You weren’t born yesterday and you have heard the statistics about how many people take the pounds off and then put them all back on again. Sometimes even more pounds than they took off in the first place. Perhaps you have thought that this is proof that “nothing works” and you shouldn’t even bother. But perhaps you are not thrilled with the way your clothes fit or maybe a special event is coming up and you want to look your best. Besides, you wonder about the effects of the extra pounds on your health. You know your heart is working harder because of the extra weight you are carrying around and you have probably seen the reports that you may be facing a higher risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer or heart disease on account of your weight.
However, I happen to know that despite the dismal statistics that are always in the news, there are plenty of determined people out there who have managed to take off weight and have kept it off over a long time – that is, for many years. Many of these people have shared their stories with me, so I thought I might pass on a couple of points to illustrate a point I want to make about taking weight off and keeping it off.
I once met a man who said he had lost nearly 50 pounds and kept it off for several years. Since this is quite a feat, I was curious as to how he accomplished this. He informed me that he gave it a lot of thought and he decided he was eating (mostly) all the right things, but he was eating far too much and he was getting fatter and fatter. He decided to cut his portion sizes in half. He said he now enjoyed all the same foods as before, he just cut down the quantity he ate by half, and he has been eating half as much food ever since.
I have made the acquaintance of another young man who decided to cut out drinking soda and beer in order to lose weight. I inquired as to how much soda and beer he was drinking each day and he said he was drinking 6 to 8 cans of beer and 1 litre of Soda a day. He decided to cut out the soda and beer, and his weight dropped by 8 kilos over the next eight weeks.
I know an older woman who used to overeat but now she always uses a special plate for her meals taken at home. She says she knows exactly how much food she can put on that plate and she never takes more (or less). She never goes back for seconds. She says she no longer overeats now that she has adopted this technique.
Over the years I have collected many such tales of self-designed weight loss programs that have focused on cutting back on food (or drink). Sometimes the strategy involves cutting out all snacking and sometimes it focuses on cutting out all desserts. The approaches are varied, many are creative, and in some cases, I must say, dangerous from a nutritional point of view. But the one thing they all have in common is that these folks realized they had to cut back – they had to eat less (or drink less) to take off the unwanted pounds – and they selected a strategy they thought they could “live with” permanently.
In my experience, eating less requires a lot of thought and a willingness to look carefully and honestly at what you are currently eating and how you might be willing to change it for the better. At pregnancy and fitness,we believe the enjoyment of delicious food is one of the greatest pleasures in life. But given the fact that very many people in the world are overweight, we are faced with the need to eat less if we want to do something about our weight.
Taking the Long View
For many folks who took the weight off and kept it off for 5 years or more, some sort of event triggers their effort to lose weight – and more often than not, it is a worrisome health report or some sort of emotional upset. If this is why you are here at the pregnancy and fitness Website, we are dedicated to being of service to you, but we want to ask you now to take the long view. We want to help you take the pounds off but we want you to keep them off permanently. To accomplish that, we are asking for your cooperation for the next 12 months or more as you learn new behaviors. We don’t want to kid you — you are going to have to not only eat less, but you are eventually going to have to move more to keep the pounds from returning.
Can I Do it With Exercise Only?
Some people contact me to say they started a serious exercise program and they have taken off quite a bit of weight. This is terrific and I applaud these people and tell them to keep up the good work. But more often, people contact me to complain that they are disappointed in the weight loss they have achieved through their exercise program, in fact, some tell me they have actually put on some more weight! In response, I can only tell you that most studies show that an “exercise only” weight loss strategy produces an average loss of 2 to 3 kilos. As a fitness instructor myself, a weight loss of 2 to 3 kilos accomplished with exercise is a very good thing. The chances are excellent that all of the pounds lost are fat pounds. So not only are you leaner (less fat), but with all that exercise, you are fitter as well. But many of my clients tell me they are terribly disappointed with such a small amount of weight loss. Frankly, in order to lose more, you have to combine eating less with moving more. Eat less to take off the pounds, move more to keep the unwanted pounds from returning over the long run.
At Pregnancy and Fitness, we want to help you achieve your weight loss goals. We are here to help you:
- Set realistic, achievable weight loss goals
- Improve your food choices so that you improve the nutritional quality of your diet as you take off unwanted pounds
- Learn proper portion control
- Learn Emotion Control to Achieve Portion Control
- Learn how to balance the food you eat with physical activity
- Manage the challenges that threaten to set you back and undermine you
- Use exercise to maintain your weight loss and yes, become more fit
- Design a well rounded exercise program that will support your weight management goals permanently
- Keep your body and mind in harmony so that you can do what you need to do to keep the pounds off
- Direct you to reliable tools selected to help you eat less and move more and measure your progress.
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