People all over the world are battling the bulge and yearn to lose those dreaded extra pounds that they just can’t seem to get rid of. Instead of increasing our exercise and decreasing our junky food intake, many of us resort to diet pills and fad diets.
It’s so easy to give in to that infomercial pressure and try a diet pill, because after all it worked for the people featured on the ad, even if those people look suspiciously photo-shopped. So, we give in and try out the newest pill, or the seemingly-easiest-to-swallow shake and hope for the best. Unfortunately, most of the time the best never comes and we’re left with feelings of failure and defeat.
I have some new weight loss advice for you and it’s not going to cost $19.99, plus shipping and handling. I use the term “new” relatively, because some of this advice, if not most of it, you have heard many times before. However, maybe if you read it this time, something will click and you will have your own personal epiphany.
All of the good, seemingly legitimate diet plans mention moderation. The bad ones that offer you the moon and more won’t even bother. They may say “hey, you can eat a Whopper a day with our amazing XYZ diet pill and still lose fifty-six pounds by next month.” Most of those plans are easy to recognize as complete BS and you can tell that they really can’t provide what their promising.
The act of moderation is nothing new, and this is certainly not the first time you’ve heard about our pal mod; but perhaps this time you can get a better feeling for what moderation is. Moderation, when used to apply to food, is simply put, keeping portion sizes reasonable. Diet books and plans love citing moderation because they can offer you your favorite foods and tell you to simply eat in moderation.
For example, diet book ABC will tell you it’s OK to eat those one or two slices of pizza, as long as you’re not eating the entire pizza. This might not work for two reasons:
One: Some people cannot simply eat one or two slices of their favorite pizza, so they will eat three, four, seven slices of pizza and then feel like they failed miserably afterward.
Two: Yes, two slices of pizza isn’t bad and it might fulfill your craving, but compare those two slices of pizza with a piece of grilled chicken and steamed vegetables. What option do you think would make you feel better and also loosen that belt you’ve been forced to cut an extra hole into?
Moderation isn’t all about eating what you love in small portions, it’s about give and take. Sure, if you really want that pizza, you should have it, but make sure you’re not caving into those pizza cravings each and every week. You could also justify eating the pizza by going for a nighttime jog an hour after, or adding some extra jumping jacks to your exercise routine.
Secondly, exercise goes hand in hand with weight loss. No matter how many late night diet pill advertisements you watch that claim you can eat whatever you want and not exercise while still losing weight, you cannot successfully have one without the other.
People usually find exercise to be the tricky part of their weight loss regime. If you stock your fridge with healthy food you will inadvertently eat healthy, but no one can force you to hit the gym every night, unless of course Jillian Michaels decides to show up in your living room. Until that lovely situation happens, you need to create your own motivation that will help you stick with your weight loss goal and keep you exercising daily.
If you’re the type of person who sees an awesome shirt they would look absolutely fabulous in, if you just lost ten or fifteen pounds, and so you purchase said shirt for encouragement, this is not the type of motivation I am talking about. This type of diet pressure proves to be excellent motivation for some, but it often falls short because, if you’re like me, you end up staring at that shirt while stuffing a Ding Dong in your mouth, realizing that fifteen pound shirt goal you set for yourself is a lot more daunting than you thought.
Instead of scaring yourself with an article of clothing, create realistic goals for yourself that you can see yourself achieving. For example, maybe you want to lose five pounds your first week. Most dieticians and medical websites say you should only lose up to two pounds a week. Once you have been on a diet plan for a while, the weight will come off more slowly, but the first few weeks usually prove to be the weeks where you lose weight the fastest, so a five pound first week goal is not uncommon. You know your body better than anyone and have most likely been through the weight loss process before, so set goals that you feel comfortable obtaining.
The next ever important tip is to lose weight for you. I can’t stress this enough. The concept seems simple enough, but often times we want to lose weight for other things, such as social acceptance, to get the attention of someone, or to prove to everyone that we are more than a “fat ass”. It seems harmless to go on a diet regime simply to look good in a swimsuit that Mr. Hunk will see you in, but when we’re losing weight for others, our hearts aren’t in it and it most always ends in failure.
Why not lose weight because it’s something YOU want? Lose weight because it will make you feel better about the person you are and leave all of that social stuff on the sidelines. There’s no doubt that if you do end up losing twenty, thirty, fifty pounds, you will feel better about yourself and so those social scenarios may very well happen, but they should not be your sole reason for being on a weight loss plan.
I have found that I am often the most successful at weight loss when I write down what I eat. The whole you bite it, you write it concept proves to be a helpful tool. Often times when we eat, we are not realizing how much we ate, so we’ll have a few extra handfuls of chips because we hardly remember the first five we eat. When we’re tracking our food intake we can see first hand what we are popping in our mouth and then realize, well maybe we don’t need those extra salty chips.
These five tips may not be new to you, but hopefully they made you think differently about how you go about weight loss. In my opinion, weight loss is one of the hardest things to obtain, but when you finally do get to experience the success of losing weight, it is one of the most liberating experiences ever. All you have to do is want it bad enough and work very hard to make it happen, sounds like a piece of cake, right? Well, every weight loss plan has its ups and downs and I always find the first month the hardest because at the point I may not yet be seeing results. My best advice is to simply give it time and once your jeans loosen, or your belt goes down a notch, that awesome feeling of success will set in and you will find it easier and easier to reach your goal to a thinner, healthier you.
Originally published on FaveDiets