Guest Blog – Successful Weight Loss

unnamedThis 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:

  • Hormones
  • Stress level
  • Depression
  • Body type and genetic potential
  • Age
  • Gender
  • 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.

 

6. Sleep

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

losing weight.

 

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

difference.