Archive for Exercise

Taking it Slow: A Guide to Making Your Changes Stick

Posted in Advice with tags , , , , , on September 1, 2009 by uziel5000

At it’s most basic, losing weight is pretty simple thing. Use more calories than you consume. Period. End of story. Right? Well, yes and no. Certainly, a calorie deficit is the cornerstone of any weight loss attempt. The variables however, that help you optimize that weight loss are so many, that thousands of books, magazines, web articles and blogs have been written about them. Needles to say, the information can be overwhelming and the more you look into it the more you feel that you have to do everything at once. This is one of those areas were you can be setting yourself up for failure without noticing. We have all been there. We feel there is so much to do that we end up not doing anything at all. We either think it’s too hard and don’t start at all or halfway through it becomes so much that we quit. There is a solution though. The very first thing we have to realize is this: We are in no hurry. Long term weight loss is a long term commitment and for those of us who have a lot of weight to lose, we have to simply accept that its going to take a while. Putting ourselves in that frame of mind, we are now ready to take the next step. Since we are not in hurry and we are in this for the long haul, then we can sit down and break down our plan into little steps. We take one or two steps at a time and we don’t take the next one until we have mastered the one we took last. The easiest way for me to exlain this is to use my own example. I’m going to give my list steps I have taken for the past 8 months and explain why I took them. From this, maybe other people can build their own list. Just remember: These were gradual changes.

 1. Oct. ‘08: Signed myself up for Tae Kwon Do classes – After years of inactivity, I started here, going to class twice a week just to get my body adjusted to regular exercise.

2. Feb. ‘09: Started a calorie deficit – Notice I didn’t call it a diet. Hopefully, this was the start of permanent changes in the way I eat.

3. Apr. ‘09: Started doing cardio 5 times a week on top of Tae Kwon Do/ Also started to use a daily multi-vitamin.

 4. May. ‘09: Changed my meal distribution from three meals a day to three meals and two snacks – Eating more frequently boosts your metabolism.

 5. Jun. ‘09: Changed my meal distribution to five meals a day.

6. Jul. ‘09: Changed my meal distribution to 6 meals a day./Also began to supplement with Glucosamine-Chondrointin-MSM(I’m gettng old!l ol) 

7. Aug. ‘09: Started a weight training program, three days a week while still doing the cardio and TKD./Also started to supplement with protein post-workout and Creatine.

My next step is to try a pre-workout formula. Now, all that time, I have been consistently losing weight. I just adjusted the things I needed to do so it wouldn’t overwhelm me. Now, I just gave you 10 things I did in seven steps over 8 months. Doing them one or two things at a time allowed me time to adjust my life accordingly. Now imagine doing all those things at once right at the beggining of your journey. Doesn’t sound pleasant or easy right? Breaking it down makes it more digestible. Slow and steady wins the race!

Things That Set You Back: Dealing With Injuries

Posted in General Information, Words of Wisdom with tags , , , , on June 19, 2009 by uziel5000

On a weight-loss journey, many things cross your path that throw you off course. Many of those things you have control of. Some things you don’t. One those things happened to cross my particular path.

About three weeks ago, I started to feel a sharp pain on my lower back. At first I thought it was a result of increasing the intensity of my workouts but after a while, I noticed it wasn’t going away. It started as what seemed to me, a pinched nerve. (I don’t know if it really was a pinched nerve but that’s how it “felt” to me) The pain would start at my lower back and go down my left buttocks. Al little research on the subject popped up that those were symptoms of psyatic nerve pain so I went to the doctor who told me to get some X-Rays taken. During the time between that visit and the follow up visit after the X-Rays, the pain evolved to what felt to me like a muscular spasm. It began very strongly and went away over some days. After seeing the X-Rays, the doctor told me I had mild osteoarthritis, a very common condition and that it was normal. He basically told me I was getting old. (I’m 32 so come on! I’m not THAT old) Suffice it to say, I did not take that well at all.

First, it didn’t feel like arthritis to me. Granted, I don’t know what arthritis feels like but osteoarthritis is the erosion of cartilege in your joints which should should(I think) give you the sensation of pain in and around your affected bones. In my case the lower back. It doesn’t feel like that at all. Second, what’s with this getting old crap??!! Third, He didn’t give me any solution to the problem. I realize that arthritis doesn’t really have cure and it’s degenerative but what about exercise? Can  I still do it? What kind of execise can I do then? How can ease the pain in the long term? I don’t want live off pain medication to continue exercising. The doctor’s answer was: “It’s gonna come and go, so exercise when you can. If you feel pain, stop.” Yeah. That made me feel better.

Truth be told, the Dr. is not a specialist so I shouldn’t expect him to be an expert on this but the problem is, he really bummed me out. A couple of days after seeing him, the pain was gone like he said it would so the very next morning I woke up and exercised. Three hours later, my back had tighten up to the point were sitting down was extremely painful. That was over a week ago. I’m still in pain to this day. THis was extremely depressing. After losing all this weight, I wasn’t going to be able to finish? That feeling better than I had in years would mean I couldn’t be active now that I was beggining to be able to do so many things? I still have more than half the weight to lose. Without exercise it would very hard to continue. And what about my black belt? The one goal I wanted to reach so badly. Could I still do Martial Arts? I needed a second opinion.

I set up an appointment with Sports Medicine specialist. The one doctor I never thought I have to visit. After all, my main concerns about this were about exercising so who better to answer my questions. I showed him my X-Rays and told him the whole story. Right off the bat, he told my problem was not the arthritis. It was too mild a case to immobilize a person so severely. The problem turned out to be the bottom-most disc in my back. the space between that disc and the next one is too close. It’s called compression. Not a good thing apprently. It seems the compression of the discs is causing instability in my lower back which the body tries to stabilize by using the muscles in the surrounding area and creates a spasm. THAT is what’s causing the pain and the stiffness. Problem identified. But it gets better. The condition is completely treatable.

The doctor told me I needed to solve this in two stages: First treat and get rid of the spasm with medication and therapy. He gave anti-inflamatory medication and a muscle relaxant to take before I go to sleep. After I finish writing this I will go to my first therapy session. Second stage is strengthening the lower back to avoid future spasms with more therapy. The great thing about all this is that even though I have to take it easy for a while, I will probably be able to continue doing Turbo Jam and Martial Arts without any major problems. For the first time in several weeks, I’m feeling much better and at ease.

They say all things happen for a reason and this is no exception. Although I got a bit depressed and was pretty worried for a ttime there, I learned a few very positive things about where I’m at as a person trying to change his lifestyle. First, I found out just how important exercise has become to me. The prospect of having to stop really got me down which means it has developed into a habit. A good one for a change. Second, that first visit to the doctor, despite being so depressing wasn’t all bad. He told me to get some blood work done and the results were great. Everything normal across the board. My cholesterol is 120. Very low for someone my size and weight. I don’t know what it was before I started to lose weight but that is certainly very good news.

The Real Truth About “Cheating” on your Diet

Posted in Advice with tags , , , , , on June 10, 2009 by uziel5000

Of all the books I’ve read on diets, all the programs I’ve tried, all the myths I’ve heard, no subject is treated more lightly or more ignored than cheating or as some call it indulging. Whether we are talking about a well-researched book by an expert or some new hype we hear on the street, I haven’t seen any other subject regarding weight loss that is less mentioned. Is cheating good? Is it bad? Some casually mention it, others ignore it completely so it is always left unanswered. So here are my thoughts on the matter.

Nutritionists, trainers and doctors almost always neglect to mention this very real aspect about dieting for several reasons. Most are afraid that endorsing any type of indulgence might lead to the reader or program follower down a path that will end in quitting the program altogether. You write that you can indulge once in a while, we interpret it as permission to cheat all the time… game over. Therefore, even though it is not actually written that way, it is implied that strict adherance is expected. But what are the consequences of that? As it turns out, it leads to the same path as saying you can cheat: You end up quitting altogether as well.

The reason is simple. You will have cravings eventually. That cheeseburger begins to call you, but you stand strong and resist temptation. Then, 2 days later it calls you again. You refuse to back down. Now the cheeseburger is all you can think of. 3 days later you meet some friends and go to lunch. Then it happens. Everyone is eating what they want. You cave. You have the cheeseburger. But then, you can’t stop. You have the burger for lunch, figure that the day is ruined and have pizza for dinner. You wake up the next day and think:”Might as well have a big breakfast.” and end up downing a “Super-Duper-Mega-Slam”. By lunch time, you figure you have ruined your diet and give up. back to square one. Sound familiar?

One of the main questions I asked myself when starting this weight loss journey, was how to avoid this scenario. This is actually one of the main problems with diets that restrict certain food groups (low-carb, no fruit, no(insert food group here) diets). The minute you decide to go on these diets, you set yourself up. Especially if the restricted group is something you love to eat. We all know how it works: We crave what we can’t have.(In food and life in general) So the propensity to fall is always there. And I’m not even going into the health aspects of consuming an un-balanced diet. So the first rule on cheating is: To avoid cheating and keep your sanity, eat a balanced diet. You are less likely to crave something if you don’t feel it is restricted. The mantra shoudn’t be : “I can’t have that” It should be: “I don’t want to have that right now“.

Of course, there will come a time when that cheeseburger will call you. What to do? Eat it. Get over it. Continue you program. End of story. One cheeseburger wont sabotage your diet. Thinking that because you ate it, you should continue cheating because you already ruined your diet will do it though. There is no way around this folks. It will happen. We are only human so let it go. Here is my way of dealing with this problem and so far it has been golden. It might help you.

I have seriously decreased my cravings for high calorie and unhealthy foods by just saying to myself I can have them. That’s right. In my “program” I can have any food I want. The catch is that I can have them at certain times. For me, those times are special occasions. My wedding anniversary, my daughter’s birthday, mother’s day, those are some of the days where I have eaten stuff not exactly conducive to weight loss yet I have not gained a single pound since I started this journey. I have my cake, steak, ribs or whatever and then I keep going. Most of the time I’m not stressing over what I can’t have because I know I will have it eventually. Recently, it was my anniversary (4 years) and I knew we were going to Outback Steakhouse to celebrate so the two weeks prior to it I followed my diet with no problems or cravings because I knew I would eat a nice steak then. That day I had clam chowder, a steak and shared a dessert with my wife. The next day, back to my usual eating habits. Simple.

Which brings me to the second rule of cheating: Just because you cheated once doesn’t mean you ruined your diet or your progress.The most important thing to keep in mind when you do cheat is to NOT quit. Thinking you can continue cheating because you cheated once is the death blow to the goals you have set. Accept the fact that it will happen and get on with it. Also, having the occasional indulgence plays right into one of the crucial steps of successful weight loss: Slow weight- loss is permanent weight-loss. So you lost just one pound instead of two because you went to that BBQ. So what? It is better to adjust your body to how you are going to live the rest of your life(eating healthy with the occasional indulgence) during you weigh loss than losing a bunch of weight quickly with some extreme, over the top diet and than having make massive adjustments to keep that weight off.

Progress Report #1

Posted in Weigh-in with tags , , , , , on May 20, 2009 by uziel5000

OK, let’s go back a moment to the pictures I took at my heaviest. Not my favorite thing in the world but then again the whole point of this blog is hold myself accountable so here it is again: Me at 319 pounds.

Before Pictures copy

Alright, now let’s look at the most recent set of pictures. This was taken on 5/15/09. 4 months after starting the eating plan and 30 days after starting the full-on exercise plan.

30 Day Frank copy

Some differences REALLY pop up by just looking at the two sets but first lets look at the numbers. On my last weigh-in, the scale read 275lbs. That is 44lbs. less than my heaviest weight of 319 and 33 less than my starting weight of 308. Also, my measurements went down. My chest is 50″(down 1 from 51″), my arms are 16″(down 1′ from 17″),my legs are 27 1/2″(down 1 1/2 from 29″), my hips are 48″(down 3 from 51″), my waist is 47 1/2″(down 1 1/2″ from 49). So that is 8 total inches less. Not bad…

Looking at the pics, the things that really stand out for me are the bottom part of my face, my belly and my waist on the back view. On the original pics, these areas, more than looking fat, I look bloated. Swollen even. Like I had some disease. Also, the new pics confirm my long-standing suspicion that I, in fact, have a neck somewhere between my head and shoulders.

Not noticeable on the pics, are the effects of the weight loss and exercise. I am sleeping much better now and feel rested when I wake up even though I am waking up much earlier now to exercise. This has meant that I fall asleep much earlier as well, which has affected my TV-watching habits but I don’t mind at all. I have a lot more energy during the day as well. My performance in Tae Kwon Do classes has improved significantly. I don’t get tired as fast or run out of breath. In fact I can pretty much go through the whole class without much problem. My Turbo Jam workouts are also much better. A fact very noticable at the end of the workouts as I’m able to finish much stronger than before. All in all, improvements all around. However…

Things to consider…

Because of the amount of exercise I’m doing, I think I have to revise my daily calorie allowance. Not necessarily an increase or decrease but a revision on how I’m reaching that number(1,800 calories per day). There is no set amount perfect for everybody so I’m looking into calculating calorie allowance based on things like body fat percentage, weight, height and age. This should help me tighten up my diet to suit my needs more.  Also I’m considering spreading the calories a bit more by adding a meal, which helps keep your metabolism running in top form. Long term, I should also revise my workout. As I lose more weight and my body adapts, making changes in diet and exercise programs helps avoid plateaus, which are bound to come up so I need to have options ready.

So far, so good. I learned many things in my previous attempts to lose weight but one never stops learning and this time around I am learning plenty. Hopefuly I can apply those things and improve where it is needed as I go since there is not going to be a next time. Next full report in 30 days. In the meantime, keep a lookout for articles on the importance of peer support, some things I have found out and some cool websites I have discovered along the way.

The Plan continued…

Posted in General Information with tags , , , , on May 12, 2009 by uziel5000

Okay, so last time I went into some detail about the changes I was making to my daily food intake. So far, I have lost 32 pounds(as of 5/10/09) following that nutrition program. However, eating has been only part of the equation. As I mentioned on the post “Things I have Learned”, nutrition is only half the battle. Exercise is a crucial part of an effective weight loss program. Not only does exercising burn calories, which really makes achieving a calorie deficit that much easier, but working out has immense health benefits and in some cases increases your body’s ability to burn calories by helping you build muscle mass(not body builder type muscle mass mind you but some).

Cardio vs. Strength

Cardiovascular training burns fat. All types of cardio are, by definition, aerobic which means they use oxygen. Without oxygen you can’t burn fat. Therefore the exercises you do that are aerobic, will maximize the amount of calories you burn during the workout. Jogging, Cycling, Rowing and the like are examples of cardio training. Strength(or resistance) training on the other hand, is anaerobic. It does not use oxygen.  You increase your muscle strength and mass by breaking down muscle tissue when you lift. After you lift, when the muscle is at rest, it rebuilds bigger and stronger. Obviously you burn calories while doing this, but not as much as when doing cardio. Doing push-ups, pull ups, sit-ups, lifting weights, they are all examples of strength training.

So, that basically means that if you are looking to lose weight you should stick with cardio training and you’ll be set right? Well, not exactly. The process of burning fat(or any other fuel like sugar for example) is complex. The body needs the energy for breathing, circulation, digestion, tissue regeneration and brain function just to name a few. Some of these processes are more metabolically active than others. Meaning, they require more energy than others therefore they burn more fuel and hopefully fat. Building and retaining muscle mass is one of those things the body does that require lots of fuel. The more muscle you have, the more fuel it requires to remain there. Bodybuilders are an extreme example. When they train to build muscle, their diets can be as high as 4,000 and 5,000 calories a day yet their body fat stays below 8%. Believe me, at 5,000 calories, no matter how little fat you are consuming, if you are not exercising (and I mean REALLY exercising) your body will turn all that to fat. The reason why bodybuilders get away with it is because those huge muscles require so much energy to maintain that they burn fat just by standing there. They NEED the calories, otherwise they start to lose muscle tissue.

Although an extreme example, (however if you want to achieve that physique as a goal, by all means go for it) there is a lot we can learn from bodybuilders. They have taken fat burning to the most efficient form possible. Going back to the world of us mere overweight mortals, we can take some of that knowledge and apply it to our weight loss goals. The facts are right there: If you want your cardio workouts to give you the most efficient calorie burning possible, spend some time developing muscle. In other words, a combination of cardio and strength training is the most efficient exercise program to lose weight. Following this blueprint is a win-win situation. Not only will you burn more calories, but as you lose weight, you will begin to see a nice physique emerging from the fat.

What I’m doing

When I began losing weight, I started to take Tae Kwon Do lessons as my form of exercise. For those not familiar with this martial art, Tae Kwon Do means “The way of the hand and foot”. It has two very distinct parts: The self-defense aspect and the sport aspect. After being introduced as an exhibition sport in the Seoul Olympics in 1988, it has become extremely popular. It is full contact, meaning participants pull no punches and it can be pretty brutal. Think of a boxing match where instead of using the hands, you primarily use your feet. 3 rounds of TKD can be as grueling on the body as 12 rounds of boxing. The reason I take the time to explain this is to show that if the matches are that brutal, you can imagine what the workouts must be like. They are a combination of cardio, strength, and explosiveness training. It is an awsome workout that burns monster calories. Every time I finish a class, I end up drenched in sweat. It really gives your legs a great workout which is a plus since the biggest muscle group in your body is the thighs so, they are the muscles that burn the most fat.

The problem is that while TKD has been really effective, classes are only twice a week. This left me with 5 other days of doing nothing.  For a time, I would go with my wife and daughter to a track near our home and walk for 30-45 minutes but we weren’t that motivated and soon we were skipping days and not going more times than we were going. We needed something we could stick with. Low and behold, out of all things, an infomercial gave us the answer. We were watching TV one morning and saw this infomercial about this workout DVD called Turbo Jam. Now, I’m the last guy to buy something off an infomercial but sometimes, you have to make a compromise. Turbo Jam is a set of videos that offer to give you a full body workout. It’s a combination of Kickboxing and dancing and other things. I wasn’t really thinking of “jazzercising” my way into fitness but the minute my wife saw it she was hooked. I was looking for a more straightforward(manly?) workout but in the end I caved because well, it was my wife after all and it was something we could do together. Watching the infomercial and looking up the information on the Internet, several things convinced me to buy it: First, it’s affordable. Compared to buying equipment or buying a gym membership for two, the videos were a steal. Second, convenience. You workout at home. You don’t have to go anywhere or worse, going to a gym full of people that look a thousand times better than you. Third, unlike other infomercials, this one made no promises of miracle cures or the like. You have to put in the work and do the workouts, which looked challenging, so I bought them.

Let me tell you, these videos are no walk in the park! The cardio routines are gonna make you sweat big time and the strength training video can be quite rigorous. Of course, no video, workout or exercise program is not gonna work unless you actually do it. We really took a close look at our schedule to see where we could fit the time to work out. We considered the evenings after I returned from work but thought that if the time caught us tired or unmotivated, we would look for excuses not to do it. Finally we struck a compromise: we would MAKE the time. We decided to wake up at 5:50am on weekdays to do the program. This was especially hard for me because of my sleep apnea so every second of rest counts. But in the end, we are doing this for better health so less sleep will result in better rest down the stretch. With these videos, I now work out every week day in the morning and do Tae Kwon Do every evening on Mondays and Wednesdays. Pretty grueling schedule but I like both workouts so I have been able to do both and stay very motivated. The secret of sticking to an exercise program is to like what you are doing and so far I certainly do.

Come back next time, when I give you a 30 day report and post new pictures to see if there is a difference so far.

The Plan

Posted in General Information with tags , , , , , on May 4, 2009 by uziel5000

This is me at my heaviest. 319 pounds.

I HATE these pics

I HATE these pics

Needless to say, there is a lot of work to do. Funny thing though: You are never really aware of just how much you have let yourself go until you see yourself in pictures like these. I certainly didn’t see that when I looked in the mirror. Then you have your picture taken and suddenly you go: “Man! Am I THAT fat? The answer is yes. For me, there were two pictures, taken on New Year’s Eve and new Year’s Day respectively, that really brought things home for me. Those are posted below.
New Year's Eve 2008/2009

New Year's Eve 2008/2009

New Year's day 2009

New Year's day 2009

 That’s my wife and child in that picture above by the way. These pictures were the last straw. Seeing what little neck I had left, it was only a matter of time before my sleep apnea would go from a partial to a total block of the respiratory canal. My wife was going to wake up one day and find me dead. If this sounds melodramatic believe me, it’s not. People who suffer from sleep apnea die in that very same way all the time. The question then, was: What am I going to do about it? This just couldn’t another “attempt”. It had to be a solution and it had to be a permanent one. Earlier in my life I could afford to fail but now I have run out of time and my wife and child are on the line. Here is what I’m currently doing. If you have read my previous posts, you’ll be surprised to see some of the things I’m doing but really, there is a reason behind the madness.

The eating part

People hate counting calories. It’s a hassle, it requires some math, which I hate, and sometimes it lets you know just how much less you are eating which can make you feel hungry. However, I have to say that there is no better or effective way to watch what you eat. The good news is that all the hassle is temporary. After three months of keeping to a 1,800 calorie diet, I have to say that I do very little counting anymore. It just becomes second nature. I mean, you can only look up the calorie content of a grilled chicken breast so many time before it sticks. You simply learn the right portions and combinations that make out your meals. So really, calorie counting is just a hurdle you need to jump. It will become a part of you and it wont annoy you. I promise.

Like I said my diet consists of 1,800 calories. It is also a low-fat diet (I’ll explain why in a minute). I have to stick to about 21 grams of fat a day. This meant I had to work out some stuff. Had to be careful about butter, oils, mayo and high fat proteins like some cuts of beef. I also had to think of some substitutions. I’m a coffee drinker and the latte is my drink of choice. With whole milk that can mean up to 250 calories for a tall serving. Problem: I hate skim milk. And don’t get me started on non-fat milk. They simply weren’t options and 250 calories was half of my breakfast so just when I was starting to think I was gonna have to give it up, somebody gave a sample of vanilla-flavored soy milk while at Costco. I have to say I was really surprised. I used to avoid soy milk like the plague but it really tasted good. Plus, the vanilla flavor really brought out the flavor of my coffee and breakfast cereal. I also switched to low-fat mayo,(which i don’t use much but it tastes just the same) non-fat salad dressing and for butter I use a spread that rhymes with Country Rock. Now, all the low-fat stuff still has fat so you can’t go bananas pouring it over everything. The secret is in the serving size. Stay at or below the serving size and count the calories. For example I can make myself a Turkey Burger with wheat bread, lettuce, tomato, mayo and ketchup and stay well below 500 calories. The condiments help with the flavor and I don’t have to starve.

How many times you eat during the day is up to you. Studies have shown that spreading out your meals from three a day to five or six smaller ones can really boost your metabolism in addition to help you not go hungry. This is not an option for everyone however. Time and work might not allow you to follow such a plan so work with your schedule. I do three meals a day and a snack. Whatever you decide make sure you don’t go past your calorie limit for the day(which can vary per person). The purpose of my snack is to deal with one of my main problem areas: At night, I go crazy. I hate going to bed hungry and I would always cheat at night after a whole day of following a diet. Now, I make sure I have enough calories left at the end of the day to have an early evening snack. A snack that I use to take a multi-vitamin at the end of the day.

In my next post, I will continue to explain THE PLAN.

Things I have learned

Posted in Words of Wisdom with tags , , , , , on April 26, 2009 by uziel5000

In choosing the path I was going to take to change my lifestyle, I did a lot of research and self-analysis to make sure I did everything in my power to avoid failure. I thought about how other attempts that failed and why. I thought about everything I have learned about nutrition and learned some new things along the way. Also, science has revised a lot of things we thought we knew about weight-loss through the years. These are some of the things I have picked up and learned so far.

ALL DIETS (EVEN THE CRAZY ONES) WORK

That’s right. Even the “Pound of Bacon a Day” Diet and whatever else you have heard of. You see, the thing about all diets and fads are based on the same principle: Someone- either by themselves or through some study- tried all these diets and actually lost weight. If that didn’t happen, then they wouldn’t be trying to sell it to you. So, in principle at least, they all work: If you follow the diet as explained, you will lose weight. Period. But if that is true then why do we fail so miserably EVERY TIME WE TRY ONE? The problem, it turns out, is not how diets works. The problem is that they are diets. You see, the definition we have given the word diet implies a finite, temporary thing. You eat a certain way for a period of time and lose x amount of pounds. Then it’s over. You are done. Back to the way you used to eat, or worse. Because you lost some weight, you actually feel you can eat more. The result of course, is you gain the weight back and then some. The worse part is that you end up with even more horrible eating habits than you had when you began the diet.

People who over-eat (and people who are obese and morbidly obese always are) simply cannot approach weight-loss by going on a diet. Not in the traditional sense. If you use the actual definition of the word diet, which simply means “the way eat”, then to lose weight and keep it off we don’t need to go on a diet. We need to change our diet. Forever. That means building an eating plan that allows you to lose weight but at the same time, you will not need to change too much once you achieve your goal weight. In other words, we need to change our lives by eating healthier forever. Of course, the benefits of getting in this state of mind are many. You will not only lose weight, but it will help you keep a more positive attitude and since it is a permanent change, your body will thank you for the rest of your life. I can’t stress this enough. If you are thinking of losing weight and not thinking sbout making permanent changes, it is actually better not to go on a diet at all. In the end you will end up in a worse situation than the one you began with.

THERE IS NO MIRACLE CURE

If it’s true that all diets works, it’s even more true that everything that promises a quick, easy or miraculous way to lose weight doesn’t work. There is an old saying that a person never learns by other people’s mistakes but if you listen to me now, you will save so much time and hassle. If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. There is only one way your body loses weight: You use more calories than you consume. A calorie “deficit” if you will. To achieve this deficit you have to eat less calories and burn some calories by exercising. Anyone trying to sell you any other way than that is lying to you. Period.

SOME SORT OF PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IS REQUIRED

Okay, in the strictest sense of the word, you could change your diet and lose weight without exercising. But I warn you: it will be SO MUCH HARDER to do so. All extremes are dangerous. If you do not exercise, you will have to eat so little calories to achieve weight loss you will probably be hungry and miserable all day. This leads to cheating and eventually quitting. Not good. Also, the oppsite is true. If you think you can lose weight simply by exercising, you better get ready to say good bye to your social, work and private life. To burn the calories needed to lose weight on the average diet of an obese person, you will probably have to exercise all day. Plus, an obese person simply doesn’t have the physical condition to do that anyway. Again save yourself the trouble. A combination of diet and exercise is the sure-fire ticket to achieve your goals.

I have many more little “nuggets of wisdom”. I will share them with you as we go along. Next time, I will tell you exactly how I’m applying what I have learned to lose weight.