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Weight-Loss Summary: Getting Started, Myths & Warnings
The pressures of modern-day living place us all under strain, but it’s the overweight that are more at risk.
In today’s society, where family meals around the table have been replaced with a quick stop-off at McDonalds, it’s no wonder than nearly a quarter of the UK’s population are clinically obese. Figures published last year (2010) claim that over 12million adults and 1million children are classed as obese, each person putting themselves at risk of cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. It’s a scary thought... but a very real one.
Realising you need to take control of your weight is the first step. Doing something about it is the next.You need to set yourself realistic goals:
If you don't know where you're going,
you'll never know when you've arrived.
When losing weight, it’s really important to have an equal balance of diet and exercise. It’s no use being ‘good’ all day and avoiding the cake aisle, if all you’re going to do is sit on the sofa watching daytime TV! You need to get your body moving and burning those calories.
There are so many myths when it comes to what to eat and what not to eat. Many people will tell you to have a carb-free diet (no carbohydrates) and others will tell you to fill yourself up on pasta and brown rice. The truth is, different diets work for different people. We are all different and what works for one, may not necessarily work for you. There’s always a new diet out on the market and we’re always reading about our favourite celebrities following strict eating regimes. Whether it’s the well-known, and very controversial, Atkins Diet, The Blood Group Diet or The Baby Food Diet (yes, really!) we are constantly bombarded with stories of how to lose 3 stone in 2 months – which is tempting, but often leaves us disappointed.
Whilst following these diets will no doubt make you lose weight, chances are, it will not be sustainable.
There is no hidden secret when it comes to losing weight. It always comes back round to the tried and tested method: Sensible diet and exercise. That’s it. It’s as simple as that.
Sugar is a very important. The food we eat is increasingly adulterated with sugar – and usually where we’d least expect it. Bread, for instance, has added sugar to cater for our taste buds, which have grown used to it. Low-fat foods often contain sugar in place of fat to improve their appeal, meaning they’re more frequently worse for us than the full-fat versions!
Even eating pasta is not without complications, as it provokes the same response from your body as chocolate – a sudden but short-lived rush of energy, which leaves the body craving more sugar.
You can reduce your sugar intake by sticking to a healthy, balanced diet. This, paired with plenty of exercise, will have you on the right track in no time.
Filling yourself up on low GI foods will keep you fuller for longer. Replace White bread with whole wheat, cornflakes for bran and bananas for cherries. Small changes like these make BIG differences.
If going to the gym sounds like your worst nightmare then don’t go. You should always feel comfortable in what you’re doing because if you don’t, chances are you won’t stick at it.
Exercise can be done in the home, in the garden, in the park, on the beach, you name it! It doesn’t have to be about slogging away for hours on the treadmill; it can be as simple as taking the dog for a brisk walk/run, taking the kids/grandkids to the park and running around chasing a football. These examples are just very small things that will get your heart racing and burning calories. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring – join a dance class, a sports team or club. This will help you lose weight, tone up and all at the same time as having fun... who’d have thought it!
If you do decide to head for the gym, don’t be scared off from doing weights. Many women won’t go near them, for fearing of turning into a female version of Arnold Schwarzenegger! Weights will help tone, as well as build muscle – keeping you lean and trim. Alternate with cardio and you will soon be reaping the rewards.
If you're burning more calories than you're consuming,
then you can't go wrong.
And finally, when you’re trying to lose weight, note that you’ll have good and bad days. Weight fluctuates in everybody, so don’t be disheartened to find you have put on a 1lbs or two. There are many different reasons why this may happen - don’t beat yourself up about it; just continue the good work and move forward in achieving your goal.