Opinion

No real secret to losing weight and keeping it off

Donna Cotnam

Donna Cotnam

I find it hard to believe that a new year is here already. Where does the time go?

This is however the perfect time to take stock and set goals for the year. We all start with the best intentions - it's keeping those resolutions that is the challenge. Weight loss always seems to make a lot of people's top 10 lists of New Year's resolutions..

I have said it before, there is no real secret to weight loss. If you consume fewer calories than you put out - you will lose weight. Seems simple, so why is it so hard to lose weight? For one thing every body is different. Some people have a very high metabolism and burn calories very easily. For others it seems that they can eat very little and still gain weight. Body type, heredity and lifestyle are also factors when it comes to our weight. Keep in mind that in most cases your extra weight didn't just get there overnight. It crept on slowly over time - so that is the best way to lose it - slow and steady.

However, for many slow and steady seems to be the deal breaker. Most people want the quick fix - crash diets, weight loss shakes and boxed meals. Statistics suggest that approximately 65 per cent of those who opt for the quick fix end up gaining all their weight back and then some within the three years of losing it.

I'm not saying that diet programs, meal replacement bars and drinks are all bad. Many people use them to kick start their weight loss journey. Just keep in mind though, that you cannot eat like that forever. At some point and time you will return to 'real' food.'

Be smart about things. Get professional advice from those who can help you with your nutrition. There are many products out there that make claims to 'melt' those unwanted pounds. Some are being pushed and promoted by 'unqualified' people who are in it for the money and do not understand the health issues that are associated with such products. Just like not all exercises or exercise programs are for everyone, the same can be said for weight loss products.

As important as changing your eating habits is to shedding the pounds, adding exercise to the mix will definitely increase the process. Who knows, you may come to like exercise and even crave it! The benefits of losing weight by cutting back on your consumption and increasing your activity level are far more substantial than yo-yo dieting and they last longer.

The one thing that most people don't like to talk about with diet programs, meal replacements, shakes, etc. is the cost. One can argue that it's an investment in your health, but so is healthy food, a gym membership or a new pair of walking shoes and that is less expensive in the long run. If weight loss is on your New Year's list, then do your homework, it will be worth it.

If there are any specific fitness related questions you would like addressed please email them to fitmom@hotmail.com.

Fit For Life is a column written by Donna Cotnam


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