink Water

It sounds patronising and there will be hundreds of tips online about drinking water, but these are the ones that count, and work best when they are done together.

Give yourself a few weeks to get into it and start appreciating the effect fresh water has on you as you drink it, as this will offset the idea that it is tasteless and therefore ineffective.

1. Time your drinking: Upon waking up, twenty minutes before meals and an hour before bed.

2. Stay hydrated: This means don't stay thirsty. Drink after tea and coffee and other diuretic food and drinks. Drink during workouts and hot weather.

3. Drink the right amount: commonly judged to be about eight times 8oz glasses or 2-3 litres per day. Try half your weight in Ib in fluid ounces, for example 200Ib = 100 ounces (= 5 pints or 2.8 litres). Experiment with drinking a bit more or less depending on your size. As a basic rule of thumb: Drink until your pee is clear.

4. Practice a little more bladder control. Yes you'll pee a lot, but you'll demotivate yourself if you complain about going to the loo so much.

5. Avoid plastic bottles. As well looking like a fool trying too be cool, you're spending thousands times the value of what could be ultra-violet lit tap water. There are also toxins laced into the bottles that seep out if left too long, and these will hamper the work of your body over time. If we're working on not being slobby, then we need to be sustainable for the planet too, because you'll worry the planet is dying and then you'll want to eat more to comfort yourself. If this seems like a ridiculous cycle then it's because it is.

Why drinking water works:
As well as alleviating constipation by loosening previous foodstuffs in your system, water will help flush toxins and clean up your skin by cleansing the parts of the body that look after you. With your metabolism in good working condition you won't hold so many fat deposits. As well as not feeling so hungry by drinking water you'll also be able to judge better when you have a genuine craving and not just a hankering for a junk fix. You'll notice more acutely the side effects (sugar rush and crash for example) when your body is cleaner.

Water Purifies and Naturally Detoxes

Buy a filter and start a daily routine for drinking more water and improving your metabolism
Buy a filter and start a daily routine for drinking more water and improving your metabolism

Don't Go to the Gym to Lose Weight

There are two things to consider here.

Firstly, if you're a wannabe gym bunny, you need to understand that diet, cardio vascular exercise and muscle training all work together to help you shape your body. What's best for weight loss then, cardio or weight-training? Neither, it's still your diet.

As we've seen above, if food is fuel, so everything we consume has to have the purpose of not messing us up. If we stuff our faces with party food and expect to lose it on the treadmill or plonking ourselves on a sit-down machine for twenty minutes then we're being very, very dumb.

Not only are we asking our liver to process toxins and thus our bodies to work twice as hard to make up for our lack of personal care, we're also wasting time focused on working off fat rather than working with foods that help us develop our fitness. I bet you most people who do this think they go to the gym to get fit and wonder why they're not.

Secondly, exercise and weights training make you hungry. It's best to go to the gym with a body-shape you want to attain in your mind and discuss it with a PT instructor, preferably one with nutritionist training and who is visibly taking care of their body. There are many out-of-shape 'gym experts' or former amateur sport lovers who are now wondering why they are now overweight having neglected to keep up the motto 'Fitness is For Life' while they remain practiced at being hungrier.

As we've said, the diet, the exercise and the muscle or weights training are interlinked. If you stop one or do too much of another your body shape will reflect that. Don't let age or the thick opinions of body-shame dullards stop you getting out there.

Get Your Diet to Support Your Workouts

Only appropriate nutrition for cardio and training will get the weight down efficiently
Only appropriate nutrition for cardio and training will get the weight down efficiently

Learn to Handle Your Drink

There's a brilliant story which might be a nice piece of BS, but it helps us illustrate a point about alcohol. Back in the day renowned film and stage actors Richard Harris, Richard Burton and Peter O' Toole were all asked who of them could handle their drink best, most famously by TV chat show host, Michael Parkinson. Surprisingly instead of saying either of each other or wild man Oliver Reed, one of them said Roger Moore.

Apparently he would drink all night with them, at a hotel they were all staying, and then change for tennis at 7am in the morning, asking if any of them fancied a game. His secret was paying the bathroom attendant to keep a jug of water all night on standby and matching his alcohol intake by purifying matching it with water as well.

I live in a rock 'n' roll city where lots of people drink but they can't handle it. They become out of control when the drink takes from them they don't take from it. As well as asking their livers to work harder, they eat more and party harder. I don't have a comment on this because we've all been there. The only thing to do if you are serious about losing weight or for the future, keeping weight off and avoiding a pot belly, getting chubby cheeks and being stuck on a tragicomic cycle of self-loathing is to:

  • watch your calorie intake as regards huge quantities (served in pints)
  • try flushing your system with water more
  • try swapping to spritzers and shorts and adding more juices
  • watch the inevitable follow up with midnight junk food binging
  • take from it don't let it take from you

In the end losing weight and returning to your natural shape is about being honest with your lifestyle choices and busting the contradictions. Then once we get how and why food works we can have have a more sensible dialogue with it. We can at last have a more realistic, more caring approach to what we eat for ourselves rather than blanket ignoring and half-living on fattening comfort food to get us through.

Go for Quality Over Quantity

Count calories and moderate: offset alcohol with water to help the heart, liver and kidneys
Count calories and moderate: offset alcohol with water to help the heart, liver and kidneys

© 2018 Jonny Wills

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