Welcome to our list of the top weight loss
secrets. If you want to lose weight, there
are the rules you need to follow. We have divided
these rules into three sections: Common Sense, Exercise,
and Food & Drink.
1. Calories in must be less than calories out.
This rule is rule #1 for a reason: it's really the
only rule you need to understand. If you burn more
calories than you consume, your body burns fat to
make up the deficit, and you lose weight. It's that
simple. You can buy all of the books you want, but
unless you burn more calories than you consume, you
will not lose weight.
2. Calories count. In order for rule #1 to
work, you have to keep track of your calories. There
are lots of different ways to keep track. You can
use the Weight
Watchers "points" method, or you can use a spreadsheet
and keep track of them yourself. I personally like
the Calorie King system; it's a web based program where you enter every
meal, and it does all of the work for you.
3. Diets don't work. A diet is a temporary
activity. I diet, and then my diet is finished. If
you plan to lose weight by dieting, you may succeed
in the short term, but you will just gain it all back
4. The thinking that got us into our problems is
not the thinking that will get us out. - Albert
Einstein. Einstein wasn't talking about weight loss,
but truer words were never spoken. If eating junk
food made you gain weight, eating junk food won't
help you lose weight. Since diets don't work (see
rule #3), a lifestyle change is required. A new way
of thinking is required. By changing the way you think
about food and exercise, you can lose weight, and
keep it off.
5. Think. Think for yourself. Do your own research.
Don't take advice on diet and nutrition from an overweight
doctor, or your overweight friend. Read as much as
you can about weight loss and exercise and nutrition.
Test the theories, and determine what works best for
6. Set a goal. You need a goal or target, because
without a goal, you won't achieve it. The goal might
be to lose a certain amount of weight, or to get in
shape for the golf season, or whatever. It's your
goal, so write it down to keep you motivated.
7. Make your goal realistic. Trying to lose
50 pounds this week is not realistic. You will fail,
which will upset you, and you will eat more and gain
the weight back. Make your goal realistic. Losing
one or two pounds per week is realistic. Exercising
every other day for 30 minutes is realistic.
8. Set small goals and big goals. Losing 100
pounds is a great goal. Start by setting a goal of
2 pounds per week, or 10 pounds per month, so that
you are constantly successful to keep you motivated.
9. Read labels. The only way to understand
what you are putting into your body is to read the
labels. When you read a label and realize how much
crap you are putting into your body, you are half
way to your weight loss goals, because you are now
educating yourself. You need to change the way you
think (see rule #4), and a good place to start is
to read the label of every food you eat.
10. Tell your family you are living better.
You don't need to tell them you are an a diet, since
diets don't work. But you do need to tell them you
are eating better, otherwise they will keep trying
to get you to eat junk food and not exercise. Plus,
if everyone in your family eats healthy and exercises
together, the entire family can lose weight and be
11. Magic pills don't work. Forget about the
latest potions and pills. See Rule #1; you need to
consume less calories than you burn. Period.
12. I am me. Our, the corollary to this rule,
I am not you. Different people lose weight and different
rates, so don't compare yourself to anyone else.
13. Monitor your weight. Buy yourself a good
scale, and weigh yourself at the same time every day
(when you get up is a good time). Your weight will
typically fluctuate by a pound or two a day, so don't
worry about day to day weight swings. It's the long
term trend that counts.
14. Watch the pennies, and the dollars will take
care of themselves. Or stated another way, substituting
a high fat salad dressing for a lower calorie one
is a small change, but over time makes a big difference.
15. Sleep. Your body repairs itself while you
are asleep, so to lose weight, make sure you get enough
sleep. Eight hours per day is a good target, but you
will know if you are getting enough sleep if you can
wake up in the morning on time, without and alarm
16. Stuff happens. There will be days when
you eat too much. Don't get discouraged, just get
yourself back on track tomorrow.
17. Don't get lazy. After a few weeks you will
have lost weight. You will be closer to your goal.
You will eventually achieve your goal. Don't get lazy
and revert back to your poor eating habits. Once you
achieve your weight loss goal you can increase your
calorie intake, but only increase to the point where
your weight remains stable.
18. Exercise is important for weight loss.
Rule #1 says you must burn more calories than you
consume. If you exercise, you are burning calories,
so as long as you don't increase your food intake
to fully compensate, exercise helps you burn more
calories, so you lose weight faster. Also, without
exercise, your body may start burning muscle; exercise
builds muscle, which allows your body to burn fat.
19. Choose exercises you like. A treadmill
may be a great way to exercise, but if you hate exercising
indoors, you won't like it, so you won't stick to
it. If you like an exercise, you are more likely to
do it. If you like people, pick a social exercise,
like walking, playing tennis, or playing a team sport.
If you prefer to exercise at your own pace, fire up
your MP3 player with your favorite tunes, and go for
a walk or a run.
20. Walk. Walking can be one of your chosen
exercises, but it can also be integrated into your
life. Try walking to the shops instead of driving.
If you must drive, park at the far end of the parking
lot. Take the stairs. Go for a walk after dinner.
By adding walking into your day, you increase the
calories you burn, and get to see the world, without
feeling like you are exercising.
21. Eat at least six times per day. To avoid
hunger, eat smaller meals, more often. This allows
for easier digestion, and with more frequent eating
you are less likely to become very hungry, so you
avoid binge eating.
22. Drink lots of water. Water helps with weight
loss because it flushes your system out, keeps you
hydrated, helps keep your stomach full (so you are
less hungry), has no calories, and if you are drinking
water, you're not eating. Six cups of water per day
is a good target; eight is even better, particularly
if you are exercising.
23. Avoid soft drinks. Cola may test great,
but it is sugar and water, with no nutritional value.
Avoid them. Drink water.
24. Watch your alcohol intake. There are lots
of calories in beer and other drinks, so drink in
moderation. There is no point in working hard all
day, only to give back all your progress by drinking
three beers every night.
25. Avoid fast food restaurants. Go to the
web sites of the leading fast food chains and review
the nutritional information of their food. You will
see that most of what they serve is high in sugar
and fat, and low in nutritional value. Even salads
can be dangerous if you use their high calorie dressing.
26. Avoid processed foods. White bread is white
because it's heavily processed; a lot of the nutrition
is gone. Eat whole wheat or whole grain bread, and
other less processed, more natural foods. Whole wheat
pasta is better for you than processed white pasta.
27. Vitamins are good for you. Unless prescribed
by a doctor, the only pills you should take are vitamins,
which are good to fill in any gaps that may exist
in your diet.
28. Chew gum. Since a piece of gum has very
few calories, chew gum. It takes your mind off food,
and keeps your mouth busy.
Good luck, and don't give up (and feel free to make
up your own rules).