5 Reasons Your Weight Loss Goals Suck


The need to lose bodyfat and carry a healthier weight has never been more evident - or more obvious - than it is in the western world today. Yet the common practice of setting weight loss goals is a big mistake for most people - and here are just 5 of the reasons why you shouldn't set weight loss goals, even as your New Year's resolution.

1) Its Too Easy To Underestimate The Fat You Need To Lose...
If you set your goal based on what you think you need to lose, it's all too easy to temper your weight loss goal by the amount you think you can easily lose. No one likes to think of themselves as obese, so the tendency is to say 'I need to lose 10 pounds', or 20 at most. Truth is, you may need to lose 40 or 50, but seldom does one want to admit they're that overweight. As a result, achieving your weight loss goals will leave you discouraged - you convinced yourself you'd be fine just losing 10 pounds, but now you realize you've barely started your weight loss journey. Since you feel you've already denied yourself so much, it's easier to go back to your old nutrition habits and decide that 'diets don't work for me.'

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2) Its Too Easy To Overestimate The Fat You Need To Lose...
When your goal is based on another person, the opposite problem can occur. Reading that your favorite celebrity lost 50 pounds, that a co-worker lost 25 pounds, or seeing an old friend in a little black Size 0 dress can lead to you thinking that if they can achieve that, so can you. Two problems can arise from setting your goals based on another person - first you don't know what they did to lose the weight - it could be due to illness, a body-chemistry hormonal imbalance or, in the case of celebrities especially, unhealthy practices like drugs or starvation diets. And second, they simply aren't you. People differ in their physical makeup - bone density, amount of musculature their frame can support, amount and distribution of fat cells, etc. If your body can't physically get to that goal weight you'll leave yourself depressed with a feeling of failure. You might also give in to the urges to act irresponsibly and use dangerous methods to get to that goal - eating disorders are born of this attitude!

3) Weight Loss Goals Promote A Short-Term Attitude Toward Your Health...
A weight loss goal means you're going to be 'dieting' - depriving yourself of some of the foods you want to eat, especially those sweet comfort foods modern society dotes on. So say you're successful in losing 20 pounds - now what? Since psychologically you've been punishing yourself by withholding treats for being overweight, there's no reason to keep up the punishment now that you're at your desired weight. Returning to your previous habits is the most common course of action, and the cycle of yo-yo dieting remains unscathed. Be ready to have that same goal next year...

4) Weight Loss Goals Lead To Loss Of Muscle And Dehydration...
For most people, once they've decided how many pounds they want to lose there's no time to waste - they want the weight gone as quickly as possible, and the scale is their only measurement tool. Crash diets ensue, and their bathroom scale tells them what a great job they're doing. Problem is, the scale only measures total bodyweight, not differentiating between lean muscle mass, bodyfat levels, bone and water content. Much of that initial weight loss is water weight, teaching your body to retain more water since you're not giving it enough to maintain proper levels.

Worse yet, losing more than 2 pounds per week usually means the weight you're losing is about 60% muscle and 40% bodyfat. Your body keeps only the muscle it perceives a need for in the near future, as anyone trying to build muscle can attest. By forcing it to burn off more muscle you're weakening your body and creating an internal crisis. Coupled with the fact that you've actually lost very little bodyfat, you've lost muscle, dehydrated your body and weakened your immune system - was that your intention?

5) Weight Loss Goals Exclude Your Health...
Interwoven throughout the first 4 points are just some of the ways this type of dieting behavior is harmful to your health - as dieting almost is except for the morbidly obese under clinical supervision. Worst of all it keeps you focused on weight issues instead of on your overall health. For your physical, mental and emotional health it's far wiser to slowly adopt a healthy lifestyle. Start by working towards a healthy diet and taking daily walks lasting 30 - 60 minutes. Eliminating unnecessary sugars and excess carbohydrates from your daily meals and the simple exercise of those daily walks will start you losing the bodyfat you want to lose while strengthening your body and your immune system.

You'll slip a bit at first, but just accept it and get back on track - don't stress out over these slips, but don't let them derail your long-term plans either. Before long you'll have replaced your former bad habits with these healthy habits, and once they're second nature you can replace your walks with exercise on any 3 non-consecutive days each week. Hit the gym or set up a home gym to protect and/or increase your lean muscle mass, and if you need to burn more fat, add in some high intensity interval training (HIIT) once your mind and body are ready for it.

And for your own sake, throw out that bathroom scale. It really does give you no useful information and brings a lot of stress and trepidation into your consciousness every time you notice it, never mind actually stepping onto it. At first, use your existing clothes and your mirror to gauge your progress - before long you'll know how you're doing just from the compliments and second looks you get as you go about your daily life!

Weight loss goals suck - but YOUR life doesn't have to. Get started on your healthier, fitter, sexier and happier lifestyle today!

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