So far this month we've talked about whether or not we are addicted to food and the most probable causes of being overweight. And now that we have identified some problems it's time to start fixing them. But fixing them is not easy. Everyone wants to take the easy way out. They are hoping that there's a new miracle diet or a pill that will solve all their problems. This isn't always the case, but it's NEVER the case with losing weight. Trust me, if there were an easy way, there wouldn't be an overweight doctor anywhere in the world. The last thing I want to do is discourage anyone wanting to lose weight. But we all need to realize what we are up against before we can accomplish our goal.
So why is there no easy way? Because our bodies are like machines that are built for lasting a long time. They adapt to the current conditions. Anything we do for a short amount of time is only going to work for a short amount of time. For example, if you want your car to look good, you can scrub it clean, wax it up, and buff it down and it looks like a million bucks. But, as soon as you start driving it, it starts getting dirty again. Within a few days or weeks the wax is fading and dirt has covered up it's shine. We don't work really hard cleaning our car and then expect it to stay clean forever. So why do you expect a crash diet for a few weeks to reshape your body forever?
There are lots of weight loss gimmicks out there. Diets, exercise programs, and nutritional supplements promise that they will get the weight off of you. The truth is, they can. Just about anything can help people lose weight. If you only eat one thousand calories a day, you'll lose weight. If you attend a boot camp exercise program, you'll lose weight. If you drink nothing but protein shakes, you'll lose weight. But then we put the weight right back on after it's finished. This is because of one simple rule: Your body will do what you tell it to do... for as long as you tell your body to do it. Like I said before, it will adapt to the current condition you are putting it in. This is why there is no easy way to lose weight. Because the only way to lose weight (and keep it off forever) is to do something long term.
The real trick to losing weight and keeping it off is finding what works for you. You have to find your own personal system that you can maintain for the rest of your life. Find an exercise program that you enjoy. Learn to control your portion sizes. Identify what your bad habits are and listen to what your body is telling you. Maintaining all of these every day for the rest of your life is the only way to achieve and keep a healthy body. And that's not easy.
Diet tip of the week - For however much meat you have, you should be eating twice as many vegetables at the same meal. Jennifer Sellman, D.O., is the owner of Willow Family Medicine, LLC, located at 1061 Jones Street in Kennett.