I am consistently being asked, “How can I lose weight?” or “What is the best weight loss diet?” I can answer that very simply in four words: “I don’t know, but . . . ”.
I do know that there are lots of ways to lose weight and a lot of diets. Many of the various weight loss diets work. You will lose weight. You may not keep it off. Many of the diets might not be the healthiest way to eat long term, but most will result in weight loss.
There is a huge difference between a quick weight loss diet, and a healthful long term eating program. The problem is that there are bookstore and library shelves filled with books on both quick weight loss diets, and long term eating and nutrition plans. They are all written by experts and they are mostly different with contradictory concepts. There are Vegan, Vegetarian, Paleo, Mediterranean and others. These are different than basic quick weight loss diets. So, what do you choose?
I have no idea what really is “best”. But I can tell you what worked for me. I was 197 pounds in 2010. Today I am 165 pounds and have been at 165 pounds for years. I was not terribly “fat” but I was noticeably overweight. I had a big stomach and a layer of fat all over my body. I was exercising, but mostly just going through the motions. I was certainly not fit.
I made a “sea change” in 2010. I created a new self-image goal for myself. I decided — that’s a key word — to take back my health and get fit again. It worked! I started doing a “real” exercise program. I still do the same basic exercise program today. I cut out all alcohol (I had let it get ahead of me). I changed my eating habits by cutting slightly back on red meat. I didn’t cut it out; I like a good steak. I increased my vegetable intake. I eat broccoli now (with some herbs and spices to disguise the taste). I cut way back on refined sugar and white flour (certainly the two unhealthiest culprits). I still eat French and Italian bread once in a while, and pizza on Friday night occasionally. I was never a big dessert eater except for occasional ice cream on weekends. I’ve recently cut that out and surprisingly, don’t really miss it. And by the way, my wife, Edie, is right beside me 100% of the way.
I feel fantastic and I have a “glimmering” of six-pack abs at age 76. I don’t miss eating junk. It took a little while to develop a taste for some of the vegetables, but now I love most of them. I have not been “sick” a day since I started, other than an occasional very short term cold. I did have some surgery to replace a defective heart valve (nothing to do with clogged arteries).
The point is that losing weight can be a simple process if you let it. Yes, you have to make some changes in your eating habits. It took a long time for me to lose the 30 pounds of mostly excess fat. But it worked. There are some subtleties that need to be addressed individually. Some people are allergic to gluten, others are allergic to other foods. These are easy to deal with as long as they can be identified. But if you are overweight and want to lose, I can offer up what worked for me. Don’t expect miracles. You won’t lose 14 pounds in 14 days as advertised on TV. That’s probably not healthy anyway, and it’s definitely not long term.
Mentally, you might do a little visualizing and imagining. Visualize what you want to look and feel like and move toward that. Moving toward a real goal is far easier than moving away from what you don’t want. And as you watch your body change, your self-image and attitude toward life will change dramatically.
If you are overweight and really want to lose a bit, try what I did. Just don’t look for that overnight miracle. Healthy weight loss doesn’t work that way.
Thank you for reading.