Best Ways to Lose Weight
How many people do you know who are looking for the best way to lose weight?
How many conversations have you had with friends or relatives recently related losing weight, dieting, fad diets, miracle weight loss pills or something similar?
We live in a society (world?) that values physical beauty way more than we should. Honestly, I don’t know if there is a corner of the world where people are appreciated for their actions more than how they look. The optimist in me holds on to the hope that this place exists, but turning on the television or picking up a magazine can make that tough to do at times. I’m not writing this to save the world from vanity though. I would like to help some people get into better shape.
I have personally ridden the up and down weight loss roller coaster many times in my life. I’ve read tons of books. Friends have made fun of me because I actually took notes when I read them. Of course, I actually read encyclopedias for fun when I was a kid too. Actually, the notes were contained a lot of messages to myself about what weight loss methods worked and what didn’t as I tried to slim down again and again. I do not endorse any particular weight loss system because I’ve found that I had to find something that worked for me.
Following someone else’s weight loss plan didn’t really work for me in the long term. I believe this is something that is probably true for a lot of people who are looking for fast ways to lose weight. Searching for the best way to lose weight is fine, but it is an individual decision that each person must find for him or herself if a healthy lifestyle is going to become a reality for you.
That really should be the goal after all, living a healthy lifestyle is much better than chasing the next fad diet or looking for a magical weight loss pill that will make everything better instantly. I’ve made a sort of informal study of diet and weight loss. Please realize that anything I post on this site is just my own experience and shouldn’t be taken as weight loss advice. There are so many factors involved in effective weight loss and so many different diet plans for soooo many different people, that I would never presume to be qualified to advise anyone as to the best way to lose pounds. If you need advice, you should consult your physician or an appropriate professional.
Now, I can write about what worked for me and what did not. I suppose if I was starting over, I would concentrate more on being patient and not expecting super fast weight loss. Some people only need to lose 10 pounds, but that wasn’t me. I was obese by any definition of the word. The funny thing is, when I was at my heaviest, I wanted to lose weight the fastest. My impatience led to me trying several different diets. Most had some degree of success, but it was always short term success and I managed to gain the weight back (with interest) every time. I wanted to lose fat and usually some trigger had kick started me.
That is another (not so) funny thing about the overweight situation. When someone says something hurtful or something really gets you down related to your being overweight, people often go off and do really stupid things. Some people drink, other people escape by drowning themselves in chocolate and other assorted “comfort foods”. Others still, go nuts and decide they will do a year’s worth of exercise in one day, burning themselves out and feeling terrible afterward. None of those methods worked for me, although I tried pretty much all of them. When you are hurting, it is easy to look for quick weight loss methods or to just jump into the deep end of your most destructive habits.
So, I can remember so many started and forgotten diets that it isn’t even funny. I honestly went through several years that seem just like a blur of one diet after another trying to figure out how to lose weight fast. I tried free weight loss methods and I tried weight loss programs that cost money. Some worked better than others, but as I said, the weight loss always was hard and I always gained the weight back over time. I’d find the weight loss plan of the day and jump into it, usually on my own, without any weight loss support or guidance. Most of the weight loss programs I tried didn’t make it past the first couple of days. I’ve always had an issue with food. I like to eat it and my body doesn’t burn it as quickly as some others’ do. To be fair, looking back, I probably didn’t give most of the weight loss plans a fair shot. Most advised adding a fair amount of weight loss exercise, I didn’t follow through because I just didn’t like to exercise very much unless it was doing something fun like playing a sport, and finding places to do that was usually a challenge.
One thing I never got into was weight loss products. I certainly tried several of them, but without much success. Perhaps that is why I never felt the temptation to try any of the stronger weight loss drugs. I never really felt the pull to go toward these, because even the mildest of the over the counter weight loss pills messed up my sleep and made me feel nervous. They also didn’t help me lose weight. Weight loss shakes left me hungry within ten minutes so I definitely didn’t stick with that weight loss plan. The weight loss shake idea never made sense to me. Maybe they work for some people, but they personally left me feeling deprived of food. That in turn got me thinking about nothing else besides eating food. I’m sure you can figure out the rest of the story. Fat burners fell into the category of weight loss products I was too nervous to take on a regular basis. Ephedrine and ephedra weight loss products were another item I stayed away from because it seemed that there were a lot of warnings about them.
Through it all, I think I understood that diet and exercise were the key to effective weight loss. I don’t know why I spent so much time, effort and money trying to find ways around it. Easy weight loss, in my opinion, is an oxymoron unless you are willing to be patient and look for long term weight loss. I did not want to accept this concept. I’m obviously not the only one to do this since so much money is spent on weight loss products every year as people continue searching for the best ways to lose weight.
I don’t think enough emphasis is put on the fact that in order to lose weight and keep it off, one must change their mind set regarding food, exercise, and weight loss at a fundamental level. Food is meant to keep us alive. It isn’t a reward or a way to fill any empty spot inside except for your stomach. I had to seriously adjust my thoughts and behaviors related to food before I could make any progress. The urge to look for new new easy diets does not go away easily for some people.
Fad diets are a great example of people looking for an easy way out. It really is amazing when you look at the bizaar diets that people will try when they feel the desperate need to lose weight. I won’t list them all here. I’m sure I’d miss the majority of them. You have all seen them though as you walk through the check out line in the grocery store. Celebrity weight loss is a great cover story for the scandal sheets. Women who were already skinny, eating nothing but _(fill in the blank with latest craze) to lose ten pounds. Most of the fad diets offer so little variety and so many restrictions that very few people can manage to stay on them for more than a few days without falling off of the weight loss wagon. I had to just stop even looking at what was staring back at me in the check out lines. The people selling those magazines are in it to make a buck and they know that a lot of people will throw down a couple of bucks to read about celebrity weight loss. The quality isn’t always present, to say the least.
Everyone is different when it comes to losing weight, but I think just about everyone can benefit from weight loss support when they are trying to make changes in their lives. Switching over to healthy eating habits can be challenging enough. Having family that is not supportive can make things extra tough. That is one of the reasons why people are willing to pay money to have others listen to their weight loss trials and tribulations. If you live in a situation with little weight loss support, I hope you will be able to find some support here. Even if it is just posting a note about your frustration with the day or dropping a happy nugget on the world because you lost two pounds, at least you’ll have it out there.
There are a lot of guides out there to tell you your ideal weight. I don’t like that term too much. I think weight loss and physical condition is a very individual thing. I’ve got a different genetic make up with different tendencies for weight gain than other people might have. I do think some things make sense for the majority of people looking to get fit though. As I mentioned, for me, I had to find something that worked for my tendencies, likes and dislikes. Running for weight loss just isn’t for me. I don’t like to run as an activity in itself. For others, it might be great if a doctor told them to try that kind of program. Personally, I always had a tough time getting past the inertia that being sedentary brings with it. That doesn’t mean being lazy necessarily, some people have more active jobs and such than others. Of course others are just lazy, in which case, you need to find some weight loss motivation that lasts longer than the first hunger pang. A great side benefit of course was that once I started exercising, my energy levels increased and I wondered why I wasn’t doing it more often. Go figure.
Along with weight loss support, I found that giving myself rules (and writing them down) helped. Following guidelines that I set helped me to avoid the excuse of not wanting to follow rules set by a skinny person who didn’t understand how hard it can be to lose weight. I also started making myself smaller, more attainable weight loss goals in five or ten pound increments instead of focusing on losing a ton of weight. This made it easier for me to stay focused and motivated. Baby step goals were, and still are easier for me to stick to in just about any endeavor. That doesn’t mean I don’t have long term goals, it just means that I get some mini achievements to celebrate along the way. This is for anything, not just losing weight.
Finally, some other things I found that helped me included taking photos along the way so I could physically see progress. The photos were taken in the same setting and even in the same outfit so I had something to compare against. This also helped me to remember that I was losing weight for me, not anyone else and definitely not to “show” someone else. I’ll post more soon. Thanks for reading about what worked for me in my search for the best ways to lose weight.