Key weight loss tips

I want to touch on a few key weight loss tips because of the magnitude of the subject. Today the present day dieting market is a multibillion dollar industry. This is illustrated by the countless dieting and weight reduction programs. There’s Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Anne Collins, the Atkins diet, Slim Fast diet, Hollywood diet, Sugar Busters diet, South beach diet, cabbage diet, grapefruit diet, the list is endless. There’s even the celebrity diet, Beverly Hills diet and chocolate diet! It’s no surprise that the dieting industry is so big. The World Health Organisation’s 2003 statistics show 300 million adults worldwide estimated to be clinically obese and 1 billion overweight (source: Online press release 31 Jan 2005, ).

Diets can be good and if taken seriously many of them can have very effective results…at least in the short term. But what diets often don’t do is help to address the long term problems with weight. Those problems might be emotional problems, bad habits or just ignorance of the facts. But for the purpose of this article I want us to address some essential lifestyle changes that can help us to lose weight.

1. Exercise

You’ve got to have routine exercise in your life. God says “…bodily exercise profits a little...” 1 Tim 4:8 And that little can mean a lot when added up over the years. Exercise tremendously helps weight loss. When you exercise it speeds up your metabolism and helps to burn far more calories. Particularly aerobic exercise helps to burn body fat and not just calories. For the best results you should aim to do at least 20-30 minutes a day 3-5 days a week. You can go on a diet and lose weight without exercising but it will take longer and you will lack lean muscle that helps to shape your body and burn fat. I remember seeing Oprah Winfrey in an interview years ago when she stunned the nation with her weight loss transformation. When she was asked about her diet she emphasised that exercise was a crucial part of her weight loss program. Plus don’t forget all the extra benefits that come with exercise.

2. Watch the type of calories you eat, and eat fewer calories than you burn

Sure it sounds simple enough. The basic premise of dieting is hinged on eating less calories then you burn. But often the emphasis is on not eating fat. Yes you should reduce your fat intake. But also be aware that it’s not just fat that adds weight, carbohydrates contribute. If you’ve ever looked on the back of a bag of pure granulated sugar you will see something very interesting. There is absolutely no fat! That’s the deception. When you see fat free foods don’t be deceived. Your body takes carbohydrates (or carbs) which is a form of sugar and stores it if it’s not used – this can become fat. However, carbs can fall into two main categories; complex carbs and simple carbs. Complex carbs otherwise known as starch takes longer for your digestion to break down – they are chains of sugar. So your body gets a steady supply of energy and there is less chance of the sugars being stored as fat. Complex carbs include oatmeal, bran, wholemeal bread, pasta corn, beans and potatoes. Simple carbs are smaller molecules of sugar. They are quickly digested and absorbed immediately into your body, increasing the chance of the sugar being converted to fat. Simple carbs include table sugar, cakes, biscuits and chocolates.

It is important to note that although many fruits contain simple carbs, the energy levels are usually quite low so present less chance of being converted to fat. Also fruits contain lots of fibre, water and enzymes all helping to contribute to the digestion process.

3. Maintain good health habits

Earlier I mentioned the need to have good eating habits such as not missing breakfast and drinking plenty of water. These help to keep your metabolism and energy levels up and cleanse you body of impurities. Additionally consider eating more smaller meals instead of a couple big meals for the day. And don’t eat late. For the average person, I would recommend your last meal should be around 7pm (depending on when you sleep). This gives your body time for the food to digest and prevents your system from storing unused energy as fat when you are sleeping.

When we implement lifestyle changes, we are more likely to have healthier and lasting control over our weight.

God bless and protect

Quote of the week:
“Exercise is done against one's wishes and maintained only because the alternative is worse” - George Sheehan


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