Dieting and Fitness
When it comes to living a long and healthy life, there are two necessary ingredients, which are diet and fitness. While some believe that they are one thing all together, nothing could be further from the truth. It is quite possible to have a perfectly healthy diet with deplorable fitness habits. It is equally possible to be very physically fit with less than savory eating habits.
It's possible to shed pounds through diet alone. It's difficult however, possible. It'is also possible to be physically fit and have a few extra pounds hanging around. To a large degree we are what we eat. If we consume a high fat low substance diet our bodies are going to lack the fuel required to burn the fat. At the same time if we aren't providing our bodies with the tools it needs to build muscle it doesn't matter how many weights we lift.
When it comes to diet and fitness, the best results are achieved when they work together rather than separately. Use your fitness routine to burn excess calories and use your diet in order to properly provide your body the nutrients and fuel it needs to build muscle. I've heard many times in my life that a pound of muscle weighs less than a pound of fat. While this is not true at all, a pound is a pound regardless; a pound of muscle occupies less space on the body than a pound of fat. Pound for pound, I would much rather mine be composed of muscle than fat. Dieting alone does not build muscle and that is something you will do well to remember in your efforts.
You should also realize that as you are building muscle you may be shedding inches while not showing a great deal of progress on the scale. It is very important that you keep this in mind throughout the weight loss process. Do not measure your progress by the scales alone or you will achieve misleading results. The problem is that far too many people do just this and get frustrated and give up when they are actually making progress. Do not allow yourself to be a victim of the scales. Look in the mirror, try on your tight pants, and measure your waistline. Measure your success by how you feel after climbing a flight of stairs not by how many pounds fell of the scale this week.
By incorporating fitness into your diet routine you are also enabling your body to burn off any extra calories you may have consumed during the day. This means that if you want to have a small 'cheat' during your day, you can make up for it by burning a few more calories than normal in the evening. This isn't something that should happen often but an occasional occurrence isn't going to make or break your diet.
You should also look at dieting and fitness as a ball and glove type of relationship. While you can play ball without the glove, it seems to work so much better if you have both. Diet and fitness when combined can create fantastic weight loss results for those who take them both seriously. The thing to remember is that neither works as well alone and neither will work unless you are willing to do the work. You must make this a priority in your life in order to achieve the best possible results.
Dieting for Health
There is no greater reason to diet than for your personal health and well being. Those of us who are overweight know better than most the risks and possible consequences that may result because of our weight. Much like smokers however, the risks do not always seem quite so cut and dry until we reach our very own turning point. Whether your eating habits are born of an addiction to certain foods, an emotional need, or years of learned behavior and conditioning things will not change until you completely adjust your eating habits and your lifestyle choices.
Dieting for many has become a lifestyle in and of itself with people rapidly flip-flopping or yo-yoing from one diet to another with little success and growing despair over a sheer lack of results. The truth is that until you decide to forgive yourself for your failures and get right back on the wagon, so to speak, after falling off no diet is going to be successful. A simple diet isn't going to magically make the pounds disappear and constantly depriving yourself of those things you enjoy most may have a more detrimental effect than a positive effect.
The number one thing most people need to learn is that dieting isn't always a good thing. What most people who are overweight need more than anything else is to incorporate positive lifestyle changes into their daily routines. People scoff at the notion of taking the stairs or parking farther away and yet those are perfectly plausible methods of working a little more physical activity into your day. If those do not work for you how about learning to dance? Seriously, there are beginner dance classes in most communities that will welcome and invite dances of all ages, sizes, and fitness levels if you are willing to make the effort. What a great way to get fit, learn something new, and have fun without filling deprived.
Another great thing about an activity such as a dance class (consider ballroom dancing with your significant other) is that you are not eating or tempted to eat during the time that you are dancing in most cases. Another great thing is that you are burning those calories you didn't eat. If dancing isn't you thing, try joining a walking club or finding another hobby. Anything that gets you on your feet and away from the temptation of your refrigerator is a good thing when it comes to dieting and weight loss. You cannot lose a significant amount of weight by dieting alone. You must incorporate physical fitness into your daily routine in order to achieve those immediate and visually stunning results that many dieters are hoping to achieve.
Another pitfall when it comes to dieting is that people give up far too quickly. Just as the results are beginning and progressing people get tired of the process or frustrated that they aren't accomplishing enough dramatic weight loss as quickly as they had hoped and give up all together marking off yet another failure when they could have achieved greater success than ever before if they had stuck with their original diet plan a little longer.
One more thing you should remember when it comes to dieting is that the scale can be your best friend or your worst enemy when dieting. If you are weighing yourself every day in hopes of watching the scale tick off yet another pound you are dooming yourself to failure. You will never achieve the results you are hoping for you if you are going into depressive bouts of Rocky Road or Chunky Monkey every night because you didn't lose 10 pounds overnight.
When it comes to dieting there are very few diets that work. There are however, many lifestyle changes that when practiced consistently and aggressively will work. The thing to remember is that you are the one who must work because it is quite unlikely that any diet will.
Avoid Dieting Make Positive Changes Instead
Why is it that merely saying the "D" word, you know "diet" brings immediate thoughts of failure to the minds of many men and women around the world? Could it be that we have all learned through trial and error that diets simply do not work? I know many of you are sitting back with jaws dropped at the moment. After all, this is an article about dieting, right? It is and it isn't. Dieting is the kiss of death for many while a new phase in your life or lifestyle adjustment may be just the thing that will mean success for you and your fitness and health goals.
Eating for some is an addiction. Unfortunately, you can't exactly give up eating all together as a smoker can give up cigarettes. I'm not applying by any means that giving up cigarettes is easy but how much more difficult would it be if you were forced to have three a day? At that point you may as well enjoy them every time the urge hits right? The same holds true for food. You must eat in order to survive. You cannot live without eating. This means that if food is a problem in your life, you must find a healthier way of viewing food.
Isn't this where diets generally come in handy? The short answer is no. This is where diets often fail. Diets do very little to change how we view food. In fact, most diets only serve to tell us which foods are good, which foods are bad, and which foods (typically most of the foods we enjoy most) are strictly taboo. Diets begin by forcing people to feel deprived or punished. And no one likes to feel either of these things.
Even worse however, is that we punish ourselves further when we slip along the straight and very narrow pathways upon which our diets place us. This means that we are going to wallow in guilt over every little misstep we make until we give up all together and decide to over indulge once again and ignore the guilt all together.
In order to have real success you must make a lifestyle change. This is the only way that you will be able to shed those unwanted pounds without experiencing the horrible guilt that so many dieters go through each and every step of the way with their diets. Set goals for yourself. Keep them aggressive but realistic for fitness, dropping pounds, and eating new healthy foods. Even if your goal is as simple as eating 5 vegetable servings a day it is a great place to start.
Change your way of eating. Then change your way of seeing food and you will experience amazing changes in your attitudes toward your health, your body, and even your fitness level. As the first pounds begin to drop you will begin to experience more energy and less pain when exercising. This should help keep you motivated to do even more as time goes by.
Do not think that long term weight loss goals will be as easy to achieve as the first five or ten pounds. Consistency is vitally important when making these lifestyle changes. Take each day as it comes and begin again the very next day. This means that even if you fall completely "off the wagon" today, you can start over tomorrow. The trick is in staying the course more days than not and learning moderation and balance when it comes to straying from the straight and narrow.
There are many ways to fail when it comes to dieting and I know people who have failed in almost every one I can possibly imagine. There is no way to fail, however, when you are making positive changes in your life that are getting positive results. It may take weeks, months, or even years to reach your goal. As long as you are making steady and continuous efforts and progress, you are doing many great things for your health and well being.
Healthy Dieting Tips
When it comes to dieting you will find all kinds of crazy and faddish diets on the market today. In addition to the many diets there seems to be every kind of diet aid you can imagine. From shakes the diet industry has evolved to include everything from candy bars and pudding to pills and patches. Each item makes the claim that it can help you drop those unwanted pounds quickly and easily. Well I can tell you for a fact there is very little easy for must of us about dropping a few pounds.
If you would like a few tips that should make your weight loss goals a little easier to achieve then perhaps the following tips will help you out.
Drink Plenty of Water
There really isn't enough that can be said about the importance of drinking water in an effort to reach your fitness goals. Water hydrates the body first and foremost but water is also an important way of tricking your body into believing it is full. Other drinks do not work nearly as well as water in this endeavor and many drinks, even fruit juices, contain empty calories that you can ill afford when dieting.
Another great thing about drinking a lot of water while dieting is that it helps your skin retain its elasticity so you can avoid some of the 'loose skin' look that often accompanies massive weight loss. As an added bonus drinking plenty of water will have your skin looking radiant and beautiful as well.
Having goals is one of the most important things you can do when working to loose weight. Try to make sure that your goals are aggressive but can be achieved. If you are frustrated early in the dieting process by unrealistic goals you are much more likely to give up. However, challenges are always going to inspire us to achieve greater things in life. If you can find a 'weight loss partner' in order to have a little friendly competition for the weight loss totals for a week or a month then you are going to be far more likely to accomplish your goals than if you keep them quietly to yourself.
Did you read that twice? Yes, eat more healthy foods that are high in fiber. Eat more vegetables and fruits-fill up on these foods that are good for you and you will not be inclined to binge on calorie laden junk food.
While this seems a little too simply stated for most, getting up and moving is one of, if not the absolute best way to burn calories. The simple truth is that you are not going to lose weight unless you use more calories than you consume. The more activities you enjoy that burn calories, the more likely you are to shed those unwanted pounds and meet your weight loss goals.
Some great activities that actually burn calories include the following: gardening, golf, dancing, playing volleyball, walking, jumping rope, playing hop scotch with your little ones, and playing tennis. I mention these activities because you can trick yourself into believing that you aren't really exercising while burning calories. Even cleaning house requires movement and energy and if you dance around a little to some good music in the process you might burn a few extra calories.
Dieting, when successful can help restore self image and self-esteem in people who are otherwise beautiful people inside and out. The steps above are not the only things that are involved in the dieting process but they can help you reach your weight loss goals particularly when combined with a diet plan that you feel confident you can follow. Be sure that on those days when will power is non-existent that you do not derail your diet efforts all together by giving up. The most important thing you can do when dieting is to go back to dieting once you've strayed.
The Dieting Mind Set
When it comes to dieting, far too many people set themselves up for failure before they even begin the process. They literally dread going on their diets and before they start the process are planning their mishaps along the way. Sad to say but true, far too many would be dieters are planning their first Rocky Road mishap while eating their last bowl of Rocky Road before the big event.
I have no idea why we tend to do this to ourselves but it is something I see in dieters everywhere. The far too popular notion is that one must binge on the foods most loved and enjoyed before beginning the dieting process because these things must be completely eliminated in order to shed those unwanted pounds. If you are honest with yourself, nothing could be further from the truth. Moderation is simply a concept that many of us are loathe to embrace.
You must change your way of thinking about food and your personal enjoyment of food in order for any diet you embrace to be successful. Food isn't the enemy. And that is something that not enough people really understand. Even the 'tasty' foods aren't the enemy. The enemy is your personal inability to properly portion the foods you eat. The problem is that the vast majority of us eat the wrong foods far more often than we eat the right foods. This is where the problems lie.
Our bodies need the nutrients we are lacking by not eating the five servings of vegetables and three servings of fruit each day that we should consume. Our bodies know that something is missing and we feel hungry or deprived. If we were actually consuming the proper balance of fruits and veggies each day we would find that we were far less likely to feel hungry and desire those foods that aren't as healthy. This means we would be much more likely to enjoy them in moderation as they should be enjoyed.
Portion control is another problem that we have. We live in a society of "up selling". Super sized fries and empty calories by the gallon of your favorite cola are offered with almost every fast food meal that can be bought. You must learn to say no to these things and avoid situations in which you may feel tempted to partake in these up sized orders.
To be truly successful when dieting you need to embrace the process as building a healthier you rather than depriving yourself of something. Do not think of your weigh loss plan as something negative but rather a positive force in your life to make changes for the better. When you have negative thoughts do not direct them at your diet. When you feel deprived remind yourself that you are depriving your bones of carrying around that excess weight. Remind yourself that you are depriving your wardrobe of those bulky clothes that are designed to hide the bulges. Remind yourself that you are depriving your body of years of bulges and bringing back the body of your youth.
Do not get so caught up in the dieting process that you forget to enjoy some of the goodies that life has to offer. Watching your weight and counting your calories does not mean that you can never go over your allotment. The goal however is to find balance. If you learn to portion your food correctly, indulge in moderation, and incorporate enjoyable calorie burning activities into your daily routine you may be amazed at the results.
Dieting for weight loss and health is only depriving if you allow it to be. If you cannot control yourself when it comes to indulging then by all means avoid indulging. However, if you can learn to incorporate those small treats into your routine in moderation and burn those extra calories as well, then you should find yourself a much happier and more successful 'dieter' than you have ever managed to be in the past.