This week’s blog is brought to you by local expert Gerard Brennen C.S.C.S., who serves as a local personal trainer and performance coach at the local city recreation center.
9 Components Of Successful Weight Loss
1. Get to know your Body
One size does not fit all. Before pursuing a weight loss program, educate yourself and learn
how to identify credible sources. There are many weight loss programs advertised through
the media they make claims that are not scientifically supported and can actually do more
harm than good. Each person’s body is different, so falling for a program that claims to be a
miracle, will most likely fail if it is not catered to each person’s body type. There are many
factors that must be considered when pursuing a weight loss program, which includes:
- Stress level
- Body type and genetic potential
- General lifestyle factors, such as; daily activity level, environment, type of work, etc…
Most adults do not know their bodies very well because they have abused them most of their
lives. Starting from birth, many parents teach their children to eat every piece of food on their
plate, ignoring the child’s natural mechanism that tells them what and how much they need to
eat. By the time children become adults, their natural mechanism that controls their appetite
and cravings have become desensitized. When educating yourself about weight loss, this
mechanism needs to retrained and even developed.
2. Food Journal
Nutrition is one of the key factors to successful weight loss. However, not all nutrition plans
works for everyone. Despite the uncertainty and complexity, keeping a food journal is a
consistent component of any nutrition program. Regardless of counting calories or not,
recording what you eat helps to identify triggers that lead to bad habits. Triggers can be a
specific kind of food, a stressful situation or mood, a social event, or a relationship. Tracking
food eaten, time when it was eaten, where it was eaten, and if you had company can help to
identify triggers and break bad habits. Food journals also help with consistency, which can be
problematic if your nutrition is sporadic.
In regards to triggers, in the past ten years, fitness professionals have been teaching that you
could have a cheat day, allowing you to eat anything you want. The problem with having a
cheat day is that it usually takes 23 days to get back on track, not to mention the surplus of
calories consumed. The key for many people, is to make small changes over time to ensure
that good habits develop.
3. Find An activity You Love
We tend to stick to activities we find success in. When it comes to exercise, there is no
difference. Again, being consistent will lead to success and have long term results. Fitness
professionals and the media try to tell you that there are specific exercises you need to do
that are more effective than others, which most likely will be true. However, if you don’t enjoy
the activity, you will be less likely to be consistent with it and not see the results you’re going
for.. There are many different kinds of activities that can suit anyone. Think outside the box
and you’ll find success. For example, gardening is an activity enjoyed by many, which
includes many of the functional movements endorsed by fitness professionals.
4. Set Goals
Goals are very important, which help to keep you going in the right direction. When setting
goals, make them realistic and sustainable. Also, make short and long term goals. Short term
goals could be a simple as drinking more water during the day. A long term goal would be
improving your functional fitness and mobility for the future. You can set performance goals as
well during your training sessions, such as completing a 5k or bench pressing 100lbs, which
helps to Shift the focus from external to internal. Performance goals can be very fulfilling,
which helps to motivate and keep you progressing.
It’s important to have goals, but if you don’t have a plan to help you achieve those goals, you
will be shooting in the dark. Each time you exercise make sure you have a plan of action and
make sure your plans are specific to your goals.
5. Be Patient
Do not rush. Be patient and forgiving of yourself. It takes time to reinvent yourself. After all, it
took you all your life to get your where you are today. Do not be discouraged with time
because with consistency and courage, you will see changes. The worst thing you can do it
allow guilt to prevent you from continuing your journey to a new wellbeing.
When it comes to weight loss, losing weight very quickly is not always healthy. It’s better to
lose 2lbs perweek rather that whopping ten lbs. In the long run, progressive weight loss
means it’s sustainable and a reinvention on oneself.
The body needs sleep. Without sleep, you will wreck havoc on your metabolism and health.
An good exercise program and nutrition plan is rendered ineffective with insufficient sleep and
rest. Also, according to the National Sleep Foundation, there is a “greater likelihood of
obesity due to an increased appetite caused by sleep deprivation”. The body needs time to
repair itself after exercise otherwise muscle will waste away, which is nothing you want when
7. Reduce Stress
Reducing and controlling stress can not be emphasized enough. Many times stress can be
the culprit keeping you from achieving your goals. Stress stimulates the adrenal gland to
produce the hormone cortisol, which affects insulin and blood sugar. Stress also interrupts
sleep, leading to appetite issues and a wrecked metabolism. Excessive cortisol in the body
can cause a serious condition called, Cushing’s Syndrome, a disorder with symptoms that
include weight gain, depression, high blood pressure and diabetes.
Managing stress can be difficult because many times the stress could come from one’s career
or relationships. Sometimes you may have to make a tough decision to leave certain situation
for your wellbeing.
8. Drink plenty of water
Water helps to rid the body of toxins that are fat binding and prevent weight loss. Most of us
do not drink enough water, so increasing water intake could have a positive effect. Many
times losing weight may be temporary when fat binding toxins are lingering in the body waiting
to make you fat again.
9. Support System
Last but not least, you need a positive support system to help to accomplish your goals.
Accountability is very important, which will keep you on the right track. It’s almost impossible
to make any changes when your family does not support you. Try to avoid people that make
it difficult for you to achieve you goals, short and long term goals. Some people hire personal
trainers for accountability and motivation. Some people depend upon a role model and find
inspiration there. We are social beings. By establishing ourselves in a community that
values health for all of its members, we can support one another and make a world of a