The most common reason for people to start an exercise program is weight loss. Whether it is to help to reduce the symptoms of various chronic diseases, or to look better, weight loss is at the top of 80% of the people who START an exercise program. Exercise is a powerful component of healthy living, but when it comes to weight loss, it is NOT the primary factor. The only thing the body takes into consideration in the maintenance of body mass is caloric balance. More calories in than out – you gain weight. More calories out than in – you lose weight. It is that simple! Since it is easier to consume calories than it is to lose them, food intake becomes the primary factor in losing weight.
We have all heard that diets don’t work. This is not the case. Diets do work. If they did not work people would not lose weight when they go on them. What does not work is the idea that we can go off a diet and maintain the benefits of the diet. After all, we expect to get a paycheck only as long as we go to work. The day we stop working we no longer expect a paycheck. The reason the weight loss industry has been a failure in delivering sustained weight loss is because they have not come up with the magic pill everyone wants. Everyone wants their cake and eat it too – literally. We are a charge it society – buy now and pay later with no interest. We want wine and dine and the perfect body; eat everything in sight and think about losing it during next year’s resolution. Well, weight loss is not that easy; it gets harder the more you owe and like a nightmare, just keeps getting worse.
To put it in perspective here is a little reality check.
Ask yourself this question and answer it honestly. By all accounts – do I live a normal life? If the answer is yes, then looks in the mirror and get used to what you see, this is what you “normally” look like. If you want to take off the perennial 10 pounds most have and nobody wants, then be willing to say goodbye to your “normal” life – NOW. You will have to change things and adopt a lifestyle that now seems abnormal to you. How long does this have to go on for?
“As long as you want to keep the weight off.” You will no longer be able to leave it for tomorrow or start your diet on Monday (remember – that strategy is what got you in trouble). Losing weight is not impossible or even hard if you are willing to take the bull by the horns and take responsibility for your decisions – no more excuses – fat does not care about excuses. Many people have lost weight and kept it off. They did it by eating properly and adding plenty of activity to their lives.
Dave Parise C.P.T. MES FPTA