The A B Cs of Dieting

There are endless dietary supplements and diet programmes (weight loss) on the market these days. In this sea of choices it is very difficult for an individual to choose and find one which works effectively to shed those extra pounds.

The truth is that when it comes to weight loss, persons want instantaneous results. This is true especially for females who are more concerned about their physical image and appearance. Some desperately desire the slender, sleek look of movie stars or super models that the media regularly portrays as the epitome or standard of beauty. Others are just seeking to fulfill short term goals such as losing weight for upcoming events such as a wedding or a high school reunion. Whatever the motivation, persons generally want real results and they want it fast.

This is the reason behind the appeal for many crash diet programmes. The word crash suggests something intense and rapid. We can use a car crash as an example. Speeding is a common factor in car crashes and major damage is usually the result. Thus when we dissect a crash diet we are generally thinking about losing many pounds in a very short space of time. The reality is that this rapid approach to weight loss is usually very harmful as it is not consistent with how our bodies function.

Information is key when embarking on any diet or weight loss programme. Using the word ‘diet’ as an acronym, some basic information will be presented that will assist you in achieving your weight loss goals.

D – Doctor’s first advice: get a general check up to ascertain the state of your health. This should include blood pressure checks, heart checks and blood sugar level checks (glucose levels). Your weight and height should be measured and your BMI (body mass index) should be calculated to determine if you are within a healthy BMI range. Your BMI is a measurement of your body fat based on your age, height and weight.

I – Information about different food groups and their caloric content will be vital. Common sense tells us that if we consume more calories on average than we use up, then we are going to put on weight. Take notice of the caloric content of the foods you consume daily. Foods that are high in calories should be avoided or eaten in moderation. Foods that fall into this category are usually processed foods with saturated fats or refined sugar, such as pastries and baked products. Eggs, butter, ice-cream and cheese are also examples of high calorie foods. Fruits and vegetables are generally low in calories and are chocked with vitamins and minerals. Eat freely from these food groups (unless your doctor advised you otherwise). Another strategy would be to eat frequently throughout the day, such as every three to four hours, but eat small portions of food. This tends to keep your metabolism running constantly. Research information on all food types. There are many websites that provide information on the calories that can be found in various foods and they also have handy tools such as calorie calculators, among other things.

E – Exercise is a must! Exercise boosts your metabolism to help you burn off excess fat and weight. It also alleviates stress, builds endurance, bones, muscles and improves your immune system and physical appearance. Develop an exercise regimen that is both doable and effective. Exercise at least three times per week and gradually work your way up to five workouts for maximum effect. Cardio exercises are great, but incorporate weight training to boost your results and to target and tone those trouble spots. You do not need gym membership to begin your exercise programme. There are many free exercise programmes online. Weights do not have to be purchased from a fitness store. Simply use cans from your cupboard or water filled gallon bottles and you are good to go.

T- Finally, T is for Tenacity. Stick to the task. You may feel like quitting at times, but have a firm vision in your mind of fitting into that dress or jeans and then work towards that goal. A leaner you will be a healthier you and the bonus is that you will probably be more attractive as well. No crash diets. You simply have to consistently do the necessary things to eliminate that unwanted fat, gradually. Persevere and your rewards will be huge.


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