Torres column: You need motivation to lose weight
The other day I had a conversation with a gentleman about the book I published this year. He seems to be in pretty good shape. Before I could tell him anything about weight loss, he said that the formula is pretty simple: calories in and calories out. I told him that he was right, and you readers probably already know this.
But if it’s so simple, why are so many people still overweight and can’t lose weight? The truth is there’s more to the whole weight loss approach than calories in and calories out. For instance, here is a superficial example, but pertinent nonetheless: The 200 calories from a beer are not the same as the 200 calories from broccoli (obviously, right?). Burning 300 calories of muscle is not the same as burning 300 calories of fat. (Fat is what you want to get rid of, and muscle is what you want to keep.) And why do people decide to eat junk food or other empty calories instead of healthy calories?
The question is — and this is what I focus on most — what is your motivation to continue bad habits? Or, conversely, what would motivate you to practice good habits? Your health? Your kids? Your wedding? The swim suit you have collecting dust in your closet? Increasing your self-confidence? Attracting a new boyfriend/girlfriend? Living longer? Having more energy? Because once you find a real motivation, the rest is easy and you will do anything to get it.
It would be completely useless if I went to a homeless person who smokes, drinks alcohol and is just trying to survive and tell him, “Hey, my friend, you need to exercise.” He needs — as do we all — to understand his priorities and the life he wants. Maybe a homeless person has no motivation to stay healthy and do something for his life because he is more concerned about his next meal.
What about you? Do you have motivation?
Setting up your weight-loss and fitness program is the easy part. The most challenging part of my career is to open your eyes and show you the reality of weight loss, and to continue to remind you why you want to lose weight, be in shape and, overall, be healthy.
Do you agree with me? Maybe you have already overcome the challenge of bad habits and now you are thinking about the food you eat and your next exercise routine. Or are you on the other end? Have you stopped for a minute and thought about what motivates you to start your fitness program and what might sabotage it?
This is worth repeating: Once you find your real motivation to lose weight and stay healthy, you will find a way to do it.
Sandro Torres is owner of Custom Body Fitness in Carbondale, author of the book “Lose Weight Permanently” and a Watch Fit columnist. His column appears on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month in Body & More.
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