Pssst! Do you want to know a weight loss secret that's foolproof, simple and guaranteed to work?
Well here it is.
No really. That's it. You may be wondering what's so secret about that? Well the answer is; I don't really know, but it must be a secret because not many people seem to know it and no one seems to want to talk about it either.
Most people will admit that they're overweight but they aren't prepared to do anything about it. In fact, let's face it; most of us just make a hobby out of excuses like:
"Diets never work for me. "
"Being overweight is hereditary in our family. "
"I just can't lose weight no matter what I do. "
"Some people are just naturally slim, but I'm not. "
Or (the all-time favourite)
"It's not that I eat too much, it's because I have gland trouble, thyroid trouble, the fat gene, etc. . . "
Well let me explode these myths.
Firstly diets do work, but you have to do more than just read about them. Accumulated body fat cannot be inherited, but bad eating habits can be taught.
You can lose weight but you have to cut down on your food consumption.
All people are naturally slim. Even you.
And how I pity people's glands. They really do get unfairly blamed for things that are not their fault.
But before you jump on me and say that glands can swell up - I know they can - but not every single one of them all at once.
My theory is this: Remember how they used to show footage on TV of the starving people in third-world countries like Ethiopia? Well I never saw a fat one amongst them who couldn't lose weight because they had “gland trouble" or weren't “naturally slim".
Now I'm not making a joke out of these unfortunate people's plight. I am simply trying to prove my point that less food means less body fat - and no excuses!
Excuses are what people use so that they don't have to do anything about losing weight.
Now I know that there are a few people who are large due to medical conditions, but these people are the exception, not the rule, and there are very, very, few of them around.
Some people try and fool themselves into believing that they don't need to lose weight by telling everyone, “I know I'm fat, but I'm happy". Liar!
The first part of that sentence is true, but the rest is not. How do I know? Because people who are truly happy never feel the need to tell everyone, while those who aren't, do. You never hear slim people going around and saying, “I may be slim, but I'm happy. "
I almost laughed out loud one day when an extremely overweight colleague of mine stated (quite seriously) that she couldn't go on a diet because every time she ate less food her metabolism slowed down so much that her body would begin to store fat and so she would actually gain weight.
Then later, obviously forgetting that she'd said this, she opened her lunch box, which contained a very small sandwich and some fruit, and announced that she was bringing a packed lunch every day because she was on a diet. I had to really bite my tongue to stop myself from saying “But you just said. . . " No, I thought to myself, I'd better not upset her. I had to work with her.
But seriously, body weight is vastly controlled by food intake. Eating less is harder than it sounds because no one likes to be hungry all the time.
But what you need to realise is that dieting isn't a matter of eating meagre amounts of food for a few weeks and then returning to over-eating again. This only encourages yet another well-known excuse, “There's no point in dieting, I only put the weight back on twice as fast".
Well, yes. Doing it that way will produce disastrous results.
The trick is to change your eating habits for life!
The easiest way is to simply cut down on snacks, and then gradually reduce the size of your portions of food at mealtimes, especially the really fatty foods such as meat, fried foods and puddings.
Some people, like my previously mentioned colleague, do worry about their metabolism slowing down and weight-loss becoming difficult. But don't worry. Dr Neal Barnard M. D.in his wonderful book Eat Right Live Longer (Three Rivers Press 1997), states that as long as you eat 10 calories per day for every pound of your target weight, your metabolism wont suffer. That means that if your target weight is 120 pounds, then you'll be fine as long as you eat at least 1,200 calories per day.
More exercise is often quoted as being essential to weight loss. This isn't necessarily true (unless you spend the whole of your life in bed). We all need a certain amount of exercise, but if you're not a lover of physical activity, like me, then lots of housework, gardening or dog walking is more desirable than aerobics or frantic sessions at the gym.
Something that is necessary to successful slimming though, is to lose the defeatist attitude. So if someone offers you some chocolate (or other irresistible item of food) don't say “No thanks, I'm trying to diet. " That is positively negative (if you'll pardon my mixed metaphors) and sounds as though you don't expect to succeed. You are not “trying" to diet you “are" dieting, so all you need to say is a brisk “No thanks".
And it's also better to lower your food consumption over a longer period of time rather than starve yourself all at once, because that way, a healthier diet becomes a natural way to eat. It makes it so much easier to adopt healthier eating habits like replacing some of your usual portions of chips with boiled potatoes and salad.
Eating less doesn't mean being hungry all the time and never eating your favourite food. It means re-educating your stomach on what it should eat and how much.
What you must accept is that to lose weight permanently you must never consume the same amount of food, or the same fatty food, that you do now.
So no more excuses - Start now!
Because any fool can lose weight - even this one.
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