Getting in shape and being healthy isn’t just about eating right or exercising, it is a lifestyle change that combines the two.
There are many misconceptions on what is the best way to lose weight and get in shape. The right way for some people means eating only non-processed, organic foods; for others, it means eliminating sugar and cutting carbs. A constant stream of new diets claims to be “the biggest breakthrough” in the health industry. Most involve a pill or some other “miracle” supplement that will help you burn fat with little or no work at all. These diets are what burn out quickly, and the only weight lost is in the customer’s wallet. Getting fit and losing weight is very simple-in theory, at least.
Weight Management is Simple Math
Picture a seesaw: Food and calories on one side, and the combination of your resting metabolic rate, activity, and exercise on the other. If your caloric intake is high, that side of the seesaw goes down, and the only way to balance it out again is to burn the equivalent amount of calories. You will gain weight if you can’t burn enough, and you will lose weight if you burn more. No specific diet can synthesize this rule. Granted, thyroid issues and some genetic conditions are exceptions to the rule, but generally the rule holds true.
Metabolism: Friend or Foe?
Metabolism has a big part in this process. Some people can eat anything they want and don’t gain an ounce, but others can eat a heavy-calorie meal or dessert and gain weight overnight. A higher resting metabolic rate allows a person to burn more calories without exercising. These are the people you love to hate. If your body isn’t one of those types that seems to stay trim no matter what they eat, you will have to work for your fitness. No matter how frustrating weight loss can be, just remember that it is all simple math.
The Complete Diet
Most people think of diets as simply eating differently or taking supplements along with meals. The truth is that a complete diet has two sides just like the seesaw: food on one side, and exercise on the other. Keep in mind that you can get fit in the gym, but you actually lose weight in the kitchen. Controlling the quality and the quantity of what you eat will be more of a factor in weight loss than just going to the gym every day. This requires a change in lifestyle that goes beyond the gym. Just because you exercise for an hour or two doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want; such thinking leads only to weight gain and frustration. To get healthy and reach your fitness goals, start with your eating habits and then hit the gym. That is, change your “food lifestyle” first. You will see greater and faster results than you have ever before, but remember that the lifestyle changes need to be permanent if you expect to keep the weight off.