What's the best way to lose weight?
It's a frequently asked question in this land of expanding waistlines. And every diet guru believes his/her approach is the best.
There are hundreds of diet books and programs all claiming their's is the best weight loss plan and many offer contradictory advice - cut the carbs, flush the fat, go vegetarian, eat like a caveman, count calories.
It can be confusing, frustrating, and overwhelming, to say the least.
Best Selling Best Ways to Lose Weight
If you are like me - curious and on the lookout for the "perfect" way to eat and lose weight - you may have tried lots of different weight loss plans and read more diet books than you want to admit. My personal diet history includes: Atkins, Best Life, Blood Type, Body for Life, The Cabbage Soup Diet, Fat Flush, Flat Belly, Glycemic Index, Marilu Henner's Total Health Makeover, The Mediterranean Diet, The Omega Diet, Pritikin, Rosedale, Schwarzbein, Sonoma, South Beach, Special K, Sugar Busters, Suzanne Somers, Ultrametabolism, Volumetrics, Weight Watchers, and The Zone. (I am sure there are more that I have forgotten - since my diet history dates back to 1976!)
So which of these was the best way to lose weight for me? All of them! I lost weight on most of them, but always gained all or some of it back. And guess what? The research supports my experience. Studies have shown that there is no specific diet plan that is more effective than any of the others.
The Best Weight Loss Plan
So what is the best weight loss plan? Research reveals that the best weight loss plan is the one a person can stick to.
Imagine that! The most effective way to lose weight is to find what works best for you. You need a personalized approach individually designed for you.
This may take some experimentation, but once you find the best weight loss plan for you, lasting weight loss will be yours. The trick is to figure out what works best for you.
Best Ways to Lose Weight - Some Strategies
Individuals have come up with all kinds of unique strategies for losing weight that work for them...
- Some people keep eating the same foods but decrease their portions by 20% or so.
- Some people replace higher calorie foods with lower calorie versions.
- Some people cut out one or two "problem foods."
- I know many women who have lost weight by cutting out the foods they have a hard time resisting - things like booze, bread, chips, fries, soda, and/or sweets.
- Some people increase the quality of their foods and discover that by eating better, more nutritious food, they naturally need less and weight melts away effortlessly.
- Others give up between meal snacks and mindless munching at their desks. Some people discover that all they need to do is slow down and stop multi-tasking while they eat. By being present and paying attention to what they are eating, they are full sooner.
The Best Way for Me to Lose Weight
For me the key to lasting weight loss can be summed up with one word - AWARENESS. It all began when I turned to yoga to help my bad back. Yoga caused me to connect with my body and mind in a whole new way. As I became more present and aware on my yoga mat, it carried over into other areas of my life, including my eating habits.
For the first time, I experienced pausing before diving into the container of Ben & Jerry's or box of Cheeze-its, and asking, "What are you doing?" "Are you hungry?" "What do you really want?"
Mind you this is an ongoing practice and I am far from perfect. But these days when I notice my pants getting a little snug, I can take steps to lose the few pounds without a lot of struggle, by tuning into myself and consciously working to pay more attention to what I am feeling, thinking, and doing. Some days I still catch myself mindlessly reaching for the jar of nuts and when life gets busy I tend to gobble my food instead of savoring it. But each day and each meal is a new opportunity to practice awareness and learn something new about myself.
What about you? What is the best weight loss plan for you? I would love to hear about your unique approach to losing weight.
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