Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Natural Weight Loss

Natural Weight Loss Requres A Combined Approach

There are several aspects to be considered and implemented when one is trying to achieve natural weight loss. While many people search for some magic pill or supplement, or try to find the perfect diet or look to the latest exercise fad, the reality is that a combination approach is usually necessary to actually get good, lasting results.

There are numerous natural weight loss products on the market, and more seem to pop up every day. Each promises to be nearly miraculous in it's effects and people buy the latest and greatest weight loss aid with eager anticipation, hoping that it will finally be the answer to their weight problems. They want to believe that a pill, or a patch, or a tea, etc.. will be all they need to lose weight and that diet and exercise won't be necessary (because dieting and exercising are difficult). Even though deep down they probably know that the latest weight loss miracle being hyped is no better than all the things they've tried before, they want to believe it will work, and so they buy it, only to be disappointed again.

Now this is not to say that natural weight loss aids are all completely worthless. In fact, many do exactly what they are supposed to do. For example, hoodia gordonii (at least the real stuff) does seem to be a very effective appetite suppressant. So, if the main reason that you have trouble losing weight is because you have out of control hunger that makes you eat excssively, hoodia may be a big help. The thing is, the vast majority of people do not overeat, or eat too much of the wrong things, because they are hungry. They may eat out of boredom, out of habit, out of a need to satisfy a craving, or out of a need to soothe some emotional issue they are dealing with, but they don't eat out of hunger. Hoodia is not going to help you if you aren't eating out of hunger.

Other natural weight loss aids may work by increasing the metabolic effects of diet and exercise. Well, if you aren't doing any kind of consistent diet and exercise program, the benefits of such products will be minimal at best.

Some natural weight loss aids block the absorption of fat by the digestive tract and thereby lower the calories you absorb from each meal. While this does tend to help with weight loss, unless you stop eating everything except fat (which is not a good idea), you still are taking in other calories that, in excess, will be converted to fat AFTER they are absorbed from the digestive tract. Here again a consistent diet and exercise program is needed to get maximum effects.

By now, you have probably figured out that one of the main points of this article is that if you want to achieve natural weight loss, at least long-term, you MUST incorporate a healthy diet and exercise program. No weight loss aid, natural or otherwise will by itself make you lose weight and keep it off. In fact, the ads for weight loss aids will usually state this very thing, even though it is in microscopic print at the bottom of the ad.

So, the foundations of natural weight loss are diet and exercise. With a good diet and exercise program in place, you may get additional benefits from using one or more of the natural weight loss products on the market. But do your research to find a product that serves your particular needs. In other words, if you're not overeating out of hunger, don't buy an appetite suppressant. If you're already minimizing your fat intake, don't waste your money on a fat blocker.

Now, once you have your weight loss plan in place with your diet, exercise program, and whatever natural weight loss aids you choose to use, there's one little thing that needs to happen for you to successfully lose weight. You have to stick to the program! If there's one thing that renders the vast majority of natural weight loss efforts ineffective, it's a lack of follow-through.

It has been my experience that very few people stick to a natural weight loss program consistently for more than two weeks at a time. Sure, some of them may "try to lose weight" for months at a time, but they cheat so often and they are so inconsistent with their efforts, they fail to make any real progress.

Recent research comparing different natural weight loss approaches found something very interesting. The overall success rates of most of the currently popular diet programs were about the same. The success or failure of any given diet had little to do with what the approach was. In other words, low carb, low fat, calorie restriction, eating for blood type, etc., really didn't matter. What mattered was whether or not the individual stuck to the program! To sum it up, it doesn't matter so much what you do to lose weight (within reason), as much as it matters that you do it consistenty long-term!

To follow-through with your natural weight loss plan, you MUST get control of your mind. There are many ways to do this and many different techniques that work to varying degrees for different people. You can get a lot of help in this area with products from Anthony Robbins, Dr. Phil, and others, as well as through technologies like hypnosis, the Sedona Method and Emotional Freedom Technique. You may need to try several methods to find what works well for you.

Whatever method you use, the real secret to natural weight loss success has little to do with the latest weight loss product or the newest diet or exercise fad. The real secret is to choose a reasonable approach that includes diet, exercise (choose an exercise you are physically capable of doing - starting with advanced kickboxing if you've been a couch potato your whole life is not going to work!), and possibly one or more weight loss aids and then make that program a part of your daily life forever. And the way to make that happen is to take control of your mind and get your brain working with you rather than against you. Good luck!

Dr. George Best has been in private practice as a holistic healthcare provider in San Antonio, Texas since 1992. For more information, to obtain a free natural weight loss guide, and/or to access his E-Book, "Training Your Brain For Weight Loss", please visit his website on Natural Weight Loss.

Natural Weight Loss Begins Between Your Ears

There are huge numbers of weight loss methods and products on the market. Weight loss continues to be a popular goal, yet one that is rarely achieved in our society. While there are certainly extreme measures like surgery and drugs that can promote weight loss, these methods come with significant risks and drawbacks, which is why many people continually seek out and try more natural weight loss approaches.

Ultimately, natural weight loss comes down to some combination of diet and exercise. Although many approaches favor one or the other, the reality is that both diet and exercise are equally important and weight loss occurs much more rapidly with a combined approach. Although there are some weight loss aids that can assist with weight loss and potentially enhance the effects of diet and exercise, there really is not a substitute for diet and exercise.

There is much debate as to what works and what doesn't. On the diet front, some will proclaim Atkin's and other low or no carbohydrate approaches to be the only effective diet strategy. Others may insist that calorie restriction is the way to go. Still others may insist on the low-fat approach. The fact of the matter is that all of these diet systems work at least some of the time.

As with diet, there is considerable debate as to what exercise approach works best for weight loss. Some say you have to do high intensity "interval training". Some favor the long-time, low- intensity aerobic approach. Still others say any increase in any kind of physical activity works just fine. Again, all of these appoaches work at least for some people.

Various recent research studies into the vast array of weight loss approaches has come to a rather interesting conclusion: All weight loss approaches that are based on physiologically-sound principles seem to have about the same statistical success rate. What research has found to be the most critical factor in whether or not a weight loss approach is effective is... whether or not the person sticks to the program long-term.

It has been my experience in clinical practice that very few people stick to ANY weight loss plan (at least natural weight loss plans - not some type of weight loss drug) for more than about two weeks straight. Yes, some may stay on a weight loss plan for several months, but most are not consistent over that period of time. Most people start a diet and/or exercise program and will go for a few days, then get off-track for a few days, then go back on and off the program repeatedly. The times when they are off the program largely negate whatever progress they make while they are on the program.

Based on my experience with people trying to lose weight, the biggest factor in losing weight is not the diet or exercise the person is doing, it's the person's consistency with whatever he or she is doing. The ability to be consistent with a natural weight loss program comes down to motivation and will-power. In other words, if you're going to lose weight and keep it off, you MUST get control of your mind so that you can have sufficient motivation and will-power to stick to the weight loss plan.

Developing motivation and will-power requires more than just deciding to lose weight. You must be able to handle all sorts of temptations and resist them. Unfortunately, most human beings are not born with the natural ability to resist temptations, and without proper preparation, it is far to easy for temptation to overcome one's motivation and will-power to lose weight. For this reason, I recommend using a variety of mental conditioning techniques BEFORE one begins a natural weight loss plan. By preparing the mind in advance, one is far more able to resist temptation and stay sufficiently motivated to stick to the plan.

Among the most useful techniques I have found for this purpose include Neuro-Linguistic Progamming, Neuro-Associative Conditioning (developed by Anthony Robbins), various forms of self-hypnosis, the Sedona Method, Emotional Freedom Technique, and simply taking the time to clearly identify one's reasons for wanting to lose weight in the first place. By using any or all of these methods, temptation can be largely eliminated and one is able to stick with his or her diet and/or exercise program long-term, which allows for consistent weight loss and maintenance of one's weight once the goal is achieved.

Dr. George Best is the author of the E-Books, "Training Your Brain For Weight Loss" and "The Total Solution For The Weight Loss Impaired". For more information, please visit Natural Weight Loss.

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