Forget All About That Calorie Counting Crap And Learn How To Lose Some Weight!
That's a pretty "in your face" statement, but really it's frustrating for me to see and hear all the different admonitions coming at me from sources I am not absolutely convinced have this whole thing nailed down tight.
For example, when I'm in the dressing room at the pool, I'll hear discussed all kinds of complicated systems involving a myriad of vitamins and health foods. Well, I guess some do have merit but, from what I hear, you'd need to be walking around with a calculator and a calorie counter; it's just so time consuming and so fussy, who can sustain that kind of diligence in checking everything they eat? And then I get to the checkout at the supermarket and just about every magazine front page shouts out the answer to all your diet problems. Somebody very good is taking those Oprah cover shots and picking the clothes "oh so carefully"!!
Anyway, that's my rant over; so what do I have to offer that's so much better? Well you can "chuck" the calorie counter and forget the calculator and get back to just applying some common sense. Now let's be honest here, do you really think you are going to benefit from eating French fries, potato chips, nachos, cakes, cookies, doughnuts, cheese burgers, etc.? (and what does "etc." mean, well just about any of the processed foods that are fried in their production).
In fact if we avoided pretty much ALL the processed foods, you wouldn't be far off a very good start to an effective diet plan that would yield lasting results.
But, and here's the bad news, you have to put in some exercise. It can be any activity that gets your body moving and your system turning over, but you have to do something more than just watch what you eat. So find something you will probably like doing because you want to feel inclined to do it more and more, not dread, or have to drag yourself to whatever it is. For example, if you like the golf idea go for that, and bear in mind that it seems to be true that when we get better at something we like to do it more, so if you fancy golf but are not yet very good, be patient and keep at it because as soon as you get better, it gets awfully easy to show up and play.
Naturally, for me, swimming is a great choice and just getting in there and swimming laps sets the slimming and slenderizing process in motion. I don't know anyone who has "thickened-up" by swimming. Ladies, want slimmer ankles? Get on down to the pool and do a little legs-only with the kickboard. It works!
So, as I said, try to find an activity that is going to lead to an increase in your participation. Heaven forbid, you might actually enjoy it!
About The Author
Gordon Black is a world-ranked Master swimmer and Canadian national record holder. A member of the British swim team in the late '60s, after thirty years out of the pool, last year Gordon returned to competitive swimming in the Masters forum. He offers an online weight loss, fitness and motivational coaching service through his web site http://www.gordonblack.com where his competitive comeback is chronicled. He is currently working on a book based on his own weight management and fitness system.
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For some of us, food is warmth and love. We associate it with home and childhood: tempting smells that greeted us after school on a cold December afternoon. The kitchen served as the center of the house under the kindly direction of the Captain in the apron. If we were good, we might be allowed to stir the pot. If we were very good, we got to clean out the mixing bowl.
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Good Food/Bad Food Whats Left to Eat?
We've entered the Twilight Zone when it comes to the multitude of diets being promoted today. Starting with the Atkins Diet, then the South Beach Diet, now the Hamptons Diet and more. All higher in protein, lower in carbs, but the distinction should be quality of carbs, not singling out one nutrient entirely. If you are on the Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet or any other variation of a high protein/low carb diet simply adjust from eating low quality carbs like refined flour and sugar products (think if it comes in a box, it's likely low quality) to eating more whole food products like fresh vegetables and fruits - yes fruits.
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Dieting will continue to fail most dieters, unless personalized weight loss plans become more available. A diet designed for a mass market will fail because the diet assumes everything is constant or the same between dieters. Not so.
Personalized weight loss plans have a better chance of succeeding because the personal habits, ideas, and goals of each dieter are used in the design of the diet.
It comes down to, "What is good for you may not be good for me."
Personalized Weight Loss Plans -- The Positives
Personalized weight loss plans, regardless of diet type, are successful for a variety of reasons. An ongoing study comparing dieters on personalized plans and dieters on standardized plans so far demonstrates the following:
1). Dieters stick with personalized plans.
The longer you are in a weight-loss program the more weight you will lose. The trend (no statistical analysis has been performed to date) suggests personalized plans keep dieters motivated longer.
This may help dieters get over the 6th to 8th week hump -- weight loss was easy early but around week 8 becomes difficult.
2). Dieters on personalized plans normalize eating.
To be successful, a person must learn to reassociate eating with hunger. Learning to slow down to allow satiety to catch up with eating is one way to effect this change. This is why binge eaters tend to have the least success with losing weight long term, even though many will appear to be doing very well early in a diet. Personalize their diet and they have a better chance of long term success.
3). Dieters on personalized plans build support networks.
Dieters with personalized weight loss plans generally seek the help of a mentor, guide, or friend more often than dieters on standardized plans.
They tend to build networks of support. Why? Dieters on personalized plans are succeeding. This naturally leads to more motivation to continue and investigate other avenues to help continue their success.
4). Dieters on personalized plans are physically active.
A study from the early nineties concluded that exercise helps long-term weight loss but not short-term. I say it doesn't matter. Eventually, a large enough study that is properly designed will show that exercise at any time in life is beneficial.
This can not be stressed enough...exercise is paramount to your success. Dieters exercise more with personalized weight loss plans.
The best kind is a mix between aerobic exercises and resistance training. The result is toned muscle and protection from age related weight gain.
5). Dieters on personalized plans have control.
Dr. Gene Ogden in her study back in 1993 found that the women who believed their weight problems were caused by their own choices, rather than by metabolism or genetics, were more successful. They believed that they were in control of their weight and, therefore, believed they could lose weight. Personalized Weight Loss Plans give dieters control.
Personalized Diet Plan (PDP) Study -- The Family Associates in Dallas, Texas. Lead investigator is Dr. Steve Walters. According to Dr. Walters, there are approximately 25 overweight patients in each arm and that full publication is expected by August 2005.
This article does not represent final statistical results nor is it associated with The Family Associates.
Interestingly, dieters think they can't lose weight because of circumstances beyond their control. The blame is usually placed on their "slow" metabolisms, their dad's large frame or the diet itself.
The solution...personalized weight loss plans. Put the dieter in control, let him own it, and then watch him succeed. Now, this is not letting the dieter design his own diet, instead, tweak the diet he chooses to fit his lifestyle.
Pamela Peeke, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor of medicine at the University of Maryland in Baltimore and author of Fight Fat Over Forty (Viking, 2000) said, "You have to believe that you will drop some weight and then begin that journey. Once you believe success is possible, you'll feel less intimidated by the challenges along the way."
Michael A. Smith, M.D.
Additional Information is available at The Weight Loss Professional
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