Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Losing Weight the Cheater's Way

I know what you're thinking. There's thousands of articles like these out there! And indeed there are. However, I've gotten so many questions from friends and family about how I personally lost weight that I figure I must've done something right, and so I'd like to share my knowledge with the world.

In my case I went from a pudgy 180ish to a fit 155, and I did it pretty easily by doing the following:

1. Realize you are in this for the long haul.

Losing weight isn't a rapid process. You need to have enough willpower to maintain a mindset which will allow you to keep up your diet and exercise routine for months to come. If you cannot do this, or you know you have a history of giving up easily, get outside support (whether it be from family or a personal trainer).

2. Pick a group of unhealthy foods which you eat often and remove them from your diet.

For me, this happened to be burgers, fries, and soda. I haven't completely cut down on the first item, but I have been extremely successful in forgoing the latter two. In addition to these, I have removed desserts from my diet (which are entirely unnecessary and often times are key contributors to your weight gain).

I'd suggest starting small and working your way up. I began by removing soda from my diet, and once that became precedent, I removed desserts, and so on and so forth. You can try to remove everything at once but your willpower may not be strong enough to handle it.

Like a said, this can be a long process, but once you have figured out how to live without these items, losing weight becomes incredibly straightforward.

3. Buy protein bars.

Protein bars are healthy and surprisingly filling supplements which stave off hunger and cravings that otherwise may lead to a splurge at your local Mickey D's. I recommend Peanut Butter Zone Bars, but anything with a decent amount of protein in it should do.

I usually save these for the times in between meals when I am most susceptible to impulsive unhealthy eating/ snacking. These bars usually keep you satiated for 2-3 hours and are very effective in keeping you away from all of the fattening snacks which people often fall for while waiting for their next meal.

4. Eat slowly, and drink lots of water.

The one thing I notice with overweight people is that they tend to eat very quickly and move on to their next plate of food in the blink of an eye (I did this for many years). The key is to eat slowly and chew deliberately, all while taking sips (or gulps) of your water in between bites of food.

Eating slowly and drinking a copious amount of water during your meal gives your brain enough time to recognize that your stomach is full, before you decide to get up and make yourself another plate of food that you don't really need.

5. Get moving!

So you've prepared yourself mentally, removed unhealthy foods from your diet, bought protein bars, and have mastered the technique of properly eating your meals. What next you ask? It's time to exercise!

Most people become apprehensive at this thought and instantly start thinking about the horrors of joining a gym and facing the judgement of their peers. Don't worry, because you won't need to join a gym and you won't need to start any insane workout program like P90X either.

Just buy a pair of cheap (or expensive, if that's how you roll) walking/running shoes and go outside and start moving! Don't feel obligated to buy a gym membership, all you need is a sidewalk and a little bit of determination to start getting into the best shape of your life.

If you can set aside 30 minutes to an hour a day of walking, and can combine that with the dieting tips I've given above, you should be able to see very tangible results within two months.

Your results may vary, as I am a young male so as such I have a slight advantage when it comes to losing weight. Nevertheless, the techniques I've suggested are valuable for everyone and applying them to your daily routine should make you a healthier, happier, and slimmer person in the long run.

That's it for now. I hope I've helped somebody out there!

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About The Author

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Nicholas Garcia (M.A.) is a PhD Candidate at the University of California, Davis. He is also a Co-Founder of the Bulosan Center for Filipino Studies. Previously, he contributed to and the Davis Humanities Institute.