Thursday, December 30, 2010

Don't Ask "How Do I Lose Weight?" - Ask "How Did I Gain It?"

Well, its that time of year again, where the masses start talking about their own mass.  This of course leads to that all time number one New Years resolution - lose weight!  Sadly, most go no further than making a statement and of the ones that take it a step further, only a few will succeed.  Consider these statistics:

Every year 150 million Americans try it, they spend $42 billion to pursue it and less than 30% succeed at it! 

Thats kind of depressing... nothing like a bit of optimism to get you started.

But the fact of the matter is that instead of focusing on losing weight, you should start by figuring out how you gained the weight in the first place.  If you are like most, you gradually added the pounds through a combination of things, mainly eating more and exercising less, in other words your lifestyle has become the source of your weight gain.  Thus, if you can make gradual adjustments to your current lifestyle, you can slowly reverse course in the fat department.  Slowly being a key point, and lifestyle being an extremely key point.

Focus on losing the bad habits and replacing them with good ones!

Do not run out and join a gym or embark on some exotic diet.  These are typically short term solutions because you can't maintain the lifestyle you have chosen.  You may lose a few pounds, but once you return to your previous lifestyle, it all comes back... usually with a few extra pounds to boot. 

Change is hard, thus you have to focus on small but consistent steps that are easy to incorporate into your daily routine.  Anything that is too hard, will usually be discarded pretty quickly.  You need activities that you are willing to do forever!

For example, start taking the steps instead of escalators and elevators.  Park a long way from the entrance to buildings instead of fighting for a spot up close.  If you work at a desk, force yourself to get up and walk around at least once per hour.  These are simple things that get you going in the right direction.  Its probably not enough to burn off any existing pounds, but its a first step.

The next step is to take on some form of exercise that is not a pain in the butt!  Something you can easily do anytime, anywhere.  Think of your current lifestyle.  Does a gym make sense?  You have to get in a car and go there during the normal hours of operation.  Plus, a lt of people just plain hate mechanical exercise.  I of course walk long, hard and fast.  Its easy, works pretty much anytime and I can do it in any city that I travel to.  But it does take a lot of steps to burn off calories.

Eating has to be addressed as well.  You need to be aware how many calories you are bringing in versus how many you are burning off.  (My e-book goes into that.)  You don't have to starve and give up the food you like, just eat less of it.  Too many of us eat because its meal time and/or because we are bored.  These are things you can control if you focus on them.

Eating slowly is a key factor as well.  Some of us simply don't know when to stop.  If you eat slowly, very slowly, and listen to your body, you can learn how to stop before going overboard.

Weight loss is acheiveable, but you must focus on the process and adopt approaches that you can stick with FOREVER.  Do not waste your time on miracle drugs, get skinny quick schemes, intensive workouts that you hate or diets that leave you counting the minutes until you can eat real food again.  Take it one step at a time - EAT Slow and WALK Fast...

1Data compiled from US Census Bureau, WebMD, Journal of American College Of Nutrition, American Journal Of  Public Health.

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