The following article is one of a series of articles which focus on Self Improvement, Motivation and Empowerment. It is based on research done over twenty years as a personal and business coach. This self improvement article was written in response to questions which have been asked on exercising, keeping fit, losing weight and long term weight loss as well as address common challenges that people have with this subject. I sincerely hope that you find the following information of value.
The total number of overweight American adults is approximately one-third or 58 million Americans. (overweight defined as a BMI value of 273 percent or more for women and 27.8 percent or more for men).
Nearly 70 percent of the diagnosed cases of cardiovascular disease are related to obesity. Obesity more than doubles one's chances of developing high blood pressure, which affects approximately 26 percent of obese American men and women.
Every year, 300,000 people in the U.S.A. die from being overweight.
Now imagine the statistics for the whole western world!
If you visit the articles following this one, You will continue to see the above stats.
I don't apologize for that - these are frightening statistics. However, in this day and age, thankfully, there are options for those wishing to either lose weight, get fit, or lead a far healthier lifestyle.
Weight Loss - The Ups And Downs Of Weight Loss Planning
Most of us have probably heard of the expression - "Fail to plan, plan to fail". For her university entrance exams, my daughter recently followed her study plan (with breaks). My wife plans the following day's schedule to ensure all appointments are kept (with breaks). Most of us either have plans or may be required to follow someone else's plan, say in the workplace. Some people even plan for their more intimate activities.
Others say we plan too much, we are not spontaneous enough, and it has an adverse effect on our creativity. In some cases, I believe this to be true.
When it comes to weight loss, however, I think planning is key. We need to give ourselves the chance to succeed by planning (with breaks) what we eat and when we eat it. If we are too rigid in our planning, we run the risk of getting bored or worse, giving up altogether.
Plan to change in smaller rather than drastic steps. Remember the ultimate goal is long term and permanent weight loss, not a quick fix that will only lead to disappointment.
Have a look at the ideas that follow. Incorporate them into you weight loss planning.
Don't Over Do It
I know that this can be a tough call, We all want to see the positive results of our efforts especially when it come to weight loss. To emphasize an earlier point, have a specific target in your plan. Perhaps your plan is to increase your levels of activity every day for 30 minutes; perhaps it is to eat 10% less every day. Whatever it may be, stay with it, you will succeed.
Most of us know that if we use up more calories than we take in, we will reduce our fat levels and improve our ability to achieve our weight loss goals. If your plan is to eat less, then the next two points will certainly help.
Physical Activity / Exercise
Your view of well being may be different to mine. I try to think of weight loss from an holistic viewpoint. This isn't just about losing weight. It's about looking good, feeling good. It's about being mentally sharp. It's about self esteem.
We all need to exercise to keep fit. The fitter we become, the fitter we will want to stay, the more motivated we will be in following our chosen weight loss plan. If we are significantly more positive about ourselves and our accomplishments, there is likely to be a far lower risk of becoming depressed.
You know as I know that when depressed, chances are we will end up eating fatty foods as well as forgetting about exercising or our goal for a "healthy lifestyle". What happens, we put fat and the pounds back on. We get more depressed. And on it goes.
Prepare And Eat Smaller Meals Throughout The Day.
Think nutrition, think variety, think balance.
Again, as stated previously, don't over do it. Gradually change from your current eating habits to, say, eating every four hours. Then plan to eat even smaller meals every two hours.
Make sure you get enough protein and enough fiber. A smaller meal to me doesn't mean a burger without the fries, or fries without the mayo. Make sure you include vegetables and fruit to balance out the meal.
The big benefit of eating smaller, nutritional meals throughout the day is that we avoid those pangs of hunger that can often lead to eating unhealthy snacks.
Whatever plan you develop here, make sure you stay with it.
Yes Breaks Are Allowed
Eat something that you know you shouldn't. Enjoy your favorite treat.
Hey, Andrew, that goes against my weight loss plan! Well, it does and it doesn't. I want you to stay positive, stay motivated. If we don't allow ourselves to eat things we shouldn't from time to time, or have a day off exercising from time to time, we can easily become demotivated and, before we know where we are, our weight loss plan is out the window along with our healthy lifestyle. We then get depressed. Need I say any more?
Watch What You Drink And How Much You Drink
I have to admit that I have to monitor how much coffee I drink each day. Certainly not conducive to a healthy lifestyle or long term weight loss.
Other may have to think about how much beer or how much soda they drink on a daily basis. Why?
Well, there is no point in working out your weight loss plan to reduce your food calorie intake if you are then going to make up the calorie "shortfall" or even increase it by drinking more drinks which are high in calories.
Last But Not Least, What Turns You On?
With my wife, it is chocolate. With me it is the smell of fresh baked bread - I can't resist it. The taste of a fresh baguette (with nothing else) - wonderful. I just have to avoid the local bakery or I know what will happen!
What turns you on? What food can trigger an almost "must have" response with you?
If those foods are not part of your weight loss planning, think of ways you can avoid those must have situations.
Let me end as I started, fail to plan and plan to fail. Weight loss planning isn't difficult, so do not be put off by it. If you seriously wish to get fitter, get leaner, look and feel great, develop your weight loss plan and have the determination to see it through (with breaks).