Nobody wants weight loss surgery and for older people it is particularly bad news. It is the last resort and those who have it are often at their wits end. They have tried everything and it has failed. There is, of course, more to it that just failing to lose weight. They may well have been suffering from stress or depression and perhaps other illnesses as well. A person who needs weight loss surgery is often not greedy and idle, they have a real problem. But don’t forget that fat people started thin and, if they can control their weight gain early, they may well avoid escalating into obesity as they get older. It’s worth trying.
So if you are getting heavier and are not sure what to do about it here are a few tips.
Exercise: This is essential for all weight loss. A walking for weight loss program is the easiest way for most of us to exercise. After all everybody does some walking every day, unless they are in a really bad way. If you can take a daily half hour walk you are well on the way to losing weight.
Diet: Don’t worry too much about special diets, or crash diets or any other type of diet. Just try to eat more healthy food. Cut out starches like white bread, fatty foods, sweets, sweet biscuits, and fizzy drinks. Eat granary or wholemeal bread, five medium portions of fresh fruit and vegetables every day, lean meat and oily fish like mackerel. This is something of a change in lifestyle, but it will reduce calories and you will be better for it. There are also plenty of tasty dishes using these ingredients. You can even have a glass of wine a day and not feel too bad about it.
Do not be ambitious. Of course losing weight is your ambition but don’t try to lose 10 pounds in 3 days. You didn’t put on 10 pounds in 3 days (I hope) so why expect to lose it in that time? Take it easy - aim for just a pound a week. If you lose two pounds that’s a bonus. How many calories less do you need to lose a pound a week? You must eat 500 calories fewer each day. You may think that is a lot. Not really. One slice of Starbucks’ classic Victoria sponge cake or a Starbucks butter croissant and coffee are each about 500 calories. Of course Starbucks is not the only coffee shop and they can all do the same damage. Anyway, just give up your daily slice of cake or, if you can manage it, your coffee and croissant and you are there. Give up both and you are on the way to losing two pounds a week. Easy.
Get a buddy: Losing weight by yourself can be a lonely business. If you have a friend to walk with or to share your new lifestyle it helps enormously. You can celebrate your success together and agree that failure is not an option. Even a little bit of friendly rivalry gives you something to aim for.
Set a target: Losing one pound a week is fine, but how much do you hope to lose in six months? One and a half stone is very achievable. Pencil in a celebration for when you get there. You will not only have lost weight, you will know how to control your weight gain. Weight loss surgery will be most unlikely. You have earned your party.
See you soon,
19 February 2010
Photo. Solstice Sol (Flickr)