Saturday, June 6, 2009

Childhood Obesity - 3 Steps To A Real Solution (II)

Ladies beware. I don't mean to frighten you, and it just doesn't seem fair, but obesity is a killer. Not only does it claim over 300,000 lives per year, it also significantly increases your chances of acquiring diabetes and/or breast cancer. One day I stepped on the scale and nearly passed out when I read the numbers: 270. I shook my head in amazement and whispered to myself, "Congratulations Mr. Taylor, you are obese." For the next 18 months following that momentous day, I dedicated myself to a diet of three meals and two small snacks per day, and found a way to get some exercise at least five days out of each week. It wasn't easy, and yes, there were both good and bad days. Following the bad days I reconfirmed my desire to continue with my diet and refused to quit. In hindsight, I can see that the refusal to quit was much more vital to my success than the actual diet plan.

There are dozens, perhaps hundreds of diet plans available on the market today. You may even be working on one prescribed by your physician. In my opinion, any sensible diet that does not demand extremes in food limits, such as starvation diets, and emphasizes a well-balanced approach to reducing calorie intake and increasing calorie consumption (via exercise) is workable. If you have a specific medical condition, such as hyperthyroidism or diabetes, than of course you need to be working under a doctor's diet, specifically designed for you and your condition.

The important thing, I believe, is for you to find a diet you are comfortable with, and that you can sustain as a way of life. Jumping from one diet to the next may be good for the booksellers and packaged food diet plans, but it is rarely effective in helping you to actually lose weight.

Here is the skinny on my weight loss, which you may or may not like to hear. Short of a specific medical condition, as I mentioned earlier, weight loss is a function of expending more calories than you consume. You can do this in any one of three ways:

1. Increase the amount of calories your body burns through regular exercise.

2. Decrease the amount of calories you eat.

3. Attack weight loss by both eating less and exercising more.

Every thing else you read or hear about dieting is a variation or elaboration of these three key points.

Additionally, I learned that successful dieters are patient dieters. It took ten years of binge eating and neglect for me to accumulate over 90 pounds in excess weight. But when I started my diet, I wanted the fat off immediately-that Thursday would have been fine. Sadly, it didn't happen as I planned. It took 18 months of consistent, deliberate work. On a positive note, however, I felt the difference in my energy level and self-esteem within one week of diligently adhering to my diet. And as you will learn, it's these small rewards of confidence and new energy that you will begin to feed on as you adapt to a new lifestyle.

There was no magical pill, ointment, food product, or ingenious piece of home exercise equipment that helped me along. In fact, I would still like my $39 back for that abdominal workout gizmo that tightened my love handles, but did not help me to lose a single pound. Make patience the first ingredient in your successful diet recipe book, and forget the gimmicks.

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Childhood Obesity - 3 Steps To A Real Solution (II)

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