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Losing Weight is All About Counting Calories/Carbs and Exercising. Or Is It?

Losing Weight is All About Counting Calories/Carbs and Exercising. Or Is It?
5 Tips to Consider When You Want To Lose Fat Forever.

With two thirds of our population overweight (one third in the obese category), watching our weight is no longer something we are doing to look more appealing, or perhaps thinking about doing. It has become a necessary action to prevent disease and increased health costs.

With physical activities being curtailed in schools and backyards and more opportunity to sit in front of televisions, computers and game boys, even our children are joining the ranks of the sedentary lifestyle which promotes an overweight population. Adult diseases are becoming more prominent in children. Adult onset diabetes has been renamed to accommodate all the children who are being diagnosed with it, some as early as in infancy.

So if you have "given up" because counting and exercising hasn't worked for you, consider the following five tips. Which ones can help you?

1. Check to see if you are sabotaging yourself in any way. Many of us find very unique ways to sabotage ourselves. Even though they may not be related to food, they can play havoc with our weight. Sabotage happens often when we are not aware of it. Becoming aware of sabotage is important, but it is only the first step. We must also be ready to move past our sabotage. If we ignore the sabotage and continue to try to lose weight . . . well you know the story.

2. Get the right nutrients. It's not just about the right amount of carbs, fats or protein. A proper balance of the nutrients contained in those carbs, fats and proteins can play a part in whether or not you will lose weight happily and keep it off or if it is just another diet that you must endure to wear a smaller size. A client of mine said it best when she told me she "dieted her way up to morbid obesity". She started at 106 lbs and after years of dieting peaked out at 255 lbs.

3. Use a balanced approach to lose and maintain your weight. Yes, it is important to watch what you eat. Yes, it is imperative to exercise so you don't lose lean mass (muscle, bone, organ tissue). It is also important to examine your stress levels and where that stress is coming from. We all must eat. We all must move. We even must have some stress. But what kind of food, exercise and stress and how much we should have of each of them is important. A good balance of each individually and in balance with each other is of major importance in reaching and maintaining our weight goals.

4. Tweak your lifestyle. Lose 20 lbs in 10 days! Look great in your bikini in just 30 days! We are led to believe that weight loss is a quick-fix and anyone can do it. I went to college with a beauty queen who told us she could lose 5 lbs in a couple days when she had an appearance to make. At the time I was impressed. Now I know that we can all do it. All we have to do is quit drinking water and eating food. The food in our digestive system at any one time and the water in our blood and cells can easily weigh 5 lbs. But isn't weight loss supposed to get rid of fat?

Well, the scale doesn't know the difference. Success in long-term weight loss comes from understanding that the extra pounds didn't come on in a few weeks or even a few months. If we are willing to make weight loss/management a long-term project, we can realize a lifetime of success. By making small, progressive changes in our lifestyle, and having an appropriate support system, we set ourselves up for a happier, healthier journey to our weight goals.

5. Forget about losing weight and strive to be healthy. Have you every met anyone who has dieted for decades and all they got was sporadic success with long-term failure? Then when they finally decide to learn to love themselves as they are (all ??? pounds of themselves), and turn their attention to becoming more healthy. . . the weight starts dropping off! Well our body doesn't care what we look like but it does care if we are healthy. Our bodies are continually striving for homeostasis (a state of balance).

When our bodies are balanced, we are healthy. When something is out of balance, our organs and cells will work hard to bring it back into balance (no wonder we get tired). When we sabotage (there's that word again) our bodies by not giving them the nutrients and exercise they require and/or giving them too much or the wrong kind of stress, they can become overworked, resulting in loss of energy, weight gain (or inappropriate loss) and/or disease.

So if you want to look your best and feel energized, you may want to change your thoughts from losing weight to gaining health. Just the fact of changing your thinking patterns from losing to gaining can put you into a more positive mental state and could be the first step on your personal journey to your goals.

Jan Barosh 2004. Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site so long as the following paragraph is included and contact information is provided to

Jan Barosh's degree is in health and physical education with post-graduate work in exercise science and psychology. She is a licensed corporate wellness coach and a certified teleclass leader and has helped adults and children be more healthy and fit for over 25 years. Jan has developed a unique weight management program called LifeWeight? which is being taught in the US and licensed for distribution in the UK.


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