Last night children walked the streets at night gathering candy and junk food from their kind neighbours. Over the next few days the children will be munching through all the candy and cakes while the healthy pumpkin soup is ignored.
This marks the start of the holiday season, which is also affectionately known by some as the fat season or the obesity season. Over the next 2 months people will start consuming more and more foods. Thanksgiving parties and meals will soon be followed by Christmas buffets, family banquets, with ample snacks and candy in between and then all washed down with New Year feasts.
In just over 2 months the New Year will start and people will realise that they have gained 20 pounds during the holiday season as a result of eating too much and then in a panic renew their gym membership and try to burn off the fat.
This happens every year. 12 months is not a long time, but it seems to be just long enough for people to forget that eating too much makes them fat, unhealthy and often feeling that they have let themselves down.
Eating Makes Us Fat, So How Do We Lose Weight?
The most common mistake people make each year, at least the ones that say “I have tried everything to lose weight and failed” is that they think that exercise is the magical cure for being overweight.
We get fat because we eat too much. So why would exercise help reverse this? To reverse the effects of eating too much, you have to change your eating habits and eat too little. That is the only way to lose weight, whether you are exercising or not. Of course, the best course of action is to take preventative measures to ensure that you do not gain weight.
Why Snacks Make You Fat
Every day overweight people are snacking on “just a sandwich” or a similar sized snack, to fill the gap between breakfast and lunch. Especially those that have just joined the gym. It is these small snacks that people so often forget to count when tallying up their daily calories. People have a habit of forgetting all the things that they eat and massively underestimate how many calories they are consuming.
Another common problem is “health snacks” and “protein shakes”. Many people think that health snacks are by definition healthy. They are not. OK, they may be low in saturate fat, some may be low in sugar. But if you current health problem is your weight, then all snacks may as well be classed as unhealthy. Anything you eat that takes you above your daily calorie limit for weight loss is unhealthy.
Protein Shakes Make You Fat
Protein shakes are another problem. People join a gym, lift weights for 20 minutes, and then read that they need more protein to make their muscles grow. This is true, but the average gym user gets enough protein in their diet to help recover from 20 minutes of weight lifting, and any protein supplements on top of their diet just adds more calories.
If you are following a very strict diet then protein shakes are useful as you can control specifically how much protein you are consuming. But if your diet is not strictly monitored then it is most likely you will just consume more calories than you need for weight loss.
How To Lose 2 Pounds a Week
The shocking truth is that if you want to lose weight you really do not need to eat much at all. 1000 calories a day will help the average woman lose 2 pounds a week. Any more and you will lose weight slower. This is like eating 3 sandwiches a day and nothing else. For men around 1500 calories a day will help lose 2 pounds a week. The general rule of thumb is to consume 1000 calories less than your maintenance requirements to lose 2 pounds a week. This table shows how many calories you need.
Most people will feel that this is too little. Some people will say that this advice is so bad that it could lead to eating disorders. This is really nonsense though. To lose weight you need to restrict calories. You will not starve to death on 1000 calories a day, in fact if done correctly you will not even suffer any hunger pangs.