There is no shortage of quick and easy ways to lose weight, but can these products and diets really produce the results they advertise? The answer to this question is not a simple “yes” or “no.” If it was really that easy, we would all be thin and healthy.
Losing weight boils down to 3 things…consuming fewer calories, exercising more and not eating unless you are truly hungry. That is the stripped down version of how you can take off pounds and keep them off. If you can do that and stick to it…you will be sporting that bikini in no time at all.
1. There is an abundance of food plans designed to provide a balanced diet with a reduced number of calories. If you don’t like the idea of eating out of a box, the cookbook section of your local book store and the internet have all the recipes you would ever need to prepare tasty low calorie meals. It is next to impossible for most people to follow any weight loss plan 100% of the time. There is no problem with treating yourself occasionally, but it should be the exception and not the rule. A “diet” should be something you can live with and not something you go “on.”
2. Fitness should be part of everyone’s life, whether you are trying to shed pounds or not. There are 3 types of exercise and you should be doing all 3 types. Aerobic exercise is what keeps your heart healthy. This type of exercise will elevate your heart rate and burn calories while you are in motion.
There is a lot of information on what the optimal amount of aerobic exercise that should be done each day. I would say that 30 minutes is a minimum and it can go up from there. Aerobic exercises are activities, such as; walking, bike riding, swimming, running and dancing. These are just a few of the hundreds of activities that are considered aerobic exercise.
Strength training is exercise that involves the use of weights or resistance. These activities build muscle that allows you burn calories while at rest. Strength training can be done with weight machines (found in all fitness facilities), free weights or resistance bands. Muscle groups should be allowed one day of rest between each workout. People tend to neglect strength training more than they should. While the value of strength training is not always evident, lack of it will become obvious especially after the age of 40.
The third type of activity is stretching. Stretching keeps your body limber and it usually feels good. Stretching exercises should be done after other activities while the muscles are warm.
3. The third part of losing weight and for many this will be the biggest hurdle…dealing with the things that make you eat when you are not hungry. Eating when you are not truly hungry normally has to do with your emotions. This has to do with how you deal with stress, anger and boredom to name a few. If you can get past eating when you stressed emotionally, the rest will be the easy part. Unfortunately, it is not typically that easy. Try substituting a healthy behavior for mindless eating. If you cannot get past emotional eating and you truly want to get into that bikini (get to a healthy weight), you may want to consider some type of counseling. There is an endless number of support groups as well as individual counselors that can help you get to the root of why you eat when you are not hungry.
Losing weight is one of the most difficult things you will ever do and keeping it off can be just as much of a challenge. But in the end, the reward will be worth it. Whether your goal is to rock that bikini or to just lower your blood pressure a few points, you cannot go wrong by making healthy choices and living a balanced life.