One of the biggest questions of modern times is quite simple in its nature: how do I lose this weight?
According to the National Institutes of Health, over 70% of the United States population is either overweight or obese. This percentage leads credence to the thought that while there are countless fad diets, customized workouts, furrow-browed medical providers lecturing their patients and many people wanting to be in good health, the opening question ‘how do I lose this weight’ is not something that is being easily answered on many fronts.
Why Is It So Hard to Lose Weight?
The question in bold can be answered with one word for many: lifestyle.
The lifestyle that many people have fallen into cause them to intensely fuel up on food and drink, then sit relatively ‘still’ as they go about their daily task of work, driving, relaxing at home and then going to bed. The body naturally cycles through energy to exist, but there is a definite limit to how much energy will be burned with a sedentary lifestyle.
The next time you drive down a commercial street, look at the signage. You will likely see advertisements for many businesses whose purpose is to provide you with a product that makes you feel that you are getting great value for money and time spent acquiring the good or service. Watch television and walk through a grocery store, mindful that ‘signage’ advertising products that have already been marketed to you are all around and you will notice something as well. All around you, you are surrounded with marketed product. And that product is not always conducive to maintaining a healthy waistline.
Though many businesses and consumers are increasingly health conscious, data show many people are still overweight and obese. Schedules are busy. Food can be delicious, convenient and not always the best choice for consumption, especially when moderation is not followed.
Adjust Your Lifestyle and Weight Loss Can Follow
The introductory question was actually a trick question. The answer to losing weight is something that many know but may not truly reflect on: it will take a change in lifestyle to reach weight loss goals.
The key to losing weight is not asking yourself ‘what on Earth can I do to lose this weight?’ The question is how can I adjust my lifestyle and make the change my new normal for my goal. Adjusting a lifestyle is hard, which is why so many people likely fail at weight loss. For one, many of us fail to ask the right question. Two, we realize that the adjustment will be necessary and do not follow through on it for years on end.
The first step for any type of health adjustment to the body is simple: go consult with a doctor. The most important asset to anyone’s life is good health.
Next, and this is the fun part: arm yourself with thoughts and tools for success. Any type of success in life is usually brought about by reasonable goals, honest evaluation and arming yourself with tools for success.
Reflect on your life. The next time you drive down your city’s commercial streets and notice all the nice restaurants and coffee shops that you just may visit, think of the word ‘lifestyle’. Will I really just swing through McDonald’s or the neighborhood bar and grill to meet up with friends, then hop back in my car and sit and drive, then go somewhere else to sit and relax? Or will you go enjoy a bit to eat, then work in a nice evening walk or work-out when you are done eating?
Simple questions and thoughts like that go a long way. Ask yourself what you can do each day to introduce activity into your life. It doesn’t have to start with trying a relatively Olympian level workout. It can start with a ten minute walk. It can start with ordering waters instead of sodas to wash down a meal when you go out with friends.
Find your normal and keep your decisions medically sound, personally fun and reasonable.
Use Technology To Your Advantage
The internet is full of great things. You can find healthy snack ideas, events to do in your city (which require activity!), activities for home and also importantly, tools that will make you think about what you consume.
Many people use a smart phone to access the wonders of the Internet. If you are one of those people, this article was particularly crafted for you. The smartphone can be one of the biggest tools for success in your life.
If you do not have the application MyFitnessPal, it may be one of the greatest downloads you’ve ever taken the time to put on your smart phone. One area where people may fail to realize their lifestyle goals are being hampered is the world of consumption. Eating and drinking are good and great things, as our bodies are designed to enjoy both since it is necessary for survival. But in modern times, many of the foods we eat and drink are not the best options. We pile saturated fats and salts on foods in the name of flavor, but do this to the detriment of our health. We liquidize sugar and syrups and put it into caffeinated or creamed forms, giving our intake a major caloric jolt that does not register to the brain as a meal. Drink more, we say!
MyFitnessPal allows you to simply enter the foods your are consuming into the application and gives a pretty decent estimate on the nutrients in that food. It may be worth mentioning to a medical provider and discussing with a nutritionist while lifestyle planning. Actively thinking about and weighing out food options goes a long way. The act of ‘downloading’ something to a device that is likely connected to your life is a smart win and should be considered taking a step to improving one’s health.
Invest. There are many ways to invest in one’s health. A good investment comes in the form of a smart-band or a smart-watch. Most smartwatches can do one simple thing and this is the important feature: count your steps. If you have the ability to walk or run, count your blessings. Each step you take is a step is a victory.
Some watches have associated applications that help monitor daily steps, exercises, energy expenditure, dietary intake and can even put you into a fitness challenge. Garmin’s Connect App, for instance, pairs with all the company’s fitness watches and comes with a tailored weekly steps challenge, where you can see where your steps for the week stack up with a community of peers.
All this is to say when thinking of weight loss, don’t think about New Years. Don’t think about joining the gym and then forgetting the membershop until bikini season. Think ‘lifestyle’.
Make a serious conversation with your doctor about your goals. Think about your daily habits and routines, then see where you can make changes that are healthier. If you have a phone constantly on your hip or in a purse, add tools for success as your soon-to=be popular apps. Buy yourself a fitness band and make it a permanent accessory. Use it to measure your ‘new norm’ for daily steps and progress toward your goals. Find friends and join a community to share your lifestyle changes, successes, failures and non-related thoughts. Yes, discussing how Wonder Woman was fthe first decent DC movie with a bunch of folks who you only know because you all have fitness goals in common is a great thing!
Because you are all together because you share a ‘lifestyle’ goal.
And that is where success with weight loss begins: lifestyle.