The Hard Truth About Weight Loss

Whenever I see an ad on TV for a weight loss company to join or a piece of cool-looking exercise equipment to buy, the spokesperson always says something along the lines of “It’s so easy!” and “Only 15 minutes a day to a great body.”

Let’s get real here.

You can lose weight. You can get fit and stay fit, but you are going to have to work at it! It is not easy.

That is one reason, I think, why so many people fail when they try to get fit. They believe the hype from the TV ads that says “Oh, it’s easy,” and they want something easy, something they won’t have to work at. And when they get right down to having to cut out their favorite foods, or take up an exercise routine, it turns out to be not as easy as they were promised. And because they believe it is supposed to be easy, they think that they themselves are simply too weak to succeed and they give up.

If you want to lose weight and get fit, you need to have the right mind set from the very beginning. And that mind set is: Yes, I can get fit. It’s going to be a challenge, but I can do it.

And once you enter into that mind set, you will find that while it is hard to change your bad habits at the very beginning, over time it will get easier and easier, so that once you do achieve your life of healthy eating and fitness, you will be able to maintain those habits for the rest of your healthy life, unlike the vast majority of people who achieve their specified goal….then go back to their old way of life and put all the weight back on again and lose all the fitness.

I will always emphasize that healthy eating is a must. Ladies, you know where I’m coming from here. It seems like we can’t win. Ever read those magazines like Us and People that focus on all the celebrities? The covers tell the tale. There are either lots of photos showing beautiful actresses with perhaps a wee bit of a paunch and the screaming headlines: Why is she so fat? And then the next week we get photos of actresses who look like stick figures in their dresses, and the headlines scream: Do they have anorexia?

If they do, is it any wonder?

The mindset that we women have to keep crystal clear is that we want to be at a healthy weight, and we want to be fit. We’re not going to be afraid of our muscles in fact we know that muscles are sexy! (I well remember the dismay and anger I felt over the tennis player Anna Kournakova who hated her muscles because they “made her look like a man.” As if. But by never working out or training properly, she sabotaged her tennis career and never won anything. (At least, not as a singles player.) Which didn’t stop her from being the highest paid female athlete for a couple of years because of her endorsement contracts…and there’s irony for you.

Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that sometimes, ladies, you are going to have to deal with hunger pains for a few hours. You’re going to eat your dinner at whatever time you normally eat it, and from 8 pm onward you’re not going to eat anything, because eating after 8 pm is a sure way to gain unwanted pounds. Accept it! And know that by accepting it, you are keeping fit. (And, indeed, after several months of getting used to not eating at night, your appetite will soon realize what’s what and those pangs will become less and less severe.)

Indeed, there are two very easy ways to lose weight – or to ensure that you maintain once you’ve gotten to your goal weight. Well, I say easy.

The first is that if you drink soda pop – Coke, Pepsi, or what have you, stop. Those are empty calories, and if you drink three or four a day, and don’t drink the diet stuff either, the artificial sweetener they put in those things simply isn’t healthy for you. (For that matter, juices that you give to your kids are just as dangerous, as most of them are 10% real orange juice and the rest sugar, for example. Don’t get your kids started on anything that isn’t 100% natural fruit juice!)

The second is to simply not eat after eight pm at night. Now that obviously is going to be difficult for people who work overnight jobs, but it’s something you’ve got to figure out how to do. Because during the day, you eat – you are still active and the calories don’t have a chance to settle. You eat a couple of hours before you go to bed…those calories are just going to glom on to you like nobody’s business. (It’s for this reason that sumo wrestlers, for example, eat a huge meal for lunch, and then take a three hour nap! They’re trying to put on the pounds and that’s how they do it!)

It may be difficult for you to go “cold turkey” on giving up the pop and the midnight snacks. So just cut them out gradually, if you can’t do it any other way. But by gradually cutting back on the pop or the snacks, you will eventually find that you don’t need them anymore, and the exercises you do during the day will have a result that will become even more apparent.

So, stop trying to find an “easy” way to lose weight. An “easy” way to lose unwanted pounds. Because once you accept that it won’t be easy, it will become easy.