Sep 23 2010
Last update:

How to Lose Weight the Healthy Way

Filed under:

Can You Lose Weight and Keep Your Body Happy?

Senior couple riding bicyclesThere are so many commercials and weight loss plans and products out there on the market these days that it can be particularly daunting when it comes to choosing which of these plans, products and ideas are the best for you in your weight loss journey. The truth of the matter; however, is that while it is likely that there is no one program that will help you to meet your goal, and there is no one magic pill that is going to help you take off all that weight, there is one plan that has yet to fail.

We Live in an Overweight Society

When it comes to being overweight and unhealthy an extremely large portion of the nation falls in to the category of obese or even morbidly obese. It is surprising to learn that obesity comes in a range of categories.

How is Obesity Measured?

Obesity is measured by calculating the Body Mass Index or BMI of an individual by using the formula BMI = kilograms (weight) / meters² (height) or in the U.S.

BMI = lb (weight)*703/in² (height)

The Body Mass Index is what determines an individual’s position on the obesity scale. Although many people prefer to have their Body Mass measured using calipers at a professional doctors or nutritionists office due to the fact that the Body Mass Index calculations do not take in to account the muscle mass of particularly muscular people. When it all comes down to it, however, people who fall in to the overweight category and beyond rarely have enough muscle to create a significant problem using the BMI calculation.

What BMI Indicates That I Am Overweight?

The amount an individual is overweight can be determined by the range of their BMI as follows:

Weight Class BMI
Overweight 25 - 29.9
Class I Obese 30 - 34.9
Class II Obese 35 - 39.9
Class III Obese (Severe Obesity) 40 - 44.9
Morbid Obesity 45 - 49.9
Super Obese 5

An individual is considered to be overweight when they have a BMI of 25 – 29.9. An individual is considered to be class I obese if they have a BMI of 30 – 34.9. An individual is considered to be class II obese if they have a BMI of 35 – 39.9. Lastly an individual is considered to be class III obese if they have a BMI of 40 or greater. Class II and class III obesity are broken down further in to a BMI greater than 35 to 40 is classified as severe obesity, a BMI greater than 35 to 44.9 or 49.9 is considered morbid obesity and a BMI greater than 45 or 50 is considered super obese. These numbers vary for the two sexes. Someone who is morbidly obese is generally more than 100lbs over their desired weight and as a result they are putting their health at serious risk, hence the term morbidly obese.

Why Losing Weight Fast is a Bad Idea

In a nation when being skinny is a prized quality and being impatient is an inbred characteristic it is often tempting to seek out the fastest weight loss solution possible. Often times this means a variety of tactics which are certain to have a negative effect on your health and what use is trading one poor health choice for another?

We live in a society where pills are pushed, special plans are determined to be better than others and short cuts are specifically demanded by those wishing to lose weight. Well the fact of the matter is that it did not take a month to gain the weight that is making you miserable and it most certainly isn’t only going to take a month to get rid of that weight. There is no miracle cure and even if there were one what good would it do to lose the weight you desire to lose without learning how to keep that weight off?

Losing Weight is a Life Choice

Losing weight is about making a life choice it is not about picking up a bottle of pills at the pharmacy or cutting out a specific food group from your diet. Losing weight is about changing how you see food and how you relate to food in your everyday life.

Look at Food as a Necessity Rather than a Comfort

Learning to see food as a necessity rather than a comfort is one of the biggest steps in learning how to lose weight and keep weight off. Learning how to make the right choices when picking food is also another big step in learning how to lose weight and keep weight off. You will notice the term “learning how to lose weight and keep weight off.” This term is used with a purpose. You did not put weight on by making the correct choices and as a result you must now relearn how to incorporate food and healthy food choices in to your life in order to create a healthier you.

Diet Pills Are Potentially Dangerous to Your Health

It is tempting to run to a bottle of the newest diet pill on the market; however, the fact of the matter is that these pills not only cost a fortune but they also come at the expense of your health. Do you remember Fen-Phen? Or how about the more recent Hydroxycut recalls and the elimination of the use of ephedrine in diet supplements? These pills and chemicals were eliminated for one reason and one reason only, they were unhealthy.

Diet Pills can Cause Irreversible Damage

The damage that these supplements did to individuals who were not willing to put in the time to learn how to lose weight the right way, was for the most part irreversible. Many individuals suffered extreme organ damage and some families even lost their children as a result of their taking these supplements. Whether they were taken to lose weight or build muscle these supplements affected everyone indiscriminately and left a wake of devastation in their path.

Don't Trade in One Bad Habit for Another

Again, what use is trading one bad habit for another? Instead of paying for that box of donuts you are paying for a bottle of drugs and in the long run the health effects are going to be just as bad if not worse by using the drugs.

Diet Pill Side Effects

Diet pills have been known to cause the following side effects:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Cardiac arrhythmia
  • Restlessness
  • Agitation
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Blood sugar problems
  • Respiratory problems
  • Anal leakage
  • Explosive diarrhea
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Damage to unborn children
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Allergic reactions
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness
  • Depression
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Death

Now that we have established that diet pills are not the way to go how about those specialized diet plans?

What About Specialized Diet Plans?

Diet plans come and go just like diet pills and while many of them have their pro’s they also have their cons. There are programs like Atkins where you completely cut out carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are required by your body to function and cutting out a food group in order to lose weight is impractical. You can’t stop eating carbohydrates forever and the chances are that once you start eating carbohydrates again you are going to gain back the weight you lost. Not to mention the fact that people on the Atkins diet often greatly increase their intake of fat and saturated fats by consuming foods like bacon.

Adding more of these unhealthy choices to your daily diet and cutting out carbohydrates may cause temporary weight loss but they will also cause increased likelihood that you will develop heart disease or suffer from a stroke. There is also the Hollywood liquid diet fad…no one in their right mind can possibly exist on an all liquid diet. While a few weeks on this liquid diet will likely help you shed those pounds quickly you better believe that they will come right back once you start eating. Here are a few fun side effects of doing an all liquid diet- your bowel movements will also be all liquid, your muscles will be starved for fuel, you will always be hungry and you will spend most of your time feeling shaky and weak.

Diet Plans Make Food Choices For You

There are so many diet plans out there that base their theories on cutting out foods or food groups and then there are those that tell you just what to eat. Looking at the Nutrisystem plan, this may be a slightly healthier way to go than cutting out a specific food group or cutting out food all together; however, it is not setting you up to succeed. Nutrisystem teaches you to rely on their food, their meals which cost you a considerable amount out of pocket each month. Nutrisystem does not teach you how to make good food choices and instead it makes those food choices for you. So what happens when you do decide to come off Nutrisystem’s plan? You still haven’t learned what food choices to make and you go back to making poor decisions in regards to your meal plans.

Make Your Own Choices

So what can you do to lose weight the healthy way? Losing weight and keeping weight off is all about making the right choices. Learning to know your body and know what you are putting in your mouth. Losing weight is all about…and let those groans out now…learning to exercise and appreciate what your body is able to do. Let go of the vision of food as comfort and come to realize that your body is amazing for allowing you to be capable of exercise. You have this body for the rest of your life; it’s up to you to take care of it.

Make an Appointment With Your Doctor

The journey in to losing weight should always begin with a doctor’s appointment where you will need to share with your doctor your intention for losing weight and beginning an exercise routine. Many people will be limited in their initial choices for exercise plans as a result of their body shape or level of physical fitness. One good way to work around these limitations is to have your doctor plan out a physical fitness routine for you or else contact a personal trainer or class instructor at your local gym to ask if they would be willing to work with you on your weight loss journey.

Exercise and Lose Weight at a Healthy, Natural Pace

Health and fitness workout to lose weightHaving access to a gym of some sort is a huge factor in the success of a weight loss plan, while a cardio machine at home may help it is not going to offer you the motivation of a gym partner or a fitness instructor and it is also not going to offer you the chance to firm up the areas of your body that you are going to be slimming down. Losing weight slowly by combining a healthy cardio routine and a light weight lifting routine will lessen the likelihood that you will have large sagging pockets of skin that result from rapid weight loss such as is the case with weight loss surgeries.

Many people are afraid to step in to the gym especially when they first embark on their weight loss journey. It can be particularly intimidating to step in to a gym when you are much larger than other members of the gym but you should always remember that everyone had to start somewhere. Not everyone at your gym has always been skinny and they are all working hard to stay in shape so try not to judge them the way you are hoping they won’t judge you. The trick is to see everyone as a person, an individual with their own weight loss or weight maintenance struggle. Attack your weight loss exercise routine head on and have faith in yourself.

Include a Healthy Meal Plan in Your Routine

In addition to a weight loss routine it is also important to include a healthy meal plan in to your routine. Your doctor should be able to provide you with a daily calorie count that you should be able to meet each day and still lose weight. As you continue to lose weight your daily calorie count will come down as your weight class comes down. You will notice that more often than not your doctor will encourage you to meet a base calorie intake for the day as well as eat any calories you burn off during exercise. This eating of your exercise calories is due to the fact that your body needs a base number of calories every day to function normally even when you are trying to lose weight, if your daily caloric intake is supposed to be 1200 calories and you burn off 200 of these calories in the gym you are now at a 200 calorie deficit for what your body needs to function and so you are required to also eat those 200 burned calories.

Make the Right Food Choices

Food pyramid in circle (pie) formNow that you have your caloric intake requirement for the day your next task is learning how to make the right food choices. It is rarely a good idea to cut out any specific item from your diet, even the candy you crave if you have a big sweet tooth. The trick to successfully losing weight is to learn how to make better choices, for example if you have a big sweet tooth and would usually reach for a full milk chocolate candy bar, instead limit yourself to one small square of dark chocolate to get your sweet tooth satisfaction without blowing your caloric intake.

This method requires you to have some self control. However, it also allows you to reward yourself with the things you love without having to feel guilty for indulging. Some people find that they are unable to control themselves and cut these items from their diet completely which is also fine. One of the biggest tricks to having a set amount of calories to “spend” throughout the day is that you must learn how to portion out those calories by paying attention to what you are putting in your mouth. Whereas a fancy coffee drink may hit the spot it will also cost you somewhere around 300 empty calories, calories that are not going to feed your hunger and as a result you may be left 300 calories over your daily budget at the end of the day when you are still hungry.

Portion Calories by Planning Your Meals for the Day

Portioning calories is the biggest trick to losing weight and often time’s people who intend to really stick with their weight loss routine like to sit down in the morning and plan out their meals for the day. Generally meal plans include breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner and night time snack. By creating more meals you will be allowed to eat more often and hopefully curb your hunger more so than you would were you to eat three large meals a day.

Eat Many Small Meals

Eating smaller meals throughout the day is also particularly useful in speeding up your metabolism and keeping it up throughout the day so that you can burn fat more efficiently. When portioning calories you will soon come to learn what gives you the most “bang for your buck” as it were. Things like baby carrots will cost you 80 calories for a large serving where something like a chocolate bar will cost you 280 calories and leave you full for only a few minutes. You will soon recognize what are your better choices for snacking and eating well rounded meals. Charting your progress on a free website such as My Fitness Pal will also allow you to keep track of other elements in your diet and help you to identify aspects of your diet where you may need help. Many people find that their weight gain or weight loss is a result of too many calories but also too many carbohydrates and by carefully portioning out caloric intake you will soon come to see what foods make the best choices for you.

Balancing Calories and Exercising = The Healthy Way to Lose Weight

Balancing calories and going to the gym may certainly sound like a boring way to lose weight but it is also the right way to lose weight. Exercising will help your body to recover from long periods of sitting stagnantly and letting the world go by. Exercising will also help you to tone up your body in preparation for your weight loss and allow you to become capable of more physical activity in your everyday life. Starting with the small things you will soon come to love the feeling you get from exercise even if it is only to see the changes in your body as you go. Changes in your body will be one of your first signs that you are losing weight the healthy way, you will notice places becoming firmer and clothing sizes becoming smaller in no time. You will also begin to notice the difference in your energy level as a result of the foods you are eating. Higher quality fresh foods will leave you feeling more energetic and less likely to “crash” at the end of every day as a result of a sugar peak and valley.

Losing weight the healthy way might not sound like the quick result that you have been looking for in your journey to weight loss but it is by far the most efficient and long lasting way to lose weight and keep it off. How many people have you heard say tried a certain diet plan and when they stopped “all the weight came back?” How many people have you heard say tried a certain diet drug and “went broke” or “didn’t feel good” after taking it? How many people have you honestly heard say that they found the miracle cure for losing weight fast? None. There isn’t a quick and easy way to lose weight and keep weight off because losing weight is all about a learning process. Learning how to exercise, learning how to treat your body and learning how to make the right choices when it comes to food. All of these lessons will help you to not only lose weight now but also to keep that weight off in the future. Sure, it might sound like work and it may not be the magic pill you have been hoping for but it’s guaranteed to work and it’s guaranteed to be the one “diet plan” that results in a total lifestyle change for you. Making better food choices and exercising on a well planned routine will change how your body looks now as well as change how you look at your body. Before you know it you will be losing weight and looking at what you used to eat with disgust, you better believe that once you start losing weight and seeing results that fast food take out won’t look so appetizing anymore!

Average: 5 (2 votes)

Average: 5 (2 votes)

Natural weight loss

Now THIS is how weight should be lost. Seriously, I can't believe how much money big pharma is making off of all these ridiculous, potentially cancer inducing drugs that are supposed to help you lose weight almost immediately. The same thing goes for all the ridiculous diets on the market. People - weight loss is not a secret. Eat well and exercise and you'll see results, at almost no cost. For those that say eating well is to expensive, think again. Basic grains and produce are less expensive than fast food, they just take some time to prepare. But even that can be a nice meditative exercise routine and will keep you from putting more CO2 in the air as your engine putters in the fast food drive-thru.

Losing weight AND staying healthy

AWESOME article!! Great job Amy Smiling Finally someone that understands the importance of simple fitness and nutrition. I'm so fed up with all the companies that are making millions by preying on people with their pharmaceutical crap, big marketing budgets, and unhealthy (and dangerous) health products and dieting methods. Folks - it's real simple. Get off your ass, move around a bit, and watch what you eat.

Thank You

Thank you for the kind words. I used to be one of those people who sought the easy solutions to weight loss were out there, but when I found that none of them worked I began a healthy diet and exercise routine. Fifty pounds later I have a new healthier lifestyle and I've kept that weight off for three years! The best part about losing weight the healthy way? Aside from feeling great overall, its the satisfaction of knowing I did this myself and of course, the lack of side effects!

More information about formatting options