Weight Loss Takes Time, Get Used To It

How do you write a site about Weight Loss without writing about food or exercise? I haven’t totally figured that out yet, but that’s the idea behind this site. I don’t intend to give a complete run down of everything I eat or even the foods I like (mmmmm, bacon). If you’re after a magical solution to weight loss it simply doesn’t exist. I’ll explain why:

  • You find the magic pill (or procedure)
  • You think you look great and it was so easy to get there
  • You have no motivation to use good eating habits
  • You quickly gain the weight back and wonder what happened

If you use a quick Weight Loss plan to lose weight you’ll just gain it back because you didn’t train yourself to eat right (and exercise – it’s important and you should do it anyway). The real trick to sustained Weight Loss is to simply learn to eat right. I’ve been at it for a few years now. Every year after Christmas (it’s useless to start a Weight Loss program before the holidays) I decide to lose weight. It’s not a New Years Resolution or anything. I just decide that I have about 9 months to lose some weight before the next round of holidays.

There is a local 5K in the spring that I’ve run for the past 6ish years. I’ve missed a few, but I’ve registered for them all. A 5K is a great way to start a diet plan. It’s the exercise that really motivates a person to eat right. Another great motivator is actually losing weight. That sounds ironic, but just start up a diet plan and after a few days when you lose the first few pounds you get the bug to keep it up. The tricks to it that have worked for me have been:

  • Get a diet plan that works
  • Follow it correctly without your own special tweeks
  • Make sure some form of exercise is part of it (a nice walk around the neighborhood is fine)
  • Keep track of your weight loss daily
  • Keep it up. Don’t stop even when you’ve hit your target

Lets talk about the first and the last points there because they really together. Picking your plan should involve picking a plan that you can follow for life.

Part 2 – Choose Wisely

Picking the right weight loss plan is the difference between failure and success. I initially thought that I would just keep eating the way I wanted but add on exercise and that would cause me to lose weight. The problem with my theory is that I found myself justifying being able to eat more because I was exercising. Essentially I was eating more to match the exercise that I added to my routing. That lasted a few months until I realized that I hate exercising. Once I had that realization I cut out the exercise and continued eating more. Do you see the problem here?

I’ve tried a few weight loss strategies. The first real plan I tried was the Atkins Diet. Atkins works! I lost about 10 pounds in the first month. The secret to the plan is to eat food that you don’t enjoy so you don’t want to eat anything. I found the menu on the Atkins diet to be so limiting that I gave up after a month because I wanted real food. Ironically, my doctor mentioned that the plan wasn’t sustainable. It wasn’t a plan that I could follow forever, which is exactly what needs to be done. I compared the diet with the South Beach diet and it seems that they are about the same thing: High Protein, Low Carbohydrate.

Carbs are the good stuff in food. I like toast in the morning (and right before bed). I like big sandwiches and pizza. The low carb diets allow you to eat what you want, as long as you remove the stuff that you want. I can eat the cheese and pepperoni from the pizza, but not the crust. I can eat the deli meat and the lettuce from the sandwich, but I have to leave the bun and the Miracle Whip in the trash. That’s not how I see myself eating for my remaining time on Earth.

Another attempt at weight loss was to sign up for a clinic that would tell me what I can eat and the million things that I can’t eat. I also needed to increase my exercise and come in once a week for a shot of something. I suppose I could trust the lady giving the shot because before working at the clinic she worked on a ranch and gave all the horses their shots. They really sold me on the idea when I first joined. They told me all the magical ideas they had for me and how incredible their plan was. I paid them $120 for my first month and they took me back to tell me what I can no longer eat. The plan was simple: high protein, low carbs.

I’ll admit that this new plan was a bit better than the Atkins Diet that I had previously tried. The lady said that during my ‘purge’ time I could eat as much meat as I wanted. I could walk around with a turkey leg in each hand and a bucket of steak to follow. I just had to stay away from bread and peanut butter and butter and apples and bananas and … etc. Put me on a meat diet for a week and I suddenly have no desire for meat. After the purge time my diet consisted of a little less meat and still nothing that I wanted.

My point to this article is to say “pick the right plan the first time and stick with it”. Make sure what you go with will be sustaining and always assume that whatever you go with will require work from you. There is no work free diet plan. I found a diet plan that worked miracles for me and I could follow the plan forever. It’s easy, I get to eat what I want and I’m happier. I’ll cover that in my next article.

Part 3 – Get The Best Results

A few years back I visited my doctor who asked me about my eating and exercise habits. I didn’t think it was any of his business but I told him anyway. I didn’t exercise and I ate what I wanted. That’s when he informed me that I was technically ‘obese’. I just stared at him in a bit of a shock because I didn’t consider myself to be obese. In fact, I had only added a few inches since high school. I always considered ‘obese’ to be obvious and that if I ever got there I would know it. As life would have it, the weight sneaks up on you. As time goes by you feel the pant waste get tighter and rather than deciding to lose weight at that time you get the next pant size up. That’s what I did.

At the time the Atkins Diet was all the rage and I thought I would try that before buying new pants. I did and it failed (see Part 2). He recommended the South Beach Diet (another fad diet) and Weight Watchers. I kind of laughed at the idea of Weight Watchers because I imagined it to be a bunch of fatty’s meeting together and talking about being fat. I didn’t want to be a part of that. Instead I did nothing up until about 6 months ago.

A friend in my neighborhood tried the Weight Watchers Points program and had a lot of success with it. I still didn’t want to go to the meetings but I decided to check it out anyway. It turns out there is an online system that is easy to use and offers a lot of options. I signed up and finally found success at weight loss. The plan is simple. For me, I get 36 points a day and another 35 points a week as bonus points. I need to take in all the points, it’s not good to take in less than your daily points. The system also gives a table of how the numbers need to be broken down into. It couldn’t be easier and I get to eat what I want. It’s a plan that when I’m serious about losing weight I just pay attention and make smart choices with what I eat, which is what I should be doing anyway.

If you’re looking for a good weight loss program, I strongly suggest checking out the Weight Watcher Points system. There is a simple point calculator located at numcow.com if you’re curious about how many points you might get. You can even calculate how many points your Zingers are. It’s surprising to see how many points the food that we eat daily is. I’ll get a calculator up here soon.