- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
A Simple Way to Lose Weight
Trying to Loss Weight?
There are lots of ways to lose weight...at least it seems that way. Everyday Americans are bombarded by an array of advertisements offering weight loss solutions. Fitness gyms, dieting programs, weight loss pills and medications, the list goes on. So it can be a little overwhelming if you are trying to lose weight to decide what route to take. Many people end up spending thousands of dollars dabbling around with different programs and seeing little results.
There is a way to lose weight with very little cost (which I will explain later and is not to any "program" or company) and without doing anything extreme. The key is in two words: consistency and discipline.
My approach to weight loss has several key components:
1. Simplicity. Losing weight is not rocket science. You don't need to have a PHd or pay someone who does to lose weight. You don't need a lot of money, and honestly you don't need a lot of time. This is especially true when you consider the time devoted to weight loss compared to other major activities in your life. Finally, you don't need some complicated exercise or dieting program to have success. I will outlined the first week of an exercise plan later in this hub and will give you options for future weeks. Healthy eating + consistent fitness activity = weight loss (if you are overweight) and an overall healthier body.
2. Have a goal. Without a goal you will have no purpose. Even if the goal seems a bit distant, you want to have something to work toward. That said, try to make your goal realistic. Your goal could be a certain number of pounds lost, but it could also be an exercise goal such as to run a 5k or other road race distance, be able to hike a certain distance or elevation, or hitting a certain time for a distance in running, walking, biking, or swimming.
3. Start slowly, maintain consistency. When it comes to dieting, I don't believe in "cutting" any food groups, or making immediate huge changes. The same with goes with exercise. I'm not going to ask you to go out and run a marathon or start doing heavy lifting in the gym. A lot of people start taking dramatic steps to lose weight but stop after a few weeks, because it is just not realistic for them to continue pouring in the time and physical effort their plan requires.
4. Go week by week. The exercise and dieting changes that you make, should be made slowly, and on a weekly basis; each week doing just a little more than the week before. For those I work with on a personal basis, I will only give the exercise plan for the current week rather than give a month or year long plan at the get-go. The main reason for going week-by-week is to stay motivated.
5. Consistency and discipline. These are the two most important components to successful weight loss. While I believe in starting slowly and starting lightly, I believe in the power of everyday. If something is important in your life, you will do it everyday. If you really want to lose weight you need to make a commitment to do it daily or a least six days a week. The only reason to take a day of should be to "Sabbath" or rest on a given day (such as Sunday), where you are not only resting from exercise, but also from work and general busyness. My exercise plan starts at just 20 minutes of light exercise per day, but it is very critical that you go EVERYDAY. I cannot tell you how important this is. Once you start to justify taking a day of for this or that, pretty soon you are exercising one or two days a week and wondering why you are not seeing any results. You may question the benefit of what you do from day-to-day, but being able to look back in your journal or log and see the consistency you have put in is very rewarding. Consistency is the best way to get long term results in anything.
Finally, you must have discipline. Eating healthy on a daily basis and exercising daily, will not always be easy. You WILL have to make choices and you need to decide ahead of time to make the right choice for your body. I make a decision to follow a plan, you need to stick to it and only deviate from it in extreme circumstances.
6. Track your progress. Be sure to keep a log of your fitness activity. If you can, even record what you eat, so you can see the changes you are making over time. Be sure to record your weight weekly.
7. Patience. Weight loss doesn't happen overnight. They say that the slower you lose weight, the more likely you are to keep it off.
The only cost you incur may be for healthier eating or exercise gear, such as ordering a salad instead of a 99cent burger or buying a pair of walking/running shoes. Other than these small costs, you don't need to spend much money. A gym membership is optional.
So here's how you can get started. Start week one on the eating side by making an effort (every day) to replace one (just one) fried or starchy food item (fried entrees, chips, fries, most processed snack foods) with a fruit or vegetable serving (such as an apple, orange, banana, baby carrots, berries, etc...). If you are already eating fruit, continue doing so, but still make this one switch and eat one more than usual. Fruits and veggies have contain an arsenal of vitamins and nutrients that God designed for you to consume. Your body needs the nutrients provided in fruits and vegetables. That's it for the dieting side.
For the exercise, spend just 20 minutes a day walking. That's it. Just find a good, safe, place to walk and do so at a steady comfortable pace that challenges you a bit, but is nothing physically exhausting.
As, I mentioned, going week by week is good. If you like the process and ideals and "plan", continue with the ideas I have given here. Design your own plan and get a close friend to keep you accountable to that plan. Each week slightly increase the output in your exercise and each week try to take one healthier step in your diet. For example, week two could be substituting one soft drink per day with a glass of water or 100% fruit juice. So if you drink three sodas a day, reduce that to one and drink more water. One the exercise side, increase your daily walking to 25 minutes and try to take 5 minutes of that time walking at a faster to pace to slightly increase your heart rate. I may in the future publish more weeks on HubPages so check my profile for time to time or contact me using the link on my profile.
Finally, I need to give a disclaimer. I am not a doctor, nor am I a fitness or health professional. I am simply a fitness guru who has a passion for seeing people have healthier bodies. Every thing I have mentioned is merely suggestive and any thing you take from this article or any other correspondence with me is done entirely at your own risk. Please consult your doctor if you have questions or health concerns.