The Best Way to Lose Weight
Finding the best way to lose weight is actually very simple. It requires one thing many diets choose to ignore. The best diets ever created are all based on a few simple principles. If you get them all right, you are going to have success. When you miss even one of these simple items your success becomes harder, but not impossible.
The First Principle – Proper Nutrition is Essential for Your Diet
Many diets on the market today wish to ignore this fact. They guide you into focusing on a narrow group of foods which leaves your body starving for nutrients. When your body senses a lack it will start producing cravings. Your diet must include these essentials in order to succeed:
- Complex Carbohydrates
- Dietary Fiber
- Adequate Vitamins and Minerals
A few diets suggest you should focus on proteins and avoid carbohydrates. Other diets become heavily focused on eliminating all fats. Many diets do not contain enough dietary fiber or the minimum requirements of vitamins and minerals. Let us look at each category briefly.
Complex Carbohydrates – Energy to Fuel Your Fat Loss
Carbohydrates provide energy. When you try to fuel your body with only protein and fats you will begin to feel lethargic and weak. Include some complex carbohydrates in your diet everyday to maintain the energy you need to keep your metabolism going strong.
Complex carbohydrates can be found in whole grain breads, potatoes, and pasta.
Not All Dietary Fats Are Bad
It is easy to become convinced your diet should eliminate all fatty foods. There is a touch of truth in this idea, but only from the aspect of eliminating bad fats. Healthy fats from nuts, fish, and a few other foods can actually help you lose weight faster.
Processed fats found in donuts, French fries, and other fried foods are not healthy. They contain high amounts of calories and very little nutrition. The fats in these foods can slow down your digestion and increase the risk of cardiovascular problems.
Protein – The Essential Building Block
Without adequate protein in your diet from fish, poultry, meat, eggs, and other sources, your body cannot maintain and grow additional muscle tissue. Including a serving of protein at each meal helps you maintain muscle mass which burns fat.
Protein alone will not build additional muscle, but we will discuss this issue shortly.
Dietary Fiber – Keeping Your Body’s Digestive System in Order
When you try to lose weight it is very easy to eliminate fiber. Without adequate dietary fiber your digestive system can become clogged. Your frequency of bowel movements decreases and the possibility of constipation climbs. Along with a slowed digestive system come more calorie absorption and a slower metabolism, not a good combination.
Vitamins and Minerals – Keeping Your Body Healthy While Dieting
With reduced calories and food intake comes the possibility of not getting adequate nutrition. By keeping a well balanced diet filled with fresh vegetables, healthy cuts of meats, and whole grain products you will acquire most of the essential vitamins and minerals through your diet.
You may still choose to add a good daily vitamin to your diet to ensure you receive all the essential vitamins and minerals.
Principe Two – Understanding the Basic Science of Weight Loss
It is time to understand the real science behind weight loss. In order to lose excess fat you must burn more calories than you eat. To lose 1 pound of fat requires a 3,500 calorie deficit. All of the miracle diets must abide by this rule, too. (Any weight lost outside of this rule will not be fat, but is likely loss of body fluid.)
To determine how many calories you should target per day varies depending on your activity level as follows:
- Low Activity – 11 Calories per pound of bodyweight.
- Moderate Activity – 14 Calories per pound of bodyweight
- High Activity – 16 Calories per pound of bodyweight.
These figures are averages for an overweight person based upon finding published by W.B. Saunders In Clinical Nutrition Volume I. These are the calories you must intake to maintain your weight. In order to lose weight you must drop below these numbers. As an example:
A 200 Pound Man – Moderate Activity
- 200 Pounds X 14 Calories/Pound = 2800 Calories Per Day
- To lose 2 pounds per week requires a 1000 Calorie per day deficit.
- Daily target = 1800 Calories per day.
- Weight Loss Per Week = 2 Pounds
The important lesson for the above number is you have two methods to lose weight. Reduce calories or increase activity. As an example with the same person:
A 200 Pound Man – High Activity
- 200 Pounds x 16 Calories/Pound = 3200 Calories per day.
- Daily Target = 1800 Calories per day.
- Weight Loss per Week = 2.8 Pounds
This example leads us to an important portion of your diet.
Principle Three – Exercise – The Mystery of Metabolism Unraveled
We all know people who seem to never gain weight. It seems so easy for them. You need to watch these people very closely. They never sit still. The real mystery behind losing weight faster is to start moving more. This should start with a good daily exercise program, but proceed carefully.
One of the biggest stumbling blocks dieters have in starting exercising is the tendency to overdo. Start off slow and build up gradually. As an example, if you can walk for 20 minutes per day and only make it 1 mile today, try to slowly speed up your pace each day. In a few weeks you may be walking 1 miles per day and burning added calories. You can slowly add 5 or 10 minutes per day to your walk to increase your weight loss.
As you increase activity you burn additional calories and lose more body fat. Exercise promotes muscle retention and growth which increases your fat burning potential. Exercise is an essential component to successful dieting.
Principle Four – The Final Key to the Best Weight Loss Programs is All in Your Head
Knowing the facts about proper nutrition, exercise, and calorie deficits is great, but sticking with your diet is where the real challenge begins. To have success requires getting motivated, staying focused, and enjoying the trip. Consider using a few of these mental tools to help you:
- Create a list of Affirmations to repeat daily.
- Find Before and After Pictures of Successful Dieters, envision your own before and after photos.
- Read success stories of people who lost weight and picture your success.
- Start imagining yourself wearing new “skinny” clothes.
- Listen to motivating music.
Keeping your mind on target is perhaps the biggest factor in a successful diet. When you stay focused on your goal you can adjust strategies and overcome temporary plateaus until you reach success.
Continue Learning for the Greatest Success
Educating yourself on proper nutrition, new recipes, and fun physical activities can take your dieting efforts from tedious to exciting. Never stop learning new ideas while you stay focused on the basic ideas we have discussed. In the end, a successful diet is based on common sense, not miracles.