We’ve all been there. Trying to lose weight. What may be an easy feat for some can be one lifetime of struggle for many.
Body Image and Weight Perception
Body image is the way a person sees their own body. According to a study of college students, 74.4% of women with normal weight said that they thought about their weight or appearance in a frequent manner while that statistics showed 46% of men thought this way.
This can either be caused by pressure from outside forces or the fact and realisation that one really is next to unhealthy. Weight and outside appearance often comes as a big factor in healthy body image perception.
On the brighter side of things, the correlation between body image and weight, if viewed positively, may also be a good way to keep weight in check. The striving to lose extra weight and to weigh in accordance to what is needed for your body type may motivate weight control and avoid excessive additional pounds.
So we address the next problem – obesity. Despite the purported media influence all over the television and the Internet over excessive and unrealistic weight, the prevalence of obesity is still at an uncontrollable number. This leads health organisation to come up with anti-obesity campaigns worldwide.
The idea of dieting and exercise is more common in today’s society. The springing up of gyms on every corner of the street has just validated the concern we have over weight. This is also seen in the spread of fad diets, weight loss programs and our own willingness to submit to new and untested fad procedures.
Fads are Not the Answer
The only truth about fads is that they come and go. Just like that, you’re back to looking for the next big fad hoping it will remedy your weight loss problem. But the thing is, fads are fads. A very small percent of fad diets actually work. Fad diets and fad procedures often will help you lose weight for some time but they don’t keep off the extra weight in the long-term.
Crazy weight loss fads include the sleeping beauty diet, the cigarette diet, the cotton ball diet, tongue stapling and the ear stapling diet. You name it, there’s a fad for it.
But weight loss and maintaining ideal weight is not a single day process. It is a lifestyle. So, is there a perfect weight loss program?
What’s the perfect weight loss program?
No. There is no perfect weight loss program. By now you have to realise that there is no diet fad or single weight loss program that can address the million factors behind weight loss.
Losing weight depends on body type, genes, environment, history, food, motivations, medical conditions, psychological conditions, ethnic origins, the list goes on. With combinations of these factors, the perfect weight loss program also comes as a combination of time-tested efforts and proper nutrition, whisking away a sedentary lifestyle and finding the motivation to do it every day.
And it goes as a systematic process. The perfect weight loss is a step by step process that needs to be done every day. And its one goal is to live healthy, get real with the fat to muscle ratio and know where your limits are. But of course we are not discounting medical procedures if they are necessary.
Different Steps to Lose Weight
Here are the steps you can do, in your own little way to lose that extra fat, backed with a few scientific reasons why they work:
There is no single diet that can work for everybody. In fact, when you ask a nutritionist, they themselves may need to go through a lengthy process before they get it right for you.
Serving size and calorie count
Serving size matters a lot. Often, those who need a little diet coaxing can find this trick to be really helpful. All you have to do is to eat fewer calories that you can burn.
As easy as it may seem, many people find it hard to do the estimates. However, it can play a big role in your goals.
In a 2004 study, 329 overweight people found that 38% of those who practice portion control for two years lost 5% or more of their body weight. Controlling your portion is often better than skipping your meals which are a big no for diet. It is often recommended that you eat several small meals a day instead of eating three big ones. This helps avoid binge eating.
Now how do you remember all the estimates? A suggestion from Web MD says that instead of memorising all the ounces, cups or tablespoons, compare it to familiar things like your fist size or the palm of your hand. You can read the suggestion from the mentioned link.
And to help in the portion control? Use smaller dishes.
Avoid bad fats
Bad fats usually come from frying and other oil-heavy food processes. That’s because there are good fats (like fatty acids). To avoid ingesting the bad fats, avoid frying foods all the time. You can bake, steam or grill them instead. But if you really like frying, use olive oil. And go for the organic products over processed meals.
Snack on fruits
If you feel hungry from the beginning of your diet, make sure you are supplementing your hunger with healthy alternative like fruits. Prepare fruits for your snacks. You can cut them into bite size pieces and keep them in the freezer for tomorrow.
Limit the booze
Limit the booze; it adds to the calories and your beer belly. Instead, set one time a month to have a night out drinking. Plus, taking in alcohol may have an effect on your digestive process.
Drink water. It helps in your digestive process. If you dislike water, then drink freshly squeezed fruit juices instead.
It has been found that drinking two cups of cold water can boost your metabolic rate by 30%. The reason is said to be the increase in the norepinephrine.
Eat out healthy
Know the best restaurant that offers the best healthy food. And be mindful of their servings. Often they serve their food in mega portions.
Dieting alone cannot help you achieve your desired weight goals. But with daily exercise, you can make a dent in that too-hard-to-break muffin top.
Take a break
Intervals fire up the metabolism. So instead of doing one long moderate workout, try to do intense workouts in intervals. A 10 minute speed burst with two minutes slow walking can improve your body’s ability to use fat.
Do it regularly
There is a suggestion that you workout for 150 minutes every week. You do this over a few workouts during the week.
Alternatively: 10 minute workout everyday
If you have no time to spare for running and doing the complete sets every day, then try the 10 minute workout every day.
For extra help:
Go to a gym
Ask for a trainer if a 10 minute workout doesn’t work, or your running skills are becoming patchy and you just can’t find the heart to do it. Often, the idea of spending will motivate you to go workout for that money. Plus trainers can sometimes offer better insights than your YouTube videos.
See a doctor
Doctors come as the end answer to things. As said, we are not discounting the weight loss procedures which can come in handy to jump-start everything. Doctors often recommend drastic weight loss surgeries if your health is really at risk.
Other procedures may not that be focusing on weight loss itself but rather on sculpting. Some fats won’t budge especially problem areas like the stomach, thighs and arms. Liposuction can help people with this problem.
Weight Loss Programs
There are ready-made weight loss programs all over the Internet. These programs often gather a huge following. Some are commercially advertised (you pay, they give you the advice).
A few of the most famous programs include:
- Weight Watchers. With 25 million participants, you know this one is a success. Point values on food is assigned while members are encouraged to exercise.
- Jenny Craig program. It has 725 centres all over the world. The program has staff who will recommend a diet, as well as exercise and behaviour modification programs to help you lose weight.
- Overeaters Anonymous. A self-help program, Overeaters Anonymous is a 12 step program that aims to stop people from overeating.
- Take off pounds sensibly. This is a program with a practical approach that encourages any diet recommendation by member’s doctors. It gives incentives to stay with their weight loss plans.
There can never be a perfect weight loss program. We always know that. Even medical experts can submit to that. But a combination of the above recommendations may lead you to a perfect, healthy combo on your way to your desired weight.
Here are the key takeaways of this article:
- Diet and food choice is important.
- So is portion control and dehydration.
- When exercising do intervals.
- Seek guidance from medical professionals and gym trainers.
- Become a member of a weight loss program if you are finding it hard to stay motivated.
- Don’t be swayed by fad diets.
- Never discount medical procedures.
A combination of these tips may help you carry out your weight loss goals once and for all. Stay motivated and keep us posted with your results!