So if being overweight is a serious problem in America and most short-term diets don’t work, what can be done to solve it? What is the healthy and long term solution to weight loss? It can be summarized in 3 simple words: change your lifestyle. This is the only answer for long term, lifelong weight loss success. “Change your lifestyle” means changing how much you eat, what you eat, and exercising more. The mantra “eat less, eat smart, move more” is a simple yet accurate summary of a lifestyle to promote weight reduction for good.
Do you remember the cheese fries I mentioned earlier? One serving contains 2,862 calories. Now let’s compare that to the same number of calories in fresh raw foods. You could eat a gigantic meal of 5 cups of beans, 5 cups of rice, 20 cups of spinach and 6 whole carrots. EVEN THEN, if you ate all that food, you would not be eating as many calories as are in those cheese fries. Let’s think about this. What would fill you up more: 10 cups of beans and rice with over 23 cups of vegetables or a single serving of an appetizer? Enough said. You will find again and again that fueling your body by eating foods in their natural state in three balanced meals daily, you can eat more and feel more full and mantain a healthy weight.
Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand for weight loss success. According to the KC Craichy, if a person takes 30-45 minutes each day to walk, run, bike, swim, or do any form of exercise where the heart rate is elevated, the benefits are lifelong. In addition to lowering the risk of many diseases, including those associated with aging, exercise boosts your metabolism for hours afterward. (Craichy 369)
Strength training, also known as weight lifting, is crucial to losing and maintaining weight. When a person is 20-30 years old, he starts to slowly lose muscle, and he will continue to lose muscle as he gets older. Fat accumulates and muscle deteriorates as a person ages. By losing muscle, your metabolism slows down, burning fewer calories. Did you know that muscle tissue burns a lot of calories? An article published by Super Health Diet clearly shows just how helpful muscle is for weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. This study concluded that by replacing only five pounds of fat with 5 pounds of muscle tissue, a person will burn an extra 175 calories every day, which is almost 64,000 calories or 18 pounds every year! (Craichy 362 11/14)
As I close, I would like to say that the benefits of making these changes in your daily lifestyle will not only impact you significantly but also can affect generations that come after you. You can be fit and healthy and have more strength and energy to enjoy your life more fully. So the next time you see an advertisement for losing 30 pounds in 30 days, smile to yourself and ignore the temptation to consider this weight loss plan which promises those kinds of unhealthy and short term results. Now you know better. :)
Source: Craichy, KC. Super Health Diet. Florida: Living Fuel Publishing, 2011.