Tuesday, 24 July 2012

How to lose or maintain weight?

Had an interesting conversation today with somebody I have only met a couple of times over the last couple of years and only in a purely business environment. The lady in question was asking me what "diet" I had been on to lose weight and was it really difficult to adhere to?

Before I had a chance to answer the first two questions she then went on to say that she had tried a number of diets and weight watcher type clubs but hadn't had any real success with any of them. The lady in question is by no means obese or significantly overweight and it was actually a surprise to me that she clearly felt the need to "be on a diet" as she isn't somebody who looks to be very overweight, just not particularly slim. Maybe being on a diet had become a bad habit for her? 

She was quite surprised when I explained that I hadn't been on a diet and I certainly hadn't been attending any kind of Weight Watchers or Slimming World clubs and questioned how then was it possible that I had lost nearly five stone in weight without being on a diet?  

The conversation then went down what is a now a fairly well trodden path for me, (I seem to be asked this same question a few times each week at the moment) where I explain that what I have done is change my outlook on food and exercise. I then explain that all I did was decide that I wanted to be able to participate in some kind of sport, that I was actually envious of the skinny people that seemed to be able to jog down the road without breaking into a sweat and that I wanted to be comfortable in an airline seat of the "bucket class" variety (yes I know this may not ever be possible)

In order for these things to be possible I explain that I came to the conclusion that I needed to be lighter than I was and I needed to get back to my previously excellent fitness levels. These two objectives can be achieved by doing two things at roughly the same time;
  • Consume less calories, by eating less processed and fatty foods
  • Burn some calories each day by resolving to take exercise each and every day
Now I don't know what it is with "serial dieters" but as was the case with the lady today, this simple explanation doesn't seem to be complicated enough because there always follows a number of other questions about how do you know what to eat? how do you know what exercises to do? how do you plan your meals? It can't be that simple whats the secret? All of these questions are valid but actually when you get down to it, losing weight is as simple as eating less and exercising more.

One of the things that I personally changed once I had made the decision to change how I viewed foods purpose in my life was to try and understand what "healthy eating" meant for me?

The conclusion I came to is by no means rocket science, healthy eating for me in order to meet my original goal of losing excess weight meant consuming plenty of fruit and non starchy vegetables, increasing consumption of low fat proteins, and cutting back on fats and sugars. It really was that simple.

Something Mrs Pixie and I noticed was that if you stop and try to picture what all of the fatty, starchy, high in sugar, junk or processed food looks like, it invariably is a variant of the colour beige, which is dull and not very attractive to the eye.

Check out the fat in these bad boys!

If you think about what colour the foods are that are generally accepted to be healthy and good for us they are usually bright colours that are attractive to the eye.

Easy on the eye, easy on the waist and heart! 

If it's beige in colour it's probably not very good for you, if it looks bright and breezy, the chances are that it will be good for you. 

Fundamentally excess weight is caused by a disparity between calorie intake and calorie usage. The answer to lasting weight loss is something most of us already know but find hard to accept in a world full of convenience and junk food. If we change our relationship with food and eat healthily, exercise regularly and walk whenever possible, weight will be lost or maintained and we become healthier.

So how did I do it? How do I continue to manage my weight? I simply try to understand what I am eating, I eat far less empty, beige or rubbish calories and I try to make sure that I burn off any excess calories by taking exercise.

Try it you might like it!

As always thanks for taking the time to read my blog and hopefully you will be able to visit again in the future.



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