The weight loss industry is huge, by some estimates, over $60 billion annually . This includes diet plans, exercise equipment, weight loss supplements, and probably several other categories of products that shouldn’t even be included. Like every other industry, the weight loss industry is ruled by supply and demand. The marketplace for these items is huge because consumers have made it known they are willing to spend a lot of money to lose weight.
Unfortunately, the weight loss success numbers seem to indicate that what most people aren’t willing to do is comply with a healthy lifestyle that includes fresh, raw foods and complementary exercise.
Eat To Lose Weight
A healthy diet does not mean a starvation diet. Hunger is a natural signal from your body telling you to eat. Don’t ignore it, eat when you are hungry. However, the key is to differentiate hunger from “habit eating” and to be selective about the foods, and quantity, you choose. Eating regular, nutritious meals that leave you full and satisfied will help you stick to your plan and reach your weight loss goals. Skipping meals will slow down your metabolism and cause you to overcompensate with a larger meal later on. When it’s time for a snack, avoid processed foods. Raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, are filling and nutritious. Permanent weight loss happens when you have a healthy eating plan and stay in control of what you put in your mouth.
Think about what you are going to eat each day and what healthy snacks and meals you need to have ready for when hunger strikes. If you are going out to eat, think about the menu options ahead of time so that you can order your favorite healthy selection without being tempted by the other unhealthy selections on the menu.
Weight Loss Tip: Slow down. Eating slowly and chewing your food til it reaches a liquid state will not only help you get more nutritional value out of the food you eat, it’ll also allow time for your stomach to signal your brain that it is full.
Bonus Weight Loss Tip: If you feel the urge to eat before the time is right, drink a large glass of water. Water can help curb an appetite and adequate hydration is necessary for your body’s enzymatic and digestive processes.
Exercise Can and Should Be Fun
“Exercise more” is perhaps the most common of all new years resolutions, it’s also one that seems to make the list every year. Unfortunately, too many people fail to make exercise part of their lifestyle. Sticking to an exercise program can fail for a number of reasons, but one way to guarantee failure is to force yourself to do activities you just don’t enjoy. Starting an exercise program is a challenge that always includes the occasional moment when you’re not motivated or in the mood to work out, but you should always be able to find baseline pleasure in the exercise activity you’ve chosen. If you hate lifting weights, try swimming. If you hate swimming, try a cardio program. If you hate cardio, try brisk walking. Exercise is simply physical activity, and there are a million ways to enjoy it. When proper form, intensity, and frequency are in order, it doesn’t really matter what you do, as long as you’re doing something.
People who are successful at achieving weight loss, and making it permanent, have usually found a way to make exercise a regular and enjoyable part of their daily activities. If you want to achieve your weight loss goals, you need to incorporate exercise into your day. If you haven’t exercised in a while and aren’t sure where to start – try whatever sounds interesting until you find an activity, or a few activities, that do it for you. If you enjoy exercise, you’ll look forward to exercise, and if you look forward to it, you’re more apt to stick to it.
Weight Loss Tip: Set yourself up for success and satisfaction. Establish a schedule you know you can stick to. Exercise with a friend so you can hold each other accountable. Multitask and use the time to listen to new music, enjoy the outdoors, or just mentally refresh.
Don’t Give Up Or Give In
The idea of having a healthy body and experiencing the benefits of a healthy weight excites a lot of people. And, it should. Healthy, full living is amazing and can only be obtained when your life is in order – and that includes physical fitness. However, it’s also important to be realistic and understand that while success is absolutely achievable, there will be days when you’re tired and just don’t feel like it. Let’s be honest, it is easier to heat up some slop in the microwave and watch TV than it is to go workout and then prepare a fresh meal. What’s your plan for dealing with those feelings when they happen? Pitfalls are more easily avoided when you have a defense ready. Stay committed to your goals through the tough times. Remind yourself of the accomplishments you’ve made already and those you’re still working to achieve.
by Dr. Edward Group DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM
- Marketdata Enterprises, Inc. U.S. weight loss market worth $60.9 billion. The U.S. Weight Loss & Diet Control Market. 2011 May.