- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Two Easy Weight Loss Secrets
What's the secret of weight loss?
It’s no secret that to successfully lose weight your body must experience a deficit in calories and there are two ways to do this in a healthy way:
1. Decrease the amount of calories you take in, or
2. Increase the amount of calories you use up.
This two-fold ‘magic formula’ is the secret to successful weight loss. So, why are there so many people, myself included, who have wrestled with this problem for so long and ended up unsuccessful? Well, there are as many answers to that question as there are people struggling with managing their weight. But, I will tell you that whatever the ‘reasons’ are while they may be good explanations, they are mere rationalizations.
The key to successful weight loss is the above equation. It is that simple. Like it or not your body will drop extra pounds when you create a deficit, however, you have to find out what that deficit is. How do you find this out? By analyzing how active you are, how many calories your body burns off, (metabolic rate), and how many calories you will need to eat to maintain the body in a deficit mode per your activity level.
Losing weight: Two key components:
While all of this sounds complicated, it really isn’t. And, if you are serious about finding the answers for your weight loss equation there are tools that are available to simplify the math. Only two things are needed for this: integrity and will.
Integrity is a key ingredient to successful weight loss. If you are in denial about how much you really eat, (consider all of those hidden stashes you have around the house, garage, and car), or how active you really are then you are not serious about losing.
If you can honestly admit to how many calories you consume on a daily basis and how sedentary your lifestyle really is then you have the will, a.k.a. determination, to see your weight loss goal to the next level. It may shock you initially, (I know it did me), to learn how much food calories you actually consume in comparison to how much you burn off…but, the truth will set you free-free to move toward a healthier you.
Five weeks ago I wrote a hub about the American Council on Exercise and their campaign against obesity.
While researching this hub I mentioned the President’s Challenge. It is a challenge that individuals or groups can participate in and they are awardhttp://denisehandlon.hubpages.com/hub/American-Council-on-Exercise-How-to-Participate-in-the-Campaign-Against-Obesityed a certificate of completion signed by the President of the United States. The purpose is to get the American people to become more active. The ‘reward’ is the recognition by the current President, but the greater reward is moving to a healthy lifestyle that will continue long after the required eight weeks of monitoring.
After I wrote the hub I signed up for the challenge. I was determined that before I began my new job that I was going to get fit. Since I will be working a graveyard shift once again, I knew that it was going to be difficult to find time to exercise as frequently as I was doing; and there was the added threat of being awake during the normal circadian cycle of sleep.
Research shows that people who regularly are on shift work have a propensity for weight gain which can lead to health risks such as: elevated blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, triglycerides, and HDL levels, cancer, ulcers, and coronary heart disease.
I know this is true because of my own personal experience of weight gain, hypertension and abnormal lab levels during the four years I was sleep deprived from working the off shift. Therefore, I was determined to reverse this process…or at least lose before I gained more weight, since I have been assigned the midnight shift once again.
Choose your calories wisely
Good health is a lifetime goal
One of the main things I would like to stress in this article is the importance of setting lifetime goals that are real to who you are as a person. I am a traveler. I am also a procrastinator. Too often I will leave for the airport later than I should, not considering traffic or road construction, and end up missing planes. On other occasions it will be such a tight schedule I will be running through the airport in hopes of not missing my plane.
Twelve months ago I became so winded and with heart pounding in my chest from running only a short distance, I became frighteningly aware of the poor condition I was in. With a family history of cardiac risks I was alarmed. Where had the agile ballet dancer gone? I was embarrassed, sad and defeated.
A series of events later led to a length of time off from the stress of work in which I was able to determine the direction I wanted my life to take. I had long given up on visiting the gym, but when I took the heartfelt and honest evaluation of my life, I went back to my personal trainer who had patiently been waiting for my return.
I told him my goal was to be able to run through the airport to catch a plane without being short of breath. For some this may seem like a silly goal but it was a practical one for me. In less than twelve weeks I have met this goal and I had envisioned it would have taken much longer.
On my return trip from Michigan, my lay-over in Charlotte had been changed. Instead of the extended time of sixty minutes it was a tight thirty minutes in which I had to literarily run from one terminal to the other. I had a briefcase and lap top in one hand weighing at least fifteen pounds, and carry on tote and purse, weighing another 15 pounds, in the other. It wasn’t until I arrived at the next gate when I realized that not only was my heart NOT pounding wildly in my chest, nor was I out of breath, but my biceps were just beginning to feel sore from the load I had carried. I was elated knowing I had successfully met that goal.
Poll about healthy weight
Do you have a healthy weight ?
Setting weight loss goals
I took the challenge five weeks ago. Thus far, I have lost seven pounds and unknown inches in my lower body. I have also gained! I’ve gained strength and endurance, energy, understanding and knowledge of the mechanisms of weight loss and a confidence that I can succeed in meeting all of my weight loss goals.
It’s important to set small, as well as big goals to strive for. My long term goal is to move from my current (overweight) BMI range to the healthy range-which means I need to lose another 19 pounds. At the rate I am going I should be able to achieve this by the end of the year. That is my target date.
When setting up small goals make sure they are realistic and measurable. Earlier this year I wrote a hub offering tips on setting goals. By following those steps you will meet your goals and experience a sense of accomplishment. Be sure to set something that will offer a challenge as well. This is how our confidence gets boosted. My next goal is to participate in the 5K in September.