Losing Weight Is All About Exercise

While you will lose weight with exercise, diet plays a much bigger role not only in weight management but in general health altogether. With that being said exercise is also important. Watch what you are eating and how much you are eating then focus on your fitness routine.

Being afraid of fat

Researchers from Yale studied which diets have the best results over the long term. They found that focusing on healthier fats rather than cutting out fats all together was the most effective.

Unsaturated fats and omega-3’s  are considered to be the ‘good’ fats and are found in  hemp oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts, seeds and fish. These fats protect your heart, brain function and overall health.

The fats you need to avoid are the unhealthy ones like trans-fats. These are responsible for clogging arteries and high cholesterol. Small amount of trans-fats naturally occur in dairy and meat and when eaten in a balanced way do not cause issues. What should be avoided are the artificial trans-fats found in processed foods like bakery items, packaged snack food or heavily processed meats.

Neglecting Internal Triggers

Often weight loss is hampered by emotional issues that lead us to over eat. If there is a history of rewarding ourselves with food, snacking when stressed or bored, or making poor food choices due to stress or convenience, you must address these triggers to lose weight and keep it off. Keeping a food diary that notes what you are eating, when and why will help you identify these triggers.

Liquid Calories

Many so called ‘healthy drinks’ are loaded with sugar. Fruit juice is a common one, something that was once a healthy drink is ruined with refined sugar, not only is it bad for every organ in your body, it also causes weight gain. Smoothies are a healthy choice most of the time so long as they don’t contain sweetened yoghurt.

Coffee has many health benefits but if you are adding milk and sugar to it then you are not doing yourself any favors. And do not drink diet sodas – sure they are absent calories but the artificial sweeteners are carcinogenic. Pay attention to what goes in to your drink.

Doing lots of ‘crunches’

A flat stomach has certainly been made desirable in our culture – think all those gossip magazines with their tips for getting a 6-pack. The issue is that you cannot spot reduce fat. If you naturally carry weight around your middle, exercise that target the stomach might grow your muscles but won’t affect the amount of fat distributed to your belly, it will reduce your overall fat though.

Choosing the wrong exercise

A popular misconception is that cardio is the best in regards to weight loss, cardio will burn more calories initially but lifting weights or any type of resistance training will burn calories long after you have left the gym and muscles burn calories even when resting.

Building muscle will also give you a nice shape, if you only have time to do one type of training make it resistance training and try to incorporate cardio into every day activities; take the stairs rather than the elevator, if you have to walk somewhere then walk quickly, park at the other end of the parking lot etc.

Health is an on-going process and exercise needs to be a long term commitment for results. If you start exercising and hate it, it won’t become a regular part of your routine. Instead choose a type of exercise you actually enjoy – walking the dog, lifting weights, bicycling or joining a class.

Eat healthier takeout

While take-out food should be a treat, in reality we rely on it to keep us going in our busy lives. Either stop in at health-food stores that specialize in whole food or do some simple ordering tricks to make your plate healthier – like getting the fish and salad with the dressing on the side. Choose water instead of a sugary beverage. Or better yet cook food in bulk and put into containers so you do not have to eat takeout.

Flooding your body with cortisol

Cortisol is the stress hormone. It floods the body when you are stressed, anxious and tired. This hormone increases the amount of fat stored on around the belly. Keeping your stress under control will keep your hormones in check for a happier, healthier you.

The Silver Bullet Syndrome

In other words, there is no magic cure. If you approach weight loss as a lifestyle change rather than a diet, you will see better and lasting results.

Worrying about how much you eat

This can lead to eating too little of the wrong foods which means you will feel hungry all the time. Instead focus on eating plenty of healthy foods until you are full. Most vegetables have very few calories so make sure you fill at least two thirds of  your plate with veges.

Don’t ignore the satiety effect

Satiety is all about foods which make you feel full and not all foods are equal. Food high in protein and fiber will keep you fuller for longer and they tend to be healthier as well! Do not rely on meat and dairy alone to meet your protein requirements, there are many vegan alternatives that are not laden with animal fats. The vegan protein alternative that I would recommend is…. yep you guessed it hemp seeds.

Cutting carbs

Carbs are currently the ‘bad guy’ however they play an important role in nutrition. Just make sure you are eating the healthy versions – unrefined, whole foods rather than processed or plain carbs. Make swaps like brown rice instead of white. Wholemeal instead of refined white flour and fruit instead of desserts.

The Myopia Flaw

This describes people’s tendency to be short-sighted. Weight loss begins with a sudden shed and plateaus off. This is normal but we can lose focus once the numbers aren’t shifting so rapidly. Keep the long term goal of health in mind to keep you on track.

Thinking food and exercise are your only tools

If you are only looking at your diet and exercise regimen – you are potentially missing large parts of your story. For example, do you have underlying health issues that cause weight gain?

Self Talk

We all have an inner voice of resistance that wants us to take the easier or nicer path through life. It’s like the demon on your shoulder telling you to skip the workout or eat the doughnut. Make it a habit to overcome that negative voice and make the better choice.

Have a support system

You are more likely to succeed if you have social support in your goal. A personal trainer is an option or make a pact with a close friend and you can motivate each other.

Using bribes

Using food to incentivize your actions is not a positive step forward. Instead, focus on exercise you enjoy and the motivation will come easily. Remember, food can be a fun treat but avoid using it as a reward.

Listening to Negative People

Other people can pull you down with comments like, “But you’re so skinny, eat some cake!” If health is your goal, keep that in mind and don’t take other people’s opinions to heart.

Assess your surroundings

Do your friends, family or co-workers tend to over indulge or push treats on you? It can be impossible to have sustainable changes to your health if you are surrounded by temptations. Either make your goals clear to those around you or even better, encourage them to join you on your health journey. if you surround yourself with other health conscious people it will make it much easier to maintain a healthier lifestyle.

Wedding Day Syndrome

A wedding is a one day event but a marriage lasts forever. You want your new healthy lifestyle to be more of a marriage and less of a wedding. Otherwise you will just put the weight back on and be back where you started.

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