I have worked in the health care industry going on 14 years now. There are many myths floating around concerning health.
As many myths as there are surrounding health care, there are even more that surround the weight loss, diet and physical fitness industries.
A major myth associated with the dietary industry is that you can lose a lot of weight quickly through a few major changes to your diet, and it will stay off.
After reading some advertisements for diets and diet aids, you would think it is normal and easy to lose 20 pounds in 1 week and keep it off. This is not true.
On average, most people gain 1 to 2 pounds per year. Most people will take 10 to 20 years to gain 40 pounds. Since it took so long to gain the weight, it is going to take time to lose the weight.
Just like there are no get rich quick schemes that work, there are no get thin quick schemes that work either. If these schemes did work, then everyone would be thin and rich.
Some of the diet programs out there will help you to lose weight quickly. But you have to undergo such an extreme change to your diet and lifestyle (such as never eating any carbohydrates or only eating cabbage soup) to elicit such a change, that you cannot stick with these extreme changes. Eventually you will have to go back to your old eating habits, and then you gain all of the weight back that you lost, and usually a little more.
Most of the time the weight loss is exaggerated by the companies that are selling the weight loss program. If you follow an extreme diet program for a week or 2 or 4 then you will see some changes in your body. But these changes will be temporary.
When assessing exercise and diet systems, remember that there is not one system out there that will get everyone ripped and lean with 6 pack abs. As a matter of fact, most of us will never have 6 pack abs no matter how hard we diet or exercise. Maybe some of us could if we made ourselves miserable and compromised our health to do it. But I think that it wouldn’t be worth it then.
I would rather feel good, lead a healthy, active lifestyle, eat healthy most of the time, exercise consistently but not hard core, and look decent but not have 6 pack abs. I’d rather not make myself miserable by letting diet and exercise consume my life just so that I can fleetingly have 6 pack abs.
You know that most of the people (models, celebrities, etc) who we see in magazines, runways, or the red carpet who look great, are ripped and have 6 pack abs, don’t look like that most of the time. For most of these events it takes those people lots of time to get ready. They may have been dieting for the last 2 weeks to squeeze into that dress. They may have avoided eating all sugar and salt for the last week to get that lean look and to get their muscles bulging.
Just because someone has 6 pack abs and is ripped doesn’t mean that they are healthy or feel good. They may have just gone through a week long fast to get ripped. They maybe 50 pounds overweight otherwise.
Just because someone is thin doesn’t mean that they are healthy. In our society thin has come to symbolize healthy. This is just not true. Someone who is 50 pounds overweight and who exercises consistently is going to be healthier than someone who is thin and underweight but never exercises.
Studies show that you can be fit and fat. And in my opinion, it is more important to be fit than it is to be thin. In nature you have variations. People are tall, short, dark, light, and some are meant to be thin while some are meant to be thick.
If you are exercising consistently, doing cardio-vascular exercise consistently, then even if you are heavy, you will have healthy blood work and health markers in your body. Your blood pressure will be lower, you will have lower triglycerides, you have less of a chance of developing heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Someone who is thin but does not exercise will be susceptible to these health issues.
I think that you should exercise first and foremost for how it will affect your health and how it will make you feel. Secondary to that comes the benefits to your looks and body shape.
Realistically though, most people are driven to exercise because they want to lose weight. Maybe their doctor told them to lose weight for health reasons. Maybe their spouse or significant other said they were less attracted to them since they gained weight. Maybe they just want to lose weight.
No matter how you arrive at wanting to lose weight, remember, it took many years to put the weight on, it is going to take months to years to take it off.. if you are able to take it all off. Many of you out there will have to be content with losing some weight and getting into better shape. It is very hard to lose weight if you have had it for many years. The longer you have had the weight, the longer it will take to lose it.
Just because someone is heavy doesn’t mean that they aren’t healthy or don’t exercise. And just because someone is thin doesn’t mean that they are healthy, in great shape, and exercise a lot.
Don’t fall for the marketing ploys. It takes time to lose weight. It is more important to exercise and eat right consistently to lose weight and feel better. It is more important to feel better, have less pain, be more active and have a better quality of life than it is to be thin.
Exercising and eating right to feel good, rather than just to look good, is the Pain Free Way.
Here is a link to an article that I wrote about being fat and fit.