No one Said Weight Loss Is Easy

Losing weight is not easy. No one should lull you into believing there is a quick way to lose weight. One important component of weight loss is that is takes time. There is no fast track to getting in better shape, but it is also never too late to start.

Obviously, some exercise programs are more interesting than others are. Interest is the keyword. If you start an exercise program, it has to be appealing. Exercise and weight loss (and maintenance) are lifelong commitments.

Weight gain is easy. Your body does not care if you put on some pounds. It has no real defense. Calorie laden foods and inactivity make the body hungrier. It sets off a chain reaction that leads to more hunger. When fat cells accumulate in the body, an unhealthy decline of the hormone leptin leads us to seek more food.

Multiple weight loss programs exist. No one size fits all. You have to find a satisfying weight loss and exercise program that suits your lifestyle and causes no distress. Anything less sets you up for failure.

Weight gain sneaks up on us. Once we reach a certain point, it is increasingly more difficult to lose weight. Modest weight gain is easiest to reverse. The message is if you put on a few pounds, start early to get rid of them. Once too much weight gain occurs, it is almost impossible to shed, thus the constant quest for better drugs to target weight loss, and increasing popularity of obesity surgery.

The core principles of weight loss, overall fitness and good health is to remain active. Decrease your calories and increase your activity.

Here are some tips that make weight loss easier:

· Choose a friend with the same weight loss goals and develop a plan together. Using a “buddy system” has been shown to increase the odds that you will stick with your weight loss and fitness goals.

· Vary the length and type of exercise that you choose. Doing so will prevent boredom and provide challenges.

· Start exercises every other day so as not to become discouraged from soreness or time constraints.

· Reduce your food portions. You really do not have to change your diet completely, but if you wish to do so, consider a Mediterranean diet. It is heart healthy and has endured as an overall beneficial diet that you can continue throughout life.

· If you are tired, or ill with a cold or flu, give yourself a break. Never engage in exercise when it does not feel right. Listen to your body.

· Consider the benefits of stretching. It may not seem like much, but it may be a beginning if you do nothing else to start. Stretching, in itself, can increase strength and endurance.

· Remember that anything goes. Incorporate daily activities into your exercise plan. Garden, clean, vacuum, and organize. Household activities do help with weight loss and fitness.

· Start a simple walking program. Take a pedometer to measure your fitness success.
Weight loss and fitness should be everyone’s goal in the New Year. Losing weight and getting in better shape can help with depression, and help manage existing illness. Never start a weight loss or exercise program without first speaking to your healthcare provider.

Resource: Leptin reverses weight loss–induced changes in regional neural activity responses to visual food stimuli.

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