Notice, by the way, that the title of this article is "A Simple Weight Loss Program", NOT "An EASY Weight Loss Program".
There's an old saying to the effect that anything worth having is worth working for. However, in today's society, it sometimes seems as if the emphasis is, if not "something for nothing", then at least "a lot for a little". People are seeking pills, potions, fad diets, whatever they think it will take to create permanent healthy weight loss so that they can live happily ever after.
The truth is, that while the facts of effective, healthy, permanent weight loss are well known, and have been well known for many years, there are many, many people who have not gotten the word, or who heard it and didn't believe it. To make matters worse, the pill pushers and fad diet spinners know that many people who don't really know the process, or are not willing to make the effort required by a valid, effective weight loss program, will be easy prey for their pseudo-scientific, or just plain bogus, claims.
Confusing the issue is that many of these claims are based, at least in some small degree, on actual data. Other touted methods for "easy weight loss" often are actually simple weightloss helps or aids that need to be incorporated into an effective weightloss program before they really do much good.
A recent example of this is the diet pill, Alli. It is expensive, has some possible side affects that would convince me not to take it, and, if you read the fine print, really doesn't offer THAT much in the way of weight loss. Taken by itself, it CAN help someone lose weight in small amounts, but it is really only effective if used in conjunction with the simple weightloss program I am going to talk about in a moment.
One drawback to all of these weightloss nostrums and incantations is that the weight loss is only going to occur while the person continues to take the pill or eat the special diet. Another is that the weight loss is not necessarily "healthy" weight loss.
Yes! It is possible to lose weight (which is supposed to be good for you) and actually negatively affect your health at the same time!
Just to play the Devil's advocate for a moment, what I am about to propose must also become a lifelong weightloss, or rather, weight management, issue or else the weight will also return. However, under the weightloss system below, the weight loss will be healthy in nature, and the side effects will include such weird things as increased energy, a better emotional outlook, the ability to participate in more fun activities, and the opportunity to live longer and live well during those additional years.
Put that on your diet pill label!
Oh yeah! Did I mention it was free?
Anyway, after all that, here is a simple weightloss program that WILL WORK.
There is only one stipulation.
YOU MUST NEVER, EVER GIVE UP!
You see, that is why so many things in life do not turn out the way we wish. We give up too soon.
Do not expect to see results overnight, and do not expect that what I am about to tell you will turn you into a fashion model or bodybuilding hunk. To get those kinds of results, you have to do the kind of exercise and nutritional regimens that those people have opted for. However, if you begin this simple weight loss program, you will lose weight over time.
How much weight?
No one can answer that. While weight loss will occur pretty much in direct proportion to the amount of effort expended, many things will still impact the results. Your genes will have some input, as will your physical condition and the amount of weight you are carrying, if you are a male or female, if you are younger or older, if you slip once in a while...and many other factors.
The simple truth of weight gain and weight loss is that when a person takes in more calories than their body burns, they gain weight. When, on the other hand, they burn more calories than they take in...they lose weight. That simple!
Sure, when you eat, what you eat, how old you are, how much sleep you get, and whether or not you take Alli or some other diet pill will help sway the figures in one direction or another, but...
IF YOU USE MORE CALORIES THAN YOU TAKE IN YOU WILL LOSE WEIGHT!
Many people having heard that will fall into the trap of thinking that if they just eat less, they will lose weight. That is called a "diet", and diets don't work! The human body is designed to go into survival mode if you take away its expected food supply. That means it dials down its calorie burning process (metabolism) and exists on fewer calories. It also begins to cannibalize its own tissue for materials it needs for repair and maintenance if it does not get enough nutrition from the food you eat.
While eating smarter instead of simply eating less will help you lose weight, time is against you. As you age, your metabolism will slow down more and more for several reasons, putting you in the unfortunate circumstance of cutting your food intake, which we know is a bad thing, at least insofar as what we are trying to do, which is achieve a healthy, but simple weightloss program.
The problem must be attacked from two angles at once.
You must exercise AND adopt healthy eating practices and habits.
Now, don't let the idea of "exercise" scare you. In this context, it simply means "physical activity" of 30 minutes duration or more at least five times a week. Yes, that could be running or weightlifting, or study of the martial arts, or raking leaves, or gardening, or walking...you get the idea. The key is the 30 minutes or more, done at least 5 times a week, week after week after week for the rest of your life.
Before you run off with your hands waving in the air in despair, think about it. What if you swam today, walked tomorrow, did some weightlifting the next day, yoga the next, gardening the next. What if instead of just "walking" you joined a hiking club, or instead of trying to lift weights five days a week, you did it two or three times a week and filled in the other days with other activities.
Okay, you are busy. How about a 15 minute walk in the morning, a 15 minute walk in the afternoon, and a 15 - 30 minute walk at lunch? Why not get up and do yoga before you start your day...or at the end of your day. It's very relaxing as well as...well, you know...exercise.
It is actually best if you have two different types of exercise. One should be strength building and one should be cardio (aerobic) in nature. That is because cardio burns more calories DURING the exercise period, while strength building creates lean muscle mass which burns calories while you are watching TV or stuck in traffic on your way to or from work.
As far as healthy eating habits are concerned, you really know pretty much what you should be doing already. Smaller portions, more veggies and fresh fruits, hold off on the sauces (dip your fork in the dressing and then pick up the lettuce instead of pouring the dressing over the lettuce), and eat more often. That's right. Try to eat about six nutritional "meals" a day, spaced about 2 1/2 hours apart. Six small meals are more effective nutritionally and for weight loss than three big meals...with snacks anyway!
Watch your portions sizes, however. In addition to being a "broadening" subject, proper eating is a broad subject. Start looking at food labels. You might be surprised at what the proper size of a "portion" is. Cut the fats, and try to stay away from too many processed things...animal, vegetable, or mineral. As a rule of thumb, the closer to "natural" it is, especially fruits and veggies, the healthier it probably is for you. Try some of the whole wheat breads, by the way.
Start substituting low-cal items, but pay attention to the labels. Sometimes a low-fat item has just about as many calories as the original and humans, silly people that we are, eat more thinking that it's okay. Things will not taste good, or "as good" at first, but trust me, you DO get used to it. My wife and I picked up some doughnut holes yesterday morning and could barely stand them, they were SOOOOO sweet. We had just gotten accustomed to subtler tastes and flavors.
If you are not already taking a daily multivitamin...start. Most people do not get the proper levels of nutrients (vitamins and minerals) that they need anyway. If you are avoiding this or that food, or trying to keep levels down, you might be missing something. This is particularly true if, like me, you are classified as a SENIOR! Senior bodies don't get and properly process all the nutrients they need anyway, so take your vitamin and you might want to take some sort of protein supplement daily as well as protein deficiencies are common in us older folk as well.
So, how hard is all that?
Looks like a fairly simple weightloss program to me.