With so many different products and magic weight loss pills on the market, many people seem to be turning away from the standard, tried and proven methods of losing weight. And the enticement is very real! Who wouldn’t love to just pop a pill, not change anything in their lifestyle, and lose 10 pounds a week? While many of the diet and weight loss supplements on the market can be very effective aids in losing weight, they should not be the focus of a weight loss mentality or program. So let’s get back to the basics.
The basics in natural weight loss and weight management are the following: nutrition and exercise. In this article we will discuss these two main topics in the categories of diet, resistance training, and cardio exercise.
Diet and Nutrition
While its very cliche to say that you are what you eat, there is a lot of truth to this statement. Let’s look deeper at this statement and think about some every day examples and evidences of this statement as well. Think about the last time you went to an all-you-can-eat buffet. For the most part, what was the overall physical condition of the people eating there? You make the call: are people that eat in the style of an all-you-can-eat buffet becoming what they eat? Does eating large amounts of food high in fat make your body react a certain way? Of course it does! Granted, this is some what of an extreme example, but the concept is true. Eating clean and reducing highly processed foods, lots of sugar, and the wrong types of fat will definitely help your body composition. For a great example of this, see the movie "Super-size Me."
There are many different types of resistance training that are effective. Weight training, pilates, yoga – all can be effective ways to get your body moving. Why is resistance training than cardio training? Because resistance training helps to build muscle more than anything else. Simply put, if your body has more muscle it tends to function and burn fat more effectively. So in summary, resistance training does more than just get your heart pumping and your muscles burning, but it builds muscle and improves your overall physical appearance and condition.
As with resistance training, there are many ways to do cardio training: running (either outdoors or on a treadmill), biking, using an elliptical trainer, stair climber, rollerblading, and many more. There are several reasons why you should include cardio training in your natural weight loss or maintenance program. One of the main reasons is that doing cardio helps your body to burn more fat. Cardio will really get your heart pumping and will also put your body in a prime stat to burn more calories. Another reason to do cardio is overall conditioning. Do you find yourself getting easily winded when doing normal things like going up a staircase? Cardio training will help your body get used to that type of work.
In summary, for a natural weight loss or maintenance program to truly be effective and work over a longer period of time, you need to include proper nutrition, resistance training, and cardio training. These are the three pillars of your program and if any one of them is missing or being in some way neglected you will find that your program is not working as well as you might have hoped. When it comes to using supplements, remember that they are only supplemental to what you are already doing, hence the name "supplements."