There are as many different diets out there as there are people. Most of these diets make outrageous claims and target people who are desperate to lose weight and don’t know how. The problem is, that diets don’t work. You just can’t maintain a drastic change to your eating routine consistently enough to lose weight and to keep it off. It is not realistic to eat cabbage soup for the rest of your life, or to never eat bread and carbohydrates again.
The only thing that does work for long term weight loss is consistent exercise and eating right. If you drastically alter what you eat (by following a diet) to lose weight, you will eventually fall back into your old eating patterns and gain back whatever weight you may have lost. There is only so long that you can maintain drastic changes to your eating habits. That is why I designed a nutrition program that makes small and easily incorporated changes to your diet slowly over months. Rather than making large changes that you can only maintain for a short period of time.
Dr. Jacinda M. Nicklas, a clinical research fellow at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, used the data from the 2001-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey on over 4000 obese people. Of these people surveyed, 2,523 of them reported that they were actively trying to lose weight. Of those people, 40% had a weight loss of 5% or more, and 20% had a weight of 10% or more. According to Nicklas, “Those who exercised more and ate less fat were significantly more likely to lose weight. Additionally we found a correlation between joining a weight loss program and greater reported weight loss, which may speak to the importance of structure in a weight loss program.”
Dr. Nicklas went on to say that “Self-reported use of popular diets, liquid diets, nonprescription weight loss pills and diet foods/ products were not associated with weight loss.” This goes along with a statistic that I read stating that diets are proven to fail 95% of the time. All of the gimmicks for weight loss, and fad diets and trends do not work for most people. They might work for a celebrity who is trying to lose weight quickly for a photo shoot or an awards ceremony, but they will gain the weight right back. Only you won’t see the pictures of the celebrity after they gain their weight back, usually with a little extra.
The truth is that most of us have gained weight over time, it didn’t happen over night. Most people put on 1 to 2 pounds a year, starting after high school. So by the time you hit 40, if you haven’t been exercising and eating right, you could easily put on 20 to 40 pounds over the years. Since it took so long to put on the weight, it is going to take time to take it off.
Losing a few pounds a month is realistic for most of us. Generally speaking, the slower you take the weight off, the longer it will stay off. In our society though, everyone wants results now. With weight loss, it just doesn’t happen like that. Be wary of anything that claims you can lose over a few pounds a week, chances are the advertisers are lying and just trying to sell you something. If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.
Most of us will never have 6-pack abs. Not everyone is meant to have 4% body fat and be ripped. 6-pack abs are a myth perpetuated by the media. Most celebrities don’t’ have 6 pack abs. There are variations in nature. Some people are short and some are tall. Some people are heavy, some are lean. You can be heavy, but still be healthy. I feel it is more important to focus on how you feel, rather than how you look. If you focus on how you feel, you’ll get into better shape, have less aches and pains, less health issues, more energy, and eventually lose some weight and look better.
So how do you lose weight and feel better? There is no quick fix. It has taken years for your body to get to this stage, it will take time, months to years, to reverse it. The best way is to exercise and eat right. But you just can’t jump right into an intense exercise routine after not having exercised for years, or if you are in pain. And you can’t just jump right into healthy and clean eating after eating junk food and fast food for years. It takes time to reverse habits and change around habits. You have to create new habits, ones you can stick with for the rest of your life. Lifestyle change is the only thing that works for losing weight and getting into shape.
That is why I have developed the Pain-Free Lifestyle nutrition and exercise programs. It is designed for regular people who want to get into shape. It is designed for those of you who are in pain and want to reduce your pain and feel better. It is for those of you who haven’t exercised in years and want to get into exercising without hurting yourself. It is designed to be a lifestyle change. It is designed to be followed for the rest of your life. It will take some work, but if it was easy, then we wouldn’t have the obesity epidemic that we have today. But it is very do-able, and realistic.
Remember, when looking at weight loss programs and diets, does it sound too good to be true? Then there is a 95% chance that it is too good to be true.