Achieving Weight Loss goals
No doubt like so many others you struggle to lose weight. Being one of the largest markets out there, there are countless weight loss products, programs and equipment to be had. How much money have you wasted on them? And what really works?
Are you frustrated and fed up with all the methods, diets and pills you have tried? Don’t make your weight loss more complicated than it is, and don’t be down on yourself for failing in the past. There is a way – you can lose the weight you want to!
With our busy lives, and more and more technology being introduced all the time along with the conveniences of fast food, it sure is hard to stay active and eat a healthy, balanced diet. But if you know how to do it, it can be done, even with a busy lifestyle. Everyone is busy in their own ways, so there has to be a way for everyone, right?
As you may have figured out, weight loss and staying fit are eternally linked. The less active you are, the easier it is to gain weight, especially as you grow older. But when you are active and you have a raised metabolism, you may just start losing the weight without even realizing it at first.
We are going to look at all the reasons why we gain weight, who we need to talk to when we decide we are ready to lose the weight, why keeping yourself on a schedule actually helps you to lose the weight, weight loss secrets, plus many other subjects that will help you to learn how to finally take the weight off and keep it off – once and for all!
Why We Gain Weight
• We eat more calories than what our body needs in a day, so the excess gets stored as fat. Our bodies are designed in such a way that in times when it was harder to get food, our bodies could be prepared by having stored extra calories in times of plenty in the form of fat. Now, with as easy as it is to get food, a lot of people tend to overeat, and this is a severe problem that causes many to become overweight or obese.
• Genes play a factor as well by setting basic parameters on the metabolic efficiency of your body. People who are overweight many times have very efficient metabolisms, meaning they need less caloric intake than others, and they store the excess as fat. You have a greater risk of being obese if one parent is and an even greater risk if both parents are. However, genes only determine a tendency towards a higher or lower metabolic efficiency, not what your actual body metabolism will be.
• Your metabolic rate. Besides genetics, your metabolic rate depends on how active you are. It is said that every ten years past our mid-twenties we lose about 10% of our metabolic rate. This probably does not have to do completely with age, however, but instead with how active we are. The more active we are, the more muscle mass we can retain, or even build, and in turn, the more fit we are because muscle tissue is metabolically active whereas fat is not. On the other hand, if we lead a basically sedentary life, we are much more likely to be able to gain weight as we lose muscle mass.
• Eating patterns. People’s eating habits make a huge difference in determining their weight. When foods high in fat or sugars are favored, this, of course, can cause much weight gain. Also, how you serve the food, i.e. do you put the portions on everyone’s plate or do you bring it all to the table and serve it the food family style where everyone can take as much as they want? Portion size is one of the main reasons people eat too much. Also, how have you learned to eat? If you are a fast eater, you may not even realize the cues your stomach gives you that it is full
• Larger portion sizes. Over time, larger portions of food have become the norm, especially at many restaurants. Weight has also gone up because of this.
• Exercise or the lack thereof. Exercise is essential to a healthy lifestyle and to maintaining a healthy weight. When you exercise, especially when you include strength training in your workouts, you gain muscle mass and raise your metabolism and in turn, the muscle helps to burn more fat. In turn, you will weigh less and you will look leaner and firmer because muscle takes up less space than fat. Plus, strength training helps reduce the risk of accidental injury, improves your bone density, helps with digestion and helps in lowering your blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
As you can probably see, even if you have a history of the genes in your family making it easier to gain weight than other people, diet and exercise are the two main factors that affect your health and weight. Regular exercise is essential to getting to and maintaining a healthy weight – and so is what you eat, how you eat and how much you eat. Learn portion control. This is usually a huge factor for most people, and they do not realize how much they are actually eating. A portion of food the size of your fist is generally all that should be eaten at one time because that is the size of your stomach as well.
Eating several small meals a day, rather than two or three big ones, will help you to be able to eat less and also not be hungry in the early days of forming this habit. Another really important thing is to not skip breakfast, as this sets up your metabolism for the day. If you don’t eat breakfast, your body will go into defense mode and store more fat because it will think you are starving.
Try slowing down your eating as well if you have the habit of eating fast. This way you can feel the signals from your stomach when you have had enough before you stuff yourself full. When you have done that, you know for sure you have eaten too much. In reality, on a scale of 1-10 of fullness, we should feel right in the middle, around a 5, when we are done eating. It takes some practice, but you can learn this trick and you will feel so much better knowing you did not stuff yourself to the maximum capacity.
Another thing to watch of course is your intake of fatty and sugary foods. We all need nutrients, including healthy fats, to keep us balanced, but eating a lot of junk food and sugary drinks will attribute greatly to us gaining more weight. Processed foods don’t generally, have a lot of nutrients in them, or any at all, and they are high in salt, sugar, and unhealthy fats.
In today’s busy lifestyles, we may not realize how often we are eating these foods. If you are one who is always ordering out for work, or going out to dinner as well, this is not going to keep you healthy because you do not have the control as to what is being put in your food (except special ordering at a restaurant) and it is much harder to make sure you are eating the right kinds of things and getting all of your nutrients. Going out to eat is fine every once in a while, but be sensible in what you are choosing, and you don’t have to clear your plate of the large servings you will most likely be given.
Is Dieting Necessary for Weight Loss?
When most people think of losing weight, they think of going on a diet. Many times, this means finding some fad diet that is probably popular at the current time and trying to follow all of its crazy rules and recipes, like lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup. But honestly, who enjoys these things? Do you like cutting out entire food groups such as carbohydrates or drinking crazy concoctions that simply do not taste very good and do not fill you up?
It is doubtful that anyone does. Yes, there are other diet plans out there that have a lot of merit to them, and if a diet is the way you want to go, then researching the different ones out there is very advisable so that you can find a reasonable, sensible diet plan that is not going to harm you or make you go crazy with hunger, causing you to fail in the end anyway.
The Downsides of Dieting • Fad Diets – These diets usually consist of removing one food group entirely from your diet or drinking an unusual mixture of ingredients to get you to lose weight. Not only can these be unhealthy and dangerous at times, they can leave you feeling hungry or drained from not enough nutrients. In the end, even if you do lose some weight at first, these diets usually fail because they are too restrictive and as soon as you stop them you wind up gaining all the weight back, plus more sometimes.
• Counting Calories – Sometimes counting every little calorie we take in is very bothersome and frustrating to people. Because of this, some people may give up on their diet altogether.
• Eating Too Little – Dieting for some people means just eating very little. If you do not follow a proper diet plan and think that just not eating is the way to lose weight, you will quickly find out that besides being very hungry you will not feel good at all because you are not getting enough nutrients. You are also confusing your body’s metabolism with this starving method – it might not make you lose weight much at first as your body starts to store all the fat it can when you do eat. Plus, on the serious side, if you do this extremely enough and long enough, you could wind up in the hospital.
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