I’ve received so many letters all asking about a multitude of diets and eating plans, that I thought I should write one, easy-to-understand column on weight loss.
Weight loss, fat loss, diets, diet books, meal plans, meal replacement drinks, protein bars, exercise machines, and on and on. It’s a billion-dollar industry that’s sprinkled with facts, fads, and added sugar. I think I gained 2 pounds just snacking while doing my research!
So, I’ve got a friend who swears by the Keto diet, and he’s lost quite a bit of fat and he looks and feels great. My neighbor simply modified his eating habits while adding mountain biking to his daily routine. He’s managed to lose over 50 pounds in the last several months! Yes, 50, and he looks and feels great.
Both swear by their diet and exercise routines and they each seem to have found what works for them. Meanwhile, my brother is trying the Doritos, lounge chair, and Netflix system. It’s similar to the hardcore P90X system, but without any nutrition or exercise. I’ll keep you posted on his progress.
I’m joking, but for some, trying to lose weight is no laughing matter; it’s hard. Some might even say, impossible.
But take heart; it’s not. Here are the basics… the “what you need to know” about weight loss – preferably fat loss.
You don’t have to be proficient at math to understand that if you spend more than you earn, your bank account is going to get real lean. Conversely, if you take in more than you spend, your account will grow. Well, the same goes for calories – and weight. This is often referred to as “calories in vs. calories out.” Simply put, if you burn more calories through exercise or daily activities than you ingest through what, and how much, you eat, you’ll lose weight. If you ingest more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight.
So, let’s say your weight is fairly consistent; you’re not gaining weight, but you’re also not losing any weight. In fact, you like what you eat and how much/often you eat. So then all you need to do is up your caloric burn. Add, or increase, exercise/activity. I include activity as some people may not exercise, but are active. In this case, just try a few tricks like parking farther from your destination and walk a bit more. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, do some yard work, or walk your dog just a bit farther – he/she will love you for it.
Now, if you’re happy with the amount of exercise you’re doing, then you would just need to modify what, and how much, you eat. I’m not suggesting you cut your portions in half, as that wouldn’t be realistic and you’d probably go for seconds. Instead, try one less scoop, one less slice; ease back just a bit. In fact, when you do this, no one else may even notice – but you will.
I’m not a fan of porridge, but Goldilocks had the right idea. If you’re still hungry after a meal, you’re either not eating enough, or you’re eating too quickly. If you’re stuffed and full (and sweating and burping), you’ve eaten too much (and you’re kind of gross). Be like Goldilocks and find the amount of food that’s just right for you.
So, option one is to up your caloric burn with activity. Option two is to decrease your caloric intake through a modification of portions, but there’s also a third option. Option three is to do just a little of each. Cut back just a bit on your food intake and increase your daily activity by just 10 or 15 minutes.
The important thing to remember is that you don’t have to go all in and commit to some unrealistic diet that deprives you of vital nutrition or commit to setting your alarm for 4:30 in the morning to pound the pavement or hit the gym like Rocky.
Maybe your solution is Keto or mountain biking, or… hmmm, there’s two seasons of Cobra Kai on Netflix, with a third season just announced. Perhaps my brother is on to something!
Have a fitness question? Send them to me, Your Personal Trainer, at [email protected] and write ‘Ramona Sentinel’ in the subject line.