Healthy Weight Loss

scaleFitness literature, both online and print, is deluged with tips on how to shed unwanted pounds.  With this ocean of (sometimes conflicting) information, it is challenging to fish out the healthy from hype to tip the scales in your favor.  And if you feel overwhelmed by the wave of information that comes your way, just keep in mind one thing:  beware the quick fix. The body has sneaky ways to put you on feasting reaction after coming off deprivation.

There are quite as many schools of thought to losing weight as their proponents, often with a catch.  Some advocate high-protein and low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diet; some praise the effectiveness of slow-carb diet (small, frequent meals throughout the day).  Quite understandably, such weight loss approaches may work for some, but not for the rest.  But there is a universal way to lose unwanted pounds – the operative word is “gradual.”  It works across age, race, gender, and starting weight.  In fact, only a long-term program – one you can call a lifetime habit – makes sense.  Any other attempt to lose incredible chunks of fat in so short a time is likely to backfire.

To start on the right foot, you may want to consider doing the following, and following it through in the long-term:

  • Detoxify regularly:  Weight loss is a rather interesting side effect of hauling trash out of your system.  When toxins (which are notorious at binding with fat) build up, the body becomes less efficient at utilizing resources for various functions, one of which is metabolism.  To aid in your body’s natural cleansing cycle, drink plenty of water, introduce garlic and cilantro into your diet, and brush your skin to stimulate lymph circulation.  Or get a massage. Or try colonics.  It can do wonders to your body’s garbage removal system;
  • Eat loads of fresh (organic) fruits and vegetables:  The benefits of eating plant-based foods cannot be emphasized enough.  A torrent of research and experiments into the fabulous wonders of fibrous foods says one thing:  Munch on that asparagus tip!  If you want to shed off pounds but can’t abide by 5-mile jogs a day, eating insoluble fiber has been shown to banish fat (in modest amounts).  By loading up on rough carbohydrates like artichokes and whole grains, you will less likely make more room for junk;
    • Be physically active:  If the thought of lifting weights makes you limp, why not try to move about as often as you can? While regular exercise is ideal, many of us fail to stick with it with religious fervor. Why not take a hobby that is not as physically demanding but lets you break a sweat nevertheless?  Gardening, cleaning the house, taking weekend hikes – they all provide value other than burning calories, so you don’t think of them as a punishment for polishing off that third donut;
    • Get adequate sunshine:  Fifteen minutes a day three times a week is enough to give you the required vitamin D.  Further, warm temperatures tell your body that winter is still far away, and it has no need (yet) to hoard fat to keep you warm in cold seasons;
    • Choose to slow down:  There is a strong correlation between obesity and stress.  People who are always in a hurry tend to love fast food.  More often than not, these are loaded with sugars and tasty bad cholesterol.  As a result, excess calories make its way from lips to hips.  And even if it does not manifest in physical ways, too much processed food results to foggy thinking and sour mood.  So if you want to be happy and healthy, slow down deliberately.