How we choose to manage our weight and health is a personal decision. We base this decision on health needs, preferences, finances and other factors.
Still, there is always going to be a slew of weight-loss advertisements about commercial programs, diet trends, supplements, etc. There will always be a friend or family member raving to you about the success they’ve had by following the “X” diet and doing “Y” for exercise.
“Where Do I Even Start?”
Part of what makes weight-loss so difficult is not knowing how to approach it. Why do some diets work for a few people but not everyone? Do you have to hit the gym five times a week to see results? Should you cut the carbs out completely?
Diet advice and personal testimonies are everywhere, with everyone and everything recommending you try _____ next. You’re frustrated, and rightfully so. It’s no wonder more than 2/3 of diets fail and we find ourselves going back to the drawing board again and again.
Basic Weight Control “Tenants”
All of this goes to show that weight management should be addressed with a personalized approach. However, that often takes time and energy to figure out. Nonetheless, there are a few basic “tenants” of weight control that DO, in fact, work for everybody.
1- NOTHING Takes the Place of Good Nutrition.
You can’t out-exercise a poor diet. You can’t have bariatric or plastic surgery but not address your relationship with food. You can’t let supplements do all the work.
Nutrition that comes from healthy food is irreplaceable. No matter what diet or fitness plan you are following, remember to eat to support your body. This includes a diet rich with whole foods, fiber, protein, healthy fats, and food diversity.
2- You Have to Diversify Your Exercise.
You likely will not notice much physical change to your body if you repeat the same exercises over and over. Your fitness plan should be well-rounded and consist of both cardio and strength-based activities. Aim to work different muscle groups and try new engaging activities. This will help prevent your body from growing accustomed to the same routines.
3- See Your Physician Regularly.
Having the right healthcare team can be one of your best resources. Regular exams will keep you up-to-date on all aspects of your health and give you an idea of what needs improvement. For advice on beginning the conversation about weight and health, CLICK HERE.
4- Don’t Go at it Alone.
The weight-loss journey is full of ups and downs. It is physical as well as mental and emotional. Finding support and accountability through someone else, whether it’s a spouse, friend, family member or professional, can keep you encouraged and accountable.
5- Lean towards What Feels Intuitive.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Remember that humans have existed on this planet for a very long time. While our bodies do differ, they also have some inherent commonalities. All of us need protein, fiber, carbohydrates and fats from food. We all need exercise to stay strong. Too much sugar can have consequences. Before starting any weight management plan or making a decision that will ultimately impact your health, check-in with your body and ask yourself if what you are considering feels “right” or natural.