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Monday, November 21, 2011

The No-Nonsense Prescription for Your Weight Problems

Lucky are the people who are blessed with the kind of genes and metabolism that let them indulge in their favorite foods without gaining an ounce. If you are not one of those people and you find yourself dealing with weight problems, take heart. You can still lose weight without having to ever give up your favorite foods. However, the no-nonsense approach to taking the pounds off AND permanently keeping them off requires willpower, sacrifice and determination. You also need to get rid of your propensity for jumping on the fad diet bandwagon, because face it, fad diets DO NOT work.

What weight loss regimen does work? One that has been preached by nutritionists and physicians alike for years but ignored by impatient dieters who want faster, more drastic results. Here are the principles and essentials for dealing with excess weight minus the hype:

1. Weight problems are exacerbated by fad diets. The latter is responsible for wreaking havoc on one's metabolism. A typical fad diet usually involves a period of fasting or subsisting only on one or two types of food for a number of days. Celebrities and professional models desperate to shed weight quickly before a red carpet event or swimsuit photo shoot have popularized this type of diet. But the truth is, half-starving yourself only slows down your metabolism. Your body's survival gene kicks in, triggering your metabolism to cut back on its functions to preserve remaining fats and nutrients you have. So never EVER resort to drastic methods.

2. You need to practice portion control. This is how slim people who claim to eat anything they like succeed at avoiding weight problems - they control their food portions. Want some chocolate cake? Have a thin slice, not a thick slab. Craving for a foot-long submarine sandwich crammed with a slew of meats and melted cheese? Split the sandwich among friends. Lest you think that this is another one of those fad diets, no, it's just really about being sensible with the amount of food you ingest. Our stomachs are about the size of a fist. Why would you want to stuff it beyond its intended capacity?

3. You need to incorporate exercise into your weekly routine. You don't have to run seven days a week to get results, though that would certainly help a lot to get rid of weight problems. Weight loss occurs and becomes permanent if you diligently maintain an exercise program well into your years. Not only do you burn off the calories, but you also build muscle. Having more muscle mass tones our body and aids our metabolism in expending energy. Choose the type of exercise you think you would enjoy. It can be jogging, power-walking, yoga or Pilates. Your body will thank you for it.

4. Don't start your weight loss program just before a major event. Lots of people make the mistake of taking care of their weight problems a few weeks before the holidays, their high school reunion or some other important event. Desperate for results, they turn to fad diets to fit into their special outfits. It just cannot be stressed enough that real weight loss can only be achieved if you allow yourself a reasonable time frame like AT LEAST a few months. A few weeks is never going to cut it. You would most likely be losing water from your system and not real fat.

5. Learn to "pay for your indulgences". This means that if you give in to some form of temptation, you need to make up for it. As an example, let's say you attended a party Saturday night and you had more than your fair share of treats and drinks. You need to pay for that indulgence by cutting back on the next day's meals AND doing an extra half hour of exercise. Sounds tough? Well, if you want to have your cake and eat it too, be ready to pay the price. When it comes to battling weight problems, you need to accept that there will always be a payoff, so toughen up.

In summation, gradual behavioral modification coupled with willpower and good judgment will always outweigh the hurried pace of fad diets. It took you a long time to gain all that weight; you can't expect to lose it overnight. So give yourself time to work on your weight problems. Believe in yourself, stick to your healthy and sensible routine, and you will succeed.

Sandra Joy Cole knows the struggles of dealing with weight problems and wishes to share her diet success with others. Learn from her on how you can take off the pounds permanently.

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