According to the World Health Organization, 30% of Americans are obese, which explains why billions of dollars are shelled out annually on ‘easy’ methods to burn body fat. Pills, potions, balance shoes, plastic sweat suits, weighted vests; the options are endless. But the ‘secret’ to a healthy, lean body at any age is always the same--eat natural, healthy foods, and perform one or more hours of vigorous exercise every day. If there were actual secrets to the perfect body, those in-the-know would be the most sought after, wealthiest professionals around. But alas, there are no secrets. The only way to attain a healthy, fit body is with proper nutrition and lots of daily activity. Period!
This is an outline of essential steps for the average adult to reach personal, healthy best.
Surround yourself with positive, supportive people.
This is the most important step for any personal accomplishment. Ask yourself, “Do I have unconditional support from loved-ones, friends, and co workers?” Seemingly well-intentioned people often sabotage progress by encouraging dessert, or bringing fresh donuts to work, etc. It will be difficult and painful, but all negative relationships must be avoided to allow only positive-energy people who will cheer you on and rejoice in your accomplishments.
Write down realistic, personal goals.
Making a list of the things you want to accomplish brings thought into physical form. But get real! Setting a goal to lose 50 pounds in two months is far-fetched, so start with a realistic goal of 5 pounds per month at first. Would getting in shape make you happier? Explore feelings of how you’d like to feel, and then set your plan in to action.
Make movement an important part of your day.
Every little bit helps, so take the stairs, walk to the store, find favorite things to get you moving: dancing, swimming, tennis, weekend bike rides, evening walks with a special person; the list can be endless. Start with 20 minutes daily for improved health then increase to 60 minutes daily for a better body.
Elect to eat healthy foods.
It's not tough to find low-carb, high nutrition items on a menu: salads with oil and vinegar; side of fresh fruit instead of French fries; broth-type soup instead of the creamed; baked fish or chicken instead of breaded and fried; skip the basket of bread and tortilla chips altogether. Vow to yourself to cut out junk and eat healthy.
Limit high fat and sugary treats for special occasions.
Even if the wrapping says "non-fat", most convenience foods still have lots of useless calories. Alcohol is the biggest culprit. One sugary cocktail can easily add up to 450 calories. And forget about the daily Frappuccino. 400-600 calories of cream and sugar must never pass your lips. Period. And don't use fattening snacks as comfort during emotional times; it may trigger guilt and self-loathing.
Eat all your daily calorie needs, even if it’s late at night.
The human body needs calories to run properly. It may seem counterproductive when dieting, but if daily calorie requirements are not met, the body consumes lean muscle for fuel to preserve its fat. To keep your energy up and encourage burning body fat, eat small portions throughout the day to stave off hunger and keep valuable lean muscle.
Drink plenty of fresh water through the day.
Water removes waste products and eliminates extra water weight. But beware; not all beverages are the same; coffee, diet or regular sodas, energy drinks, and fruit juices do not qualify as water. If you don't like the flavor of plain old water, use a little lemon juice and honey, or a squeeze of orange to make it taste sweet and fresh!
Reaching your personal health goals may not be easy, but the end results are worth the effort. Set a plan and stick with it. Find a program that works for you and incorporate support groups if necessary until you've reached your personal goals. Remember~ your life depends on it!