The holiday season is a dietary challenge for most of us, and with the start of the new year comes the start of new weight loss goals. How have you fared so far? Were you able to keep the pounds off during Thanksgiving, or did you gain a few? With holiday season still in full gear, it's a little early to start talking about losing weight, but New Year's is right around the corner and you may have to start getting in the right frame of mind to tackle your weight and health issues. This new year can be the year you really improve your health and develop a lifestyle that will promote vibrant health forever!
If you're serious about taking the pounds off and keeping them off, read on! Having lost over 200 pounds and kept it off, I guess you could say I know what I'm talking about when it comes to weight loss.
Most people start with a great attitude and lots of enthusiasm. This usually lasts for about 3 months and, before you realize it, you are slowly sliding back to your old habits. You never intend to break your resolutions, but over 90% of those making dietary resolutions do not keep them through the year. Usually weight loss plans are not long-term enough to be sustained throughout the year.
If you really want to reach your goals you must be determined that nothing will get in your way. Success in business or weight loss requires a plan or formula. So what's required?
- Clear picture of the goal
- Path to reach the goal, a plan (diet, exercise, detoxification, relaxation, education etc…)
- Strong determination (you can’t let family, friends, or circumstances sabotage you and rob you of your goal)
- Knowledge (do you know how many calories you should consume, the right ratio of carbohydrates, fat and protein in your daily diet, which foods increase metabolism, which foods promote health and which ones don’t? etc…) This is one of the areas most people get trapped by. There is an incredible amount of information on the internet. Much of it is wrong, and even harmful in some cases. Trust a dietary health professional to give you safe and effective advice.
Weight Loss Forever
The fact is, losing weight requires a change in the way we think, eat and the amount of activity we engage in. If you keep doing what you're doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve got, so change is absolutely necessary. There is no magic pill. Diets do not work. What we eat is vitally important to proper weight balance. If you want permanent change, you must change your lifestyle.
Why Diets Do Not Work
In America when someone uses the term “diet” in the context of losing weight, it usually means they're going to change what they're eating and maybe exercise a little until they have achieved their desired goal. Then what do they do? They will return to their original eating and lifestyle habits. They haven't established healthy lifestyle habits or fixed the problem that caused the weight gain to begin with.
Hopefully, you get the picture.
If you only want to lose a small amount of weight for a few months, then ok, diet. If you really want to lose weight and keep it off, you must quit thinking a diet will do it. You're setting yourself up for failure.
A Healthy Food Relationship
Our relationship with food can be out of balance or skewed. Most people look at foods as an enjoyable hobby, event or even a means of comfort when sad, frustrated or angry. Without understanding the mechanics that drive us to eat we fall into the traps of overconsumption.
Hunger vs. Appetite
You must also learn to identify the difference between hunger (a real physiological need) and appetite (a false sense of hunger). Appetite is usually caused by eating at the same time everyday, during certain events (like when watching footbal), by social influence (going out for beer and pizza with friends), or a holiday party or event. Dietary consumption driven by appetite will almost always cause weight gain. Overeating when hungry will also cause weight gain.
Calories In vs. Calories Out
Finally, you must understand your energy balance. This means you must know how many calories you need based on your activity and exercise levels. If you consume more calories than you burn per day, you'll gain weight. You have a caloric limit everyday; think of it as a calorie budget. As long as you do not exceed the budget, you will not gain weight.
To lose weight, you must consume fewer calories than you burn, so your body must use stored energy in the form of fat to function. To lose one pound per week, you must burn 500 more calories per day than you eat. Never eat less than 1200 calories per day. This will slow down your metabolism so much you'll stop losing weight; you might even gain weight. Your body thinks it's starving. Never lose more than 2 lbs. per week on a continuous basis.