Losing weight is a struggle for most people and it can seem nearly impossible to some. Many of us spend hours researching the different diets that are available and trying to determine which one is right for us. The hard truth is that there is no miracle diet that will work for anyone and most fad diets only bring short term results. The good news is that there are some things that everyone can do that will provide results for most people.
Why Lose the Weight
Most of us want to lose the extra weight in order to make ourselves look better. We grab the extra fat around our middle and despair of ever being rid of it. The extra fat that we can grab is not the real problem, though. What really causes the most problems is what is known as visceral fat. This fat is in our abdomen and surrounds our organs. It can cause several health problems and can even produce hormones that can affect our health.
The Mayo Clinic has done several studies that suggest that individuals that have over a certain waistline may be at increased risk for many health problems including cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, metabolic syndrome. Women who have a healthy weight but have a waistline of more than thirty five inches and men whose waistline exceeds 40 inches are likely at an increased risk.
There are several things that you are going to have to change and probably for the long term. If you want long term results, you will have to change things for the long term. If you are a smoker, you will have better results and be healthier overall if you quit. This is a difficult thing for most smokers but if you really want to lose weight and keep it off, quitting is best. If you are a drinker, you will probably want to quit drinking as well. Research has shown that a glass of wine on occasion may be good for you but beer and hard liquor have to go.
Many diets have certain meal plans that you have to follow for the best results. It may set some of you at ease to know that that isn’t really necessary. You can lose weight by simply following a few ground rules.
Eat healthier types of food. Cut out fried foods and junk foods and try to stick to low calorie items. You an also try eating foods that are high in fiber. Fiber will improve your digestion and will make you feel full for longer periods of time.
Eat every meal. It can be tempting to cut down on the calories that we eat by skipping meals during the day. This is a bad idea for several reasons. Breakfast is the meal that is most commonly skipped and it is the meal that starts our metabolism working for the day. The other meals provide the fuel that our bodies need in order to function properly.
Eat less food at mealtimes. An easy way to do this is to use smaller bowls and plates when you fix your plate. If you have a no second helpings policy in place, this will ensure that you will always eat less. It is also a good idea not to eat while watching TV. Recent studies have shown that people who eat while watching TV eat nearly double the amount that they would eat if they weren’t in front of the TV.
Drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Water will help to repress your appetite and will flush toxins out of your system as well. Having less toxins in your body will make your metabolism more efficient and you will lose more weight.
Exercise is absolutely essential for a successful weight loss plan. There are several different types of exercise that you can choose from but it may be best to mix it up a little. You do not want to get bored with your routine and stop doing it. Cardiovascular and weight training exercises are excellent and there are three exercises that they Mayo Clinic recommends that will work specifically on your abdominal muscles.
Abdominal hollowing will work on the deeper abdominal muscles to strengthen them and help to remove some of the fat. This exercise is done by getting down on all fours. Let your belly hang loose and take a deep breath. Release the breath and pull your bellybutton up and in to your backbone. You should feel a slight tightening around the waistline if you are doing this right. Hold that position for at least ten seconds and release. Work at this until you can do this ten times in a row. While doing this exercise, make sure that your back doesn’t move.
The next two exercises will work your lower abdominal muscles. The first one is called a pelvic tilt. You will do this exercise lying on your back with your knees bent. Flatten your back and tilt your pelvis up a little. Hold this position for several seconds and relax. Repeat this several times and try to work up to doing twenty repetitions during each workout.
Pelvic lifts are also done with you lying on your back. Bend your knees towards your chest and keep your arms relaxed by your sides. Tighten your stomach muscles and use them to lift your bottom off the floor while aiming your knees at the ceiling. Hold this position for ten seconds and release. Like the other, you will want to work up to doing 10-20 repetitions of this in each workout session.
Losing weight can be a frustrating and depressing struggle for many people especially if they have tried several diets and they didn’t work. The most important thing to remember is to keep trying and remain consistent to a meal plan and exercise routine. You should always discuss any diet with your doctor before starting and he may have some advice that may help you.