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Dr Bob Looks At Up And Down Weight Loss
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Dr Bob Looks at Up And Down Weight Loss

Are you looking to lose a few pounds or are you one of the many Americans suffering from obesity? There are so many messages out there telling you how to exercise, what you need to exercise, why their exercise equipment beat all the others. Then there are the ads telling you that they have the best weight loss diet that has existed since the invention of fresh vegetables.

If you are like countless Americans, you have tried at least a few of these final cures. Americans spend over $30 billion per year on weight-loss products. Yet we don't seem to realize that if any of them worked 100% of the time that there would be no need for yet another diet book, or piece of workout equipment.

I am sure you have tried videos and the latest form of dance/aerobics at the local health club. But have they really worked for you?

The problem is not that any of us is weak and can't control our appetites. It is not that we have no self-discipline and can't keep up the workout regimen.

The problem is that we try things that are not right for us. Weight loss is a personal journey. Each of us has to find the correct exercise for our lifestyle. Each of us has to make nutritional choices based upon our own tastes and possible food allergies.

The Up and Down Weight problem is caused by each of us choosing to make lifestyle changes that do not fit our lifestyle. We buy the home delivery food only to feel left out when our family and friends eat "regular" food. Eating is more about socialization that it is about nutrition. If we are not having a good time consuming our food, then we will not have a good time socializing with those we are dining with. This leads us to stop using that diet out of a feeling of loneliness and deprivation.

Then it comes to exercising. We hear that we have to dance, run, walk, lift, etc. our way to health. Fact of the matter is that we have to have variety in exercise. We have to combine short, intense movements with slow, stretching movements. If our muscles get used to a routine, the routine ceases to help our muscles. It is almost as if our muscles get into a rut and know what is coming next and lose interest in stretching and growing. They cease to burn the extra calories we want them to.

I have written other articles on exercise and I don't want to bore you with repetition. But I have to emphasize that the use of weights as part of a balanced weight-loss program is vital to your health. It is a myth that you will end up with muscles sticking out everywhere. Talk to someone who is trying to sculpt his/her body and you will discover that it is a lot of work to do this. It doesn't happen by mistake.

You are in control of how you use weights. Remember, if you can do 15 repetitions ("reps") of a single exercise in a row, then your muscles are no longer improving. You need to increase the weight. The ideal weight lifting exercise will only allow you 6 to 12 reps. And the last rep should be very difficult to finish.

Change the order of your weight training. Don't do it in a circuit like health clubs try to get you to do. This is so they can create a parade of people and it appears that no one is left waiting for a machine to free up. Remember, they are selling memberships and no one wants to join a club that seems to not have enough equipment since people are standing around waiting for it to free up.

The smaller muscle groups tend to tire out more quickly, and they will not have the necessary energy to push the larger muscle groups if they have already experienced a workout. So work larger muscle groups first and then smaller muscle groups.

Then you have to deal with those miracle pills. Have you been suckered into ads containing hype like "Lose 10 Pounds in 10 Days!" or "Eat as Much as You Want -- and Still Lose Weight!" or even "Drop One Dress Size a Day!"?

Diet supplement manufacturers would have us believe that rapid weight loss is quick and easy if you use their supplements. Again, if this were true, would Americans spend $30 billion a year on new products?

Ask yourself, how can such rapid weight loss be safe? Not only are you dropping a lot of weight, mostly water weight, but you are not learning how to maintain your new weight. Once you start to re-hydrate yourself, the weight comes back.

Then there are the starvation diets. Those don't make sense if you think about it. We have seen video footage for decades showing starving people. Do any of them look lean and healthy? Our bodies store fat when they believe we are going to starve.

Another thing to think about, if the supplements are so good, why do they all tell us that they work in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise program? If we had a healthy diet and exercise program, we would lose the weight and keep it off without their supplements.

And stay away from diets that reduce or eliminate one of the basic food groups. Remember that malnutrition is defined by having a diet lacking sufficient quantities of one or more basic food groups.

Up and down weight problems are not easy to live with. They make us feel like losers and quitters. This causes us to feel bad about ourselves and so we gain more weight. The up and down weight is not because of anything internally wrong with most of us, though we should always consult with a physician prior to losing weight to make sure we don't have any health problems, it is because we are trying to do things that don't work for us in the long run.

Find the healthy diet that you enjoy and and can enjoy when dining with friends and family. Don't feel deprived or starved.

Find the exercise program, including cardio and weight training, that you enjoy and can keep doing for the rest of your life.

Most importantly, include friends and family into your weight-loss program. They don't have to lose weight with you, unless they want to. But they do need to eat with you, work out with you and encourage you as you take this life-changing journey to health and fitness. We are social creatures. We do things together for that reason. You will find that the more you enjoy your change in lifestyle, the less it will seem like a diet.

Street Talk

Joan S  

I agree with you Dr. Bob. I used to try all those silly diets too. Now I am "sculpting" good eating habits, trying also to systematically under eat whenever I can, getting aerobic exercise, and thinking right. The next front is working on those muscles, getting nicely cut abs and arms. Great article. I loved it.

  about 1 decade ago

I agree with Joan here, do it right and it will be so much healthier.

  about 1 decade ago
joe witt  

very true, nice article

  about 1 decade ago
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