I recently talked with a few people who have lost weight in the past year. Here is the first thing I learned about losing weight: it’s hard work. No matter what method you use, whether it’s a diet plan, an intense exercise regimen, or stomach surgery, there is no easy way to do it. Therefore, if you are looking for the magic formula that will help you lose weight in a snap, you won’t find it on this blog.
One of the things that I loved about the women that I talked to was that their goal was health. Their motivations weren’t superficial or to simply look better, but they wanted to improve the quality of their lives and avoid the diseases that were threatening their ability to live well. Here are 3 things to consider when trying to lose weight:
- Retrain Your Brain. When it comes to food, one of the things that each of the women said was that they had to look closely at what they were eating and have a period of strict structure to reteach the brain and the body how to eat appropriately for their body. I have never been a fan of diets (because if you go on them, then you’ll likely go off them), but always have encouraged healthy eating habits–a lifestyle that is more consistent than dieting. Many people who need to lose weight don’t have eating habits that work well for what their body’s needs are, so there needs to be a period of retraining the brain and body to learn what is best for them. Each of the women sought the help of a professional in this area, and I would recommend doing that as well if you are trying to lose weight in a healthy way. If you are local and need some recommendations, I would be happy to give them to you.
- Rework Your Body Composition. If you want to lose 1 pound, there needs to be a 3,500 calorie deficit. This ends up meaning that you need to burn 500 more calories a day than you are taking in if you want to lose 1 pound in a week. That is the very basic science behind weight loss, but your body has this thing called metabolism that can throw off the numbers. Metabolism refers to what goes on chemically inside your body to keep it going. The more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn at rest. Therefore, one of the best ways to improve your metabolism is to exercise. Add muscle to your body and improve your aerobic capacity, and you are on your way to healthy living. Talk to your doctor about this or find a fitness professional if you need help, but start by just moving your body more in the meantime.
- Reconsider Your Options. Have you talked to the doctor about all your options? Have you thought about if there is an emotional, spiritual, genetic, or health issue behind your weight gain or your inability to lose weight? The success behind the women I talked to has a lot to do with addressing these issues. There is a time when weight loss surgery might be the right option and there is a time when one needs to realize that their heart and mind is not a healthy place. I would recommend talking to close friends and family, or someone you trust, to help sort these things out.
Losing weight can be hard stuff. A lot of work goes into this process, and the best results come when the whole person is addressed: body, mind, and spirit. Find someone to help you, and feel free to ask me questions if you have them.
If you find yourself interacting with someone who has recently lost weight and you don’t know what to say, check out my previous post Losing Weight: What Not To Say.