Advertisements with catchy phrases and promises of a sudden life transformation without any effort whatsoever pollute the legitimate weight loss aid industry. Finding effective aids for losing weight becomes almost impossible when the diet enthusiast has to sort through literally millions of time wasting options and hope for a miracle every time. The difference between losing weight with some miracle product and losing weight realistically and permanently is understanding that weight loss products should be used as SUPPLEMENTAL rather than FOUNDATIONAL.
The basis to every sound weight loss plan should be a change of lifestyle, not a miracle drug that eats away huge amounts of fat while the purchaser continues eating 3 fast food meals a day and snacks on junk food in between. Every individual trying to lose weight that is looking for a miracle must understand that the miracle is within themselves, and pills diets and gimmicks are just that. However, that does not mean they are completely useless. Supplements - whether they be a meal plan, a miracle drug, a fat blocker, a muscle builder, a gym membership - whatever- are just that ... supplements.
The real ability to lose weight and keep it off is within each individual. It is the determination to change habits that led to the weight gain initially to habits that lead to a healthier lifestyle and overall feelings of fitness.
There are a few basic changes to keep in mind while attempting to lose weight. Overall changes in lifestyle for better health are always up to the individual and what feels comfortable with them and should always be cleared through a health care professional first. However, a few general rules of thumb should always be remembered.
- Make healthy food choices. Although this seems pretty common sense, make sure you educate yourself as to what nutritional value your food really has. Often times, people assume a dish is healthier just because it is vegetarian or is grilled rather than fried. This is most definitely not always the case. Be conscious of calories, fat, fiber, and carbs - the whole package, not just isolating carbs or fat. Think vegetables, fruits, healthy grains, and pure proteins.
- Exercise. This is often really difficult for those with large amounts of weight to begin. The easiest way to begin an exercise program is with small steps. If you can only walk five minutes every other day, then just walk five minutes every other day. You will begin to build your ability and tolerance to exercise as you stay consistent with your efforts. Find ways to insert exercise into your daily routine that you might not have previously considered (i.e. take the stairs instead of elevator, park far from the doors of the store you are going into, find exercises you can do at your desk that are discrete, take 10 minutes of your lunch break to walk around the block)
- Support. Seek out methods of support for yourself. Losing weight is a difficult task, and so many cannot do it alone. There really is an abundance of support available, so do not be afraid to solicit help. There are weight loss support groups, structured programs like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers, websites to track diets and fitness, online programs to join like eDiets, and family or friends around you that would all be more than willing to lend a helping hand on your weight loss journey.
- Promote an Active Lifestyle. So many people tend to gain weight almost unnoticeably while their activity level also gradually drops. Try to plan activities for yourself and your family that involve movement rather than being sedentary. Think family bike ride rather than trip to the movies, a visit to a park rather than shopping, a canoe trip rather than TV shows. This will also help in the overall health of your entire family and friend circle, and help to encourage everyone to be more active. This in turn helps you by providing a support base within your immediate environment.
Of course, if you want to or need to take supplements to aid in getting over that first huge hump in your weight loss journey, there are a plethora of places and products to look into. Again, understand that these should be looked at solely as supplemental rather than as a miracle cure, and natural weight loss often times requires a complete change in lifestyle.