Hello readers of LovingFit, I would like to introduce Greg my Guest Blogger.
Greg is a creator of livefitblog.com. He writes very interesting and detailed articles about Fitness, Nutrition, Motivation, Humor and Life style! I want to thank him for sharing this great article with us.
Tips For Finding Success With Fitness & Weight Loss
Hello readers of Loving Fit! My name is Greg, and I’m the author of Live Fit Blog, where you can find healthy living tips, as well as my thoughts about fitness, weight loss, and the occasional ramblings of a Dad stumbling through parenthood. Thanks for the opportunity to participate in the community here!
The growing obesity epidemic in the U.S. is no secret. But a recent announcement from the U.S. Coast Guard put a subtle exclamation point on the changing waistline of the U.S.A. Responsible for setting passenger limits on water-going vessels, the Coast Guard has used an assumed average weight of 160-pounds since the 1960’s for setting those limits. Last week, that was changed to 185-pounds. That’s a whopping 15.6% increase, which means every water-going vessel will have to reduce the number of passengers they will be allowed to carry. It makes you think about the importance of managing weight loss and fitness.
Newcomers, or even those who are returning to fitness and weight loss, tend to follow a handful of different of paths. A common route, and incidentally the way I tried jump-starting my fitness journey, is to try exercising your way out of obesity. The theory goes that burning calories through exercise will result in weight loss. Personally, I took up running, going even so far as to complete my first half marathon. Even though I lost a portion of my weight, I wasn’t completely successful with this strategy, which can be fraught with pitfalls. Increased risk of injury and burn-out are chief among them. For tips on avoiding these risks, check out this intro for solid beginner’s fitness advice.
The second common approach to tackling obesity challenges is high intensity dieting, which explains the popularity of fad diets. There are an untold number of fad diets out there, each founder proclaiming the health and fitness advantages of their approach. Unfortunately, although starvation, or even long-term denial of “sin foods” may be successful in the short term, these tactics are rarely workable solutions in the long-term. This explains why people who lose large amounts of weight usually gain it back within 3 years.
So what’s the solution? Developing a successful long-term weight loss strategy requires striking a balance between exercise and eating habits, and there’s no silver bullet. In my case, marathon training was building tremendous cardiovascular capacity, and burning a large number of calories, but my habits at the dinner table were so poor that I couldn’t possibly hit my weight targets. Eventually, a study of calorie consumption provided the solution, but it wasn’t as simple as counting carbs or fat grams. It required careful study and documenting of my eating habits, comparing how many calories in an apple vs my favorite candy bar. I learned how my penchance for a morning 48-ounce soda, bagel and cream cheese was sabotaging my weight loss goals, despite my hard-core running program.
The reality of long-term successful weight loss is that, mathematically, its not that difficult. The occasional splurge is completely acceptable, and in fact, almost required if one hopes to be successful in the long term. Much of our social interactions are centered around food; from the business lunch to the wedding cake, it plays an integral role in our social fabric. Finding ways to counter this latent pressure is key to success. Whether its a public, stated exercise goal, or health reason, everyone needs a tool to help them deal with this latent pressure to overconsume food.
Finally, seek moderation. The reason weight loss from fad diets and highly restrictive eating plans fail over the long-term is they aren’t sustainable. Most of us need the occasional sin food to maintain overall success. And that’s OK, as long as you build it into your plan, and keep it the exception and not the rule.