A calorie is a calorie. Eat too many… gain weight. Eat fewer calories… lose weight. Not so complicated, right? Wrong, for those who believe weight loss is more than a calorie equation. Everywhere you turn there are so-called new-and-improved ways to lose weight. Americans spend $33 billion annually on weight loss foods, products and services, according to the American Dietetic Association. With that amount of spending, it’s no surprise there are an overwhelming number of “fad” diets and other weight-loss products on the market.
The reason for this is very simple; each person has their own metabolism. Metabolism controls how our body processes the food we eat. Some people’s bodies’ process sugars well while others don’t process sugars at all. Your friend Bill may be able to eat whatever he wants and never gain an ounce while you look at a piece of pie and gain 3 pounds. It is all a matter of metabolism and the problem is that there isn’t anything you can do about changing metabolism. It is what it is.
So that being said, what you need to do is find what works for you. If the Atkins diet is up your alley, go for it. If limiting carbs is good for you, go for it. If the best fit for you is eating lots of salads and no sweets, go for it.
You just need to find the method that works for you personally. Keep in mind that each person will be different and results will vary accordingly.
What I can tell you from experience is this: whatever you do, you need to strike a balance of healthy eating habits and physical exercise. I learned this from a dietician who gave class on this subject at work. What she says is that as long as you burn more calories than you take in, the weight will come off. This is a proven scientific fact and she was able to back it up.
The plan was simple:
1. Watch the foods you eat. Stay with fruits, vegetables and low gluten (sugar) foods.
2. Learn to snack healthy. Stay away from candy bars, potato chips and cookies. Low sugar granola bars, fresh fruit and, believe it or not, dry unsweetened cereal like Cheerios.
3. Log your food / calorie intake every day. Keep a log of each meal. There was a listing of foods and their calorie content. As we logged the meal, we would tally up the calories.
4. Get some physical activity. Walking is the number one exercise for healthy weight loss. It gets the body moving, works every muscle group and provides a good cardiovascular effect as well.
5. Aside from walking there were lots of other activities available.
How do I reduce fat?
* Use minimal amounts when preparing food. If you must use oil then use a little olive or canola oil.
* Limit mayonnaise and salad dressings.
* Use low fat dairy products.
* Trim the fat off your meat before cooking.
What is the best way to lose weight?
A healthy diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat dairy products, along with regular physical activity, can help most people manage and maintain weight loss for both cardiovascular health and appearance. The American Heart Association urges people to take a safe and proven route to losing and maintaining weight by following our guidelines for healthy, nutritionally balanced weight loss for a lifetime of good health.