Losing weight, no matter what the method, is never easy. It takes hard work and discipline; there are really no short cuts. It's worth it though. And I would argue that weight maintenance is the major key to increasing your chances of a long and healthy life. Although exercise helps, you will have to monitor your food intake if you want to lose weight. It's a sad-but-true reality.
I was a skinny kid. Although very health conscious, I usually ate what I wanted and didn't gain much weight. When I started weight training in my 20's, however, I let a competition minded trainer talk me into lifting heavier weights and "bulking up." He claimed that it would add size and muscle mass, and by eating anything and everything I would have a much better physique. Then, after "dieting down," (i.e. starving myself into shape on a strict competition diet) I would look absolutely amazing. And so I believed him.
I liked this idea of "bulking up" all right; it was a permission slip to eat everything in sight, including lots of deserts and fattening foods. But when it came to dieting down, I was never very successful at it and after a while I just looked, well, plain fat.
What's worse, I started slowing down on the serious exercise and training when I went back to college in my 30's. Not to worry though (sarcasm), the bad "bulking up" habit still stuck, and so did the body fat. In all, I found that I had gained about 30 pounds of weight and I looked absolutely horrible; my "skinny jeans" were now a mere sausage casing.
Desperate to get the weight off after college, I did join Weight Watchers. And that worked. For awhile. It worked as long as I paid my dues, and stuck to the program (which you WILL tend to do when you are paying a premium). As soon as I would decide that it was getting expensive though, I would go back to "normal" for awhile. I was now in my late 30's, my metabolism had slowed significantly -- and off Weight Watchers my weight shot up 10-15 pounds in no time.
My Weight Loss Experiment:
Depressed about my yo-yo weight cycles, I thought I'd try an experiment. I thought I'd use the MyFitnessPal app. It was free. And, hey, what did I have to lose but those pesky 15 pounds that were hanging around? To begin, you simply log in and tell the system how much you want to lose and your activity level. I could do this.
Next, you track. Tracking is what gets the job done, in my opinion. I simply kept track of all the food I consumed in a day and stayed within my caloric limits -- the system is designed to help you lose one pound each week (a healthy goal). And for me it did.
In just a few weeks I was back to fighting weight.
It sounds easy enough, but if you try this method of weight loss, it will take focus and dedication. You will have to get used to being a bit more hungry than usual in the beginning. Soon, though, you learn what foods support your body goals and what foods are too calorically expensive. You learn the tricks and tips that work, like adding a little more exercise when you want to eat a bit more, or drinking more water to help shed your pound for the week.
Stay The Long Haul:
Once you've found your ideal weight range ("fighting weight" as I like to call it), you can manipulate your calories. Now you can let your foot off the gas, so to speak. To keep weight off, however, you will still have to employ the system; at least in a maintenance sense. But, if you should choose to give it a try, I think you'll find it's worth the hard work. The mirror will tell you it's worth it, and so will your friends and family. Your health will be improved, and your wallet will be relieved, too.
Talk to Me:
Do you know of a weight loss method that works? Or are you struggling to get rid of some extra weight? I’d love to know. If you’d care to share, please leave a comment below the post on the website. As always, thank you for reading and do consider sharing Body Talk with your friends.
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