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My name is Neville Pettersson and Dietopia is my website. I’m a qualified personal trainer and group fitness instructor.
It is true that in the end weight loss is the result of less calories in than out;
however, eating the right foods makes it easier to get the right amount of calories
and be satisfied. Think about this: how easy is it to eat 400 calories of cake? How
about 400 calories of spinach? Obviously you would have to eat a lot more spinach
to equal a small 400 calorie piece of cake, and by then you would probably be full.
If you ate the cake, you would still be hungry.
Every day you see a different one: HCG Diet, Grapefruit Diet, Seaweed Diet, Juice Diet, etc.! Maybe one of the methodologies of all these diets is to restrict you so much that you have nothing left to eat - Of course you're going to lose weight! The problem with most of these fad diets is that it doesn't really force you to take a look at your habits and actually change your behavior. Either you lose the weight you wanted, but then go straight back to your old ways and gain it back, or you aren't even able to finish the diet and only end up losing a few pounds because you're so starved. These diets are not the answer. Changing your lifestyle is the answer.
In order to lose weight, you need to change the way you think about food. Educate yourself on different food sources and what each one does. Not all sources of calories are created equal. The carbohydrates in a whole grain, for instance, have many more benefits - vitamins, minerals, fiber, etc., than the carbohydrates in candy. Read about the benefits of whole grains, for example: the fiber in them keeps you more full causing you to eat less; the B vitamins are like a key allowing your body to unlock the energy the carbs contain; the minerals allow your body to make red blood cells and other key components that make you feel great and give you energy. Each healthy food source has benefits like these - the more you learn about them, the more you will want to eat them. The more you educate yourself about food, the more you will realize that what you put in your body matters.
Cardiovascular exercise is an excellent weight loss tool. While it is true that cardio burns more carbohydrates than fat, it burns more calories overall. As long as you don't compensate for your work out by snacking on a large amount of carbs, you should lose weight more quickly with cardio than with a lower intensity exercise. It also keeps your heart healthy, and has countless other benefits. If you can do 60 minutes of cardio daily, you will burn 400-500 calories, depending on your size and level of fitness. Many people don't have an hour every day to devote just to exercise, though.
You don't have to necessarily go to the gym or put in a workout DVD and do all 60
minutes at once; in fact, you will actually burn even more calories if you break
it up into smaller chunks of time. Maybe in the morning you could take the stairs
up and down a few times at work. That would take 10 minutes, the same amount of time
your co-workers spend chatting at the water cooler. Later on at the grocery store
or big-box store, you could park in the back of the parking lot and quickly stride
to the door. Even vacuuming can burn a significant number of calories! If you do
six 10 minute blocks of something each day, you will still burn those calories without
having to sacrifice one large block of time. Continued below....
Changing your diet is key to your weight loss. There are tons of diets out there. How do you know which one is the right one for you? Making sure you follow a healthy diet, not a crash or fad diet will be the single most important thing for not only your weight loss, but to maintain your weight after you reach your goal. A healthy diet consists of foods that are closest to their natural state. The more steps a food takes to get into a box or onto your table, the worse it is for you. Another way to decide whether a food is good for you or not is to look at an ingredients label: the more ingredients, especially ones you can't pronounce, the worse it is for you.
Resistance Training is very important for maintaining your weight loss. This is because you will continue to burn calories throughout the day after your workout. Once you build your muscle mass, your basal metabolic rate will increase and you will burn more calories overall than someone of similar weight with more fat than muscle. You can compare resistance training exercise to an investment in the stock market or money market account. You work hard to get an initial amount of money to invest, and then you are able to gain interest on it and make even more money.
You might work hard to burn calories while training, but then it pays off by allowing
you to burn more calories on a daily basis, even on days you don't work out. If you
stop working out, however, you slowly lose muscle mass and lose this wonderful benefit,
just as if you stopped working and had to pay the bills out of your investment, you
would end up losing your money.
Interval Training is a work out in which you do short bursts of high intensity activity in between longer periods of lower intensity activity. This is probably the best tool you have for weight loss, especially if you're short on time. Interval Training may not be right for you if you just started working out or have multiple medical problems. If this is the case, start with the Cardio and Resistance Training above and work you way up to interval training. If, however, you want to lose some weight and are fairly fit, or you have plateaued and need an extra push to reach your goal, you can start doing interval training to really power up your work out. To interval train, you need to start by doing low intensity exercise for a few minutes, then you need to do a short burst of very high intensity activity. An example of this would be 3 minutes of power walking or light jogging followed by 1 minute of sprinting. Continue this repeatedly for 20 or 30 minutes, and you will burn far more calories than your cardio alone. This can really jump up your weight loss if you seem to have hit a wall, or jump start your weight loss if you are just starting your regimen.
The biggest key to any exercise or diet routine is consistency and sustainability. Make sure whatever routine you start is something that you can keep up and really change your lifestyle. Every small change that you make adds up over time. It is better to make one small change, like taking the stairs at work or power walking during your lunch break, if you can stick to that change for the long haul, rather than making a huge overhaul of your life and then decide in 2 weeks that it's too difficult and you can't keep it up. If you continually make small changes in your life, eventually you will get to the point that you are making a big impact.
Surgery is often an option considered for weight loss in extreme cases. Gastric bypass or lap-band procedures can greatly reduce the amount of calories you take in along with causing malabsorption of calories in order to make you lose weight. This is a very drastic procedure, however, that changes the anatomy of your body. Consider this in cases of morbid obesity (BMI over 40), or if your obesity is causing multiple chronic health problems such as diabetes or joint damage. Talk to your physician about this option. This option is NOT a quick fix. It also requires the lifelong habit changes discussed above and there are many foods you will no longer be able to tolerate at all.
Weight Loss Pills and Supplements are a popular option for weight loss. There are many options out there that claim to be able to make you lose weight without changing your habits or jump start your weight loss routine. Remember the basic age-old rule: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Some supplements may help to curb your appetite and help you feel full faster, but nothing is a substitute for diet and exercise. Also, many supplements and drugs are dangerous when combined with other medications or supplements, so be sure to consult your physician before taking any drug or supplement, even if it is sold over the counter.
Weight loss really is about calories in the end. The more calories you burn, the more weight you will lose. Likewise, if you cut calories in your diet, the more weight you will lose. Though this is true, there are smart ways to go about weight loss. Eating healthier, more natural foods will help you to feel full faster and thus eat less calories. Putting together a smart work-out plan that fits into your daily schedule will help you burn more calories. As long as it is something you can keep up, make the change. Even if you don't see the results right away, know that over your lifetime small things can make a big impact. Take this example: if you ate 1 extra cracker every day above the amount of calories you burned, every year you would gain 5 pounds. Over 20 years, this is 100 pounds! Do you want an extra hundred pounds? The same is true in reverse. Every small decision matters and makes an impact overall. Change the little things, and you will change your life and your weight.