The Truth About Weight Loss

January 28, 2010

Many people began this year with the intention to “lose weight” and/or become more healthy.  These goals are eminently possible!  I hope that if you started the year with a fitness or health related goal, you haven’t given up.  Continue!  If you continue, you will win!  Guaranteed.

Let’s say that you are one of the many people in this country that started the year with the intent to “lose weight”.  Here are a few pointers on how to achieve that goal.

First, don’t concentrate on just losing weight.  Instead, try to change your mindset so that your concentration is on fat reduction.  There’s a difference between “losing weight” and “fat reduction”.

Why?  The “weight” of your body consists of fat, water, carbohydrates, muscle, bone, and other bodily contents.  You can lose a lot of that weight and keep your fat levels high.  Losing water and muscle weight is probably is not the direction you intended to go in when you sent out on your “weight loss” journey.

In contrast to “weight loss”, fat reduction is the reduction of body fat.  In particular, the fat most people would like to lose is subcutaneous fat and/or visceral fat.  Subcutaneous fat is the fat right under your skin.  It’s the fat you see when you look in the mirror and think, “Geez.  I need to lose weight!” Visceral fat is fat that may be surrounding internal organs in the belly area.  This type of fat is related to all kinds of health problems (heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer, to name a few).  These two types of fat (subcutaneous and visceral) are the types we don’t need an excess of, and they are the types we intend to lose when we say we are aiming for “fat reduction”.

How can you lose fat?

It is simple in concept and can be hard in practice.

To lose fat, all that is required is that we expend more energy than we take in.  The “energy” we take in, of course, is food.

Fat loss can occur from reduced food intake or increased exercise or, ideally, both.

The process for losing fat is hard because it requires discipline.  The discipline it requires is the type that will enable you to resist the temptation of one of your strongest appetites — the appetite to eat.

To lose weight, you will indeed be hungry some of the time.  Not ravenously so, but hungry nonetheless.  You won’t be hungry all of the time.  But there will be periods during which you are hungry.

To lose weight you often will not eat until you’re satisfied.  You’ll eat to get your nutrients and to kill your hunger. After eating, you might feel like it sure would be nice to have another few bites…but you can’t.

To lose weight and to keep the weight off you will have to change your HABITS.  This can be a challenge.  Our habits determine our destiny, and habits can be very difficult to break.  However, if you want a fitness and health destiny, then you must adopt some fitness and health habits, and ditch some fatness and disease habits.

iStock_000001344289XSmallFirst habit to pick up is the exercise habit.  These bodies we have been given were made to move.  That’s why we have muscle and joints — so we can move, and so we can move stuff.  That’s why our bodies fall into a mode of declining health when we forgo moving and moving stuff.  So, we’re going to move our bodies via cardiovascular exercise, and we’re going to move some “stuff” — weights or cables or something that provides resistance.

Second habit to pick up is the healthy eating habit. We’re going to eat healthy MOST of the time.  Some people choose to eat healthy food 100% of the time.  You can do that if you like.  Or, you can eat healthy about 85% of the time, and splurge (eat freely) the other 15%.  The key to your new way of eating is to be disciplined about it, whether you choose the 85% healthy-to-15% free eating route, or you go hard core at 90% or more healthy eating.  I mention discipline in this area because it seems that some folks have trouble with a “free” day or a few “splurge” meals during the week.  These “free” moments turn into all out gorge fests that pack on the blubber.

Personally, I eat semi-strictly most of the time.  I enjoy my food however, and on weekends, I like to eat a nice meal somewhere, whether it be at home or at a restaurant.  Also, that “nice meal” may occasionally include dessert.

So, where should you start?


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3 Responses to “The Truth About Weight Loss”

  1. Luckily I don’t need to lose weight but for those who do, this is a great article. I am one of those who eats healthy most of the time (probably 80% of the time). I do have the discipline to eat healthy all of the time but then I’d feel like I was depriving myself of some of the little pleasures in life for no reason. I am thin and healthy, so I feel like a little ice cream, cookies, or chocolate here and there won’t hurt.

    Lisa McLellan, Child Care Expert
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  2. Learning more about what is most effective with weight loss is so timely with all of us working on our New Years Resolutions

    Happy Dating and Relationships,

    April Braswell
    Dating and Relationship Expert

  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by darrylpace, Robert Sorensen. Robert Sorensen said: Some Truth About Weight Loss | Darrylpace: This type of fat is related to all kinds of health problems (heart dise… […]



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