Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I Need to Lose Weight and Fast: Which Diet Plan Should I Use?

If I had a dollar for every time someone came up to me and said, "I need to lose weight and fast," I'd be stretched out on the sandy beaches of Hawaii without a care in the world. Low carb, high protein, liquid and cabbage soup – with all the diet plans on the market, how on earth do you choose?

Most of these diets are just a bunch of hype; so personally, I wouldn't touch any of them with a 50-foot stick. Sorry to break it to you (I always gotta be the bad guy), there are no shortcuts to weight loss. The most effective way to lose those stubborn pounds is by using a common sense approach that favors nutritious eating over dieting.

The Lure of the Fad Diet

When people want to lose weight, they want to do it quick, fast and in a hurry. Fad diet marketers take advantage of this desperation and use the promise of lightning speed results to reel you in.

Quick does not always equal better. In fact, when it comes to permanent weight loss, slow and steady always wins out in the end. Here are two of the main reasons faddy-type diets don't work:

  • They don't deliver long-term results. Most fad diets require you to drastically reduce your caloric intake. This causes your metabolism to respond by slowing down. Once you revert back to your regular eating habits, you'll gain the weight back just as fast as you lost it.
  • They mangle your health. Fad diet plans deprive you of some of the key nutrients you need for good health. This can result in malnutrition, zapped energy, damaged organs, hair loss, and loss of lean muscle tissue. Sounds like a fun way to drop a few, huh.

4 Simple Rules of Eating to Lose Weight

Losing weight is certainly not the easiest thing to do, but if you remember these four simple rules, you'll never have to hop on the fad diet bandwagon. You can lose weight gradually (remember slow and steady) and keep it off for good.

  1. Stay away from processed foods. These foods are full of high fructose corn syrup, salt and chemical additives that can cause weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and cancer. Yep. This includes those frozen diet meals that some weight loss programs encourage you to buy.
  2. Leave the sugar alone. Sugar is riddled with calories. If you use it to sweeten foods and beverages everyday, you can easily rack up too many calories and hinder your weight loss efforts.
  3. Eat enough food. If you're hungry all the time, you are probably not eating enough food to fuel your body. If you don't eat enough, your body will hold on to stored fat instead of burning it off. This is not what you want to happen when you're trying to lose weight.
  4. Stay hydrated. Water is important when you're trying to slim down because it helps to metabolize fat and eliminate toxins and stored fat in the body. So drink up!

Where Does Exercise Fit In?

When you follow a healthy eating plan, you'll likely lose weight, even if you don't workout. However, unless you add exercise into the mix, your metabolism will eventually slow down and you won't see the results you want.

Your exercise routine should consist of both cardio and weight training. Relax ladies. Training with weights won't turn you into the Terminator; it will simply help you build muscle mass and sculpt a lean, fierce frame.

Getting in the habit of working out several days week can be tough, especially if you already have a lot on your plate. Choose exercises you enjoy. This way, you're more likely to stick with a program.

I know what it's like to want to lose weight fast. I've been there and I feel your pain. Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts to permanent weight loss (believe me, I've looked). The best way to achieve long-term weight loss without jeopardizing your health is with proper nutrition and exercise.

Making the decision to lose weight is the first step to looking good and feeling even better. Watch this video to get advice on the age-old dilemma of, "I need to lose weight and fast."





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