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Lose weight: 4 words

(The VinesNetwork) -- I've got some shocking news for people trying to lose weight before summer gets here.

The Atkins diet is a hoax. Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig should be taken to court for fraud. Slim-Fast is nothing but foul tasting, chocolate colored snake oil in a can. Meta-bo-life and its' clones are nothing more than a way to give your money away.

There's only one tried and true way to lose weight.

My drill sergeant summed it up in four simple one syllable words: "Eat less, run more."

Drill Sergeant Young was not the most politcally correct individual ever born but he knew how to get right to the point about things. His method for losing pounds was simple and very effective. The entire platoon only had half an hour to eat so the heavier guys went to the back of the line. That gave them less time to eat. Then he made sure that those young men got to run a little more than the rest of us during the day. Simple and effective it got the extra pounds off of the heavier guys in just eight weeks.

Going to boot camp strictly to lose weight is not a very practical idea but most doctors agree with the priciples of weight loss that get used there. Doctors will also tell over weight people that they have to make life style changes if they really want to have long term weight loss. Dropping the pounds off too quickly leads to those pounds (and a few of their friends) coming back later. It can also put unnecessary stress on the heart and other organs.

Where most people go wrong with weight loss is expecting drastic results immediately. No one gets fat overnight and expecting the fat to go away overnight is foolish. Patience with any weight loss program is going to be tough but, the best way to eat any elephant is one bite at a time. Here are a few ideas that can help cut the pounds off of anyone given time.

Start with a trip to the doctor before you do anything else. Get a complete physical and talk to your physician about how much weight you want to lose. Listen closely to what he tells you and remember it well. He knows more about taking the pounds off than any one hanging out at the office water cooler could ever hope to know.

Avoid any faddish diets, pills or exotic food plans. These may produce short term results but they will make you worse off in the long run. Eating only pineapple slices for three weeks will in fact cause a person to drop some pounds but it will more than likely cause a person to get frustrated and give up first. Common sense is wonderful thing, use it.

Eat the foods that your doctor recommended in the portion size he recommended. No one says that you can never have another slice of pizza or any more banana splits. They won't be something that you get to have every week either. Learn what a portion looks like and don't get more than a portion. Giving up seconds is a great way to start. Eating right has got to become a priority. If you aren't willing to eat the things the body was designed to digest then you are doomed from the start.

Eliminate candy and snack foods. This one breaks most people that are trying to get thinner. The best way to do it is with fresh fruit and hard cheeses. Make sure to have some type of fresh fruit around all the time that way when the urge for a Snickers bar hits, you can quell your appetite with something that's good for you. Real cheese (not those pasteurized slices or Velveeta) is a good snack too. It can fill you up with just a couple of moderately sized pieces and give your body nutrients that it needs.

Drink lots of water. The body needs more water than most of us give it in order to function properly. Start off slowly but build up to the point where eight large glasses of water a day is normal for you. When your urine is clear that's a sign that you are getting enough water. Not only will your body function better but you'll feel fuller and be less likely to want a snack during the day.

Get off your butt and go do something. Your doctor will give you a list of dos and don'ts for working out that you should stick to like a religion. It's up to you to find some kind of activity that you enjoy and start doing it. A great place to start though is walking. Almost everyone can spend 20 to 30 minutes a day walking around their neighborhood. Spending the time out doors will make you feel better in and of itself. Getting the heart working harder will increase your metabolism and make your body use some of the fat that's been packed away all these years.

Losing weight is a simple matter of physics. Burn more calories than you take in and you lose weight. Take in more than you burn and you gain weight. Like everything else Drill Sergeant Young taught us, the plan is easy but the execution is difficult. If dropping the pounds was easy to do everyone would look like Kate Moss.

Next time we'll talk about the discipline needed to make your plan work.

(c) 2001 The VinesNetwork

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