The Unwanted Truth
So, what’s the secret to losing weight? If, as I say, the ‘Diets’ don’t work, then is it a pill? Has there been some new advancement in science that means they have found a miracle cure? Is surgery the answer? Of course, the reply to all of these is ‘No, no and definitely NOT!’ To be honest, there is no real secret. There is no miracle cure or pill that you can take to easily drop that unwanted poundage and getting it cut or sucked out doesn’t solve the problem either. There is, however, a fairly simple equation that sums up how to stop putting weight on and start losing it.
Burning More Calories Than You Eat = Weight Loss
Now, many of you, if not all, will have probably figured this out already. It just makes sense. If you burn more calories than you take in, your body has to find that energy from somewhere, so it starts tapping into your fat stores. ‘But hang on a minute’ I hear you cry ‘You told us in the last article that your body just taps into your muscle and that’s why you lose weight’ This is true, but I was talking about why you appear to lose weight quickly if you follow a ‘Diet’. What I am talking about now, is how to train your body to convert the excess fat into energy for long term results. In order to do this, you need to equip yourself with the following 4 things:- Time, Effort, Patience and Understanding.
I will cover each of these elements individually a little bit later and explain exactly what I mean, but first, I think a bit more information is required. Let me make this quite clear - what I am telling you in this article is for people who seriously wish to lose weight and improve their overall health and well being. For anybody who is looking for that ‘quick fix’ then you probably won’t want to hear, or will just ignore, what I have to say anyway. If you have read my previous article ‘Dieting - The Dreaded ‘D’ Word’ and still wish to go down that road then, I’m sorry I can’t help you.
There are two things to consider when you look at this equation - 1, what you eat ie how many calories you are taking in and 2, what you do to burn these calories off. In this article I will cover the first of these two items - our diets. (Note that I will be talking about diets with a ‘d’ not ‘Diets’ with a ‘D’) Our body needs certain nutrients in order to function properly. They are - Carbohydrates, Protein, Fat, Vitamins & Minerals and Water. On a daily basis, our diet needs to be made up of the following quantities of each of those nutrients:- Carbs (65%), Protein (20%), Fat (10%), Vitamins & Minerals (5%) + Water (approx. 2-3 Litres). Most foods contain some or all of these nutrients in different quantities. Although foods are generally placed into one or other of these categories (breads, pasta, rice - Carbs, meat, fish - Protein, oils, butter - Fat etc) they still contain the other nutrients. Take for example Bread, it is heavy in carbohydrates which is why it is placed in this category but it also contains a certain amount of protein, fat, minerals and water. How much depends on the type of bread you choose to eat (white, wholemeal, french, fruit etc) but it still has them. Obviously, I could go further and explain about carbohydrates being broken into complex and simple or the different forms of fat, but I want to try and keep this as straight forward as possible.
You don’t have to make it hard work or a difficult mathematical problem to work out whether you are getting the right amount of nutrients every time you want to eat something. One of my favourite foods is a Tuna & Mayo sandwich. With this simple meal I am acquiring everything that I need. I have my main source of carbs from the bread, protein from the fish, fat from the butter that I spread on the bread and in the mayonnaise and an array of vitamins, minerals and water. There is nothing extremely unhealthy about this meal but if I wanted to reduce the amount of calories in it I would simply exchange the white bread for wholemeal or granary, reduce or cut out the amount of butter and mayonnaise and add more salad.
I don’t believe you have to deny yourself the foods you enjoy eating in order to lose weight. We all have a fairly good idea of what is considered good for us and what is considered bad for us. Fruit - Good, Chocolate - Bad, Vegetables - Good, Chips - Bad and so on, but it’s not so much about what you eat, it’s about getting the balance right. We don’t have to cut everything that falls into the ‘Bad’ category out of our diets. You will probably be familiar with the old saying ‘Too much of a good thing is bad for you’ and this is true of everything. Fruit is extremely good for you, not to mention tasty, but if you have too much of it or that’s all you choose to eat, then it becomes bad for you because you are not getting the balance right. Having chocolate every now and then is fine, overindulging in it on a daily basis is not. When it comes to your food intake engage your common sense. If you are eating three large meals a day, snacking and/or having takeaway food every night and are doing little to no exercise, then you are obviously taking on more calories than your body needs and will gain weight.
So, what do we do about it? We are overweight and we want to change our diet to reduce the amount of calories we are consuming without going on a ‘Diet’ or making drastic changes forcing our bodies to go into ‘starvation mode’. There are a couple of different ways to do this but first you have to take a good honest look at your current diet. Below I have listed some solutions to a few common problems. If there is something I haven’t mentioned, which you would like help or advice on, please don’t hesitate to contac