Possibly the saddest comment anyone can make about our modern way of life concerns our obsession over how we look. The diet and weight loss industry markets almost entirely on the basis of how we think we look, rather than how healthy we are or how we feel. As important as looks are, when we base our weight loss goals on looks, we set ourselves up for serious disease and ultimate failure in the looks department, too. This article will help you set realistic goals that will drive you, not to go on another crash diet, but to take the right actions for a permanent lifestyle change that will give you the good looks and much more.
Lose Weight For Health: You'll look better! Yes, looking good is more than fitting into the latest fashions. By far, the best looking people, regardless of age, have made good health a priority in their lives. We've all seen the pictures of smokers, alcoholics, drug addicts and the morbidly obese. These pictures all have one thing in common...the people look old well beyond their years and as sick as a living person can be. Healthy people not only avoid harmful, addictive things, but they pursue healthy activities as a lifestyle. Healthy people don't need to "go on a diet" because they manage their regular diet and exercise so they never need to lose more than 10 pounds. I envy them! I'm just learning to do this in my 50's. Considering where my health choices have left me, I would have felt a lot better most of my life, had I just made health my priority. Fortunately, there's still time for both of us to feel better.
Lose Weight To Feel Better: Instead of looks, we need to manage our weight to feel better. There's no question that people who feel better look better. Half the time, I look terrible because of the asthma and diabetes caused by my previous bi-polar health habits. Tired, crabby and out of breath aren't pretty. Now that I'm down 50 pounds from my high, six years ago, It isn't as bad as it was. Feeling better is a great reason to lose the weight we need to lose. Of course, no one who is on a diet feels good. Their bodies don't have enough nutrients (that's why you lose weight) and their minds are fighting them at every turn. Oh, why can't I have that pie, hamburger, French fry, Ice Cream? We go from feeling sick and tired from carrying around the extra weight to feeling sick and tired because of our drastic diets. If we want to lose weight to feel better, we'll find a smarter way...with a permanent lifestyle change, including eating and regular exercise.
Lose Weight To Be Smarter: While developing a healthy lifestyle is smarter, it makes you smarter, too. Weight loss diets deprive us of nutrients necessary for optimum brain function. We lose concentration and become more sluggish and irritable. It really doesn't matter whether you're cutting carbs or proteins, your body is teetering on the edge of starvation, and that makes thinking far more difficult. When you lose weight using a low fat, balanced diet and exercise, the opposite is true. You get mentally sharper, feel happier and think better. That's because a balanced diet provides all the nutrients your brain needs and less fat to clog up the blood supply, while the exercise pumps the blood more thoroughly through the brain and produces endorphins that elevate mood and relaxation. Though you lose the weight more slowly, you're happier, more energetic and mentally sharper than before the lifestyle change...in short...you start getting healthier immediately.
Lose Weight To Avoid Disease: Speaking of being healthier, avoiding disease is right on the top of that list. In addition to the diseases I mentioned above, being fat causes or contributes to cancer, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack, kidney failure, depression, anxiety, phobia, rapid aging, allergies, and a host of other diseases. If your weight loss goal is to be healthy and avoid disease, the last thing you would want to do is stress your body further with a weight-loss diet. In fact, too few nutrients during a diet can cause many of the same diseases as being overweight. Based on my symptoms and blood tests at the time, I contracted diabetes when I was thin (170 pounds), after losing over 55 pounds in 6 months on a high carb/low protein diet program. My doctor never mentioned the high blood sugar, apparently because my weight wasn't out of control. Our bodies don't react well to the bi-polar practice of eating way too much and correcting it by eating way too little. It's a recipe for a health disaster.
Lose Weight by Healthy Living: Over the last 6 months, I've lost 20 pounds by eating the right balance of healthy, fresh foods and by getting lots of exercise, mostly aerobic exercise. Diabetes makes weight loss far more difficult because eating too few nutrients can cause a coma. This disease has forced me to use the very weight loss method I recommend in my articles and on my web-site. I expect to lose another 20 pounds over the next 6 months, then, to take about 9 months for the final 17 pounds, to reach my goal of 180. It's taking so long, because I'm replacing body fat with muscle, rather than just starving both on a traditional weight-loss diet. When you do this, you lose inches quickly, but weight slowly. So, I look lighter than I weigh. In my opinion, two things make this weight loss method superior to any other I've tried. The first is the fact that I haven't given up any kind of food. All I've done is eat the good tasting "bad" stuff less often. Pizza once every couple months, for instance. The second thing is, when I reach my goal I won't need to change a thing. The same eating and exercise that got me there will keep me there.
When you're deciding on a weight loss program, make sure you have the right motives for losing weight. If you lose weight to be healthy...to feel better, think better, live longer and avoid disease...you'll make the right choices for a healthy lifestyle. If your looks are the primary motive, you could lose your health...and your good looks.