How to Lose Weight and Keep It off
It seems like every 3 months someone is touting a new and revolutionary program for loosing weight. Ever hear of the “grapefruit diet” or the “cabbage soup diet”? Have you ever met anyone who lost weight on one of these and kept it off? There is a reason they are called “Fad Diets”. Just like platform shoes and mood rings, the popularity of these diets are feverish to start and then they go the way of the dodos once people realize that these fad diets are mostly unsustainable.
It should also be noted that some of these fad diets could starve your body of essential nutrients. This is not only unhealthy, but in some cases could be down right dangerous. Also, since most people find it difficult to stay on one of these fad diets, they will quickly backslide and in many cases, the weight comes back and maybe even with a few extra pounds that weren’t there before.
Then there are the companies who offer weight loss programs like Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig. I will not speak ill of these types of weight loss programs as I have seen first hand that a person with will and determination can use one of these programs and truly loose the weight and keep it off. However, these programs generally require you to spend money to stay in the program. Whether its paying at meetings or buying specialized food or some other means, these companies have but one goal in mind. Pull as much cash from your wallet as they can. Are they effective diet programs? For the most part the answer is yes. But, are there other ways to loose weight that don’t involve fad diets or structured weight loss programs? Again, the answer is yes.
There are any number of reasons a person can become overweight. There could be a genetic factor that predisposes you to be overweight. Being overweight could also be caused from side effects of medication or from medical conditions such as an under active Thyroid gland. But, in most cases, excessive weight comes down to consuming more food than you can burn off.
A quick word of caution. We are all aware by now of the health risks involved in being overweight. However, loosing weight, especially too quickly, can be as dangerous or even more so than being overweight in the first place. Before beginning any weight loss program of any sort, you should first consult your doctor. You need to determine if the cause of your weight is of your own doing or if there is an underlying cause. Also your doctor can help you by telling you how to proceed safely.
Now that you have a better understanding of the effectiveness and the cost of the popular means people use to loose weight, let me tell you how I went from a portly 230 lbs to a trim 180 lbs. That’s right, I lost 50 pounds off my 5 foot 8 inch frame in just a couple of months. And I did it with no help from program diets or buying special food or attempting any fad diets. I didn’t starve myself, quite the opposite. I didn’t even exercise, though I would recommend it. I have kept the weight off for over a year now. Let me tell you how I did it.
I have discovered the key to loosing weight is to eat more. Yes, you read that right. When I went on my weight loss crusade, I ate more food each day than I ever did when I was over weight. You may ask “how did you loose weight by eating more food”? It all has to do with metabolism.
Like many Americans, I had a tendency run out of the house in the morning on the way to work, coffee filled travel mug in hand. That mug contained my breakfast. By lunchtime, I may or may not eat. If I did eat, it was some fast food joint greasy burger or some similarly unhealthy food. With little or no food on my stomach, by the time I got home for the day I was famished. When my evening meal was ready, I would heap my plate with food and when finished, go back for an equally huge second helping. The rest of the night was spent munching on anything I could get my hands on to eat. I would continue to “snack” until bedtime. The next morning it started all over again.
What I discovered was that by not eating in the morning and often not eating at lunch, my metabolism was remaining rather dormant. But, when the evening meal came and I finally started eating, my body went into high gear and even though I had eaten a huge meal just a couple of hours ago, I was hungry all night. These eating habits and the accompanying gradual weight gain ultimately led to a sever case of sleep apnea. One so bad, that I had bouts where I would actually throw up in the middle of the night. I had to do something. So here is what I did.
First, I forced myself to eat breakfast. Even as a child, I never ate breakfast. I was just not hungry in the morning. But, I made myself eat in the morning, hungry or not. I started small, a few peanut butter crackers. After about 2 weeks of this, I began to notice that if I did not eat something shortly after I awoke, I would get almost sick to my stomach with hunger pains.
Next was lunch. Again, I was never big on lunch and usually would skip it all together. But, a strange thing happened. After I started to get accustomed to eating breakfast in the morning, I was getting hungry at lunch. Really hungry! But, no cheeseburgers or foot-long hot dogs for lunch anymore. I normally brought my lunch to work by this time. My lunches were nothing special or light on this or that. The only rule I had was “No Fried Foods”. I packed regular food and just enough to curb the hunger. If I were to eat at a restaurant for lunch, I ordered non-fried food. That means no French fries.
With this new eating schedule, I realized very quickly that by mid afternoon, I was hungry again. I curbed this afternoon hunger by packing snacks in my lunch box. An apple or some flavored crackers were my favorite. Again, just a little something to knock the edge off the hunger.
By the time I got home and the evening meal was ready, I realized that I was indeed hungry by this time of the day, but I wasn’t famished, because I had been putting food in my body all day. This meant that I could eat a normal sized meal and only one helping of it, and I was quite satisfied. No more heaping plates and multiple helpings.
Finally came the dreaded evening snacks. As I said before, I would snack on anything and everything and do so all evening until time for bed. I still had my evening snacks, but they were less frequent and in smaller quantities. Again, I had been eating all day so I wasn’t really all that hungry. After about a month, I eliminated the evening snacks almost completely.
So, the short and skinny (no pun intended), I lost 50 pounds of excess weight by simply adjusting my eating habits. Made sure I ate breakfast and lunch, which led to more reasonable dinner portions which ultimately led to greatly reducing evening snacks and 60 days later I was 50 pounds lighter. I might add that this came with no real adjustments to what I ate. I still enjoyed all the foods I normally ate with the exceptions of no fried foods and minimized fat intake.
As I said earlier, it’s all about your metabolism. I am no nutritionist or physician. But, here is what I have come to understand. My old eating habits essentially were starving my body of what it needed for most of the day. When I did finally eat, my body stored that food as fat. With little to no exercise, the fat was never burned off and it simply accumulated. But, with the change in eating habits, my body quickly became accustomed to regular eating cycles and no longer stored the fat.
Now, will this method of weight loss work for you? I don’t know. Everyone’s body is different. Maybe it takes you longer than me. Maybe it takes less time. Maybe this method doesn’t work for you at all. In any case, I will lay odds that if you ask your doctor he/she will agree that at the least, this is a much healthier way to eat.