Preparing Yourself For Weight Loss Success

For this first and very important part we will discuss a few key things in order for you to ‘really’ succeed at what you’re doing. With these essentials cleared up you will have a clearer vision of where you are going and most importantly, how to get there. These essential things are:

1. How Do I Know I am Ready?
2. When Do I Start?
3. What Will Happen If I Don’t Succeed?

Let’s start off with the first issue. You should only start when you are absolutely convinced that you are doing this for yourself. Don’t do it because someone close to you is pushing you. You will be a lot less motivated this way and a lot more frustrated.

When you are doing this for yourself you will be more inclined to do the proper research and will also be more likely to put all of your heart and resources into it, whether it be emotional, physical or financial.

While it is important to care about what others think it shouldn’t be your primary objective. You must do this out of respect for yourself and then for others.

You are the one who has to see yourself everyday. In other words, as long as ‘you’ are happy with your appearance that is all that should matter.

Secondly, when do you start? Again, start when you are ready. You must be in the proper frame of mind in order to begin this process, as it demands a focused attitude.

If you have failed at another approach, take awhile off and wait until you can gather your thoughts. There is no point running from one program to another, this only leads to confusion and burnout.

And last but not least, what if you fail? The key idea is to ‘learn’ from your mistakes. Never quit! Remember where you think you went wrong and do your best to avoid repeating it. Everyone is different and through trial and error you will find what works the best for you.

I am not saying that everything you try won’t work. That would be silly! You can think positive and be assured that any sincere efforts you put into this endeavor will not be in vain.

There will always be valuable life lessons you can grab when attempting to do something. In reality, anything you try to improve yourself will be met with results of some kind.

That’s why these lessons are such a great aid! If you follow the guidelines written throughout the following weeks you will prepare yourself for success!

First, we must eliminate what ‘not’ to do when contemplating and undertaking a weight loss program. Then you will more likely be left with what you can do in order to be successful.

Weight Loss Myths

Below I have compiled a list of common myths that many people believe which can seriously hurt your progress. Here they are:

  • Spot Reduction. There is simply no such thing. No matter how many crunches you perform you will not get a flatter stomach until you incorporate proper eating habits and some kind of aerobic activity.
  • Starches are fattening. Things like bread, rice and pasta won’t make you fat. It is what you put on them that will hurt you. Things such as butter and oils. Potatoes and their companions are actually a good source of carbohydrates, which is the main fuel source for the body.
  • You have to stop eating the foods you enjoy. The real issue is not always the food itself but rather how much and when. The longer you go without something the more likely you are to crave it.
  • The starvation effect. Cabbage soup doesn’t sound bad for a few days but how about a month? Or worse yet, how about for life? And when you do eat normal foods again…watch out! The more sensible way is to make slow changes in your eating habits until you see results and then adjust accordingly.
  • Missing meals is a better way to lose weight. On the contrary. Studies reveal that people who miss breakfast tend to be more overweight than those who don’t. When you skip a meal you are more likely to eat more the next time.
  • Becoming a vegetarian will guarantee weight loss. Things such as cheese and nuts can be just as fattening as animal products. Also, many substitute by including things such as chocolate bars and chips. As with any way of eating you have to be just as careful.
  • If it’s ‘fat-free’ it’s good. This isn’t always true. You have to check labels because in some products the fat is lower but the calories are still quite high. Some manufacturers replace the absence of fat with things like sugar to help improve the taste resulting in a higher caloric content.
  • One diet will work for everyone. If this were true there would only be one diet. Everyone is different and has different needs. The true plans are the ones that show you how to discover this yourself through knowledge, questioning, experimentation and application.
  • Weighing yourself everyday. Your body weight fluctuates from day to day due to different variables such as hormonal changes and fluid retention. It’s best to weigh yourself once a week.
  • Eating fat will make you fat. Of course if you eat too much fat you will gain weight but the same also applies to protein and carbohydrates. Your body actually needs fat for certain functions of the body. However, it still is wise to keep your fat lower than the remaining two (protein and carbohydrates) which shouldn’t be a problem.
  • If your parents are overweight you will be too. While this can be true it is only a small amount at best. It is mostly a persons habits resulting from how they were raised by their parents that causes the problems. With enough education and determination it is possible to meet your goals!

Once you have these things cleared up you can start to concentrate on your program. By reading this lesson you have displayed more than the desire to change, you did something about it. The first step in the right direction!

Key Points To Remember

– Do this for yourself and not others. It will be easier on you

– Your primary objective should be what you think of yourself and not what others think

– Start when you are ready in order to be in the proper frame of mind

– Learn from your mistakes, don’t be discouraged, and start over

– All sincere efforts will be rewarded

– Study the myths we went over carefully so you will remember what to avoid!

How To Eat Without Losing The Will To Live!

No weight loss mini-course would be complete without a lesson on positive eating habits. You not only want to enjoy what foods you are eating but you also want to be fulfilled after you have eaten them. This second lesson will briefly outline the steps you can take to achieve this goal.

A lot of people quit dieting because they think they have to eat things like rice cakes and broccoli. Never mind quit, some won’t even start a weight loss program because of this.

People also become discouraged because they become hungry. While it is realistic to become moderately hungry you don’t want to be starving. You are not a robot but a human being.

Don’t torture yourself. No one continues to do anything they don’t like. The few that do are often miserable. Below are some steps you can study and follow to get your eating habits together.

  • Eat the foods you like. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about hot dogs and chocolate cake. At least not all the time. But just eat what you usually do on a regular basis, you know things like sandwiches for example while decreasing your portions a little. Always remember this – “If it’s hard to swallow, it’s hard to follow.”
  • Eat enough and only when you’re hungry. Most people are in a hurry to lose weight too quickly. If they don’t see 6 pounds come off in the first week they start panicking. Don’t! Remember that most people who are overweight eat for other reasons. Habit, boredom, depression, and control to name a few. Only eat when you are hungry. Ask yourself this question, it is important. When you feel that you have had enough food to reasonably satisfy you stop. Balance is the key.
  • Take in the smallest quantity before bed. You’d be surprised how well this will work. This is an area where a lot of people fail, especially with carbohydrates. Have a glass of skim milk and a bran muffin for example.

I hope you find these ideas practical and easy to apply. You should feel as comfortable as possible while going through this initial phase.

The next step after losing the weight is maintaining it, which is nowhere near as difficult. Once you have laid down the proper foundation it should be a piece of cake!

Food Preparation

Here some quick guidelines to remember when constructing your grocery list. Below you will find the best food choices for a successful weight loss program divided into 2 sections, proteins and carbohydrates.

Proteins

Chicken Breast
Turkey
Tuna
Skim Milk
Eggs (or egg white substitutes, mostly for the whites)
Lean Beef
Protein Powder

Carbohydrates

Rice
Oatmeal
Whole Wheat Bread
Pasta

Hey! Where’s the fats section? Well, while fat is essential a person will never have a problem taking it in, fat is everywhere! If you don’t think so look around!

While the above is a basic guideline it is not written in stone. There are other types of fish that are just as good for example. The main point is to keep the fat low with the meat and the refinement to a minimal with the carbohydrates (things such as white bread and pastries).

Now while some of these foods might seem a little bland at first be creative! Things such as onions, pepper, or soy sauce can go a long way in helping you out. Combine foods, make dishes, throw some veggies in, make stir fries…you get the picture.

Next we will deal with frequency and quantity, two ‘very’ important parts of any weight loss plan. Try to get in at least 4 smaller meals each day. This will speed up your metabolism as it prevents your body from thinking that you are starving it.

As far as quantity, multiply your morning bodyweight in pounds by 10. This will give most people an accurate figure.

Try and portion your meals in a balanced fashion. Don’t just have all protein or all carbohydrates. Each serves its purpose in its own way.

Protein is used to maintain muscle mass and carbohydrates are used for energy. At this stage of the game you definitely want them both!

Goal Planning

Two people are in New York and want to travel by car to Florida. Both have never made the trip. One has a map and one doesn’t. Which one do you think will get there first? Bingo!

You need a plan, you need goals. Without accurate statistics and measurable results that you can look forward to you are in for a rough ride. Plan ahead! Ask yourself why you are doing what you’re doing and write your answers down. Then list them in order of importance and memorize them. Keep it handy and never forget it. Get pumped and stay that way!

Key Points To Remember

– Avoid unnecessary hunger or foods that you really dislike

– Eat normally at first while decreasing portions a little at a time

– Only eat when hungry, examine your reasons before eating

– Keep meal times the same while adding supplemental meals to avoid shock

– Consume less quantities near bedtime

– Construct your grocery list and plan it with your caloric intake

– Think of your goals and write them down

High Protein – The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Everywhere you turn these days there is mention of the high protein, low carbohydrate diet. Type that phrase into any search engine and you are literally bombarded with web pages, some for it and some against it.

In fact, that’s how you might have found this page! Regardless, there are certain facets of this approach we need to look at before we make an informed decision. This lesson will look at them in detail.

Protein – The Good

Make no mistake about it, the high protein diet works. I myself limit my carbohydrate intake during certain periods of the day. Whoops, I said the “C” word! So what is so bad about carbohydrates anyway?

Let us first understand that the main objective of ‘any’ diet is to take in less calories than you burn off. That is at the core of any successful weight loss program. But we also must understand what makes up calories.

As you probably know, calories are made up of fat, protein and carbohydrates. Each has a different function and affects the body in a certain way. While true to a certain degree, it is a little too general to say “a calorie is a calorie.”

When you accept the universal principle of weight loss mentioned above you are then in a position to fine tune your program and use knowledge to your advantage. Knowledge that will speed up your results!

So what do carbohydrates do? For starters, they are the main source of energy that the body uses for fuel. But the drawback is that too many carbohydrates release excess insulin into the bloodstream, which in turn promotes fat storage.

What is the solution? As a rule, most successful dieters will cut back their carbohydrate intake after 7pm or 3 hours before bedtime. This alone will help tremendously.

Protein – The Bad

It is not wise to try and cut out carbs totally from your program. This can mess up your mind! Since everyone is different, it is wise to experiment and see what level you are comfortable with.

With your first few daily meals try adding a little starchy carbs – oatmeal, whole wheat bread etc. Then as the day progresses cut back to either fibrous carbs (salads for example) or none at all.

The key is to experiment. I know some people who can get by on a very low daily intake of carbohydrates whereas for myself the 7pm rule applies.

Many sources on this topic are either strongly for or against this particular dieting approach. It is rare that you will find advice on how to overcome the obstacles and modify the program to suit your individual needs.

If something is beneficial, you use it, if something is not, you modify it. You don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!

Protein – The Ugly

The biggest thing under this heading is the increased risk of heart disease due to the high consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol. What do we do? We find better sources of protein! You don’t have to eat bacon, eggs and cheese every day.

You can choose other leaner sources of protein such as chicken, turkey and fish. You can combine them into great tasting meals with natural seasonings such as onions. Add chicken in your salad with a vinegar dressing! There are plenty of options.

The second thing is the lack of energy a person might experience. Again, it is not prudent to try and eat zero carbs daily. All macronutrients are important and we should treat them as such. Again, opt for better carb choices such as whole wheat bread instead of white.

The less refined the food is, the slower the rise in your blood sugar, therefore a slower rise in insulin levels.

Here is a little rhyme to help you remember this, “The whiter the bread, the quicker you’re dead.”

If you think you will be missing certain vitamins and minerals, a good multivitamin/mineral wouldn’t be a bad choice. Apply these techniques to your program and your results will be accelerated!

Key Points To Remember

– Weight loss occurs when we eat less calories than we burn off

– Carbohydrates are beneficial, just not at certain times

– A balanced diet is the best and most healthy option

– Experiment with carbohydrates and track your results

– Those with higher metabolic rates can usually consume more carbohydrates and less protein

Don’t Cheat On Your Diet But Treat On Your Diet!

I’m sure you have heard the saying “Big surprises come in small packages,” but have you ever heard the saying “Even bigger surprises come in bigger packages?” Well, while not true in all cases, it will usually hold true for eating while you are dieting.

A treat is just that, a treat. Therefore you should treat it as a treat…am I confusing you? Hold on. A treat is great as long as it’s planned. That’s the key word friend. If it’s planned smartly, then it’s not cheating, but treating.

Cheating is where it is ‘not’ planned. If hunger gets the best of you for example, or someone offers you something sweet to eat and you just don’t have the tact or the will to refuse it. Cheating is also characterized by a feeling of guilt afterwards.

Are there any reasons for treating? Sure! The first reason being it keeps you from uncontrolled bingeing. If you go too long without the real foods you like, no matter how strong your will power is you will eventually break. And that’s not the best thing for your head.

Second, it helps to keep your metabolism up. Let me explain. If you keep eating the same amount of restricted calories day in and day out your body will become used to it therefore regulating itself.

But if you introduce a higher amount of calories, say once a week, your body will then be given a higher number to work with and the end result will be an increased metabolic rate. The body will think, “Whoa, what’s going on here! I better shape up!”

How do you regulate this? Just pick one day in seven like a Saturday and just eat normal foods while not counting calories. Also, throw in some junk foods for good measure. As mentioned above this will cure those cravings!

Thirdly, this is great if you know you have to go to a social or something like a wedding where food will constantly be around you. You won’t have to worry for that day and you also won’t have to worry about blowing your diet.

Many times people get discouraged because they feel forced to cheat due to pressure and they also don’t want to come across as rude. This is true, a lot of people don’t understand what you’re going through but this little tidbit of information will fix the problem.

Once a person gets stuck in this rut it is very hard for some to get out. They often think that because they let this happen that they will never achieve their goals. They also feel depressed because they feel they have lost their direction and they have to start over. “Well, back to the old drawing board!”

But! If you know something like your treat day is logically planned and has scientific backing to it you will not feel guilty but good! You will also feel good knowing that you didn’t cheat and that you deserve it! And once you start losing the weight, people might wonder how you do it!

With a bit of common sense you can work with this idea. If your junk day is on Friday for example and you have that party on Saturday just improvise! Switch your days and be flexible. Remember that with fitness, nothing is written in stone.

Scheduled Rests

This is a very important concept. Don’t mistake burnout or a lack of enthusiasm for failure. Watch for the warning signs and keep ahead of things. That’s why I prefer you to ease into a program. If not you’ll be like a hunting dog that has never slept all night.

Your master will call you in the morning and you’ll run with unsurpassable joy and then 5 minutes later you’re down for the count. Saw that in a cartoon once :)

Some good warning signs to look out for are constant fatigue (higher than normal) and wanting to give up totally on your dream to the point where your goals don’t mean anything to you anymore. Don’t wait until that point.

Take a complete and total break from your program once every 7 days on a smaller scale and possibly one week out of every 7 weeks (if you feel you need it) on a larger scale.

Key Points To Remember

– Treats are planned while cheating is not

– Treating keeps you from uncontrolled bingeing and will cure cravings

– Treating helps to increase your metabolism therefore burning calories at a faster rate

– With treating you never have to worry about being forced into unwanted cheating

– Using these techniques you can be flexible and guilt free

Sudden Change – Unlock Your Hidden Potential For Losing Weight

Are you surprised, discouraged or perhaps even amused by those before and after diet ads that show people miraculously transformed in a matter of months? Well, while some of them are legitimate some are often not.

When I say they are not legitimate I do not mean in the sense that they didn’t work but rather how they go about it.

What they fail to mention is that often the models are tanned, pulling in their stomachs more than they were at first, and have their wardrobes slightly adjusted. That’s what gives them that ‘polished’ look. Even if these things were not done there would be noticeable results I’m sure. My point? It ‘is’ possible!

Then you often have the crash diet pictures where the models are often clothed. While harder to tell, it is probable that most of these people have tried to lose the weight without any kind of physical activity whatsoever. I

f you could see them unclothed they would generally look like a smaller version of what they were before.

Most of the cases that I just mentioned in the second example are the ones who are more likely to put the weight back on than the ones who exercise. The more you put into it the more you get out of it. The less you change your lifestyle, the less you get out of it.

While I’m not saying you’ll always have to exercise as much or even at all, it will help tremendously when you are starting out.

What you want is the fastest, safest changes you can manage so that you can get on enjoying your life! Not too fast though. You still want to be comfortable and enjoy what you’re doing.

First you want to get into some kind of cardiovascular activity. This will help the most for burning fat. Start off with 30 minutes, 3 times per week.

Keep it up until you are satisfied with yourself and/or your time constraints. You don’t have to necessarily walk either. If you have or prefer a stationary bike for example you could use that.

Second, you need some type of resistance training. This will help you burn more calories at rest and will also help to shape your body so that you will create the illusion of a slimmer person. For example you can widen your shoulders and your outer thighs which will help make your waist appear smaller. Here is a sample program:

Monday

Pushups, as many as you can for 3 sets. Side laterals, 3 sets of 15 repetitions

Wednesday

Lunges, 15-20 for 3 sets. Rowing, 3 sets of 15 repetitions

Friday

Bicep Curls and Tricep Presses, 3 Sets of 15 repetitions

You can do abdominal crunches as well after each workout. Try three sets of 20-25 but do not use any resistance. You don’t want your waist any thicker!

Incase you didn’t know, a repetition or rep for short is one performance of an exercise and a set is a group of repetitions. You can rest a minute or so between sets, usually when your breathing returns to normal.

To warm up before your exercises stretch whatever muscle groups you are working. This will get your blood flowing and your muscles warm. Since you are not training heavy or for really big muscles there is less risk of injury.

Any kind of resistance will do. You can use free weights, machines, soup cans, or rubber bands. Whatever is available to you and most convenient. Remember that pretty well anything will work if you use it.

Doing this program will ensure you greater success than if you didn’t exercise at all. Since I mentioned some of the benefits elsewhere I won’t go through them again.

More Encouragement

What? It’s dinnertime? Hmmm, try a grilled chicken sandwich or maybe a few extra lean hamburgers. Remember, just watch what you put on these things! That’s what will get you in the end…literally!

Studies show that it takes around 21 days to develop a habit. Before that happens I’m sure you’ll find these things relatively enjoyable if you stay focused and not stray too far away.

I know you will look the same tomorrow (and even the next day) but remember it’s not what you do in 1 day that makes the difference but what you do over and over again.

Losing weight is based upon the same time principles as gaining weight. It takes time, even though one might be easier than the other.

Accidents happen, we’re all human. The point is to just get back on your bike and keep riding! And in 21 days you ‘will’ notice a difference, whether on the scale or in the mirror! When you are on a maintenance program you won’t have to do a fraction of what you need to do now. Keep that in mind!

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Calvin Coolidge (30th President of the United States)

Key Points To Remember

– It is possible to change your appearance in a relatively short period of time through exercise

– Those who exercise tend to keep the weight off longer than those who don’t

– Cardiovascular activity is the most effective for immediate fat burning

– Resistance training is the most effective for long term weight loss results

– Almost any exercise will produce results if you are consistent

Avoid The Pain, Maintain Your Weight

Most people who do manage to lose weight will gain it back again. A lot of crash diets fail in this area. While this fact might seem obvious it bears repeating.

Don’t let this happen to you! Don’t be another statistic! There are a few simple steps you can use to avoid letting this happen to you. There are also warning signs to watch for, let’s look at them.

1. Speed. Avoid any kind of program or diet that either promises rapid weight loss or makes you lose weight too fast. This is a definite warning sign. The longer it takes you to get the weight off the longer you will keep it off, period. The idea of losing weight fast might be tempting and can be done but why take the chance?

Why risk something you don’t need to? Usually losing weight too quickly means starving yourself and when it’s over you will start to eat more again to compensate. Your body will be craving food and you’ll have to give in.

2. Monitor. When you first lose the weight and especially if you are inexperienced you need to frequently monitor your weight before it is too late. Once you get used to your habits a little more and experiment you will be able to go longer periods of time between weigh-ins.

The key is to catch the weight before it becomes noticeable to you and to others. When the scale says you’re over by two pounds it won’t show, you still have time. If the scale says you’re over by seven pounds chances are you waited too long and by this point you will see it.

3. Don’t push it too far. Sure you can eat more and for longer periods of time once you are thin but don’t get carried away! You could even binge for a week if your metabolism is cranked enough but watch one week doesn’t become two and so on.

The thing with food is that’s it’s very addicting. It doesn’t take long if you are not careful to get back fully into your old habits. Save your bingeing for when you really need it like holidays or vacations. Remember our lesson on treating.

4. Boredom or depression. Sometimes you can just say ‘you’ve had it’ because you’re tired of constantly thinking of the timing of meals and when to exercise. This is very understandable. In this case you want to just drop everything.

Take a week or two off and do things you like. Read, watch movies, or anything to get your mind off of it all. Before you know it, you will miss these things and be craving to get back into the swing of things like your exercise or making a delicious healthy meal. Whatever your routine is.

If you keep these steps in mind after you have lost the weight it will become very difficult to put it back on. Don’t get stuck in a rut. You’ll be where you want to be and looking the way you want. The world is yours! You can then climb the next mountain and tackle the next barrier in your life!

Key Points To Remember

– Avoid losing weight too fast, you will be starving your body of vital nutrients

– Implement frequent weigh-ins at first to avoid noticeable weight gains

– You can eat more after the weight is off but watch you don’t take it too far

– If you grow tired of everything just drop it all and take a week or two off

– Stay focused and aware of what you are doing

Living Up To Your Fitness Potential

Our final lesson will focus not only on seeing the results that you want but also about being the best that you can be. Many people limit themselves because their judgments are based upon what they now see in the mirror rather than on what lies underneath.

They fail to look ahead. I believe it was Michelangelo who described seeing what was hidden under a slab of marble when he envisioned his sculptures. What then makes your work of art (your body that is) any different?

Classical Conditioning

As you have probably witnessed, one of the first words spoken to a child on a repetitive basis is ‘No!’ We as human beings can sometimes be conditioned by these negative experiences and end up with low expectations of what we can really do.

As a result, this often extends to how one views their body. In order to fix this problem it would be wise to look at what others have accomplished and to also look at the subject itself in a little more detail.

Whether we know it or not, the human body is capable of making tremendous transformations in relatively short periods of time. Whether it is losing weight or gaining muscle, ample evidence has already been documented to back up these claims.

The real secret behind this is knowledge combined with a solid effort. In other words we need to take an intelligent, cautious and scientific approach to our diet and exercise.

Mike Mentzer (Mr. Universe) claimed that an individual could realize his or her genetic potential in one year! While this may seem a little unreasonable, who can argue with his clients?

Though it might take more than a year to reach the ultimate plateau of your human existence, I do believe it is possible to reach your goals in a comparably short period of time.

Roadblocks

The main excuse or reason I often hear and one which we should eliminate is, “I was born this way.” Though stated in many different ways I think we can all understand the meaning. While the saying “You can’t pick your parents” is true we should not let this hold us back.

Anyone, no matter how poor their genetics are can dramatically improve their appearance with the proper mental outlook and physical application.

It is wise to pick the right kind of diet and training for your body type. There are generally three body types a person will have:

1. Mesomorph – describes a person who is more muscular looking even though they may not weight train, an athletic type of build.

2. Ectomorph – characterized by a smaller frame, some would say the naturally thin type.

3. Endomorph – this group is more inclined to adding body fat.

No one is really one hundred percent one type or another but overweight people usually tend to lean more towards the endomorph.

This can explain why it is harder for certain individuals to lose weight, but it is not impossible. Understanding your body type will make you understand yourself better and you will start to realize that there IS hope.

Unless you have a specific medical problem that is verifiable by a physician I know you can do it! If you were ever thin in the past study pictures of yourself and rely on your memory to make an educated guess of your body type.

It is possible for example for an ectomorph to become overweight even though it is more difficult. In this specific case you would have an easier time losing it.

In a blanket statement I would say that we should all work with what we were given. There are many stories of individuals and even athletes who were told they couldn’t do it and ended up going beyond even their own expectations.

Nobody really knows how far they can push themselves until they have tried. Once you have set limits on yourself that becomes your reality.

Key Points To Remember

– Do not limit yourself

– Learn to think positive

– The human body is one of the most amazing machines ever constructed

– Most people can totally transform themselves in less than 1 year

– Genetics and our body type are not the biggest factors in weight loss

– You will never know unless you try!

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