This section will contain information related to living a healthy lifestyle. It will also contain some information about different eating plans to help lose weight. Weight loss is one of those areas that I have found quite difficult to deal with. I am at a time right now when my weight has peaked again. And of course, all of this seems to be a vicious cycle – the more weight you put on, the less energy you have, to lower the motivation, the more the eating and the less the exercise.
I have managed to lose large amounts of weight by following different types of eating styles. The difficulty, as with the vast majority of people, is finding a way to maintain the weight loss rather than by yo-yoing out of control. The fact remains, however, that a large amount of motivation is required to lose weight in the first place. You can’t just eat clean and healthy foods and expect to shed the kilos. There will be great effort needed, and the facts are that you will need to feel a bit hungry as you are going through any kind of adjustment phase.
So, with all of my previous mistakes, victories and set backs, what do I think is important right now in weight loss?
1. Stick to one plan and don’t deviate until you’re starting to lose weight consistently
I still think this is a golden rule. It is all too easy to chop and change various different types of eating plans, while never really sticking to any. If you have made a decision to change your eating to lose weight, then follow this plan through to the end. If you have chosen an eating plan to help you get more energy, or to beat IBS or to help you grow more hair, then these types of dietary changes could be very different to eating for weight loss. Think about what you priorities are, and then if you decide to go for weight loss, make sure you make this your focus. Once you have found a weight loss diet that suits your lifestyle, then make sure you stick with that diet as closely as possible. The more you try to change that diet, the more chances there are that you could be fundamentally changing the diet for the worse.
Take the Atkin’s diet as an example. Many people are turned off by the idea of eating a lot of fat, and so instead will go on a low carbohydrate, low calorie, low fat diet. This is just like a starvation diet, and although you will lose weight initially, the body will eventually recalibrate to starvation mode – as motivation weans, the weight will begin to return with avengence. The whole point of eating fats in the Atkin’s diet is to change your body’s metabolism from being predominantly sugar based metabolism to one of fat based metabolism.
2. Start at the right time
This one is just plain common sense – there is a lot of motivation required to lose weight, and if you are planning to start at the wrong time (eg over the Christmas celebrations) you might just be setting yourself up for failure. Work might be busy, or you might have a newborn in the house, or exams might be upon you. That being said, no time is ever perfect, and you will have to bite the bullet eventually and just start going for it! Even if you start by making lots of slips and mistakes, you can still correct the course and start afresh.
3. Choose a diet that suits you
There is no point in going for a high protein diet if you are a vegetarian and are afraid of what eating all of those saturated fats are going to do to your blood vessels. Likewise, if you are not a fan of the organic foods industry, then following some Pritikin type of diet is not going to suit you either. Ultimately, you will want to choose some kind of diet that you will be able to transition into long term sustainable eating. You also want to have the type of diet that is suitable for the whole family and isn’t overly restrictive. Remember that 80% of weight loss is dietary related, so initially exercise will play a relatively minor role. But that ratio reverses when it comes to long term weight loss, so it is important to start to introduce some regular exercise into your regime. If you want to truly change your body’s metabolism permanently, then you will need to do some regular exercises.
Just for fun, and also for motivation, I am going to document my experiences daily in the weight loss journal. I hope you have found this useful as a way of kick starting your own weight loss travels!