Unstick that weight using a routine you can stick to
By Joe Black | (email@example.com)
Weight loss is a topic that I’ve tackled in this space many, many times. Some might offer too many.
It’s just that a lot of the health issues that we face today are because of obesity. Diabetes, heart disease, blood pressure, even certain types of cancer. And we know that obesity makes it hard on your joints.
Obesity is the No. 1 preventable problem facing Americans today. And notice the “preventable” part of that. We can do something about it.
Throughout time, there have been more diets than ... well, you can imagine or I can describe. I’ve looked at many of them. The Adkins diet. The Watermelon diet. Paleo. South Beach. The detoxdiet. The grapefruit diet.
But the main conclusion that I’ve reached is that the simpler the weight loss program, the more likely it will be that you will stick with it. That the easier it is to live with, the less self-control that you will have to use, the better you stick with it, the more effective it will be.
So I’ve adopted a very simple plan that most people can follow. A path, if you will, to better health. I believe that you need to look at doing two things: Exercising every day and eliminating that one “worst” thing from your diet.
That every day exercise thing is important and is probably the most daunting aspect about this whole concept. Studies distributed by the American College of Sports Medicine have indicated that to achieve fitness, you should exercise at least 4 times a week.
Notice the “at least” part of that. I don’t believe that is enough. If your exercise is going to affect your metabolism (and it can in very important and profound ways), you’ve got to do it every day.
The exercise doesn’t have to be vigorous but you do need to do it every day. Walking is a great start but you’ll find that if you do it daily, pretty soon it won’t be enough. Swimming is great if you’ve got access to a pool. Most people know of my love for everything bicycling and CrossFit.
You’ve just got to find something that you can stick with. I would suggest that it should be several somethings. Strength training should definitely be in there part of the time. Interval training and cardio are important too. But if you don’t do something that you find fun, you won’t be able to sustain it.
And I can tell you from years of experience in working with people pursuing fitness, you’ve got to sustain it. You’ve got to be in for the long haul. A commitment to the lifestyle change that this requires is not something you can do for six months, see great gains, then move on to something else.
You have to build it into your daily schedule. If it’s Tuesday, it must be cardio day, or something like that. Have a plan and then stick with it until it doesn’t work anymore and then change it. It helps to have exercise partners. Being accountable to anyone makes it harder to miss a workout.
And the best time to exercise is in the morning. Even light exercise will change your metabolism (for the good), with the net result being that you burn more calories the rest of the day (another good thing).
The other part: remove that one worst part of your diet. Not everything, just the worst thing.
I used to have a secretary that brought a 65 ounce jug of soda to work every day. And she refilled it at least once every day. She didn’t really have a weight problem but she had a lot of health problems that were likely the result of all that sugar.
What is that one bad thing for you? Identify it and cut it out. It really is that simple. No wholesale changes to your diet and definitely no “diet” to follow nor calories to count.
Joe Black, PT, DPT, SCS, ATC is a physical therapist and athletic trainer at Total Rehabilitation and is Manager of Outpatient Rehabilitation for Blount Memorial Hospital. Write to him at (firstname.lastname@example.org)