While some diet programs claim that, when it comes to losing weight, what you eat is more important than what you do, the truth is that losing weight is a two-fold commitment. Exercise is an important part of health and wellness --and losing weight-- that can't be overlooked.
Everybody has different weight loss preferences and methods. I, for example, am the type of person who prefers to exercise rather than follow a restrictive diet. During a time when I wasn't careful about nutrition, but stuck with a good exercise routine, I was still able to continue losing inches. I had tons of energy and I felt great. But although I was buying smaller sized clothing, there was no evidence of real weight loss on the scale.
Through much trial and error, I've found that I can lose a small amount of weight by watching my diet carefully or exercising, but it is only when I combine both methods together that I see faster and longer-lasting results. Dieting alone is not enough for me to lose weight... and depending on your body and lifestyle, it may not be enough for you, either.
Some diets will have you believe that losing weight is all about "calories in" verses "calories out". In other words, you have to burn more calories than you eat in a day to create a calorie deficit. In theory, this makes sense. But I have discovered that my body doesn't really work that way. I have experienced plateaus and weight gain even when I do all the things I know I need to do to lose weight, including dieting and exercise to burn off more calories than I eat.
Losing weight is a complicated process that takes time and a real devotion to a healthy lifestyle. Water cycles, medication, salt intake, dehydration, adding muscle and other things beyond your control can interfere with your weight loss progress.
When Diets Fail
Even the best diets can lead you to a plateau where you are stuck at one weight for an extended period of time. Often this happens because your body adjusts to the food and exercise routine you've adapted. This is a good time to evaluate your weight loss plan to see what's working and what isn't. Mix up your routine to keep things fresh and keep your metabolism fired up.
Plateaus can also occur at your body's natural "set point". My set point, for example, is unnaturally high. Getting beyond a certain point seems nearly impossible. By keeping a positive attitude, staying motivated and pushing forward rather than giving up, I know I can push past my set point to reach a new low.
I know that dieting alone is not enough for me to lose weight. I need to workout, have the right support system in place, maintain a positive attitude, and stay motivated to keep reaching for success. Try to find out what helps and hinders your weight loss goals, and make changes in your life that will reflect in your body.
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