Here are some basic principles to start you off in your journey of transformation.
When we talk about losing weight, we really want to focus on losing fat.
Weight loss can be muscle, water (fluid), or fat. Standing on the scales gives you no clue as to your body composition – so don’t weigh yourself too much – it can really play mind games.
Our weight is always fluctuating (sometimes due to fluid retention and menstruation timing in women). So, the scale is not the ideal tool to measure weight loss, but it is useful to track patterns over time.
In a nutshell, it’s a simple law of energy intake and expenditure. Eating more than you are using means you gain weight. Burning more than your eating means you lose weight…
Unfortunately, the real outworking of this is not so simple. Losing fat (for most people) is hard — get used to the idea, and then you won’t struggle so much with disappointment.
There are five principles to keep in mind:
It is possible to lose fat with the correct diet alone (for some people) – but the best chance of success will be to apply all these principles. Even the perfect diet plan can fail if you cannot stick to it.
Weight (or strength) training is not essential to losing fat – but it helps.
A weight (or body weight) training workout boosts metabolism for the whole day and helps build lean muscle. Muscle is metabolically active – it needs fuel – and therefore helps you burn more calories all the time. If you are thinking about weight training – think about this:
Do I want my body to be strong and useful, or is my body only for people to look at?
It’s naturally what seems like the easiest thing to do – but it’s not quite right.
“I must lose weight so I’m gonna starve myself”.
This is where things get a bit confusing.
Starve the body too much, and it gets the hint and slows down – you’ll feel irritable fatigued, and begin to lose muscle as well as fat. After clawing your way through hunger pangs and dreams of food, the chances are you will binge, or start eating back how you used to.
Guess what happens next? The weight piles on because your body is still in “slow” mode. Fat loss is all about calorie reduction, but a calorie intake that is too low will cause problems.
Few people have lost fat (and maintained it) without making exercise a part of their life.
Cardiovascular fitness has many health benefits – primarily keeping your heart strong. Including some form of exercise as a natural part of your life will give you an even bigger chance of success.
Just remember consistency! Cardio exercise could be brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, treadmill, or elliptical trainer.
No. If you have enough nutritional knowledge and a whole lot of motivation, you can sort out your own lifestyle change. However, most of us don’t have the time or know-how to go it alone — so we pay someone else to design, explain, or customize a fat loss program.
Do Online Weight Loss Programs Work?
The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) decided structured online weight loss programs worked better than “just browsing around”. “Participants who were given a structured behavioral treatment program with weekly contact and individualized feedback had better weight loss compared with those given links to educational Web sites.”
There are hundreds of diets. Some diets work for some – others don’t. Other diets are clearly faulty.
Here’s some simple guidelines.
We have a number of reviews of many popular weight loss programs. We do our best to try and have some objectivity, but the reality is – two different people can get two different results from the same program!
Here’s the trick – we are all unique.
Different physical characteristics and different genetics. This is why each of us will have to do slightly different things to get the fat loss going.
Be prepared for a long-term commitment, a belief in change, and a new lifestyle. Weight loss will not only help you to feel emotionally and physically better, but it will also save you money by lowering health and life insurance costs.
You can do it. Say goodbye to being a victim. Small step by small step, you can achieve your goals. You may trip up, you may have setbacks – but remember – failure isn’t fatal !