21st Feb 2010

Three Weight Loss Myths

Today’s culture has created an environment where everything is expected to be easy and instant. The pursuit of immediate gratification has so permeated our society that patience, hard-work, and endurance are quickly becoming old fashioned. If you don’t believe me, turn your attention to the weight loss industry. Pills that guarantee remarkable weight loss success apparently still fool a lot of people, or you wouldn’t see them advertised so much. Fad diets tend to put their patrons on up and down roller coasters as people make fickle commitments to eating a certain way, then lose interest within a few months. The fact that there is so much demand for weight loss, a term that was probably unheard of in our society’s less developed age, shows that there has certainly been a shift in priorities and perspective over the past hundred plus years.

Weight Loss Pill

Weight loss fads have existed as long as people have been fat.

If you’re one of the unfortunate souls who has a need to lose weight (there are lots of us), it’s easy to get sucked into the hype surrounding this diet or that pill. For wealthier fat folks, there are even surgeries you can undergo to attempt to circumvent natural effects of not exercising discipline and abdicate the responsibility you have to take care of your body. In light of all of this, there are some concrete principles you can apply, and it’s also helpful to know what is fact about losing weight, and what myths are circulating. If you’re going to contribute your portion to the nearly $50 Billion spent on weight loss each year, you probably should educate yourself on the tried and true techniques for reclaiming your body.

Myth 1: Diet Pills Are Good Ideas
Consider this regarding weight control. Obesity is typically the manifestation of a problem that goes deeper than simply overeating or under-exercising. It is an overall lack of discipline, ultimately a combination of choices that lead away from health and towards indulgence. A pill isn’t going to purge a person of a tendency towards indulging and miraculously inspire self-control. It may temporarily alter your psyche and make you feel full or have some other short-lived effect, but a more permanent change of conduct and long term investment in being healthy requires more commitment than a bottle of fifty or so tablets.

Myth 2: The Faster it Comes Off the BetterIf you have some significant pounds to shed, you’re better off using the tortoise approach if you want to keep off the weight and maintain health in losing weight. You may have noticed people like Oprah Winfrey manifest drastic swings in weight. Their apparent energy for quickly losing weight is only matched by the same zeal in putting the weight back on, usually with a few extra pounds for insurance.

I can attest to how quickly weight can be put back on. I wrestled in high school. For one particular event, I weighed in six pounds too much for the weight class I was wrestling in. I had two hours to drop six pounds. Using a combination of tactics, the most “effective” of which was running around the gym for over an hour in four layers of clothing, I was able to barely get my weight down to 152 pounds from 158. Later that evening, when the tournament was over, I seized the opportunity to put the weight back on. Over the next day and a half, I was back up to almost 160 pounds.

Experts recommend losing not more than 2-3 pounds per week. Many think that 1-2 pounds per week is the healthiest pace. Don’t use this restriction as a way to put off losing weight at all, though. The trick is to be seeing pounds steadily melt off and body fat percentage decreasing.

Myth 3: Your Weight is the Best Indicator of Your ProgressI’ve always been considered overweight according to the body mass index guidelines, because I’m 5’9″, and I weigh 195 pounds. I’ll admit I do have a little more around my waist than I want, but my body fat percentage typically falls around 15%, which is considered healthy. My ultimate goal has been to weigh about 200 pounds and have a body fat percentage of 12%. Measuring your body fat percentage is easy using some of the popular body fat analyzers available today. Although it does feel good to see the numbers go down on a weight scale, it’s better to focus on your overall health by using a body fat caliper or one of the other body fat measuring tools to see where you stand. A good idea to change your perspective on the focus of “weight loss” is to think of it as more a “fat loss” initiative.

Weight Loss Objective: HealthThe ultimate objective of fat loss is to overcome what’s may be causing you to have less energy, worse health, and a loss of self-esteem due to the ugly nature of excess fat. In reality, fat loss and weight control is a part of a larger picture: lifestyle control. Battling weight problems in common to the majority of Americans, who live in an era indulgent. Understanding that weight control is a matter of managing calories out against calories in and not getting caught up in the hype is a good start to improving your health and lifestyle.