Guest Author - Jenny Vasquez
There are hundreds of diet books, exercise videos, diet pills, diet patches and diet foods. Yet obesity is still on the rise along with the exorbitant health care costs associated with it. Consumers spend close to a billion dollars a year on diet "stuff". My personal opinion is that all of this diet "stuff" simply does not work.
Obesity is an increasing problem around the world. Fast food and poor eating habits have increased in many countries. We need to go back to the basics and learn to eat healthier. We also need to stop looking for quick fixes such as the diets that promise you will lose 15 pounds a week! I know I am exaggerating here, but the quick weight loss diets are unhealthy and the average person gains back almost twice the amount of the weight that was lost.
To lose weight you must improve your eating habits and exercise. More importantly, you need to get to the root of the problem and find out what triggers you to eat too much. Most people use food as a source of comfort instead of nutrition.
The most important part of becoming healthy is to learn to focus on your best qualities as much as possible. We spend too much time tearing ourselves down. You may want to become involved in a support group where you can deal with the emotions that may be related to over eating. This is a difficult step for most people but it will help you heal.
To make a lifestyle change that includes healthy eating, you have to develop new habits and have realistic goals. So instead of going on a baby food diet, simply choose one thing that you will do every day. For example, if you drink coffee with 3 teaspoons of sugar and 4 teaspoons of cream reduce it to 2 teaspoons of sugar and 3 teaspoons of cream. You can commit to drinking one glass of water before each meal or cut out one fast food meal each day. As you gradually achieve these small goals, you can begin to make additional small improvements to your eating habits. You will not lose 30 pounds in a month, but you will be on your way to making permanent healthy changes.
A healthy diet includes fruits, grains and vegetables. Weaning yourself off sugar, high fats and eating too much meat, should be a gradual process. Even the American Heart Association recommends less meat to stay heart healthy. Adding healthy food to your diet in small amounts will allow your palate to develop for these foods. In addition, small imporvements are easier to establish as life long habits.
An easy and free way to get more exercise is to park in the back of the parking lot. If you go to the grocery store, just park in the space furthest from the door. If you go to a fast food restaurant, do not go through the drive-thru window. Park your car and walk in to get your food. Gradually find more ways to add small exercise activities each day.
Do not focus on losing weight; put all of your focus on developing healthy habits. The weight will decrease as you develop more and more healthy habits.
You may think this is ridiculous, however, people that focus on becoming healthy lose more weight and keep it off longer than those that focus on dieting. A gradual progression will allow you to learn healthy habits that you can continue for the rest of your life.