As you resolve to lose weight in 2021, you might think that the whole world has conspired to bring you weight loss tips, tools, tricks, and treats – all from pure coincidence bang on 1st Jan 2013. Not really. Weight loss is a hook and you, dear reader and general consumer are the fish being baited. In the midst of all this marketing hoopla about weight loss friendly breakfast cereals, 10-minute workouts that don’t make you sweat, and easy, easy, easy tips, I’d like to discuss some truths.
Weight loss is not easy.
If someone promises easy weight loss that won’t take any effort, then they’re either lying to you to get your money, or tricking you to get your money. Let me explain. Lying – that’s easy. Person A says, “two 10 minute workouts per week is all you need to lose weight while eating everything you want.” That’s an outright lie. Person B says, “Practise this simple diet plan to lose weight easily.” That’s a trick. What person B is really saying is: “The diet plan is simple, but your sticking to it will not be easy.”
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Weight loss is not about just one – single – a lifestyle change.
Some pundits will scream themselves hoarse with announcements like – “Eat this just once a day and you’ll lose weight,” or “you don’t need exercise to lose weight!” And they would be wrong. Intentionally wrong. You see, everyone in the health business more or less thinks that quick and easy weight loss is the best way to bait a customer, along with of course good pricing and scalability. And they’re not wrong. The best of folks routinely fall for quick weight loss tricks and products. I’ve seen extremely intelligent people fall for goofs like one cup of green tea a day will just magically melt all the body fat away. Not true. You don’t need one new habit to lose weight the healthy way, you need several altered and some new habits that will, together, heal your body’s unhealthy fat storage ways and make you leaner and stronger.\
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The only quick weight loss out there is unhealthy and you really shouldn’t seek it.
Weak immunity, severe relapses of uncontrollable weight gain, weak bones, depleted muscles, poor flexibility, dysfunctional core…these are just some of the things you welcome into your life when you aspire to lose weight quickly and through unhealthy means like crash dieting, over-exercising (read: Living on the treadmill for 4 hours a day), incorrect dieting.
That last one – incorrect dieting – is what several second-time weight loss aspirants need to watch out for.
Why? Because there is such a plethora of misinformation, half-truths and ridiculous weight loss advice streaming through the interwebs through marketeers, self-declared experts, and one-size-fits-all practitioners that you will be confused and end up following the wrong nutrition info.
Be wary of people who say: “But I tried it and it worked for me.”
Be wary of people who take a nanosecond to turn around and advise you about how you should lose weight when they have absolutely no information about your nutritional requirements, your exercise habits, your lifestyle, your daily routine, even sleeping habits. I call these quick, knee-jerk advice-givers: BS Pundits.
And you’ve met them all. You’ve met the guy who disses trainers because he’s never really worked with a good one, but that’s a nuance that goes unsaid. You’ve met the girl who says weight training is bad because it makes her body stiff. You’ve met the aunty who tells you not to eat ‘non-veg’ if you want to be ‘slim-trim.’ You’ve met the random stranger on Twitter, who – without having spoken to you for a single second – will declare that running for an hour a day is the best way that you will lose weight.
The difference between an expert and a BS Pundit is that an expert worth his/her salt will ask you questions, consider all your needs, evaluate and discuss your preference, roadblocks, etc, and THEN give you some tips, advice, charts, programmes. A BS Pundit will just say some nonsense he’s half-read somewhere. Sure, it might have worked for him. But really, in my experience, I’ve yet to meet a BS pundit who’s actually fit.
So, what is this thing called healthy weight loss then? You might say I make it sound like a giant Herculean task that is riddled with issues of misinformation and baiters. I realise it sounds like that. But. Honest opinion? Weight loss – healthy weight loss – is ridiculously clinical. Math geniuses would ace it in a heartbeat. Here’s why.
What goes in adds up.
What goes out takes away.
All nutrients are added up to make sense.
All exercise is programmed with efficiency and results in mind.
Some foods need to be checked for frequency.
Numbers. Focus. Dedication. Results.
You don’t need a fancy new cereal that costs 800 bucks a pop. You don’t need a bag of green tea sachets that take away all tea-drinking joy out of your life. You don’t need that ridiculously expensive gym membership. All you need are the following three pillars of healthy weight loss:
- A daily diet that is balanced in all nutrients as per your specific requirements.
- An exercise programme that addresses your weight loss and health goals.
- The will to succeed.
To map out these pillars of weight loss, you first need to do a little bit of unlearning. Once you’re done discarding all the rubbish weight loss advice the world around you has propagated through BS Pundits, you need to arm yourself with knowledge. Seek out credible information. I could list out credible information online for you, but – again – I would stand the risk of giving you a mould when what you need is to create it for yourself. If that takes consulting a nutritionist or trainer, or both, who haven’t just done some one week course in BS Pundit’ry, then do it.
If it takes shadowing someone you consider close to your lifestyle and goals, then do it. But whatever you do, do with dedication. Don’t workout and eat to support certain goals and then falter on sleep, rest and recovery. Be aware of how you are treating your body.
With that, I wish you the very best and hope that you will be fit and healthy in 2021! Stay strong.