Why Losing Weight is so Difficult…and why you will Never Lose 20 pounds in 10 Days

In the past, my husband suggested that I should start advertising on my blog.  These advertisements are computer-generated at random and are based on "keywords" found on your site as well as what your site is simply about, in my case, health and wellness.

I was apprehensive, but decided to take his advice and try it.  And just as I was afraid of, all of the advertisements that magically showed up on my page were ads such as "lose 20 pounds in 10 days" or "burn off all your fat while you sleep" or "take this pill and you can lose 50 pounds", etc…, etc…

It only took a few days before I removed the advertisements and went back to writing for free.  (Not that I made more than a few pennies anyway).  I could not in good conscience allow such ridiculous advertisements ruin my message; that weight loss comes from making positive lifestyle choices and not from any kind of magical diet, supplement or device.  Yet it amazes me how there is so much false advertising out there and it amazes me even more how often people actually believe it.

So I would like to write today to tell you the truth about how to lose weight and why it is so difficult.  
Here is a list of some things you may or may not know:

1.  It takes a 3500 calorie deficit to lose just one pound.  In other words, you need to take in 3500 calories less than what you need or burn off 3500 extra calories through exercise (ideally a combination of the two).  Take a moment to ponder on this one and you will see why losing even 10 pounds is so difficult.

2.  Unfortunately when you reduce your caloric intake, you slow your metabolism, thus burning less calories per day than you did before you started dieting.  Then, when you get off the diet, you wind up gaining all the weight back and more because you now have a slower metabolism but are taking in the same amount of calories.

3.  After around 30 years of age, your metabolism begins to slow down and continues down this path for the rest of your life.  So if you continue eating the same way you did at 25 when you are 45, assuming you are not very active, you will gain weight.  

4.  Going on diets (including ones that focus on "special foods" or are too calorie restricting) will disturb your body's natural metabolism and will make it harder for you to lose weight in the future.  The more diets you go on, the more likely you are to stay overweight.

5.  Increasing activity is a far better way of losing weight than cutting calories alone. A combination of the two is ideal. Exercise burns calories and increases metabolism; a win-win.     So if you are trying to lose weight by simply dieting, you are heading down the wrong path…the path to slowing your metabolism.

6.  Genetics DO play a role.  This is not to say you can use your genes as an excuse to be obese, but genes make it easier, or more difficult, for someone to gain or lose weight.  Learning the right things to do, such as eating healthy and maintaining an active life, will be your best bet to getting to a healthy weight.  And a healthy weight for you may not be what you had in mind.  You must accept the genes you have.  Your genes not only determine how fast or slow your metabolism is, but also determine where your body stores fat and what shape you are.  Accept this fact.

While it is very difficult to lose weight, it is possible.  This is where people like myself come in; consult with a nutritionist and/or fitness counselor (preferably both) to help you formulate a safe, effective and practical plan to help you lose weight and keep it off, for good.

About Kimberly Dawson, M.S.

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