Losing weight, in theory, is easy: eat less, move more and cut the crap. Actually doing this, however, can be more difficult. Change is hard. Changing habits is hard- especially habits you find enjoyable: ie. eating sugary and fattening foods.
The truth hurts- losing weight is going to be uncomfortable, its going to take work, and its going to be hard. No tiptoeing around it- you are going to have to make decisions everyday you don’t want to make.
This is why the fitness fad industry is so huge: people don’t want to work hard- they want quick results. This is also why we are still a morbidly obese country- people want results without putting in any work or making any changes.
So, sorry, but its time for some hard truths about weight loss. No more excuses, and no promises on my end that its going to be easy. These are the facts when it comes to weight loss:
You have to exercise more than you think.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week. While this is great for heart health, if you are looking to lose weight or maintain weight loss have to do more—about an hour a day.
Things like taking the stairs, walking the dog, and gardening are great ways to boost your activity level, but losing serious weight means exercising regularly for an hour or so. Its all about intensity- don’t fool yourself into thinking your everyday activities will equal weight loss.
A 30 minute walk doesn’t equal a cookie.
If you exercise, you do not deserve a treat, for two reasons. One: the whole reason you are exercising is to create a calorie deficit so you can lose weight. If you eat back those calories, that workout did you nothing. Two: People overestimate the amount of calories you burn. A 30 minute walk will burn about 100 calories- and that’s if you are pushing yourself hard. Chances are, if you “reward” yourself with a treat, you are going to eat more calories than you burned, causing gain.
Eating more won’t help you lose weight.
This is a marketing ploy. You hear this most about calcium- usually milk and yogurt, but eating more of these things will not help you lose weight. Eating more of anything is not going to help you gain weight. Eating more is what got you into trouble in the first place. There are no magic foods. You need to eat less, period.
There is no end in sight.
You hear it all the time: this isn’t a diet, its a lifestyle. It’s true. You are never going to be able to eat whatever you want. You are never going to be able to eat crap and feel good and not gain weight. Whether you are just losing weight, or have a lost a significant amount of weight 10 years ago, you are never going to be able to go back to your bad habits. Everyone has to eat healthy, no one can over eat, and everyone has to exercise for the rest of their lives. Get used to it now, and find a way to enjoy it, because whether you are fat or thin, hit your goal or far away from it, you have to eat healthy and exercise.