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A Natural Weight Loss Plan That Works - Identify the Cause of Your Weight Gain and a Diet Plan to Keep It off Forever

Updated on June 9, 2018
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Cole Delavergne is a .net developer and programmer with a BS in computer science.

I've Done it Successfully Now For Years...

I don't have a six-pack, and for that, I apologize. I have tried on many occasions, but it's tough for me to accomplish. In this photo, I can still stand to lose another fifteen to twenty pounds. However, my BMI went from, "Error: How Are You Still Alive" to "Ehh you're close enough to healthy." BMI is the body mass index, and it's a load of garbage unless it's extremely high. However, when it reaches a certain point, it is a clear indication that it's time for some significant action. In the first photo I posted, I am at a BMI of 45.6. In my first photo, I am wearing size 52 jeans and a 4x shirt. In the more recent, second photo I have a BMI of 27.2. I am wearing size 33 shorts, and my shirts are XL to L. The difference between the two over ten years is the difference in possibly dying at 35 to 40 and living until cancer gets me from smoking at around 65 to 70. Of course, these are guesses as a person with a 40 BMI will live much longer than some smokers. However, that's rare. BMI being garbage is a statement I stand behind. That's because Dwayne Jhonson, better known as The Rock, is morbidly obese according to BMI. A quick photo at the link above and you can see that isn't the case. If you are obese and you look like "The Rock," you can stop reading now. For the rest of you, read on to find results in your struggle.

It Takes Time To Lose Those Last Few Pounds

Step One: Understanding your Reason for Weight Issues

I love this part. I get to bash almost every article that is popular in a Google search. The number one reason you are overweight is overeating. Sounds logical and the math makes a lot of sense. However, for many, the real reason they are overweight is not calorie consumption but genetics. An average height man ranging between 5'6 to 6'0 can become obese on 2000 calories a day. Wow, I said it. I said it. That's an extraordinary claim, and it needs extraordinary evidence. Well, unlike most fitness "experts" I am going to provide that evidence. The following is a quote from an article written by Genetic Engineers and Professors at Harvard Medical School.

To date, more than 400 different genes have been implicated in the causes of overweight or obesity, although only a handful appear to be major players. Genes contribute to obesity in many ways, by affecting appetite, satiety (the sense of fullness), metabolism, food cravings, body-fat distribution, and the tendency to use eating as a way to cope with stress.

The strength of the genetic influence on weight disorders varies quite a bit from person to person. Research suggests that for some people, genes account for just 25% of the predisposition to be overweight, while for others the genetic influence is as high as 70% to 80%. Having a rough idea of how large a role genes play in your weight may be helpful in terms of treating your weight problems.

Fitness "Experts" Do Not Acknowledge Genetics

If you joined a fitness program and posted your calories intake, it's possible they will accuse you of lying. The math for them is very simple. A man will lose weight if he consumes less than 2400 calories a day and is overweight. A woman will lose weight if she consumes 2000 calories a day and is overweight. The problem is that their math is wrong. Certain genetic factors can alter your basic metabolic rate. You can find your estimated BMR here. While a BMR can help, it isn't an exact science. I encourage you to check out your BMR and your BMI however so that you can use these tools in a future section of this article. According to the to BMR calculator, at 280 pounds, a male who is 5'9 and weighs 280 pounds at the age of 33 requires almost 2500 calories for normal body functions. This calculation does not include walking, digesting, standing, or any exercise and lifting you may do. If you would like an estimate on your total calorie need you can visit LifeSpan Fitness, you will find that calculator here. If we use the lowest activity factor on a male, who is 5'9, 280 pounds and is 33 years of age we find that with a sedentary lifestyle requires him to consume almost 3000 calories to maintain his current weight. That number is very significant, and many overweight people never see anything close to that. Consuming 3000 calories a day would require more than 11 cups of ice cream at 274 calories a cup and that's more than 6.5 bowls, average bowl size 1.5 cups, filled with ice cream a day. According to the "Experts" math, a male of that size could eat five bowls of ice cream a day and be guilt free while losing weight. That's not going to help you lose weight, but it will help you get some cool diseases like diabetes, on top of other health issues it would create. So why is the math wrong? The factor that many "Weightloss Experts" can not get their head around is genetics. These experts say that 'thyroid issues" are scarce because they are oblivious to genetic and biological science that indicates Thyroid issues do contribute to weight gain in some but are not even a significant factor. In other words, they are mixing correct mathematical formulas with word of mouth theories, and this is dangerous.



MyFitnessPal Dashboard

How to Identify Your Reason for Weight Issues

The core elements of identifying issues are to do research. Science is an ally in the fight to gain control of your weight. I believe Science is the only way to lose weight and keep it off. This goes beyond a diet fab or exercise routine which are hard to maintain. Diets and exercise can help increase your rate of success temporarily but maintaining such drastic measures become complicated. The research you need to do it on yourself. Logging calories intake is where this research will begin. Websites like MyFitnessPal offer free calories logs on top of a chart to help give a primary calories expectancy. It's a starting point but don't follow it too strictly until you understand you your own body. The reason that fitness guides and medical advice fail for so many is that Obesity is looked at like an illness when it's more like a virus. Why a virus? The nature of weight issues changes from person to person just like different Flu strands surfaces each season. The problem with fitness guides is they treat every person on a specific premise. Programs, generally do not focus on the underlying causes of weight issues and this was something that stood out to me when researching the topic. Identifying the reason behind your weight is the most important step to resolving the issue. Using a site such as MyFitnessPal allows a testing ground to determine the reason behind an unhealthy weight. Log your average calories for a week. Do not forget to include what you drink and do not cheat yourself. You need a complete look at your situation. Do not change your eating habits int he first week. Try to add all logs for all days you can remember up to a week before you started on logging your calories. Do not lie about the lifestyle you have. If you work out once a month and sit at a desk all day. Then you do not have an active lifestyle. Consistency is the only thing that should be applied to these calculations. Log any exercise you do on a consistent basis and not things like walking to the mailbox.

After the First Week

After you have recalled some or all of the week prior, and completed the first week on MyFitnessPal, it's time to analyze the data.

  1. Start with checking your calorie intake from day to day and looking for an extreme variation. You can also take note of things such as your stress level for that day. Did you have an unfortunate meeting with your boss and eat a lot afterward? Did a fight with your spouse lead to any change in your dietary habits? Have you been down and emotionally lost lately? Emotions and mental health can play a huge role in weight gain. I do not advocate seeing a psychologist unless you can not take natural steps to fix the issue. Write notes on the answers to these questions for yourself.
  2. Navigate to a calories calculator such as LifeSpan. Enter the following information: Sex, Age, Weight, Height, and Lifestyle. Use the strict guidelines provided to determine your lifestyle type. Compare the information on maintaining your current weight to your logs on the application you have been logging calories on. Are you over the suggested calorie intake on LifeSpan to keep your current weight on some days? Are you close most days but sometimes you go over? Are you going over it often? Write down notes on this section and answer the questions above for yourself.
  3. If you found that all of your days are under the suggested calories, then look at the food you are eating. Is it fast food? Are you missing calories such as adding mustard to a hot dog or cheese, croutons, and dressing to a salad? Are you taking into account these sneaky calories? Are you drinking eight glasses of water a day and is the majority of your calories coming from drinking or solid food? Answer these questions and keep them for your notes. Take note of when you are eating such as how long before you sleep and after you wake.
  4. If, after checking for sneaky calories and errors, you find that you are still under the calorie intake and you are drinking the appropriate amount of water each day and not drinking many calories then ask the following questions. Do you have family members who are overweight also? Have you gained or lost weight for no apparent reasons? Is your activity level more consistent with when you are a healthier weight?

The answer to the cause of your weight gain is likely due to the following or a combination of the following:

  • Category A(Questions 1) - If you found that you are eating after stressful situations or change in mood, your weight struggles are due to stress and depression. Further, in this article, I will discuss ways to fix this problem and steps you can take to avoid such times. The majority of overweight people fall into this category but also other categories.
  • Category B (Questions 2) - If your answers to question two were mostly yes, then you are merely overeating. I will discuss ways of fixing this bellow including diet and exercises that will lead to quick progress. This is the category most fitness, and medical guides focus. These guides are likely to benefit you for the most part, but I will include ideas for a personal program that you can use.
  • Category C (Question 3) - If you are drinking a lot of calories and using a lot of condiments then you probably realize by now what the issue is. You need to bring balance to your diet and consume more solid food and less liquid calories. A general fitness program will likely help you as well but cut back on just two sodas a day can make a huge difference. Drinks have a lot of calories and are most readily absorbed because they are sugar based. The body naturally digests food and liquids into a sugar compound called glucose. This is used to help store hydrocarbonates as fat in the body if there are more calories produced than your body can burn. Two bottles of a liquid substance, such as coke, per day, can quickly lead to consuming an extra pound of energy per week. This means you are drinking an extra 400-600 calories per day. Cutting this factor will help reduce weight without any other steps. You could quickly lose up to 25 pounds by merely drinking unsweetened tea or water in place of these calories. Do not drink diet soda. I am firmly against diet soda because of it's artificial sweeteners and high sodium content. Salt is abundant in all the food we eat and adding such a high amount to your liquid consumption can lead to gaining weight from water retention. It can also lead to other health issues such as; high blood pressure, heart issues, vein issues, and a lack of calcium.
  • Salt and Sodium Can be Bad - Salt is used in saline to rebuild fluid around cells and add to blood volume in sick patients. It can also increase blood cell production. When you consume too much salt, you gain weight because of these volume increases. Salt also puts pressure on your body leading to a slower heartbeat, and overall metabolic rate. Slowing your metabolic rate will slow down your natural cardio. This means you will burn fewer calories during physical activities and exercise. The only way to counteract the adverse effects of sodium is to consume a high potassium diet. If you must drink these beverages then changing your diet to include high amounts of potassium, both natural and dietary, should be a diet goal.
  • Category 4 (Question 4) - If the answers to these questions were mostly, yes, then your issue is likely to be more genetic. Mental health can also be genetic, but your condition more than likely has to do with how your body reacts to food. Healthy calorie intake alone will probably not work for you. There are many reasons behind genetic issues that lead to weight gain. I have listed a few above. I will list a possible diet plan bellow, but in reality, this isn't a diet for you. This is a lifestyle that you will need to embrace. Cheating days will be insufficient for you, but the need to cheat will decrease with time.
  • A Combination of These - If you find that you have a combination of issues then you need to address them all. Changes to your lifestyle and diet are required to improve your health. Please read the guides below and firmly express your concerns with a doctor. If you are seeing a doctor, then talk to him about possible causes of weight gain and share your research. However, merely changing aspects of your diet and cutting calories as well as regulating food intake times should be helpful on their own without the need for medical intervention.

Step Two- Change

This is the part that will be complicated. Change is complicated for most people. The idea of trying alternatives or using less ranch is terrifying for some. However, these are changes you are going to need to make. Keeping up an extreme diet or active lifestyle to compensate for calories is a path to failure. Life does not allow us to escape for 3 hours a week to a gym all the time and if you have never been naturally active the chances of maintaining a very active lifestyle are against you. There will be a few steps you can take to increase your metabolism and daily calorie allowance, but these changes will not be easy. No magical pill will change everything but utilizing the right combination of steps, and you will get your weight under full control, forever.

General Steps Every Category Can Take

  1. Stand up - This is especially important if you have a job where you sit a lot. Standing for an hour can burn up from 46 to 100 additional calories per hour. Just standing up for 3 hours during a day over sitting can lead losing half a pound a week.
  2. Walk Further- Park further away from locations you are going to visit. You can also park on the wrong side of the store so that you must walk further to get the item you need.
  3. Caffeine- Sugar and calories free caffeine is a good thing. Consider finding a tea you will enjoy. If you can not drink unsweetened tea, then consider supplements instead. Many studies that show caffeine can increase your metabolism. However, adding this alone will not be a solution. You can lose up to half a pound a week adding calorie-free caffeine to your diet.
  4. Fiber - Fiber is essential to your body. It is also hard to digest and requires a lot of energy for the body to process.
  5. Get A Scale - Having a scale can be a good and bad thing. Remember that weight loss is a process and sometimes you will make more progress than others. Do not get in the habit of weighing yourself every day but take measurements once per week. Note your progress and if there is a lack of progress then increase exercise or decrease calorie intake. Losing a pound per week is decent, but your goal should be two pounds per week. MyFitnessPal or an app like it can help you reach this goal.
  6. Continue to log meals- Use your app to continue to get a good feel for your weekly calories intakes. You want a deficit of at least 3500. You will need to explore new foods and find a healthy balance of meals.
  7. Eat at the Same Times Every Day- Set a schedule and force yourself to stick to it. I am not a big fan of breakfast in the mornings. However, I understand the importance of breakfast as it is the most important meal you can have. Breakfast kicks your metabolism off from a steady state while you sleep into an active sleep while awake. Knowing this information had lead to me eating small breakfast meals consisting of a Banana and a 200 calorie protein bar.
  8. Protein is great- Atkins diets have some varying success because the important element of protein is available. However, cutting all carbs and sugars from a diet is unrealistic. The goal should instead be to limit this intakes. Simply changing to Wheat bread can lower your normal carb intake. Using a healthier cheese can also have an impact. Protein should be a focus of any diet and limit carbs will help greatly in losing weight but finding meals that can become an everyday eating habit are important. I lost 80 pounds and I continued eating fast food. It probably wasn't the best thing I could have done but some fast food can be healthier than you would think. I stuck to charbroiled and grilled chicken sandwiches. A Chicken club sandwich from Carls Jrs, for example, has only 520 calories in it despite having bacon, cheese, sauce, and toppings. The wheat bun helps with the carbs. Subway is also a great option if you stay away from the dressing and sauces that are tempting to add to your sub. Fried chicken is even okay if you skip out on the extras and do not get the meal. The important part here is to cut out all of the fries and soda that add calories to a meal. Also, ground beef comes with a lot of calories so it should be seen a luxury food item choice for days when you are just craving it. If you do give in then the rest of your food intake should still stick to your calorie schedule. Cheat days should be planned with a set limit on how much you can cheat. Do not wake up without a plan and improvise your diet. If you know that you are going to eat things you normally wouldn't, have a limit of calories you will stick to. This should go no more than 500 calories over your normal diet and try to eat most of them early in the day.
  9. No More Night Snacks- When adjusting your eating schedule night snacks should be eliminated entirely. Yes, the days of a bowl of ice cream on the couch are over. Eating before bed cheats your body of needed time to use energy and leads to fat storage. Even if you are eating a healthy diet, consuming too many calories at bedtime will still lead to weight gain.
  10. Eat Snacks - Find a lower calories snack you munch on. I use cheese cracker packages that are 100 calories, protein bars at 200 calories, roasted almonds, peanuts (low salt, no honey), Slimfast Shakes(120-180 calories but lots of nutrients), and fruits as my snacks. Spreading your calories will lead to fewer cravings and less desire to cheat.
  11. Plan Your Meals - When I first started my diet plan three years ago, I made the mistake of logging what I ate. This left me with the ability to scarf down a double quarter pounder for lunch and not think of it as an issue. However, I was robbing myself and forcing myself to be hungry for one meal. That doesn't make much sense when it comes to weight loss. Instead, plan the meals you want to eat before you eat them. Mapping the entire day ahead of time will lead to less cheating. When you are hungry at 3 O'clock, you will also remember that you need a snack to hold you over and not a stop at some food place.
  12. You Can Still Eat Pizza - Remove as much bread as possible and all the crust. Try to stick to thin crust pizza and moderate it. However, a few slices of pizza can fit in your diet every once and while. Make sure you plan such a day ahead of time and get a stable calorie count on the meal.
  13. Plan Cheat Days - I've said this before, but you need to plan your cheat days. Take time to enter the food items you want and examine the calories. Do not go over 500 calories from your typical daily diet and keep the carbs as low as possible.

I want to expand upon this why exercise can be important but not needed. Some experts say you can not lose weight without exercise or keep it off. That is not true. However, exercise serves a great purpose during calorie cutting. It negates any muscle mass you may lose while your body adjusts to your new diet. Diets require balance and so does your body. If you cut calorie intake to 1200-1500 calories a day from 2400 a day prior, it will prompt your body to go into starvation mode. This is the area where fitness guides are lacking. These guides say that as long as you eat "x" amount of calories you will not enter starvation mode, however, that is wrong. Yes if you eat a thousand calories one day and eat 2000 the next, then there is a high chance your body will store much more fat and eat away muscle mass. However, if you cut 1400 calories off your standard diet, your body will do this anyways. The first week of such cuts will see more muscle mass lost than fat. This is why people often get discouraged when they lose 5 pounds in the first week but only two the next. The explanation given is almost always water weight or fluid retention. This is not entirely untrue that water weight could be being lost but the majority of the difference in muscle mass loss. On average it takes your body up to nine days to trust that your diet is a diet and not a symptom of extreme things to come. Once your body has time to adjust your brain will automatically switch from the muscle burning to fat as fat is a lot easier to break down than muscle tissue. We already hit on this with the eating protein part. Your body has a much harder time breaking down muscle than fat for the same reasons that eating protein will lead to more weight loss than eating simple carbs. So give your diet some time before you place weekly expectations on it and use exercise when you can to help improve this process.

Great Exercises for Every Category

  1. Swimming- If you can swim you are in luck. Find a gym or location you can frequent once or twice a week. Spend an hour in the pool and try to stay active in swimming. You do not need to start out hardcore. You can do simple doggy paddling from end to end and expect to burn 450-750 calories easy in an hour. If you can do this twice a week, you will also increase your metabolic rate by 12%. This is because swimming offers a mix of aerobic and resistance training. An added benefit is that swimming requires using your core and other muscles which are useful to focus when losing weight but hard to target when you are overweight.
  2. Kick Boxing, Shadow Boxing, Boxing - Boxing is a fantastic alternative to running. Boxing and resting evenly over an hour will burn more calories than a marathon without the added stress to joints. It's one of the most effective ways to deal with depression and anxiety as well. A 5'9 male at 185 pounds will burn 600 calories per half hour of sparing/boxing. The same fellow at 250 pounds will burn almost 1800 calories an hour. You could, literally, fight the weight off. Running will not come close to this. Look up videos on head bobs and shadowboxing as they also help. Remember to pace yourself at first. Set 90-second timers with a 3-minute rest in-between. If you feel this is too much time to rest then try 120 seconds on a bag and 150 second rest period. Rest is essential as you are not likely going to to have much stamina when you first start. Building upon this stamina is critical and will lead to extreme weight loss in a short period. Again, it also feels great to smash something. Boxing three times a week for an hour will quickly lead to you losing 2-3 pounds per week alone.
  3. Weight Training - Weight training is rough. It's because your body will probably get very sore at first. I suggest starting with dumbells at first that you can use at home. I often talk to trainers, and the theory is that since a person gets pain their first workout, they do not come again for more extended periods of time. The mind associates the pain with the gym instead of associating it not being used to working out. If you start this process at home before you move to a gym, then it's harder for your mind to hate your own home logically. However, some of us hate our house anyhow, do you want to hate your house and the gym? Weight lifting can easily burn 350-700 calories per 30 to 1 hours session. If you lift five times a week for an hour that totals 1 pound per week.
  4. Dancing - Dance Central is one of the best games tested in video game dance emulation. Depending on the difficulty and routines, a person can easily burn 200-300 calories in 20 minutes. It also helps with your natural metabolic raise though most research doesn't seem confident on this.
  5. Walking - Seems trivial but walking is pretty straightforward and doing it for an hour a day is extremely helpful to the metabolic rate. Again, walk further and walk often.
  6. Vitamins - Take supplements to help get what you need during the day. This will also help you lose weight by providing things you lack such as Vitamin C, B-6, B-12, Magnesium, Fiber, Iron and other things that promote weight loss through various means.
  7. Sex - If you have a partner then having sex can help you lose weight. It can also help with issues in the relationship. Even if you are not in the mood, you can think of it as an activity. Think of it this way; you could have sex or get up and drive across town for a workout. Sometimes sex makes a lot more sense.

Category A Guide

If you fall into this category then the struggle isn't going to be welcomed. You likely already have a lot of issues and people may not understand them. Being overweight however is just compounding this problem. When you eat to release endorphins you are only temporarily helping a temporary feeling while adding to one of the reasons for this feeling. The good news is that if you can eliminate stress and emotional triggers for eating, they can naturally lead to weight loss when food is not part of the equation. Exercise shouldn't become a goal for you but it should be a way to focus your energy and emotions. Your body will also release the same endorphins you get from eating while replacing the calories that are holding you down. I would suggest you find your triggers and address them as well. If you become sad and disconnected easily then you need to find the connection. The connection can be something as simple as picking up a hobby. The outside world and people in general suck. I get it, trust me. Find something that matters to you and harbor your creative side. I also want you to smile more and walk with pride. No, not like you do when you are faking it but like a cruel "screw you" to the world. Focus not on dealing with others but force others to deal with you. Find something you are good at and embrace the idea that you are amazing. Just one thing that you have. If someone else is better then you push yourself to overcome them. Never let your confidence in yourself slip in that area. For example, if the house is falling apart, your spouse never talks to you, or your family is full of douchebags then ignore them. You don't need to run away you need to let go of their power over you. If you feel sad for little or no reason, then it might be time to find what is missing. People who feel sad and depressed for no particular reason could also be suffering from an imbalance. Finding a hobby and developing an "I can do it" attitude may help you as well but the problem might be more profound. Don't fret, however, as using food to fix this issue is a lot better than using addictive and destructive drugs. People who feel this way for no reason should seek at least counseling. There free alternatives out there but combine that with a healthy diet will also help. Bellow are other steps you can take to lose weight and get back on track!

  1. Exercise - This step is essential for people in this category. Exercise is clinically proven to help balance chemicals inside of the brain. It also helps the body release those good feeling chemicals even if you hurt like hell at first. Exercises such as boxing and yoga can also relieve anxiety and stress at an increased rate. Don't give yourself a choice to feel like it, do it. The benefits will be apparent in the first month alone. How you feel doesn't matter when it comes to this. Like the Nike slogan, Just Do It!
  2. Identify Stress and Depression Triggers - Are you listening to sad music? Does the news leave you frustrated? Is your partner leaving towels everywhere or do you feel a lack of purpose? Identify and address these issues in ways that lead to the least amount of conflict. Something as simple as changing the music you listen to can greatly benefit you. Sometimes people need to pull the plug on Twitter feeds, Facebook walls, and news stations in general. If you can not identify a trigger than seeing a professional is advised. However, keep trying to lift yourself and find things that you enjoy that aren't eating.
  3. Take a Step Back - Sometimes you need to disengage. This can be something as simple as getting your nails done or going fishing. Give yourself time alone and put away your phone. Remember to enjoy yourself as well.
  4. Diet - Your diet will not require as much change. However, set an app like MyFitnessPal to a goal of 1.5 pounds per week. Stick to the weekly goals. Keep low-calorie foods around to eat when you are upset until you complete break this habit. Losing weight is likely to lift your mood so doing so will lead to a better place overall. Eating a bowl of celery might not sound as exciting, but you won't hate yourself afterward, only during. Yes, that was a joke, you can laugh.
  5. Consult the General Steps and General Exercise - Use these steps to help you get on your way. Think hard and remember you are doing this for you.
  6. Start Blog - Writing can help put feelings you didn't know you had out in the open. You may begin researching a topic and find the great information you can use to help yourself. You may also release emotions you feel you could not otherwise do. Remember that you can write negative feelings but to focus on staying positive that you have put them on paper. Then write ideas on how to change them and start with a small and simple task and reward yourself with praise when you finish it. It takes time and many tries to defeat more complex issues so keep this in mind. Although, you may find you are a badass suddenly and destroy everything you work towards so if that happens do not fight the ego, embrace it.
  7. Focus when Emotional - This works exceptionally well for panic attack anxiety and anxiety in general as well as for depression. If you have a song or teddy bear you find adorable, focus on it. Think of inside jokes with friends or happy places you have been before. If you have a panic attack trying to focus on one object while reminding yourself that this feeling is going to pass. It's not real. It is real because it can cripple you but it's not real because you can take control. It's hard to achieve, but you can control these episodes if you put a lot of focus into it and have a plan ahead of time. I suffered horrible panic attacks and PTSD for years before I was introduced to this method. I thought it was stupid just like many of you may be feeling right now. However, I gave my therapist a chance when medication failed me. Shockingly, the first time it helped a little, and the second time it helped enough that I was sure it worked and by the third time I was able to end my attack in under two minutes. Now I can stop them almost instantly, although, it still feels like it takes too long. That feeling can crush your soul and slow down time. If you find this isn't' helping, then please stick with it but try new ways. You should also consult a therapist at least.
  8. Find Friends - Start playing online games or join a community online. This can take away from the social awkwardness. It can also help your social skills and provide some fulfillment to your life. You may also want to focus on making the family into friends. Find things both you and family members enjoy and focus on those things during conversations. If your spouse left a dirty towel on the floor, it's okay to complain about it, but if that is your only effective communication during the day, it's likely to be less effective and harmful.

Category B Guide

It is expected that by now you realize why your weight is where it is. The important part isn't drastic measures but gradual steps towards eating fewer calories. Eating less isn't even required but eating fewer calories is. I would suggest following expert guides pretty closely as they should help you a lot. This information was geared toward you. However, it's okay to try other things listed here. The following will help you on your diet.

  1. Regulate Food Intake - I listed this in general but this is extremely important for this category. Starting out with a good breakfast and balancing calories over the day are very important. Eating 500 calories during each meal will leave you another 500 to snack on in a 200 calorie diet. This is the ideal balance, but I would suggest eating 400 calories for breakfast, 600 for lunch and 500 for dinner instead. Make your breakfast snack larger and your afternoon snack smaller. You can still eat some fast food but be smart about it. For example, eating El Polo Loco Chicken Tortilla can be done three times a day, and it will account for less than 1500 calories total. Snacking on a 200 calorie protein bar in the morning and eating a hot dog for an after lunch snack would leave you at 1860 calories for the day. That leaves 140 calories that could be applied to different meals. You could, for example, eat a 640 calories dinner instead or have a much bigger lunch. Stay away from fries and bread as much as possible.
  2. Exercise - You are likely going to cheat often at first. Do not hate yourself for this but instead offset it. Use activities listed above to make up for going over your calorie intake. However, the focus should be finding several meal plans that do not break your calorie goals as this is more helpful in the long run.
  3. Check Category One - It is likely that you may also be eating to feel a void. However, this may not appear as depression. Associate these feelings with your mood. Try to focus on hobbies as a release from these situations instead of food. Sometimes boredom can lead to a lot of eating. Something as simple as finding a niche or learn something new can take up this time instead. You may see you are a lot more capable of doing things than you ever thought but even if you suck at it have fun.
  4. Consult the General Steps and General Exercise - Use these steps to help you get on your way. Think hard and remember you are doing this for you.
  5. Consider Protein Bars - Use protein bars or shakes to substitute for meals or snacks. This will lead to weight loss more quickly and help promote good health. Protein bars and shakes have come a long way from what they use to taste like. I use Pure Protein, and I don't know what they use to make that bar, but it tastes almost as good as a candy bar to me. It was a shockingly, pleasant surprise when I tried it. The chocolate chip Pure Protein bar is fantastic, and it's very filling if consumed with water or tea.
  6. Bananas NANANA - Adding fruit to your diet is excellent, but bananas are fantastic because they offer plenty of carbs. Yes, they offer you carbs and carbs are wrong, but in a banana, the carbs are what is referred to as complex carbs. These carbs are extremely hard to break down and require much more energy to digest. They do not break into sugar easily. They will also aid in stopping your body from craving cheat days and high carb meals.

Category C Guide

If you fall into this category, then you potentially have the most accessible route to weight loss. Some changes will be needed, but alternatives will likely work for you. An example of this is using Avacado Dressing instead of Ranch. You can try low calories and fat-free ranch options, but if you like Avocados, then you are better off choosing this option. The calories are more moderate than Light Ranch, and the taste doesn't suffer. You also get the added benefit that avocados offer in the weight loss struggle. I will list other examples bellow and things to focus.

  1. Regulate Food Intake- This is important for every category, but it's imperative for you. Planning meals ahead of time will help stop the trend of sneaky calories surprises and provide more awareness of liquid calories. Include what you plan to drink in your daily meal plans and if it doesn't fit then cut the liquid. Do not remove food to make room for liquid items.
  2. Change your Drinking Habits- You do not want to sacrifice eating solid for liquids. Liquids can help you lose weight fast but only if they are loaded with low calories and the right amount of nutrients. Soda and sweet tea do not fall into this category. You should instead add low or no-calorie liquids to your diet. Heavy soda, sweet tea, or coffee consumption is bad for you. A Starbucks cup of expresso can drastically hurt your ability to lose weight. Instead, look for low-calorie creamers you can add to black coffee. Replace sweetened tea with unsweetened or infused tea. Infused tea offers flavor with a third of the calories as a sweetened glass of tea. Consider adding more water to your liquids and cold water, in particular, can boost your metabolism.
  3. Find Alternatives - Avacado dressing to replace ranch is just one example of an alternative. Another example is switching to pepper jack cheese from America or Cheddar. The difference is taste is minor and so are the difference in calories, but over time all these changes combined will add up. Find a wheat bread that has fewer carbs or a white bread that is healthier than your current bread selection. Consider drinking 2% milk instead of whole milk. Some people believe that whole milk is 100% milk however it is not. On average whole dairy is 4.5-3.5% milk. Depending on the whole milk you drink you may be surprised to find that you can hardly tell you've switched milk at all.
  4. Consult the General Steps and General Exercise - Use these steps to help you get on your way. Think hard and remember you are doing this for you.

Category D Guide

If you fall into the last category, then it's likely you have a genetic disposition to weight gain. There are several reasons this can happen beyond issues with a chemical imbalance or thyroid production. However, it is worth having a blood check done to attempt to identify the problems you may need to treat. Humanity has evolved for hundreds of thousands of years, and over that time things have significantly changed. The lack of readily available food and clean water lead our bodies to adapt to our environment over time. I find the survival of the fitness saying very comical as those with this issue would survive much longer than those without if food were scarce. However, since food is but a text message away in 2018, we are in a different environment. Our genes, however, have no way of knowing that. It's no secret that over the last 50 years food has become more accessible. The result has been a significant rise in the Obesity rate of the United States. This is to be expected as the natural ability to store fat and use calories more efficiently is working against you in this environment. If you fit in this category, then a diet will not work for you. You will require an entirely new lifestyle, and I will outline below.

  1. MyFitnessPal - Use MyFitnessPal or an app like it to find out the recommended calories consumption to lose weight. Now cut it by 20%. For example, in a photo above MyFitnessPal guide directs me to eat 1500 calories to lose weight daily. However, this is wrong. Instead, my calorie goal is 1200-1300. If I want to maintain my weight, I can eat no more than 20% higher of my lose weight goal. That's between 1440- and 1600 calories. If I eat any more than that I know, I will gain weight. No matter my activity level because working out forces your body to eat more. Instead, I use my workouts to justify large meals and cheat days accordingly. If I want to eat a cheeseburger, I will often swim for an hour beforehand. If I want to eat some ice cream, then I have to work for it. I turned it into a reward system for myself. You can choose to do this however you wish but remember that if you do not follow this lifestyle strictly your body will punish you. There is no 2000 or 2400 calorie diet for people with genetic issues such as those in this category. That is a fact of science that is growing in evidence, and I have personally tested. One day we will narrow the specific genes, and a peer review will confirm this. Think of it as the Big Bang, we know it exists, and we have lots of evidence, but we haven't completed the theory. You do not need exact math, take 200 calories on average off whatever you are told, and that will work to help you lose weight.
  2. Carbs- The biggest enemy of people with genetic tendencies to store more fat is carbs. Cut them out. Your goal should be to achieve 2/3 of your carb goal for losing weight. If the goal is 100, then you do not want to go above 66.
  3. Fiber - This is essential to speed your metabolic rate. Fiber is a targeted substance of your body. It thrives off of fiber and liking you can absorb more of it than others. Use this to your advantage as it will help you stay full. Avocados are decent for this purpose.
  4. Move Around- Genetically your body is more efficient at storing fat and it also wants to burn it. Move around more and increase daily exercise to a maintainable rate.
  5. A Life Long Diet Plan - You will need to identify meal choices that work for you and plan them out. You may need to eat less Pasta and more sauce with meat. You may want to switch from ham and beef to turkey and chicken. Find meals at local restaurants, within your cooking routine, at and fast food places that allow you to stick to your meals religiously. Expand out and find variety so your diet never becomes stale.
  6. Struggle Is Real- The temptation to increase calories once weight loss goals are reached will be appealing. Do not do it. Slight increases of a few hundred calories can be made but monitor your weight carefully. Your body not only knows how to survive starving better than others it also knows where to store fat for easy access. This would be great if you were starving but since you are not, it's horrible for your health. People with these disorders frequently store a lot of fat near and around organs, much faster. Your liver is also active and genetically prone to change chemicals meaning if you do not change how you eat you are likely inclined to type 2 diabetes.
  7. Consult the General Steps and General Exercise - Use these steps to help you get on your way. Think hard and remember you are doing this for you.

Combination of Categories

If you are like me than you may have found you have a mix of issues that are causing you to have an unhealthy weight. A 2000 calorie diet did nothing for my health. I also sacrificed food for liquid consumption and for a long time I let emotions get a hold of me. I had to fight had to take back my life. Read all the plans to your category above. Adjust as needed and continue to fix all issues related to your health. Find foods you can enjoy with little guilt. Work hard as it's not uncommon to have a variety of problems leading to an unhealthy weight.

Cheating

You will no doubt run into times you want to cheat. I have strongly stressed the importance of planning out meals including cheating days. The cheating is not the main issue but the mindset that ensues. Do not let yourself fall into the deception as often this will deter you from a diet plan when you lose no weight. If you eat 2000 calories over for two days but you were under the rest of the days you may find that lose no weight because your deficit is close to zero for the week. Don't fall into this trap.


The Conclusion

Many steps to weight loss that are provided for a generic type of person do also apply to everyone. Yet understanding core aspects of the issue are important for staying healthy moving forward. It is likely that you will lose some weight and then stay at a certain weight before getting back into your routine. This is why it is important to keep any weight loss achieved maintained. Breaks will happen and they are expected on the journey. Knowing yourself helps you lose weight naturally even when you do take breaks from programs. Stick to what will work for you and remember that the more you know the more you have control. Keep logging calories and meals and make an effort to plan your day ahead of time. The rest will figure itself out.


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