Lose Weight For The Summer

Being overweight in​ the​ summer heat is​ no fun. And exposing a​ fat stomach or​ fat thighs isn't exactly pleasant when everyone else around you is​ wearing gnat-sized beachwear and drizzling oil onto wasp-like abdomens. in​ fact,​ for people carrying excess weight,​ summer can be an​ unpleasant trial involving countless opportunities for embarassment and discomfort. So let's take a​ look at​ how you can reduce some of​ your fat and make next summer a​ happier experience. But first,​ a​ warning.

Summer Weight Loss Trap
One guaranteed way to​ fail is​ to​ look for a​ "short cut" weight loss method or​ diet. You know what I mean: the​ type of​ program that promises "a fast effortless way to​ reduce weight". in​ my experience,​ none of​ these diets or​ pills actually work,​ and the​ medical evidence is​ quite clear: the​ maximum rate of​ sustainable fat loss is​ between 1 and 2 pounds per week,​ perhaps a​ little more if​ you are obese. Besides,​ if​ a​ brilliant scientist did manage to​ concoct a​ formula for rapid effortless weight reduction,​ overnight he would be more famous than Einstein. He certainly wouldn't be peddling his program in​ 30-second TV infommercials or​ mail-order advertisements. So for the​ sake of​ your sanity as​ well as​ your financial health,​ don't waste time on​ weight loss methods that make extravagant claims. if​ you don't believe this,​ think of​ any of​ your overweight friends who favor the​ short-term "lose 20 pounds in​ two weeks" type of​ approach,​ and ask yourself why they are still overweight.

Three Month Summer Diet Plan
You can't lose much weight in​ a​ week or​ two. You need about three months to​ make a​ significant impact on​ your body shape. Remember,​ the​ human body is​ interested in​ survival,​ not cosmetic appearances,​ and since rapid weight loss is​ a​ prima facie symptom of​ disease not good health,​ the​ only guaranteed way to​ improve your body shape is​ to​ adopt a​ gradual approach of​ healthy eating and increased exercise. in​ three months,​ you can lose about 26 pounds - more than enough for most overweight people to​ experience noticeable health improvements as​ well as​ a​ much leaner body. And by reducing your weight gradually in​ this manner,​ you have far less chance of​ weight regain,​ so if​ necessary you can continue losing more with less danger of​ incurring a​ weight loss plateau or​ other obstacle.

You Need a​ Motive
No one likes to​ change their habits. So if​ you want to​ change your eating and exercise habits,​ you need a​ strong motive - something to​ keep you dieting and exercising when boredom sets in. Whatever motive you choose,​ it​ must be something more powerful than the​ urge to​ eat tasty high calorie foods in​ front of​ the​ TV!

A Good Motive For Summer Weight Loss
Anything that commits you in​ advance to​ achieving your weight loss goal,​ makes a​ great motive. So be bold. Book an​ expensive beach holiday,​ or​ buy some gorgeous clothes to​ fit the​ body you want to​ have at​ the​ end of​ your diet program. Both these actions require you to​ succeed,​ and therefore provide constant motivation along the​ way.

Men And Celebrities Have Better Motivation
In my experience,​ both with private clients as​ well as​ dieters who belong to​ my weight loss forum,​ men and celebrities exhibit the​ strongest motivation. Men,​ I suspect,​ because typically they have a​ narrower range of​ daily tasks and responsibilities than women. Celebrities,​ because typically they have a​ powerful commercial motivation to​ maintain their physical appearance. I offer weight loss help to​ a​ number of​ celebrity figures,​ some of​ whom are regulars on​ my forum,​ and I am always impressed with their ability to​ make short-term sacrifices to​ further their longer term goals. I guess that's why they achieve so much.

Be Positive About Short Term Sacrifices
Whether you're trying to​ lose weight for the​ summer,​ save money or​ pass exams,​ an​ important piece of​ the​ motivational jigsaw is​ your ability to​ be positive about making short term sacrifices. the​ choice is​ fairly simple: you can focus on​ the​ "deprivation" involved in​ giving up certain foods,​ or​ you can focus on​ the​ benefits you will get by not eating these foods. Sadly,​ many dieters focus on​ feeling deprived. After a​ while they see their diet as​ a​ burden,​ a​ bore,​ an​ evil necessity. This is​ why so many of​ them quit. They can't "see" the​ benefits that weight loss will bring them. if​ you want to​ improve your body shape for the​ summer,​ you must avoid this trap and appreciate the​ longer term benefits you will receive by making short-term adjustments to​ your lifestyle.

The Good News About Improving Your Diet
Many of​ our tastes,​ food cravings,​ and general attitudes to​ food are strongly influenced by what we​ eat and drink. I know countless mothers with families who have reported astonishing changes in​ their personal and family eating habits after less than three weeks of​ improved eating. Point is,​ the​ average modern diet is​ loaded with sugar,​ fat and sodium,​ all of​ which condition us to​ want more of​ these items. But if​ you can break out of​ this dependence on​ junk-ingredients for even 2-3 weeks,​ you'll notice a​ huge difference in​ your tastes. Which brings me to​ healthy eating.

Think Healthy Eating Not Weight Loss
In my experience,​ one of​ the​ most effective weight loss strategies is​ to​ focus on​ healthy eating. I'm not saying you shouldn't stand on​ your weighing scales,​ just don't measure progress exclusively by what the​ scales say. Be aware that it's just as​ important to​ enjoy your food and feel good about your change of​ eating habits. And any diet you hate is​ guaranteed to​ fail,​ no matter how much weight you lose,​ because as​ soon as​ you achieve your goal,​ you will revert to​ your old eating habits and regain every pound lost.

The Top 10 Healthy Eating Habits
In a​ nutshell,​ a​ healthy diet involves (1) More home-cooked food,​ less eating out. (2) More fresh fruit as​ snacks. (3) More fresh vegetables as​ snacks and with meals. (4) More beans as​ sides or​ in​ stews. (5) More dense chewy bread,​ less refined white breads and bread snacks. (6) More fish,​ skinless chicken/turkey,​ less red meat. (7) Smaller servings of​ red meat,​ larger servings of​ vegetables. (8) Eating low fat dairy foods. (9) Adding less fat in​ the​ form of​ butter,​ mayo,​ sour cream,​ to​ the​ food on​ your plate. This is​ a​ huge source of​ excessive calories. (10) Stocking up with healthy snack foods to​ keep hunger at​ bay. if​ you fill up with healthy nutritious calories,​ you won't want the​ junk foods that hunger makes you eat. as​ far as​ weight management goes,​ hunger remains Public Enemy Number One.

Exercise Provides Wonderful Indirect Benefits
Exercise does burn extra calories and therefore does help to​ widen your calorie deficit. But it's direct effect on​ weight loss is​ typically quite small. in​ fact,​ it's not uncommon to​ gain weight when you start exercising. the​ real weight reduction benefits of​ exercise are indirect ones. it​ raises our metabolic rate,​ helping us to​ burn calories at​ a​ slightly faster rate,​ and improves our mood,​ which typically reduces our need for comfort-eating. However,​ don't overdo your exercise workouts. I've lost count of​ the​ number of​ dieters who started exercising too vigorously and burnt out within 3 weeks. Ideally,​ start with 45 minutes/day of​ any physical activity you can easily manage,​ and very gradually increase the​ duration and intensity. Listen to​ your body at​ all times,​ and be sure to​ loosen up beforehand and wind down afterwards.

See Yourself as​ You Want to​ Be
If your goal is​ a​ waistline you can proudly display in​ the​ sun,​ then don't wait until it​ happens to​ "see" it. Visualize it​ from the​ moment you start dieting. Visualize yourself walking along a​ beach,​ or​ lying next to​ the​ pool with a​ perfectly flat stomach. Whatever your ambition for your weight or​ body,​ get used to​ visualizing it​ in​ the​ greatest possible detail. Because "seeing it" is​ the​ first step to​ making it​ come true. as​ they say,​ one picture is​ worth a​ thousand words.

Very Overweight? Just Visualize the​ Benefits!
If you have a​ lot of​ weight to​ lose (100 pounds+),​ you may not think that losing 26 pounds in​ three months is​ particularly worthwhile. if​ so,​ ask yourself this question. What's the​ alternative? No matter what method you choose,​ you won't lose weight any faster,​ so it's only a​ question of​ when you start and how long it's going to​ take. I can answer the​ last question right now. Losing 100 pounds takes about a​ year - typically a​ little longer to​ allow for disasters along the​ way. Fifteen months would be a​ more realistic time span to​ reduce weight by this amount. This is​ nothing. Just visualize yourself walking down the​ street 100 pounds lighter,​ and tell me that eating healthily for 15 months is​ too high a​ price to​ pay for such a​ wonderful prospect.

Your First Priority - Get Support
If you really want to​ lose weight for the​ summer,​ your first priority is​ to​ find support. Join a​ diet-group at​ work,​ or​ a​ fitness class,​ or​ go to​ weight loss meetings. or​ join an​ online forum. Losing weight on​ your own is​ perfectly possible,​ providing things go well and your scales keep saying nice things. But when difficulties arise,​ as​ they surely will,​ having the​ support of​ real people can make all the​ difference between success and failure. if​ you experience difficulty finding support,​ try my own weight loss forum. It's great fun and very inspirational.

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