Is losing weight one of your 2018 New Year’s resolutions? Be honest – you won’t be alone. Gyms and parks worldwide (and the Lekki bridge in Lagos!) are full of people frantically exercising in January, only to give up by the end of February.
Something you should know before you start a weight loss regimen is that 70% of people who lose weight on a diet gain it all back within two years. It is hard work losing weight and just as difficult – perhaps even more challenging – to maintain the weight loss.
Your resting metabolism (the energy you burn to run your body functions) is mostly responsible your weight – how much you weigh, how quickly you put on weight and how efficiently you lose weight. Age, gender, genetics, how much muscle mass you have, and your body frame, all play a part in determining your metabolism.
You burn energy or calories daily in three ways:
- Basal, or resting metabolism – energy used for our body’s basic functioning (60-80% of daily total calories burned)
- Energy used to digest food (10% of daily total calories burned)
- Energy used in physical activity (10 – 30% of daily total calories burned)
Diet gimmicks and dangers
Beware of gimmicks that claim to “speed” up your metabolism for faster weight loss – supplements, green tea, and eating certain kinds of foods like coffee and chili pepper. Only building more muscle mass and reducing your body fat can increase your metabolism because muscle uses up more energy at rest than fat. The more muscle you have, the higher your basal metabolism. Increasing your physical activity through daily exercise will also cause you to burn more calories. Dieting, on the other hand, slows down your metabolism as your body fights to hold on to the weight.
The biggest problem with diets is that they are short-lived and when you go “on a diet” you have a short-term mindset. You plan to diet for a specified length of time – for example, from now until your 40th birthday party or until you meet your weight loss goal. The problem is that a long-term mindset is necessary for maintaining weight loss. The short-term outlook of dieting will fail woefully when it’s time to keep the weight off for good.
There is eye-opening information from studies done regarding what is helpful to people who are successful in keeping weight loss off for more than two years:
- They weigh themselves at least once a week.
- They exercise regularly with varying intensity – walking is the most common exercise
- They limit their calorie intake, avoid high-fat foods, and monitor their portion sizes.
- They tend to eat breakfast rather than skipping it
- They count calories
Simply put, they work hard on changing their eating habits and make regular exercise a part of life.
2018 is an opportunity to gain control once and for all over your health. View your planned weight loss as an essential step in achieving a healthy lifestyle, changing your eating habits for better and maintaining a healthy weight for the long run. Do your homework on exercise and healthy nutrition, get the right support and make that commitment today. You can do it!!
Stay healthy and have a terrific 2018!
Click here for an excellent 20-minute full body workout by Seun Fadina, CEO, BFS Lifestyle.