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Ever Wonder How to Lose Weight?

By: Donovan Baldwin

I was going to title this: How to Lose Weight in a Safe and Healthy Way, but I decided not to. My reasoning was that most of the people I have met who wanted to lose weight, were paying very little attention to, or were not aware of, the ultimate effects on health that most supposed weight loss solutions will have. As with so many things in our modern society, most of us are focused on attaining some immediate, simple, or relatively painless solution to our problem.

This attitude is what keeps an entire industry of fad diets, weight loss supplements, and diet pills afloat. One sad aspect of this is that most of these weight loss solutions either have a minimal effect on the problem for most people, or have no effect at all. Since most people seeking to lose weight are driven by hope, rather than knowledge, as they try one product or diet after another, not only do they fail to lose weight, but they begin to lose hope as well.

Sadder still is the fact that, in many instances, not only do the pills and promises fail to deliver, but may actually affect health in a negative way! When you consider that one major reason to lose weight is to acquire better health, to find yourself going in the opposite direction can be devastating. Yet, as hope springs eternal, the individual continues to place trust, and money, in the next fad diet, the next diet pill, the next weight loss supplement.

Perhaps saddest of all is the fact that healthy, permanent weight loss is simple to attain, and there is often no need to invest any money at all!

Another sad fact is that while permanent, healthy weight loss is simple to attain (I did not say "easy" or "immediate") many people will fail under any weight loss plan simply because of a combination of unrealistic expectations and lack of knowledge of how their body works.

Unrealistic expectations and lack of knowledge are the two main reasons that people turn to diet pills, fad diets, weight loss supplements and other purveyors of false hope.

The basic weight loss equation is:

More calories in than used = Weight gain

More calories used than taken in = weight loss

Most diet pills, and other weight loss supplements "work" by causing either more calories to be burned, or by causing fewer calories to be taken in. In other words, they either "rev up" the metabolism, at least temporarily, or they suppress the appetite. Some act to interfere with body's ability to absorb fats.

Most diets, fad or otherwise, act on the assumption that merely decreasing the calories you eat will cause you to lose weight. Some add the idea that certain foods will contribute to the weight loss process by filling you up, providing fewer calories than other foods, or by stimulating your basic metabolic rate in order to burn more calories.

Almost all of these diets and products will commonly include a remark or warning that the product or plan will work best, or only work at all, when combined with regular exercise and sensible eating habits.

Now, there are many reasons why diets don't work, and that discussion is too long to go into here. I have written several articles on this subject, and they can be found on many sites around the Internet, including my own. One major fact to remember about diets is that once you cut your calories to a low enough level to produce a weight loss, your body is going to reduce its basic metabolism so that you will simply establish a new point at which your weight will be maintained. This will commonly occur after only a few pounds have been lost. Therefore, to lose more weight, you have to cut your calorie intake even farther.

When the time comes that you "fall off the wagon" and go back to eating the way you did before the diet, your body needs fewer calories to function, so even more calories get stored as fat.

Diet pills (generally appetite suppressants) and other weight loss supplements, which all work by altering the normal functions of the digestive system, merely relieve you of taking responsibility for eating properly, may cause health issues, and will usually stop being effective the moment you quit taking them.

Neither method, diet pill or diet, improves health, or teaches and encourages a healthy lifestyle in which weight loss and weight management is a normal byproduct. Even when, per the instructions that come with the products, they are used concurrently with regular exercise and othter healthy living eating decisions, they can only contribute a minor portion of the overall weight loss. The actual weight loss process is carried by the exercise and sensible eating, while the pills and potions just help.

Additionally, whether a diet pill which obstructs or alters the normal function of the body, or a diet which curtails the ingestion of the broad range of nutrients necessary for a healthy body and mind, interfering with the normal nutritional needs of a healthy body is, almost by definition...unhealthy.

Since the purpose of weight loss should at least partly be to be healthy, incorporating some moderate, regular exercise into one's life while taking the initiative to eat more sensibly, the two steps that are the most effective weight loss tips around, should be the basis for any weight loss program. In fact, regular exercise and sensible nutritional decisions will completely negate the need for weight loss supplements, diet pills, or fad diets. The individual opting for a healthy lifestyle in which these two important facts are given the importance they deserve...and are acted upon...will learn that they have uncovered a genuine secret of how to lose weight.

Donovan Baldwin is a 63 year old bodybuilder and freelance writer currently living in Copperas Cove, Texas. He is a University of West Florida alumnus, and is a member of Mensa. He is retired from the U. S. Army after 21 years of service. Many of his other articles on diet and weightloss can be found at at http://nodiet4me.com/articledirectory .

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