Thursday, June 28, 2012

Lose Weight and Keep It Off

Most of the people who come to a personal trainer don’t have trouble losing weight. Many of the people I work with have lost hundreds of pounds. The trouble is that most have regained all the weight back and then some. There are a few things I can share that will help people from making the common mistakes.

The best and most effective thing you can do is to keep a food diary. You don’t have to carry around a notebook either. At the end of the day most people can remember every meal and even the snacks they’ve eaten. The amazing thing to me is this one fact: You double your chance of permanent weight loss success by adding this one behavior. 

The second no-brainer is to plan ahead. If you get home from work and there’s nothing to eat, what do you do? Most people eat out or pick up some delicious food to go. The problem is that most places keep you coming back by giving you food that tastes great. A restaurant’s main priority is repeat business, not your weight loss goals. If you’re off Sunday, go shopping for the week and bring a list. Plan your meals and shop when you’re not hungry. It may take more time in the beginning but it gets easier after a while.

You’ll love this one. Allow yourself to cheat once in a while. When I had my promo pictures done 20 plus years ago, I followed this strategy. It was football season. After six days of being really good, I went to Sunday Brunch. I had everything I wanted, watched the first half and then had a smart dinner. I have never looked better. The occasional feast lets your body avoid starvation mode efficiency and rewards your hard work during the week. A word of caution: Eat pretty well all week and feast for one day and you’ll gain weight. A more moderate option is eat with discipline most the time so you can splurge once in a while.

Finally, try to boost your metabolism by sticking to an activity you like. If you hate to do something, you probably won’t adopt it as a lifestyle. Most people don’t exercise because the last time they did it they hated it. Walk the dog, take a hike in our beautiful foothills or pick up those dumb bells you have in the closet or under the bed. In a few hours I can show anyone how much better they’ll feel by spending an hour or two a week moving in the right direction.

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