Motivate Me to Lose Weight

Losing weight isn't hard. It's keeping the weight off, once you've lost it - that's the hard part. We are not out to lose weight - that's just a happy side benefit. We are out to change our behaviours from ones that allowed us to gain weight in the first place, to behaviours that allow us to shed those pounds and to keep them off. 

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Why crash dieting doesn't work and why you should think of food as fuel

On my walk this evening I was thinking about the relationship I have with food. You know, the when and why of why we eat what we do and when we do it. And then as I was walking I started to shift my focus from food as something I need to fill whatever gap I think is in my life, to the simple idea of food as fuel, and how when I have tried to lose weight and get fit in the past - the first thing I would do would be to cut down my entire caloric intake to try and force my body to use the stored fat as fuel. 

Sounds like a plan doesn't it, after all that's what a lot of the experts tell you to do. Well I now have a problem with that theory, given that I could never sustain the effort vs energy input for very long on the diet I was trying to live with. 

Imagine your body is a car. What happens if you don't put fuel in the car? It doesn't move does it - unless you happen to be parked on a hill and can coast down a little. And that's what I was trying to do. I was trying to run my car on very little fuel. I could kick start the engine a little with whatever fuel was in the tank but sooner or later I would be running on empty. 

And yes I would give in, say this isn't working and go back to what I was doing before. Which meant that at the other extreme I would be sitting in my "car" surrounded by fuel. It had over flowed the tank and I was drowning in it. It's very hard to exercise when you are surrounded by an excess amount of fuel, all you want to do is wallow in it. 

So, how do you know whether you are filling your personal "car" with way too much fuel than your body needs to function? 

Well the answer is quite simple. You can usually tell by the honest appraisal of what you look like with no clothes on standing in front of the bathroom mirror. If that thought fills you with dread, then check the labels on your clothes, the number of notches on your belt or the numbers on the bathroom scales. Now if you want to go back a few years to check out what you looked like then - get the photo albums out. And be honest with yourself. 

So how do you determine what is the right amount of fuel for your body without calorie counting. Well this one comes down to trial and error - but why not up the exercise without cutting the fuel down. If you start to lose size and weight, then you're body is using more fuel than is being put in the tank - and depending on how many fuel cells your body has - this may be a good thing. But there is one more thing to remember here - fat takes up twice as much space for the same amount of weight as muscle. So you may be looking thinner, but weigh the same. But one thing to remember, once your body has nice lean muscle - it needs fuel to keep it moving, so change the exercise around a little, eat some more quality fuel and see the changes.