© Original content written by James R. Carlson
First let’s ask the question, ‘Why do you want to lose weight?’ Is it to impress your girlfriend, wife, or co-workers? Bad idea. You should not be trying to impress others as that matters little. If you want to lose weight it should be to get back in shape and be healthy. Therefore, why the rush? The best plan to lose weight will take time – a life time. Don’t be in a hurry.
My mother was a Weight Watchers counsellor for 33 years. She helped people lose weight slowly. Her motto was ‘The word diet has the word ‘die’ in it. Don’t kill yourself with your diet. Make it a part of your ‘life-style.’ Living means more than body size and shape. It means eating healthy and in moderation.
Face it. We are an opulent nation. We are fat because we eat too much. We wouldn’t have this problem if we lived on a farm and worked our tails off to put food on the table. We have a weight problem because we underwork and overeat. Nothing more is needed to understand the problem. But artificial diets and workout programs are not the solution. A healthy diet and genuine work activity are.
If you want to lose weight, do not eat isolated food groups to the exclusion of others. Veggie only, carbs only, protein only diets are not healthy. Every single meal you eat should include all the food groups so you have all the nutrition you need. My mother would say, ‘Make sure you eat a balanced diet and keep the portions small.’
My mother also said, ‘It isn’t what you eat that matters. It’s how much of it you eat and how often you eat that much that matters.’ Portion control is a lot of what Weight Watchers is all about. Granted, I don’t have time to weigh my food our count calories. I try to put small portions on my plate and then if I’m still hungry, I’ll have half the portions on my second helping. Be sure to limit the portions and spread out the items that make you fat over a week instead of eating them daily. Portion control is a key element to losing and keeping your weight off.
Fat people often eat fat portions and skinny people will often eat skinny portions. Fat people can eat skinny portions and skinny people can eat fat portions. You cannot tell by the size of the individual how well their diet is today. You can assume that it wasn’t good yesterday. But you still cannot judge a book by its cover. Skinny people can become fat tomorrow, and fat people can become skinny tomorrow. It’s all about portion control.
And you have to enjoy what you eat. How stupid it is for people to eat what they don’t like only to reject the diet they’re on when they lose some weight. They want temporary relief and then find they had no long-term plan to keep the weight off. You must enjoy your meals, get full, and be satisfied with what you eat or you won’t stay on the plan. Again, it must be a part of your lifestyle if you are to succeed.
Another thing you shouldn’t do if you’re trying to lose weight is over do an exercise program. Instead of going to the gym, where you pay them to workout (we’re supposed to get paid to do work), you should be working in some way that is more natural. Gardening, painting or fixing your house on the weekends, going for walks with loved ones; these are ways to exercise that are less artificial and more rewarding.
I’m not kicking gyms. I even have my own gym in my house. Granted, I spend money to buy equipment when I think I need to lose weight, only to watch that equipment sit more than it should. But I feel better if I buy something that says I’m exercising. And like eating, you need to enjoy your exercise routine if you are going to make it a part of your lifestyle.
Philosophically, if you gain or lose weight you are practicing disequilibrium in your weight management. Most people who lose weight fast gain it back fast because through it all they never practiced equilibrium in their diet. Maintaining your weight should be your first goal in losing weight. Be sure you practice staying at one weight on the scale for months before you try losing weight. Taking small steps to lose weight is a must if you want to keep it off.
Again, if you only practice disequilibrium in your diet to lose weight, once you achieve your target goal you will have no experience to practice equilibrium. Most people who rapidly lose weight, gain it back quickly; and they gain more than before because they only practiced disequilibrium. It is a must that you practice equilibrium. If you are not concerned with how people see you and a healthy body and diet is your goal, practice equilibrium for more time than you practice disequilibrium. That way you can keep the weight off once you achieve your target goal.
A simpler way of saying this is that you should work on your lifestyle by focusing more on weight management, keeping your weight where it is, than trying to lose weight. You should spend 5 months maintaining your weight and only 1 month losing weight. And then, you should only try to lose 5 pounds in that month at the most. Then, each year you can work on losing and maintaining your weight with 10 pounds less than when you began.
Once again, it is not about what people see about you that matters. It’s all about your health. A healthy diet that includes moderate exercise should be your goal. This is not a program for the beauty conscious or buff minded. This is a genuine program for the 99% of us who are in it for the long haul. Your diet and exercise should be a part of your lifestyle, not a fad or a religion-of-self. You should only make small changes and not big ones. Little changes have the longest lasting affect in your life.
Finally, why are you trying to lose weight? Be sure you know that we are weak in our natural man but in Christ we are strong in our spirit man. If you seek to maintain your weight in the ‘flesh’ (natural ability) you are guaranteed to fail. Pray and ask God for the leadership of His Holy Spirit and the strength He gives to make right decisions. In the end, we should not be living to ourselves but to God. And God is not so concerned about your appearance as you are. Your soul is much more important. God is concerned about your health. Be sure to add prayer to your daily diet for your spiritual health. You’ll be surprised with what God can do.