Any new weight-loss plan has to be viewed against the failure of the diet industry to provide a long term, sustainable means of enabling us to maintain a stable weight. The simple facts are that most people who lose a significant amount of weight will eventually put it back on. Also, the Diet Food and Drink Market alone is worth Billions of Dollars annually and increasing, and yet according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in 2005, 1.6 BILLION people globally were classified as overweight and that growth is set to continue to $2.3 Billion by 2015. So, the Diet Industry is huge and is predicted to get even bigger but the number of people classified as overweight is going to increase dramatically too.
A major factor in this is we are encouraged to engage in short term dieting – the rapid weight-loss and quick fix diets – to meet our short term needs, without giving too much thought to what happens once we’ve achieved that weight. Nothing stops us from going back to our old habits and that’s how the inevitable cycle progresses.
It’s obvious that we need to reconsider this and view our approach to weight-loss as a permanent change and not just a short term expedient. Permanent change involves looking at an overall method which will not only lose us the weight we need to shift to get down to our desired weight but with just slight adjustments, as opposed to radical changes, will enable us to keep at or around that weight indefinitely.
It’s becoming more and more recognized that a combination of the right foods and some form of exercise are the only way to provide this desired outcome.
With so much misinformation out there, knowing the right foods and exercise is a hard task but the following 7 point plan meets healthy eating requirements without taking the pleasure of out of eating; it provides the essentials to enable our bodies to function properly without reliance on supplements and it gives some pointers to the level of exercise necessary.
The 7 Point Plan:
Point #1 – eat regularly and have nutritious snacks. Your body is programmed to recognize starvation symptoms and will stop burning fat as a survival mechanism. Eating regularly will keep you blood sugar levels stable and you’ll be less likely to want to binge on sugary foods.
Point #2 – avoid sugary refined foods, alcohol and caffeine as much as possible as these lower your metabolism and encourage your body to store calories. Caffeine also increases the reactivity of the body to the stress of everyday life and increased levels of stress negatively affect weight-loss and although it is included as an ingredient in many weight-loss aids, caffeine actually stimulates appetite.
Point #3 – eat plenty of protein. Protein slows down the release of sugars into the blood as it takes longer to digest than carbohydrates. The need to eat protein every day is worth emphasising, because your body can’t store it – you can’t stock up on it by bingeing on protein once a week, for example. Vegetarians needn’t panic as foods such as nuts, seeds, beans, pulses, vegetable protein foods and soya products all contain protein. There are also small amounts in grains and dairy products.
Point #4 – eat complex carbohydrates as they provide sustained energy through releasing it slowly. Complex carbohydrates are often confused with unrefined carbohydrates, but complex in this case refers to how complicated the chemical structure of a carbohydrate is.
There are three kinds of complex carbohydrates:
Glycogen – Which is your body’s major fuel source and is converted into energy.
Starch – which is only a no-no when things like sauces and oils are added to bread, pasta, rice etc.
Fibre – as is found in fruit and vegetables, and which helps your body to process waste and also makes you feel fuller for longer.
Point #5 – eat plenty of essential fats.
Fats and weight-loss – are you kidding? There are bad fats that clog up the arteries and cause all sorts of problems and there are good fats which the body simply can’t live without and it’s these we’re concerned with. The Omega 3, Omega 6 and Omega 9 fatty acids are among the good guys and are also known as essential fatty acids. These EFA’s help keep blood sugar levels stable which we know is important for weight-loss.
Omega 3 fatty acids come from foods like flaxseeds, extra virgin olive oil, green leafy vegetables, and cold water fish such as tuna, sardines, salmon, herring, and lake trout. Omega 6 fatty acids are found in seeds and nuts. Some fish and animal meats also provide a derivative form of Omega 6.
Point #6 – exercise regularly. The good news is you don’t have to become an Olympic athlete. Any exercise for weight-loss and maintenance should be at a level that keeps your body in its fat-burning zone. And this is quite a low level of intensity such as swimming and power walking or even low-intensity aerobic workouts. Consistency is important with exercise and it needs to be done every day or at least every other day.
Point #7 – drink water. Drnking water is being recognized as an important part of weight-loss for a variety of reasons. In simple terms, drinking water before a meal gives the sensation of feeling full which means you will eat less. Water increases metabolism thus burning off fat more quickly and it helps maintain muscle tone. It also aids elimination of toxins released from fat cells as they are used as fuel. The volume of water needed will be determined by a person’s own body size and the amount they are overweight, as well as other factors such as climate or needing to re-hydrate after exercise.
Those 7 points are the basis for a diet and exercise regime which will initially lose you the weight you want and then be adjusted for weight maintenance. Make it the blueprint for your life and say goodbye to serial dieting forever.
Andrew Poole is a qualified specialist Weight-loss Coach and the creator of the New-Slimmer-You Weight-loss Support Plan www.new-slimmer-you.com He offers a special gift to subscribers to his informative newsletter