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What I Learned Losing Weight

Obesity is becoming an epidemic in the United States ((Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

As some on you know I lost a little over 100 pounds two years ago and have managed to keep it off by learning some facts and fantasies about food. Food is a major part of our lives. We eat when we’re happy or celebrating and we eat when we are sad and depressed. Many of the most traumatic events in our lives include food. We find food at weddings, funerals, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Valentines Day. We tend to eat the wrong things. Pizza, fast food, sweets, pastries, all those so-called “comfort foods” that we use to solve whatever emotional problems we may be experiencing. We eat too much and exercise too little. We go on fad diets, buy all sorts of equipment and gadgets to give us a “quick fix” to our weight challenges.

Alcohol and tobacco addictions can be eliminated for many people by going “cold turkey.” But with food addictions you can’t just stop eating like you can stop smoking or drinking alcohol. You need to burn approximately 3,500 calories to loose one pound of weight. Somewhere between 1-2 pounds per week is considered a healthy weight loss. So at two pounds per week a hundred pound weight loss would take about a year to accomplish. Losing the weight is one thing; keeping it off is quite another.

An Easy Way to Drop 30 Pounds

Studies show that those who lose weight usually put all of it or more back on within one to two years of losing it. This “yo-yoing” weight change is not good for your health or your heart. Excessive weight leads to a whole gamut of health problems. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease are just three of the more common problems directly related to obesity.

Weight loss is a very simple concept. Calories in; Calories out. If you make no other change in your life but reduce your daily calorie intake you will lose weight. If you are 30, 40, 50 or more pounds overweight there is a certain amount of food you must take in to maintain that weight.

A Doughnut and a Soft Drink Can’t Hurt

A doughnut could be as much as a hundred calories or more. If you make no other change than to give up your daily doughnut you will lose a pound a month. Give up another 100 calories, such as a daily soft drink, and you lose two pounds a month. Skip a 100-calorie dessert with your lunch and you lose three pounds a month. You’ve lost 36 pounds in a year. But starting those same bad habits again will put that 36 pounds right back on the following year.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have a doughnut or soft drink ever again. It means that you can splurge now and then but still maintain a healthy weight. There are going to be family get together’s when Aunt Minnie thinks you just look two thin and will load you up with lots of good tasting stuff. Live a little. But reduce your calorie intake for a few days after and your weight will go back down to normal. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk a report to someone rather than emailing it.

Some Final Thoughts

The holidays are coming and this is probably the worst time to think about weight loss. Company Christmas parties, cookies, candies, and other goodies at work. Most of us start our weight loss program in January. With me it was February. But do this. Start keeping a daily diary of what you eat each day along with your daily weight. Get an idea of how much your weight goes up or down based on what you eat each day. And yes, include Aunt Minnie’s famous calorie loaded cookies and cakes. This is a great time to test your limits. Write this down and put it on your refrigerator and the bathroom mirror so you can see it every day, “NOTHING tastes as good as thin feels.”

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