Exercise is essential but it will only get you so far
For most of my life I’ve worked under the idea that, to lose weight you had to exercise. When I was young I rode my bike, I used all the machines at the gym, I lifted free weights, I ran, I played sports, I did sit-ups, pushups and pull-ups. You name it, I did it and I looked pretty good for it.
As I got a little older and eventually got a full time job, kids and everything else that ends up filling your day as an adult I noticed that I needed to exercise even more. Eventually, exercise wasn’t enough. I just didn’t have the time to exercise as much as I needed to keep the weight off and it started to build up. Plus, I was doing a lot of exercise that I really didn’t enjoy. It simply wasn’t fun. It was work.
This is when I began to experiment with my diet.
Diet experiments and fad diets are not sustainable
One of the first ‘diets’ that I tried, and had success with, was The Adkins Diet. I distinctly remember learning the concept of ‘low carb’ and then eating salad for months on end. I had to cut out the breakfast cereal that I ate every morning, I stopped eating sandwiches and chips for lunch and I cut out the pasta that we ate for dinner at least 2-3 times per week.
It worked. I lost weight to the point that people actually noticed and complimented me. It was motivating and it opened up years of diet and weight loss yo-yoing. I’d lose weight and then I’d gain it back. I’d lose weight and then I’d gain it back.
This went on for years because it was extremely hard for me to not eat something for breakfast that wasn’t full of carbs. I could only eat so many salads and, God bless her, my wife loves pasta. It was a struggle to sustain this ‘diet’ over the long haul.
The simple truth of weight loss
So after 25 years of dieting, I’ve learned the one simple truth of weight loss: Your body is made in the kitchen and not in the gym or though ‘dieting’.
Learning to eat the right foods is the key to success. Supporting good eating habits with moderate, and enjoyable exercise helps out in many ways. There are many good reasons to include exercise in your life, but the main reason shouldn’t be to lose weight.
Here’s my 7 step secret for keeping the weight off:
- Eat healthy, natural foods as much as possible.
- Limit bad carbohydrates.
- Limit sugar intake.
- Don’t drink your calories.
- Make sure that fat is part of your diet.
- Skip a few meals.
- Cheat. Yes, cheat.
That’s it. Following these simple rules will ensure that you lose weight and keep it off. It’s surprisingly easy, and if you bolster this plan with moderate exercise that you enjoy, you’ll begin to see the pounds slowly come off.
In future posts we’ll talk more specifically about each one of these steps.
What’s worked for you? Discuss your weight loss success tips in the comments below!