Let’s face it, packing on the pounds is a whole lot easier than losing them. With more than half of all adults weighing more than is healthy, we have all seen examples of failed diets, exercise programs and supplements. Losing weight is hard, and research shows that there are more factors to consider than just calorie intake and outgo.
Here are four unusual, howbeit true tips that can help you lose weight quicker:
- Avoid hormone disruptors.
The hypothalamus, pancreas, pituitary gland and seven other glands produce hormones which regulate every system in our body. When these hormones are disrupted, they cause a variety of problems, including weight gain, allergies, emotional imbalances and digestive problems. Hormone disruptors, or chemicals which at certain doses imbalance our hormones, are hidden all throughout our daily lives. They permeate processed foods in the form of preservatives, enter our homes masquerading as flame-retardants, cosmetic products and pesticides, and even take up residence in the kitchen by way of plasticware laced with BPA and ethinyl estradiol. Over time these hormone disruptors build up in our bodies, and eventually release a cascade of secondary problems. You can decrease your exposure to these chemicals by limiting the use of pesticides around your home, avoiding foods containing preservatives, using glassware instead of plastic in the kitchen and when you must use plastic ensure that it is free from BPA and ethinyl estradiol.
- Set small weight loss goals.
Unfortunately, statistics reveal that obese people have an especially hard time losing weight and those who do manage to lose a few pounds, usually regain them. One of the reasons for this is discouragement. Although discouragement especially affects those who are obese, it also influences those who are simply overweight. When we decide to lose weight, we excitedly calculate how many pounds we would like to lose and begin modifying our diet and exercising. The first few weeks we lose several pounds, but then the discouragement begins to creep in. It is difficult to keep exercising and those cravings are hard to resist. All that effort for only a few measly pounds and there are so many more to go! One way to avoid this discouragement is to set small weight loss goals. This month I am going to lose __ pounds, and when you reach your goal, celebrate the accomplishment. The satisfaction and joy received from reaching small goals, will spur you on to your ultimate goal!
- Do not follow fad diets.
Friends, commercials, health magazines and websites bombard you with miraculous diets. These diets sound convincing, but don’t fall for them. Fad diets usually eliminate entire groups of foods, for instance all carbohydrates or every bit of refined sugar. Some radical diets even require us to give up practically all foods except for weight loss shakes and smoothies. Reality is that we can’t maintain these diets for long. It is only a matter of time until we give up the diet and go back to eating as we used to. This puts us right back where we started from: overweight and discouraged. You are more likely to be successful losing weight and keeping it off, if you develop a balanced diet which includes all food groups and then stick to it.
- Don’t exercise too much.
Fat is stored energy and some form of exercise, whether it be a leisurely walk or strenuous weight lifting, is required to burn it. However, too much of a good thing can be harmful. We typically choose a form of exercise and then go all out to burn those calories! We end up burned-out and sore. Consistent moderate exercise accomplishes much more than sporadic intense exercise. Another common pitfall is to exercise well and then take advantage of the calories burned to eat more. If you stop and think about it, replacing the stored energy that you just burned through exercise is not the most efficient idea. Sustainable weight loss is the result of a balanced diet and regular, moderate exercise.