One of the challenges of losing weight is developing a healthy weight loss plan. You need to balance realistic expectations about a weight loss plan with keeping your health up, and being aware of how your body functions.
Most people who are overweight are endormophic, and their body is programmed by genetics to accumulate fat reserves over substantial muscle mass to weather lean periods where there isn’t much food. During the Ice Age, and as hunter-gatherers, this kind of body type as a definite plus for survival. Now, in a post-agricultural society, where food and survival are all but assured, the programming that leads to this body type causes a lot of health issues.
People who are overweight put more stress on their internal organs, their hearts, livers and kidneys. They are much more likely to develop joint and bone injuries due to overstressing their bodies, and they will be at higher risk for cardiovascular disease, so the benefits of a healthy weight loss plan are immense.
The first thing to do when making a healthy weight loss plan is to incorporate exercise into it. While no amount of exercise will turn John Goodman into Arnold Schwarzenegger, or do the same for you, exercise is one of the two triggers you need to make a good weight loss program work. Your body expects you to do physical work- try to work up to three or four forty minute intense workouts per week, with light cardio workouts on the other days.
Once you’ve habituated your body to doing regular exercise, by walking, by lifting weights, or by playing something that gets you breathless, it’s time to look at adjusting your diet to match. First, it’s always better to increase your activity levels at the same time you reduce your caloric intake levels. You’re trying to convince your body that you live in a time and place where game and food are plentiful, but that you have to work to get at it- this is the set of circumstances your body is built for.
When reducing your caloric intake, it’s important to NOT neglect the taste of the food. If you get bored with the meals, you’ll drop the diet. If the meals don’t satisfy you, you’ll feel you’re depriving yourself, and you’ll break the diet. Low calorie meals need to be very satisfying in taste and texture to do you any good.
Focus on meals that are high in dietary fiber, high in protein, and lower in carbohydrates. Your body is conditioned to want carbohydrates, particularly sugar, because they’re the kinds of foods that give a quick burst of energy in emergencies. Your hindbrain is still watching out for predators, and it wants to make sure that there’s plenty of energy available for when a leopard drops out of the suspended ceiling into your office cubical…so it gives you a craving for sweets.
The problem with this craving for carbohydrates is that your body will burn them in preference to burning fat, and will convert excess carbohydrates into fats, on the principal of storing food for leaner times in the future. So, moderate your carbs while you get lots of exercise…and keep an eye out for leopards in the suspended ceiling at work. Just in case.