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Unlocking the Door to Lasting Weight Loss
Let’s face it, losing weight is not easy. Our bodies have been programmed by tens of thousands of years of evolution to consume and store excess calories in fat cells. The fat cells get bigger and bigger, and you gain more and more weight. Storing excess calories is part of our drive to survive as a species. And it made a lot of sense when food, and the life-giving calories that it provides, was scarce. When food was at hand, your body needed to store excess weight for those times when food was harder to come by. This is how you survived.
Well, needless to say, in modern times much of the developed world is suffering from almost an over-abundance of calories. In our culture, food is now relatively easy to get and inexpensive. Calories are literally everywhere you look.
The problem is that our bodies have not yet evolved to deal with this new reality. We are still programmed, in other words, to eat like there’s no tomorrow–or at least like there won’t be any food available tomorrow. And our bodies are super-efficient at storing those excess calories.
It’s no wonder then that significant and lasting weight loss is an uphill struggle for most.
The best way to fight the fat and make the real progress that you desire is what I like to call the CMS approach.
CMS stands for Consumption, Movement, and Support, and it’s these three items that hold the key to your weight loss success.
To lose weight, you have to eat less. I’d love to feed you pipe-dreams and outright lies about short cuts and miracle weight loss gadgets, but I think it’s best that we stick with the simple truth.
Consuming less calories than you expend will result in weight loss. This is the ultimate truth, but one that so many people choose to ignore. It’s not surprising. Eating less than your body has grown accustom to is hard. It takes diligence and constant effort.
I’ve found that one of the keys is preparation. You need to buy healthy food and prepare healthy meals. Always have healthy choices readily at hand. When you get hungry, you’re most vulnerable and likely to reach for a quick fix. Make sure you satisfy that hunger with the right choices.
If you’re prone to overeating at certain meals, then you need to get tough with yourself. Here’s what you do. You decide how much you’re going to eat before you even start eating. And you stick to it.
That’s right, don’t get caught in the trap of saying, “well, I’m not completely full yet. I could handle another portion.” Remember, it’s not calories that’s the problem for most people . . . it’s EXCESS calories. These are calories over and beyond what the body needs to maintain health, build muscle, and provide energy. It’s these excess calories that end up as fatty tissue deposits on the body.
So you need to decide before you even begin what’s a sensible meal for you. I’m not talking about necessarily counting calories. I’m talking about taking reasonable portions on your plate, eating them, and then just being committed to the simple reality that you’re done.
What’s a reasonable portion? You decide. Just be honest with yourself.
For most people, a reasonable portion would be one potato, a slice of lean meat, and some greens. You can always use the old size of your fist example: that is, take portions that are roughly equivalent to the size of your closed hand. Forget about the all-you-can-eat buffets, at least for 6 days of the week–you can splurge a bit on the seventh day if you have to.
Because fighting the urge to splurge can be so tough, I also suggest that you look into using a natural appetite suppressant. When used appropriately, appetite suppressants can help curb those cravings and make you feel satisfied with eating less.
One of my favorite natural appetite suppressants is called In Control. This is a completely stimulant-free product that doesn’t make you feel nervous or jittery. It contains Hoodia gordonii and Glucomannan, the two most effective natural appetite controllers I’ve come across. They can give you that little extra nudge you need to keep your calories in check.
Simple, sheer physical movement is something that most of us have far too little of in our lives. One look at a three year old child confirms that we were born to move, not to sit still. But modern technology and convenience have conspired to dramatically cut down the amount of movement in the average life.
People who live in the suburbs are particularly prone to this physical movement shortage. A recent study confirms that those who live in cities are 5 times more likely to walk or bike than those who live in the suburbs.
We have to be very careful. Our physical bodies house all our intellectual and emotional potential. And our physical bodies are most certainly built for movement.
So there is no doubt that if you want to lose weight and keep it off, then you need to work consciously to reverse lack of movement trend that’s running amuck in our culture. You need to get on the move and keep on the move.
Notice that I’m consciously refraining from using the word exercise. Exercise is great, and I highly recommend it, but what I am advocating is something more basic and rudimentary.
The word exercise connotes some sort of structured physical fitness activity. This is an important part of the type of movement I’m referring to. But for me movement is broader. It involves how you operate in your day to day life.
Let me give you an example. I see countless people at the gym I go to who drive around the lot looking for the closest possible parking space they can find. If there is not a free spot close to the building, they keep driving around and around until one opens up. Then they walk 20 feet into the building, spend 15 minutes on the treadmill, and walk the 20 feet back to their cars. This is ludicrous!
Prioritizing movement needs to become part of your lifestyle. I never sit at my desk for more than 30 minutes at a time, and quite frankly I don’t understand how anyone else can. Get up and stretch, move around a bit–it’s this type of day-to-day action that I’m talking about.
By all means, add more exercise into your life if you can, but at its most basic it is movement that we are after, and movement that you must have if you are going to be successful with your weight loss efforts.
If you are going to lose weight, and keep it off, then you are going to need support and lots of it. Battling through it on your own may seem courageous, but it rarely works over the long haul. It’s a mistake that I see made over and over again. Folks seem to look at the process of losing weight as a solitary endeavor. They slug it out as best they can, and when things don’t go well they have no one to turn to.
We are social animals by nature. More and more studies suggest that socializing is not only good for your psyche, but it’s also great for your health. People with solid social networks tend to live longer and healthier lives.
And when it comes to fighting the weight loss battle, there’s nothing quite like the support of close friends and family.
I know it can be tough, but you need to enlist those closest to you to help you set realistic goals and stay on track. You need to have at least one person to talk with about your innermost feelings and struggles. It’s good for the heart, the mind, and, ultimately, the body.
One thing that I’ve seen work over and over again is to have a weight loss buddy or partner. This is someone close to you who is also trying to lose weight and get in shape.
Guys tend to be competitive, and having a contest with your buddy to see who can drop the weight is a great motivator. Place a small wager on the outcome and really get those juices flowing. Women also benefit from these friendly contests, and they feel perhaps even more at home and grateful for the mutual support such efforts provide.
I also encourage you to find support through additional means. Read up on health and fitness. You’ll increase your knowledge about the subject exponentially. And you’ll also find that the reading will serve to help keep you motivated and focused during the tough times.
Online communities are another great source of support. It’s great to bond with people who share many of your concerns and frustrations. A simple Google search for weight loss communities or blogs will reveal a wealth of possibilities.
Finally, when trying to lose weight many people do benefit from the type of metabolic support that a weight loss supplement holds. These products are by no means miracle pills, but the best of them do contain a thoughtful combination of ingredients that are designed to create a metabolic state in which weight loss can be optimized. A new product called Reveal is a solid choice.
Plus I also think there’s something emotionally and psychologically positive about getting on a set program: taking a supplement regularly, scheduling time for movement, planning your consumption of food. Each reinforces the other, and the combination works to keep you moving steadily in the right direction.
Often, the latest and greatest weight loss plan is too complex and restrictive for people with busy lives like you and I. What ultimately work best is to keep it simple, to focus each and every day on the CMS keys. Through this focus on consumption, movement, and support you too will easily unlock the door to lasting weight loss.
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