A Broad Strategy for Lifelong Weight Loss


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by Jayaram V

Summary: The effort to lose weight should be part of a broad strategy to lead a healthy and active life so that it can be pursued and sustained as a lifelong goal.

Perhaps never in history there has been so much emphasis upon how you look or what you wear than today. In the age of social networks, Instagram, selfies, YouTube, video cameras and instant photography, we are increasingly becoming conscious of our appearance and the impressions we create in the minds of others. One cannot form an opinion about a person by looks alone. However, recent studies show that good looking people have better chances of creating a favorable impression in interviews, and being selected for important positions.

Besides, nowadays we have an access to a lot of information on health. People are increasingly becoming health conscious and keeping track of the food they eat, and the calories they consume. They also check the calorie value of the food items they purchase from stores. There is also a growing awareness about the importance of physical fitness. Many people exercise at home or in the gyms or practice some form of Yoga or traditional fitness regimen. A few decades ago in many parts of the world, gyms were not widely prevalent and were not accessible to many people as they used to operate only in large cities and metropolitan areas.

If you want to lose weight and succeed in your effort, you need a broad strategy which will encompass not only your short-term goals but also your long-term ones. It should be a part of your effort to lead a healthy and active life, so that you can pursue it and sustain as a lifelong goal as your defining philosophy or a reflection of your personality. Your goal should be leading a healthy lifestyle rather than just losing weight, and your strategy should be to achieve overall mental and physical health, cultivating healthy habits and keeping your weight in control.

You should aim to control not only your weight but also your habits, leading a disciplined and restrained life. It should cover not just a few hours or minutes of exercise but how you spend or manage your time and priorities and bring discipline, order and regularity into your life. Such a broad strategy will bring a fundamental shift in your thinking and approach to life and living itself, and make your effort to lose weight an ongoing and proactive effort. Weight loss should never be the only, but a part of your effort to lead a disciplined and healthy life.

The strategy will also help you think of your weight loss from a broader perspective, as part of a holistic effort to be healthy. To achieve and sustain weight loss from that perspective, you need to know clearly the purpose and the methods. It means, you must decide beforehand why and how you want to lose weight, so that you can make right decisions about it according to your personality type, circumstances, personal goals and preferences.

Weight loss why

It is natural for health-conscious people to keep a track of their weight and protect their health. If you are one of those who want to reduce weight, you must know why you want to do it, or what you want to achieve out of it. This is important, because without proper motivation you will not be able to achieve your goal of losing weight. Even if you achieve it, you may not be able to sustain it for long. Many people succeed initially, but fail later on as they return to their old lifestyles and lose control.

People want to lose weight for many reasons. They may want to look better, become married, attract the opposite sex, find a partner, qualify for a job, be healthy, play sports, improve sexual performance, feel good, and so on. You must find your own reasons by introspecting, and set your goals accordingly. If you tried to lose weight and failed before, you must examine what thought patterns or beliefs led to it and see what you can learn from it. Your motivation to lose weight may be due to a number of factors. You must use them to set specific goals and keep remembering them, so that your motivation remains high and you will not easily give up. It will also help you to remain focused and goal oriented.

Weight loss how

Today, we have an overwhelming number of weight loss techniques, methods and approaches. We have products, such as food, pills, herbal medicines, etc., which promise to reduce your weight or food. Most of them are commercial, which means it will cost you money if you join them. There are also groups, clubs and associations, which help you with weight loss information, methods and solutions, if you join them as a member for a fee or pay them subscription. They tout their own success stories and advertise the merits of their programs.

You have therefore many alternatives to choose from. You also have the option to follow your own methods, and do it by yourself, without using any of the commercial solutions. Many people do it, as they do not want to experiment with their bodies using, untested and unapproved methods and medicines. It is entirely up to you what methods you choose and how you want to pursue it. You may seek the opinion of an expert, your own personal physician, a friend who has tried some methods, or simply follow commonsense. You may do it by dieting, by exercising, by avoiding certain foods, by eating or not eating on specific days, or by a combination of all these. There are also several options within each of these.

Thus, it is up to you what methods you want to choose. However, in doing so, you must see whether the method or methods you chose fit into your lifestyle, whether you can do them, whether they are within your budget, whether they have a long-term effect on your health, and whether they are safe.

Weight loss as a lifelong strategy

Having good health and keeping good health by controlling your weight or by eating healthy food, these are long term goals and require a lifelong effort. You cannot practice dieting or exercise for a short time and go back to your usual ways. It must be part of a healthy attitude, outlook and way of life, and it must continue as a lifelong effort. If you make health your priority, weight loss automatically becomes an integral part of it. Therefore, consider weight loss a health issue, rather than a matter of how you look or feel, whereby you can make necessary adjustments to your way of life and your lifestyle choices in a healthy and balanced way and sustain your effort with right motivation.

If you want to make decisions that have an impact upon your lifestyle or way of life, you may probably need the help and cooperation of your family or people who live with you. If they have similar goals and if they prefer the same lifestyle which you want to adapt, your task will be much easier. For example, if you want to exercise at home when they are sleeping, with the radio or the television on, they may not like it. If you want to eat green vegetables for lunch or dinner, while they want to eat something else, it may create complications in your relationships.

Therefore, choose a right combination of methods and solutions according to your age, circumstances, family expectations, your own expectations, motivation and limitations. You do not have to follow a method just because someone has followed it, or someone in your family does not want you to follow it. You can follow your own instinct or discretion or commonsense to devise an approach or strategy that suits you the best. In doing so you may remember the following.

  1. Have specific goals so that you can measure your effort or progress.
  2. Think long-term so that you will not give up easily.
  3. Be patient if results are not forthcoming.
  4. Accept yourself so that you will not feel guilty for being who you are.
  5. Focus upon the effort and stop worrying about weight.
  6. Know that even a little effort is better than no effort.
  7. Whatever methods you choose, eat less and exercise more to have a net calorie deficit.
  8. Lead an active life, besides doing exercise.
  9. Eat healthy food. It does not mean you have to eat only expensive, organic food.
  10. Accept the reality that you have certain limitations, because of age or genes or hereditary conditions.

Do not be obsessed with losing weight. Rather, aim for a healthy and active life, which is in harmony with your basic values and belief system or outlook. The purpose of your life is to be happy and to be able to enjoy the small and big pleasures of life within the constraints to which you are subject. We do not always have to fit into the value system that world creates for us. There is no guarantee that good looking people are always happy. Ultimately what matters is whether you are happy and healthy, and whether you feel good about yourself most of the time in a day.

It is not necessary that you need to look like a film star, or win the approval or appreciation of everyone. You should develop a mind of your own and build your own esteem by unconditionally accepting yourself and embracing all your perfections and imperfections, so that you do not have to look to others for approval or acceptance or feel guilty for being who you are or how you look. If you are a good person with a good and amiable heart, people do not even care how you look. They seek your company. They love you and accept you. Your ultimate aim should be to lead a healthy and happy life and weight loss or weight control should be an integral part of it.

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