I will respond based on my experience over the last 4 years... take it for what you will but my patterns disagree with your article.
1. Disagree completely. You have to be mentally ready to commit even if DIET is a 4-letter word. You also (later on) need to change to a permanent healthy lifestyle, but this is for *maintaining* your weight after you achieve it.
2. Yes and no. Make a mental commitment to real change, even if that change is not extreme, and then tweak from there a little at a time. Commitment to change is the first step, not the last, and not the result of many small changes. Doing things as gradually as what you're talking about does not yield the measurable results that keep most people going. At some point you have to be all-in.
3. Portion control daily does not work for me. I turn 40 this year and one little treat on an otherwise immaculate day very often means the scale does not move. Give yourself a cheat day... for me that cheat day is 2 meals and a snack every Friday. The day I start taking nibbles here and there is the day I descend to my fall off the wagon - every, single, time.
A "cheat day" gives me something to look forward to, and gives me will power all week to say "I can just have that on Friday if I really want it". Then I only have 1 day a week where the scale doesn't do what I want it to do, and because of how good my diet has been the rest of the week, there usually are no adverse effects.
4. Very much agree with nutritional balance from a more holistic approach. Calories are important but not everything, well said.
5. Strongly disagree. Checking the scale every day keeps me going. For *most* people, if you're doing what you are supposed to be doing, the scale will reflect changes for the better. I get really excited when I've had a good day, to get on the scale first thing in the morning and see results. Sure it doesn't always say what I think it's going to from one day to the next, but over the course of 2-4 days it's always pointing in the correct direction. It's like a compass with a wiggly needle... sure there are wobbles that don't point due North, but it always straightens out. If it doesn't, you know it's time to change something.
6. Absolutely. Don't just do cardio either. Build muscle and you will find that even when you do slip up, your body can take those excess nutrients and use them up. You will find after you add muscle, your rate of weight gain even after you fall off the wagon drops dramatically. Your body will reward you by giving you a much more forgiving buffer zone to rediscover your will power.
Before I started really lifting I could lose 30 lbs, and gain 20 of it back within 6 months. Since I have added muscle, even though I am more than a decade older, I will only gain about 6 lbs a year eating poorly.
7. Partially true. The Spark calculator does not work at all for my body. If I eat as many calories (even clean calories) as the Spark calculator tells me, to *lose* weight, I will actually gain weight. I have to throw those numbers out the window and discover my own. Spark tells me to eat ~1800-2000 calories a day, when in fact I have to be closer to 1400-1500. After all our bodies are not calculators ;)
But to your point, you do need a certain number of calories. I know within a few days if I'm below that... my body will crash, I have a hard time working out, my head is foggy, and I almost feel physically ill. If you are doing this to yourself it is not healthy.
8. Yes you need a short memory like an NFL Quarterback. If you make a mistake, just remember that mistake in no way affects your next eating decision. Each day is a new day, each hour is a new hour... don't get discouraged. Weight loss is a long process, measured in terms of months and sometimes years. One bad eating decision will not affect a twelve-month graph, but one bad decision every day will.
9. If anyone is serious about weight loss, it almost requires a commitment to study nutrition, even if it's just reading forums and blogs, and studying your own body's results. I remember commercials years ago from KFC implying that you will lose weight eating their chicken because a fried chicken breast only has 15g of carbs. The commercial was laughable and of course pulled quickly, but I'm sure plenty of people believed it.
Many of those buzzwords have implications of weight loss... low-fat usually means lower calories because fat is calorie-dense. All-natural could mean less chemicals and toxins for your liver to deal with, so it can more efficiently do its job of breaking down fats and giving you energy. Sugar-free may mean it won't spike your blood sugar to the level of releasing insulin and triggering fat-storage, but more often than not sugar-free usually just means it has other nasties in it. Many times these things are important pieces of the puzzle, but none of them alone will be the full answer.
10. Rapid results are possible, but don't expect to be the person holding the newspaper showing a three-month transformation into a supermodel or beach body. Understanding the curve of how weight loss usually works is the key. Know you will probably lose a lot early, and it will slow, especially as you get older. When I first start a diet I can lose 1/2 lb a day, which eventually turns into 1/2 lb a week. It's about consistency with your new healthy lifestyle and deciding if you are to the point where you want to maintain, or continue to lose.
Also if muscle growth is your goal, be aware genetics may be kind to you, they may not. It is extremely difficult for me to build muscle mass... I have built a little, and even though other guys my age get much different results, I have to compare myself to where I would be without the weights... rather than compare myself to them.
- 2/24/2016 1:14:51 PM