I’m never sure we can ever address the beginning pitfalls of diet and exercise for beginners enough. Afterall, statisitcs show that 90% of people who begin diet and exercise regimens fail them. They might lose a good amount of weight only to regain those pounds and then some once they quit their diets and exercise. Obesity is a chronic condition that we bring upon ourselves, and once we become obese, it is almost impossible for most to ever reverse the trend.
Again, obesity is a chronic condition that we bring on upon ourselves.
We have to take deep personal responsibility for ourselves in order to reverse obesity. The only caveat to obesity being a self inflicted condition is when we have children whose parents allow them to become this way. Of course there are children who are genetically predisposed to obesity, the reality is in western society, we have far too many parents who are lazy in their parental responsibilities. Look around in your grocery store at all the sugar sweetened junk foods that are targeted towards our youngsters. If these products were not selling good, the manufactures would not be producing them for the consumer. If this paragraph pisses you off, and your child is sitting in front of a television snarfing down powedered sugar donuts or anything else sugary, you had best re-evaluate yourself.
If you buy the groceries, you control what your children eat.
It is as simple as that.
We have a responsibility to our children to raise them to be as healthy as they can be. As I stated above obesity is a chronic condition that 90% of people fail at overcoming. As humans, when we become overweight our fat cells do not just puff up, they actually change our biology. Our bodies will respond as if the obese condition is normal for us, and thusly, will begin protecting our fat stores like a mother protecting her newborn baby. It is tough for adults to lose weight, therefore we must do all that we can to protect our children from becoming obese and educate them how to avoid ever becoming so.
Permanently losing weight through diet and exercise is tough, yet is is not impossible.
With diet and exercise we will often say that we wil begin a new routine beginning tomorrow, next week or even next month.
Why? How about thinking that if this decision is important, then begin it right now, as the longer you procrastinate a diet or exercise, the more time you will have to justify putting it off even longer. The perfect moment to get healthy is right now. There is no guarantee you will even see tomorrow. Make it a point to live to your highest potential every day.
Quit over thinking diet and exercise!
Enjoying healthy dietary habits is not rocket science. You do not require any special diet, and you damn sure do not need any fad or gimmick diets that promise you quick weight loss results. Especially if the fad or gimmick requires you to pay money in order to follow them.
Whether you pay for a fad diet or weight loss gimmick or not, plan to lose about 10 pounds the first month as they will often promise you. Next, you should expect to fall off of the fad and then, you can expect to regain those lost pounds with a swiftness.
With every diet, you can expect to lose a good amount of weight in the first few weeks to month and then the losses will rapidly slow down. This happens to everyone wthout exception.
Fad and gimmick diets almost always guarantee up to 10 pounds of lost weight in the first month and this is actually near meaningless in terms of actually getting healthy. With the exception of certain health conditions, your focus needs to be on your body fat only.
The rapid weight loss from fads and gimmicks is almost entirely a result of lost water weight. This loss is a biological response where your body releases water as a result of tapping into your glycogen stores once you have cut back on your calories and carbohydrate intake. Fat mass does not rapidly change in your body and you need to know that your weight can fluctuate by 5 pounds in a single day simply by the amount of water your body is holding onto. You can actually urinate over 4 pounds of urine in a single day.
Get you mind right!
If you are solely trying to lose weight because of vanity reasons, you need to change your thought process and prioroties. Your focus needs to be first and foremost on losing body fat in order to actually live a full and healthy life. By living for a healthy life, your vanity will take care of itself. If your body and mind are healthy, you will appear healthy. If your body is strong you will look strong. There is no faking this no matter what type of clothing you might want to wear through out the year. When you are pudgy, nothing can hide or disguise it.
No special diets or gimmicks are ever necessary to attain a healthy level of body fat.
What is required is personal discipline to not give into the instant gratification, or feeling of reward we receive when biting into a sweet treat. What is required is making your mind up to only consume foods that are nutritionally sound, foods that are not full of empty calories, added sugar and chemical preservatives. Instead of taking the lazy way out for a meal by ordering delivery pizza or going through the local fast food drive through, get your butt off the couch and actually prepare and cook a healthy meal. Cooking a healthy meal does not need be expensive, nor does it take any exotic ingredients, thought processes or complicated steps. You can prepare a dinner of your choice of protein along with any types of vegetables in less than 15 minutes with only a small amount of effort. When you eat nutritionally sound foods, your body will quit it’s cravings for sugar laden junk foods in a fairly short amount of time. You have to decide to make the personal choice of living with a bit of discipline and quit chasing after the instant rewards of junk foods like a junkie looking for his next fix. Make your mind up that you are not going to wimp out every time you spot a candy bar, Given enough time, you will come to understand and appreciate that nothing tastes as good as being fit and trim feels.
If you really feel the need for an occasional treat, you can simply use our blog search function and find a vast array of delicious sugar free dessert recipes. We have either created these recipes ourselves, or modified existing recipes to remove all simple sugars in order for you to enjoy them without ever getting cravings later in the day for simple carbohydrates. Every recipe has been tested before we have published them for your use.
Without going onto any diet, you need to adopt healthy eating as a lifestyle that does not include added sugar or simple carbohydrates unless they come from fruits or vegetable where there is a fiber componenet that regulates how the sugars enter your blood stream. Simple sugars dump into your blood stream which throws your insulin into over drive. Simple sugars, like amphetamines, will give you a pick me up emotionally, then you will crash and crave more. You need to wrap your mind around the fact that you cannot hope to lose body fat to a healthy level by holding onto your unhealthy habits of the past. Odds are that if you became obese because you had no control over your appetite for sugary, high carbohydrate foods in the past, you will not have control in the future. You must get your mind right in regards to living a healthy life over just getting rid of your muffin top that protrudes over your pants top. This is not me trying to be mean, it is reality.
Do not over think diet and exercise!
As with diet, people tend to far over think exercise. Healthy exercise that will help you with getting fit does not require expensive gym memberships, fancy attire, nor high tech equipment.
Get your body up and move it with enough intensity to raise your heart rate into the fat burning zone where you can still have a conversation, only you want your speech to come labored. If you cannot talk, your intensity is too high. If you can speak as easy as you could before beginning your exercise, then you need to pick it up in intensity as you are doing damn near nothing towards burning fat. This is true whether you are walking, dancing, lifing weights or any other activity you decide to adopt.
If you do not know where to begin with exercise, get your tail outside and go for a brisk walk. Unless you have a true physical limitation to preclude this, then there is no reason you can not do it. My 79 year old mother walks a mile and a half every day even when there is snow on the ground. Unless it is pouring down rain when she wants to walk, she gets it done. If it is pouring down rain, she goes when it stops or lets up. This walking requires no programming, no special clothes, no special preparation and costs nothing, yet she reaps many rewards from it as she has a healthy body and mind. I do not care how poor or broke you might be, you can still afford to get out and walk.
If you believe you might want to work into jogging or running, I do advise that you buy a decent pair of shoes desgned for running or jogging. Shoes are something we all need anyhow, so it does not need to be an extravigant extra expense to you. We all need and wear shoes.
For jogging or running, do not put it off until ou can buy yourself any of the popular fitness trackers that so many wear today. The devices are nothing more than a luxury and not a necessity. You can map out a route with the gps on your phone if you want to know your distances. The reality is you need to raise your heart rate into the fat burning zone and then keep it there for at least 30 minutes since it takes 20 minutes to burn through your glycogen stores before your body begins burning fat for energy. A Fitbit or fitness tracker of any type is not going to make you magically burn off more fat.
If you are new to jogging or running, do yourself a favor and ease into increasing your speed, time and distance. Otherwise, you can injure yourself with shin splints, joint and tendon issues. While you need to push yourself, you need to temper this as you stand a good chance of burning out before your body has even began to get close to being conditioned.
Always remember that physical fitness is also about proper nutrition and rest for recovery purposes as I have written about in my article Fitness Triad. If you do not eat enough or get proper rest, you will soon burn out and quit your exercise regimen. The less you have exercised in the past, the worse the problem of burn out will be for you.
I have written numerous articles on the benefits of strength training in order to maintain or build upon your lean musle mass which drives your metabolism to burn fat more efficiently. You can enter key words such as “strength training” into our blog search bar and see everything I have published on this topic. If you decide to incorporate a strength training regimen into your life, whether you are a man or a woman, you need to start out much lighter than you might feel is necessary, and build up in weight, reps and sets slowly. Learning form is first and foremost and must be done with manageable weight and in a rep range where you are not too fatigued to retain proper form. Improper form can hurt you now, or in the futre.
As I have written about exhaustively, you must know that with strength training, nurtition and rest are vitally important.
If you are going to strength train, you need a well rounded program that addresses all of your body and not specific muscles only. If you do a pushing exercise, then you also must do a corresponding pulling exercise in order to not create muscular and strength imbalances that can lead to injury and also just looks bad for the vain. You need to work your body from the tips of your toes to the tips of your fingers and every where in between.
For effective strength training, you need to have a set program and keep a log in order to track your progress. There will be times where you wll stall out, everyone does. With a written record you can look back and see how far you have come. Also, keeping a log is a form of measurement. I always say “what gets measured gets done”.
Fancy and or expensive equipment for strength training is not required. Equipment does not need to be pretty, it needs to be effective and heavy for you. Before going out and buying expensive equipment, try buying used gear online for much cheaper. Strength training is hard work that takes persoanl discipline and great effort. Many people burn out and quit before they even do their bodies any good. There is an abundnace of equipement to be had for cheap as most of it becomes a place where many find a convenient place to hang clothing.
Remember the KISS principle with diet and exercise. Keep It Simple Stupid.
With your nutritional needs, it is difficult to eat enough to gain weight when you eat healthy whole foods without added sugars. It is easy to lose weight when you quit eating foods of convenience. It is easy to maintain a healthy body fat percentage when do not eat simple sugars or processed foods. When you do not bring these products into your home, it does not even take any thought to prepare healthy foods when that is all that you have on hand. If you do not bring cookies and cakes into your home, they are not there to tempt you. If you quit eating added sugar, your body will quit craving it.
If not for the fact I require a certain amount of calories to fuel my physical fitness routine, I would not even count calories. To fuel my routines, I have to actualy force myself on some days to eat enough since healthy whole foods are quite satisfying to the appetite. When your body is getting all of its required nutritional needs, you will not crave anything else. You will not want anything else. This is simple and does not require anything complicated and is maintainable. In fact, the only time discipline is even required is during the period where you are adjusting to no sugar and getting your mind wrapped around living healthy for life.
With your exercise, do not over think what you are going to do. There are programs available on the internet such as Couch to 5K where you can ease your way up from being a couch potato into being able to run in a 5K race in a fairly short amount of time for one example.
Be careful of who and what you follow from the internet though as I have written about in my article Wastes of Time in the Gym. Do not get pulled in by complicated exercises and think you can only find success by doing them too. This thinking is hog wash. For instance, on one very popular weight loss sight forum, there is a very popular character with numerous followers who is always doing push ups where he is hopping around from side to side or in circles while doing them. Or he might be doing foolishness such as doing a few from the ground, then from the tops of dumbbells balanced on end, then back to the ground. All of this malarky might look pretty cool to the uninformed, many might want to emulate him as he appears to be some kind of fitness expert. Yet, he does his push ups with poor form, without going a full range of motion and openly admits that he may soon require shoulder joint replacement surgery. Never fall into thinking you need to be able to do what those who showboat are doing. These showboat exercises are not necessary and can lead to permenent injury. You do not want that for yourself.
Friends, just remember that weight management and exercise takes personal discipline that gets easier over time when you incorporate healthy habits as a lifestyle for good instead of as something temporary with a stopping point. If you focus on a stopping point in order to resume your former unhealthy life habits, then you are doomed to repeat all of them along with a greater fat gain.
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