The 10 Golden Rules of Losing Weight & Keeping it Off

Golden Rule Number 1 - Understand why we are putting on weight!

The majority of overweight people donít have problems with their metabolism or any other health issue. The real problem lies in the food groups being consumed, the quantities being eaten and the lack of physical activity. It is only in the last 10,000 years, a fraction of a second in evolutionary time, that humans began ingesting large amounts of sugar and starch in the form of grains (and potatoes) into their diets. Prior to this we consumed meat and vegetables.

Modern man has begun consuming large amounts of high carbohydrates from starch and sugar rich foods. In short, we are consuming excessive amounts of bread, cereals, pasta, corn, rice and potatoes - add to this list soft drinks, ice cream, candies, etc.

Excessive amounts of carbohydrates can cause many health issues. Some of the more common are:
  • Weight gain
  • Depression
  • Bloating
  • High blood pressure
  • Fatigue and frequent sleepiness
  • Brain fogginess
  • Low blood sugar
  • High triglycerides

Eating controlled amounts of carbohydrates is necessary for good health; however, we have become addicted to sweet starchy foods. Unfortunately the body can only store a small amount of carbohydrate in the liver and muscles, the excess is converted via insulin and taken up by the fat cells of the body. The more carbohydrates we consume the greater the amount of insulin produced by the pancreas to break it down. It is this cycle that creates those bulging stomachs, fatty thighs and chins. Excessive amounts of insulin in the blood also suppress important hormones that are required for fat metabolism and muscle development.

Therefore - Golden Rule Number 1 is:-
"Get to know what affect each food group has on our bodies"

Golden Rule Number 2 - Do you have a compelling reason?

One of the main reasons why many people embark on a weight control program and fail, is that their compelling reason is not strong enough to motivate them to continue and reach their desired weight or health goal. To illustrate what I mean, letís say a well meaning friend tells you that "you are starting to look a bit on the plump side and you should lose 40 Ibs". How would you feel about that? You may say to your self "well they are probably correct, yes, I will start a program", or you may choose to ignore them. On the other hand, your doctor tells you that "unless you lose 40 Ibs you are likely to have a heart attack or suffer a stroke". Which of these two situations would you find more motivating?

Recognising the role that food should play in our lives is very important. When food becomes the main focus in our lives we have lost focus. Motivation that comes from within is the best form. External motivation never has the power that is often required to achieve long-term goals.

Therefore - Golden Rule Number 2 is:-
"Make sure your compelling reason is strong enough to motivate you to say no to that extra piece of pizza or glass of wine"

Golden Rule Number 3 - Have a plan and stick to it.

Wanting to lose weight is one thing, knowing how to do it is the difficult part! The first issue is deciding how much weight you need to lose, not how much you would like to lose.

A simple way to calculate what you should weigh is by using the Body Mass Index (BMI) System. Go to www.weightlossforlife.info to estimate how much over or under weight you are. Your clothes are another good guide. If you have gone from a size 12 to a 16, or 18 that is a very good indicator as to how much weight you have put on, and how much you should lose and discuss this with your health practitioner.

Donít be influenced by what you read or what well meaning friends might say. You are the only one who knows how you feel about yourself. A lot of the articles you may read are often advocating that we should all be size 8 or smaller. Bone structure, and other genetic factors play a major role in determining our ideal weight.

Once you have decided what your ideal weight should be write it down and internalise it. Start to see yourself buying the clothes you want, or enjoying an event feeling lighter and healthier.

Therefore - Golden Rule Number 3 is :-
"Decide on your ideal weight internalise it, and donít be influenced by what other people think or say"

Golden Rule Number 4 - How to avoid the dangerous foods.

Believe it or not some foods are dangerous because they can contribute to many life-threatening diseases!

Why do we eat the foods that we eat? There are a number of reasons. Our life style plays a major role in our food choices. Unfortunately a large portion of society has been influenced by the fast food industry. Eating fast food once a week is not an issue for the majority of people. However some people have become addicted to it.

Television commercials are another concern. How many ads have you seen lately for protein foods - meat, fish, nuts, etc? On the other hand how many ads have you seen for fast foods, cereals, breads, etc? There is no doubt the multinational processed food manufacturers have a strong influence upon our eating habits.

Being able to recognise the dangerous foods will help you avoid them. The dangerous foods are those that are high in sugar content or starches like bread, pasta, rice, cereals, potatoes and alcohol.

Our senses play a major role in our choices, for example, if a food does not taste either sweet or salty we call it bland. We walk by a bakery and our sense of smell kicks in and our desire to eat a freshly baked flour product increases. We see a beautifully made strawberry cheesecake and our sense of sight attracts us to it.

There is one sense we should use above all - that is our commonsense. If we use that more when deciding on food we would not eat half the food we do.

Therefore - Golden Rule Number 4 is:-
"Recognise the dangerous foods and eat less of them"

Golden Rule Number 5 - How to evaluate weight loss programs to ensure long term success.

The problem with a lot of the weight loss options is that they are too restrictive. Trying to buy low carbohydrate or low calorie foods can be a nightmare, let alone expensive.

Meal replacements like shakes and home delivered meals are not a healthy option, and most important for weight loss, will not educate and empower you on how to eat once you are off your diet. This is a crucial component needed to help you not go back to silly food habits and put the lost weight back again.

Our bodies were not meant to function on processed, manufactured, frozen or dehydrated foods. We need wholesome naturally occurring foods like vegetables, fruit, nuts, whole grains, meat, fish, eggs and cheese.

Any weight loss program that prevents you from eating three meals of the above mentioned foods each day is not sustainable over the long term. When you know which food groups to eat and how much of each, you will then be able to make the correct food choices that best suit your metabolism and body type.

Therefore - Golden Rule Number 5 is:-
"Avoid weight loss programs that recommend meal replacement drinks and that donít advise foods that are readily available."

Golden Rule Number 6 - How to get back on track?

One of the main pit falls is having a binge and then losing the plot! Itís all too hard too difficult - I am not meant to be a size 10. Have you heard this sort of talk before? Itís a very common occurrence. Knowing how to get back on track is vital to your success. Inevitably birthdays, engagements, etc., will occur whilst you are trying to get rid of that unwanted fat.

So how do you get back on track? Itís easy! Letís say you do go to a wedding, normally you may drink a toast (alcohol) or have a slice of the wedding cake. These foods are very high in carbohydrates Ė carbs that you donít need! A weight loss program must teach you the correct way of getting rid of those unwanted carbs when you get off track for special occasions so your weight drop continues going down, not go up and you give up hope in reaching your goal weight. Getting back on track is easy when you know how.

Therefore - Golden Rule Number 6 is:-
"You can enjoy special occasions and continue to lose weight when you know how"

Golden Rule Number 7 Ė Exercise should be part of your lifestyle!

Exercise is great if you enjoy it. Exercise should stimulate you, not exhaust you. You often see people jogging along the side of the road and probably think to your self this poor fellow looks like he needs a lift! Exercise should be started in moderation, do what you can and work with an instructor who can get you on the right plan. Choose a form of exercise you can enjoy.

Burning body fat through exercise is quite strenuous. In order to burn body fat you need aerobic exercise, or exercise of a prolonged duration. Too strenuous exercise may only burn glucose, and very little fat. If exercise is to be used as a means to lose weight seek the advice of your healthcare practitioner, or fitness instructor, as you could do more harm than good to your body for the purpose of weight loss, if exercise is not implemented properly.

Therefore - Golden Rule Number 7 is:-
"You can lose unwanted body fat without exercise , but exercise should be part of your lifestyle"

Golden Rule Number 8 - How to deal with Negative people around you.

You have made the all important decision and then it seems that nearly everybody around you tries to tempt you to break your commitment - especially your colleagues at work, "go on have a bit, you canít lose weight, you really donít want to be on a diet" - sound familiar? One way to deal with some of these people is to tell them that you are reducing your food intake for health reasons.

It is vital to your success that your immediate family support your efforts. There is nothing worse than family members chomping on foods that you are trying to avoid. Donít buy foods that you know are hard to resist, only keep foods in the house that are good for you. The world is full of negative people, try and avoid those that are particularly bad, and be determined to prove them wrong.

Therefore - Golden Rule Number 8 is:-
"Try to ignore or avoid negative people and remember, some of them may be plain jealous"

Golden Rule Number 9 Ė Ensure the weight you lose is fat loss, not muscle mass!

The most popular weight loss programs are either meal replacements, calorie counting meal plans, and liquid diets. The problem with all of these approaches to weight loss is the probability you will lose muscle mass as you lose weight. By losing muscle mass you are doing more harm than good to yourself, and would be better off not losing any weight, as over time you will put back the lost weight in the form of fat. The consequence of this is for you to become larger physically as fat weighs less than muscle. Furthermore, by losing muscle mass you will have to eat less than when you first started on your weight loss program as you will have reduced your calorie burning engine Ė your muscle mass.

Therefore - Golden Rule Number 9 is:-
"Ensure your weight loss plan will get you to lose fat while protecting your muscle mass"

Golden Rule Number 10 - How do you maintain ideal weight over time?

Losing weight is one thing, keeping it off is another. Most people can lose weight but it is the long term maintenance that seems to be the problem. Being able to maintain your ideal weight depends on a number of factors.

Firstly, weight management is a lifestyle issue; if you give no thought to what you eat and how much you eat you deserve to put it all back on. Decide that you want a healthier more active lifestyle, and become an educated consumer of food so you donít have unhealthy habits.

Secondly, you must realize that certain health conditions may stop you from maintaining your weight loss over time. These health conditions need to be addressed by specially trained healthcare practitioners, not using drugs or surgery, but by providing you with the required nutrients your body needs, and information on your food sensitivities.

Finally, get rid of those fat clothes. If you want to be a size 10 or 12, only have size 10 or 12 clothes in your wardrobe. If you should start to gain a bit of weight you will feel it immediately in your clothes. Donít wait until you are 20-40 Ibs over, get it off straight away. Decide on a window of weight say 6-10 Ibs either side of your ideal weight. If your weight starts to shift up donít let it go over 6 Ibs before taking action.

Therefore - Golden Rule Number 10 is:-
"Pinpoint and correct your bodyís weak links and food sensitivities to ensure long term success"
Good health is priceless. Improper eating and the consequence of it will erode good health, and cost you dearly.

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