Healthy Weight Loss is Easy isn't it? According to the Ads...

There are many advertised ways of losing weight. Fancy diets, exercise boot camps, expensive supplements and meal substitutes. Most cost money, and few are really fun and enjoyable.

They can, in short, be classed into 3 groups

  • Ways of making you move more to use up more calories
  • Ways of limiting your eating by selling you shakes, bars or soups and forbidding you from eating anything else.
  • Ways of increasing your metabolism, or driving fat-burning with expensive supplements.

 Willpower not included

In short, they offer a product that you have to pay for, but then you are also expected to supply the willpower to match the weight-loss success stories in their advertising materials.

Uhhm...If following a successful weight loss program is all about willpower, and if willpower, the one thing you have to bring to the program is as easy to come by as these products suggest (turn up weekly for your exercise class, don't let anything pass your lips except what we sell you, take this supplement as part of a reduced calorie diet...) why are you continually searching the internet for the best weight loss tips?

The only way to cut body weight down to a healthy size, is to cut the amount of calories going into your body and increase your  activity  to burn up the calories already stored in your body as fat. Deep down we all know this is true so why are we all not an ideal size and body weight? This is where willpower comes in . So why are we looking for magic, extreme weight loss resources and not looking for programs to increase our willpower? Because it's actually very hard to improve someone's will power and it's even harder to sell them something to do it. So even if we looked for it, we probably wouldn't find it.


Take up a New Hobby

A new hobby will actually decrease the need for you to work too hard on your willpower. After all will power is just an ability to resist those constant urges to eat. Well,  if your main interest in life at the moment is losing weight – I guarantee you spend most of your day thinking about food. There's nothing you can do about it. Your mind and body are as tied up in the whole weight-loss game as you are.

So give yourself something else to think about. A new hobby that really interests you is all-absorbing. Too much of your brain energy will be diverted towards learning about your hobby and you will spend less time thinking about food.

Chose your hobby well

Your new hobby could be something active – which is great, it will help burn up those calories you're not consuming, so they have to come from your fat stores - but it doesn't have to be. It just has to be all-absorbing. Whenever you have a free moment, you won't open the fridge out of boredom to see if there's anything “interesting” in there, you'll try to devote those few minutes to your new hobby.

  • If you have a camera lying around at home, learn to use it to its best effect. Read about photography, discuss it in on-line forums, maybe even get so good, you can use your pictures for websites, or print them off and give them as gifts.
  • Maybe you've always looked at windsurfers with a strange kind of envy. You want to fly along the surface of the water at those phenomenal speeds. And there's plenty of books, magazines and websites devoted to surfing to occupy you when you're not on the water.
  • Or you have a garden full of beautiful flowers or a new florist has opened up in your area. Flower arranging can be very rewarding, both for your home and to give as gifts. If you volunteer at your local church it can give you a way of meeting people.

There are as many possible hobbies as there are types of people. It might take you a few attempts until you find the activity that will truly keep you absorbed, but when you find it, you'll know it.

The Payoff

Believe it or not, as long as you make a moderate effort with your everyday diet (use energy and creativity to plan what you will eat and not focus on what you can't), you will soon begin to see a slow but steady and healthy weight loss. You can even use your hobby as a form of weight loss motivation:

  • When I get down to X weight I will buy my own wetsuit, so I don't have to use the rental ones in the surfing centre.
  • When I lose Y pounds, I will buy myself a new florist's shears.
  • When I fit into a size Z I will buy a new lens for my camera.

And instead of thinking about food all the time think instead about your incentive. There's a slice of chocolate cake in the fridge. It looks really yummy, a lovely moist cake, and as for that frosting... I'd hate it to go to waste... But if I eat it now, it might take an extra week before I get that new lens, and I'd love to have it in time for the baby's first birthday ... And anyway one of the kids will eat the chocolate cake when they come home. 

And suddenly the piece of chocolate cake is a lot less tempting, and a barrier to meeting an important goal like getting a new lens.

Willpower – who needs it?