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Focusing on losing weight is very counterproductive. How many people have you known who've focused on losing weight and they did lose weight for a short period of time (using fad diets, starvation, or other quick methods) only to gain the weight back in the long term. In many of these cases, they end up heavier (and in worse shape) than they were before they set out to lose weight. If you are one of these people, it is time for a paradigm shift. How many times are you going fail using the same approach before trying a different approach? It's time to stop approaching it with different fad diets, quick-fix pills, starvation, and other short-term-gain methods. It has been said that approaching something the same way again and again while expecting a different result is mere insanity. It is time for a new focus or a new approach as I am offering here, as seemingly unconventional as it may be.
It begins with your mind. The first step is to put your mind on the right focus. What is the right focus? That depends on what it is that you want and this is exactly where we begin. Get out a notepad and write down what you want. If you write that you want to lose weight (as most of my clients do), your should also write why you want to lose weight. In most cases, my clients realized that losing weight is not really what they ultimately want. Here are some common examples from my clients:
1. "I want to lose weight because I want to look slim and look attractive…"
2. "I want to lose weight because I am afraid for my health. I am overweight and I have a family history of diabetes and coronary disease. There have been deaths in my family from these diseases…"
3. "I want to lose weight because I want to be a better basketball player…"
Example 1 represents many of my clients where they want to look slim and attractive. In these cases, it is best to first focus on increasing the body's metabolism (measured by BMR). The second focus would be decreasing the size of the waist (as measured by waist-to-hip-ratio). It has been supported in psychological studies that individuals with slimmer waists (regardless of weight) are perceived by most people as being more attractive. Also, people with smaller waists are less likely to get diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic diseases that could kill you. The third focus is decreasing the body-fat percentage. The last focus is overall weight. It is last because just "losing weight" does not differentiate between the types of weight you are losing. For example, you should not lose bone and muscle weight but you definitely should lose fat weight.
Priority of Focus
1. Increasing metabolism (BMR or RMR)
2. Slimming down the waist (waist-to-hip-ratio)
3. Decreasing body fat percentage
4. Overall weight
As you can see here, I am not really discouraging people from losing weight, but I am teaching you that overall weight usually should be the last focus. First, you have to clearly know what you want. Most people who say they want to lose weight actually have a different root desire, such as wanting to look more attractive. In that case as you can see from the above "priority of focus" list, it is more effective in the long term to focus first on increasing your RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate or the rate your body burns calories.)
I will be teaching you how to increase your RMR in future blogs. For now, be sure to take 10 minutes or so today to write down all the reasons why you want to "lose weight", or slim down. If you really want this, taking 10 minutes to do this should be no problem. (If you can't take 10 minutes to do this, then your problem is that you don't want it enough. In that case, no program anywhere will be able to help you. This is another common reason why many fail again and again. Failure starts with the mind, but success also starts with the mind.)
So let's do this. Take out a notebook or pull up a word document on your computer (whichever you prefer):
(1) Write down your physical goal(s) whether it is losing weight, gaining weight, or any other goal.
(2) Explain why that's your goal. For example, if it's losing weight, write down all the reasons why you want to lose weight. Generally, the more you come up with, the better.
(3) Visualize how you will be and how you will look when you achieve 100% (or even 50% of) what you aim for. Imagine also how you will feel. Write them down. Describe how you will be, how you will look, and how you will feel.
If you already keep a daily diary, you could write in there. No one needs to see it. It's only for you and for programing your own mind. (If you don't program your own mind, someone else will, such as companies and advertisers.) Once you have it written down, you should review it often so that you could keep these in mind during your SpirFit walk. I will teach you about SpirFit walk, or SMP walk, in upcoming blogs.
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Copyright: © 2008, 2011. This document is the sole property of Amadeo Constanzo. You may use this article for free on your web site, blog, or other publication if and only if you include this entire copyright notice including the following links and statement. Other free teachings from Amadeo Constanzo can be found at SpirFit.com and SpirFit.org
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