Quit Whining and Get Moving!
by Greg Landry, M.S.
NOTE: I realize this article may offend some people, but I believe that you need to hear the truth about weight loss rather than some watered down "feel-good" version of the truth!
I receive hundreds (yes, hundreds) of questions every month with this general theme... "HELP... I'm doing all the right things but I'm still not losing weight." After talking to hundreds of these people over the years, I've come to a few general conclusions. Keep in mind that these are generalizations, but they would apply to over 95% of people in this situation. Also, please note that these ARE in order of importance...and I'm not pulling any punches!
1. The vast majority of these people (I call them "non-losers") are not exercising anywhere near enough (if at all)! You can only decrease your caloric intake so much. Your other alternative is to increase your caloric expenditure. You can write this in stone... ** VERY FEW people are successful at losing weight AND keeping it off without exercising almost everyday!!
If you're having trouble losing weight, 20 minutes of exercise three times a week isn't going to cut it! Most people who tell me they are *really serious* about losing weight are not willing to do what it takes to get where they want to be. If you're not willing to make exercise a *serious* priority in your life, your chances of succeeding at losing weight and keeping it off are VERY small! Many of my clients who are serious about weight loss are exercising 1 to 2 hours per day. Many split it up and do some in the morning and some in the late afternoon or evening. If you're having difficulty losing weight, I would recommend that you average at least 30 minutes *everyday*, ideally more.
2. Most "non-losers" that are exercising are not weight training. Weight training is *critical* to maintaining your muscle mass and tone. If you're not weight training while trying to lose weight, you will lose muscle mass and tone and your basal metabolic rate will decrease causing you to burn fewer calories 24 hour-a-day!
3. "Non-losers" want *instant* results. When it doesn't happen they either give up or go on some crazy fad diet. You HAVE to be resolved to the fact that it WILL be slow!
4. "Non-losers" are notorious for skipping meals! This is really bad news because it slows your metabolism causing you to burn fewer calories 24 hours-a-day.
5. "Non-losers" consume far too much sugar or simple / refined carbohydrates such as white rice, white (non whole wheat) flour products, white (non whole wheat) pastas, soft drinks ("pop" for you northerners), sweetened drinks, and the hundreds of products that contain addded sugar that's deceptively listed on ingredient lists with names like sucrose, high fructose corn syrup, etc.
6. Some "non-losers" don't want to give up their alcohol. Alcohol is a triple whammy...it stimulates your appetite, slows your metabolism, and it's loaded with calories! (It's not CARB-free either) Enough said.
7. Many "non-losers" consume far too few fruits and vegetables. (read FIBER)
8. Many "non-losers" always eat until they're full. Practice stopping before you're "full" and see how you feel 30 minutes later. You will probably feel satisfied by then.
9. Many "non-losers" consume too much artificial sweetener which stimulates the pancreas to release insulin just like sugar would. Insulin causes your body to store fat and prohibits your body from burning fat for fuel.
10. Many "non-losers" are eating more than they think they are. Keep a food journal for a few weeks, and write down everything that goes in your mouth. This can be helpful to pinpoint where you need to cut back, and might uncover sources of "hidden" carbs.
Weight loss is VERY difficult! Simply put, If you don't want it bad enough to do what it takes, it's NOT going to happen. If you really want to lose weight, quit playing around with it. Get serious about it and make it an absolute, non-negotiable priority in your life... and it will happen!
© Copyright 1999 by Author and exercise physiologist, Greg Landry, M.S. All Rights Reserved