Do you really have to do anything special to lose weight?
With all the special diets and fitness gadgets on the market, you would certainly think losing weight involves something special, but does it?
No, you do not require any special diet, nor do you need and type of fitness gadget in order to get fit. What you need is a desire and willingness to do what it takes to lose weight. What it takes to lose weight is always going to come down to calories consumed versus calories burned. You must consume fewer calories than you burn in a day in order to lose weight. There is nothing special about this basic fact of biology and life.
With a simple Google search, you can find a very wide variety of special weight losing schemes and gadgets. Almost all of these only serve to extract money out of your pocket while leaving you in the same shape you began with. The troublesome aspect of this, is these marketers know their product or service is not good. Yet, they also know they have a desperate and gullible field of folks lining up to hand over their hard earned cash.
Special diets are a waste of time for most people.
Of course for medical reasons, some people do require special diets, but that is not the scope of this article. Who I am referring to is the otherwise healthy individual who needs, or wants to lose weight. My friends, you do not require a special diet in order to lose weight. Diets are temporary in nature, and almost always result in a rebound of weight once you come off of it. The rate of diet failures is 95% across America. A lot of this occurs because crash diets don’t take into account how insulin, carbohydrates and fat storage affect one another.
Crash diets are tempting due to their promise of fast results, but these rarely last for the long term. The results you see from them are misleading and are usually quickly reversed. The best diet plan is one that stresses realistic long term expectations. The best weight management plan is to only eat whole foods that you prepare for yourself. You want to create a lifestyle that involves healthy meals that are not processed, nor contain added sugars. Of course processed foods will sometimes be necessary, just use your brain and only prepare minimally processed foods when you have to.
Calories consumed versus calories burned.
When we go on a diet to lose weight, we invariably lose a mixture of muscle and fat, both of which are metabolically active. What this means is, when we burn calories, our muscles burn more calories than fat. Our bodies require a certain amount of energy to keep all its cells functioning so that we stay alive. With less muscle and fat, the amount of energy that your body needs to take in decreases. At the same time, your metabolism becomes more efficient. We no longer require the amount of calories we needed when we were heavier. As a result, to maintain weight loss in your lighter, more efficient body, you now have to consume fewer calories on a daily basis than you did previously.
As you lose weight, you have to adjust your caloric intake downwards accordingly. It is when we do not adjust our caloric intake that we plateau. There is nothing special about cutting out foods with added sugars and processed foods. Additionally, there is nothing special about watching your caloric intake each day. With apps such as My Fitness Pal, tracking your calories is easier than ever.
If you still feel the need to follow a diet plan after reading this, please avoid all that have you doing the following:
- Do not follow a diet that cuts your calories to starvation levels. This is not safe, nor is it sustainable. As soon as you come off of it, you will simply regain all of your lost weight and then some.
- Do not follow any diet plan that allows you to still eat the foods that got your weight in trouble in the first place such as sweet treats or simple carbs. Think about this, simple carbs are addictive in nature. If you had little to no control over them before, what makes you believe you will have control going into the future? Like it or not, if you have cravings for sweets or salty foods such as chips, you need to quit eating them, even if you track them. As long as you continue to eat them, you will always be susceptible to cravings.
- Do not get sucked into special diets such as Keto. Yes, you will lose weight on Keto. However, there is nothing special about Keto, you lose weight because you go into a caloric deficit. It is actually possible to gain weight while on Keto if you over consume your daily caloric needs. Keto has you unnecessarily limiting your carbohydrate intake to 50 grams or less per day. You need to know that once you incorporate carbs back into your diet, you weight can, and often will rebound.
A good plenty of fitness gadgets are a waste of money!
Yes, there are a lot of really useful fitness gadgets to be found. However, there are also an equal amount of worthless gadgets on the market. Always be sure to do your research before handing over your money on anything that promises to help you lose weight or get you toned. You do not want to buy an expensive machine or gadget that will only later serve as a place to hang laundry.
Here is a list of machines and gadgets to avoid:
- Any fixed or static movement machine in general. Equipment that have a fixed range of movement don’t move in the natural way your body does. All movement has a general arc or swing to it. Moving a weight stack in a fixed plane is not what our bodies are meant to do. Movements that are not natural to our bodies will actually injure us over time.
- Hip Adduction/Abduction machines. They might appear to be decent since they target problem areas in many people, especially women and the elderly. However, the muscles targeted are not always engaged in the sitting position. Additionally the sitting position can place unnecessary strain on you hip socket.
- Stay away from machines that rotate your trunk. Aggressive twisting motions while locked in a seated position can cause you a painful and expensive spinal injury.
- Abdominal machines are almost always a complete waste of money. They almost never work as advertised. You are not using your abs when you add weight in a seated position and then press down. What you are using is your hip abductors, feet, calves and lower back to press the weight down with your upper torso. You are also doing this with assistance from your arms. Your abs are barely engaged. If you want to see your abs, then you must cut your caloric intake into a deficit!
- Seated Back Extension. These machines are a back injury waiting to happen. Isolating your lower back can cause immediate strain. These machines are unsafe and have you doing a movement we never do in real life.
- Avoid all products that appear to be too good to be true. You want to skip past any product that promises a lean and fit body with minimal efforts over a small amount of time. You cannot strap on electrodes and sit on your couch in order to get into good shape. A gadget that only targets single muscle groups are not going to get you toned. Always remember, the loftier the promise usually only means a loftier loss of cash. Many of these companies aren’t all that interested in actually helping the consumer with their health and fitness. Their interest is in lining their own pockets with cash from ignorant and desperate consumers. As long as there are lazy people and good marketers, there will never be a shortage of worthless fitness products.
Do we need something special to lose weight?
No, we do not need anything special except for a change of lifestyle that we can live with for the rest of our lives. I know that changing our behavior is easier said than done. But it is not impossible for anyone who truly wants change. Weight loss and weight management are straightforward concepts. Yet most people have not figured it out on their own. You might understand and realize that you need to watch what you eat and to be more physically active. But knowing alone is different from actually putting that knowledge into practice. Realistically, you probably have a gap between what you know and what you do.
What’s between this gap?
Your psychology, including your beliefs, outlook, and emotions.
If you want to successfully lose weight, you must be willing to change your perspectives and then commit yourself to doing what must be done. There really is nothing special for losing weight, except your commitment to doing it.