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You Don’t Need a Diet to Lose Weight

If you’re one of the forty five million Americans who plan to go on a diet this year, I’ve got one word of advice for you: Don’t. That’s right, I said it. We can agree to disagree, but I don’t believe in anyone going on a diet that restricts, depletes or eliminates the foods we can eat (to a certain extent, of course). Skip the food scales, measuring cups and the half dozen weight loss apps! Spend your money on something else.17369-men-and-women-performing-aerobic-exercises-pv Despite the ever growing obsession we’ve had with losing weight, our weight continues to increase, our waistlines keep expanding and our health continues to deteriorate. It’s a fact. More than eighty five percent of people regain all of the weight they have lost, and more, by a year after they’ve started a diet.

If there was one sure way or method by which we could all lose weight and keep it off, the weight loss industry wouldn’t be a multi-million dollar money maker and there wouldn’t be hundreds of new ‘sure-fire’ weight loss books on the shelf at the turn of each calendar year.

Almost every single person I’ve spoken too about weight management is totally perplexed by the information out there. Can you really blame them? Every time we t urn on the television or pick up a magazine, there is a new “guaranteed to lose weight” diet for us to try, a new health recommendation, or an advertisement for the latest miracle weight-loss pill. It’s not really all that surprising that we as modern day consumers have no clue who to trust in the health and fitness space. coffee-563797

As a personal trainer for over eighteen years I have my opinion on the subject. I’ve f ound myself saying it many times over the years and I’m going to say it again. You can’t take the average person who is used to eating whatever they want, whenever they want, and tell them they can now only eat certain foods, at specific times, and only this much of it at each meal. If you have ever found yourself saying “I have no idea where to start, so I give up, I’m just going to eat what I like, enjoy my life, and stop stressing over it.” This is probably about the time you would say it.

Losing weight the healthy way involves a commitment to your plan and patience. Following guidelines that you are able to stick with is also key in maintaining your weight once you’ve reached your goal.book b

The process of losing a few pounds doesn’t have to be so stressful on us! Us meaning your family, friends, loved ones and of course, you. The simpler something is to follow, the better! In my opinion, the only thing you really need is a journal (to track your daily food intake), a few basic rules, self-control and some serious discipline! Here are a few suggestions to help you get started:

Make Healthier Choices

First, replace the food items that you eat on a regular basis with healthier alternatives. For example, if you use creamer in your coffee every morning, try replacing it with skim or almond milk. If you are consuming too much of a “better choice” in the beginning, at least you are teaching yourself to eat healthier foods.

Eat Four to Five Small Meals a Day

The next step is to designate specific times of day each day to eat. The rule of thumb is to eat four to five small meals each day and to have a little something every three to four hours. This will not only speed up your metabolism, but it will also allow your body to process the food you fuel it with more quickly so you will be hungry for your next meal. Try to eat around the same time each day and NO snacking in between! I believe our bodies were not designed to be constantly snacking.book a

Know What a Serving Size Is

Now, adjust the amount of WHAT you are eating. You’re already making healthier food choices and you’re eating every three to four hours. Now all you have to do is learn to read food labels and know what a serving size is! Eat REAL food. The fewer ingredients something has the better. If you can’t get it out of the mouth you shouldn’t be putting it in your mouth! Just don’t go overboard with this last step. If you find yourself counting how many almonds or grapes you’re going to eat, you’ve taken things a little too far.

Get a Gym Membership

Join a gym. Hey, I know a good one (Champions Fitness Center located at 7687 Frontage Rd. Cicero, NY). Do yourself and your bank account a favor. Get your money’s worth by actually going! You will find that being around a group of individuals with common goals is a great way to stay motivated.

Get Your Zzzs

Lastly, you need to sleep. I think this last point often gets overlooked. There are plenty of studies that suggest that sleep deprivation is a contributing factor to our bulging waistlines. Research shows that when we are tired we crave high fat and sugary snacks in anticipation of a quick energy boost. Unfortunately, this will put our daily calorie consumption over the top by a few hundred calories.

In Conclusion:

You don’t need the latest fad diet, best-selling book, diet-shake, magic pill, or an expensive piece of exercise equipment to make things happen! You just need to make small healthy changes that you can make into life-long habits.

Get back to basics! Eat REAL food, sleep well, increase your daily activity, and understand that losing weight is not going to happen overnight.

Don’t stress over it, don’t over think it and don’t make it harder than it is! Be patient, believe in the process and most importantly believe in YOU. Do all of this and I promise you will see results.USDA_MyPlate_green.svg

Did you or someone you know become noticeably healthier, stronger, leaner, and more physically fit from a new commitment to exercise? Go to Champions Fitness Center on Facebook (www.Championsfitness.com), request us as a friend and we will share your personal success story! Inspire others to get in shape. We want to hear all about it.

I am currently certified by the National Sports Conditioning Association, Apex Fitness Group, and the International Sports Science Association. If you have a question and/or topic you would like me to discuss please e-mail me at isellgraphs@aol.com. If you would like to set up a free consultation with one of our certified fitness professionals please call Champions Fitness Center at 452-5522.

Jennifer Nastasi Guzelak
I have been a personal trainer for over seventeen years and I absolutely love what I do. I honestly feel that I have one of the best jobs out there! The most rewarding part of my profession is helping one of my clients succeed at reaching their personal fitness goals. Making a difference in someone’s life makes it all worthwhile. I am currently certified by the National Sports Conditioning Association, Apex Fitness Group, and the International Sports Science Association.