Healthy Weight Loss Program

A healthy weight loss program, in my mind, is losing weight in a balanced way that accounts for a person's age and current fitness level.  It involves a lifestyle-changing balance of exercise and nutrition to transform his/her body in a way that will permanently benefit them.  In other words, it is a healthy process.

Too often, people try to lose weight rapidly by using starvation diets or other unhealthy methods.  Both are unhealthy processes.  On this page, without naming names, I will discuss the differences.

healthy weight loss program

Unhealthy Weight Loss Traits

From a big picture perspective, an unhealthy weight loss program does not deliver lasting weight loss.  Because the process does not encourage our body to lose weight in a healthy manner, it "fights back" against what we are doing. 

In fighting back, our bodies will feel weak, tired and under-nourished.   If you have tried any of the weight loss methods shown below and you listened to your body, you know exactly what I am talking about.

Unhealthy weight loss processes include:

1.  The latest fad diets.  You know the ones I'm talking about.  You see the commercials on TV and in magazines in a big way.  Then, almost as soon as they started showing up, they vanish.  Somebody made a bunch of money selling the plans and got out while the getting was good.  These typically encourage extreme behavior or eating large amounts of certain foods to the exclusion of a variety of healthy foods.  A balanced diet is always the way to go. 

2.  Weight loss pills.  With a very few exceptions, our bodies have the ability to lose and maintain weight without pills.  These pills often contain high doses of metabolic enhancers.  This is clearly not sustainable.   Again, I encourage using a long-term healthy weight loss program.  In addition, the body does not know what to do with some of these pills and supplements.  As a result, our insulin gets out of balance and we just don't feel good.  Long-term, these are not good for your heart or brain.  A cup of coffee or diet soda with caffeine during the day is ok.  Balance as part of a healthy nutrition and exercise program is the key.

3.  Eat and purge.  This doesn't even sound good....and it isn't.  Your body gets no nutrition from this which, of course, is not healthy at all. 

4.  Starvation/no calories.  I used to watch my wrestling friends in high school live on celery for a day or two before weighing-in for meets.  Man, were they grumpy!  They lost the weight, but it didn't last.   They repeated the cycle weekly.  Not fun.  In truth, our bodies need calories and fat.  Just make sure you are getting them from good sources.  I will cover nutrition elsewhere in this site.   Losing more than a pound per day on a regular basis is too fast!

5.  Over-training.  I am a firm believer in weight training as an integral part of a life-long healthy weight loss program.  However, rest is equally important.  Did you know that your muscles actually grow when you are sleeping?  Lifting stresses the muscle fibers.  Rest heals them and they grow in the process.  Larger muscle fibers burn more fat.  

Here is another list of bad traits.

Healthy Weight Loss Program Traits

Simplistically, losing weight in a healthy manner is the exact opposite of what I listed above.  You will note that the word "balance" shows up several times.  That is key to long-term success (another term you will see repeated frequently on this site). 

I like to keep things simple.  Here are my three traits of a healthy weight loss program.

1.  Fitness program.  Create a fitness program that focuses on building lean muscle mass, fat burning and a balanced amount of rest.  Listen to your body.  If you need an extra day off, take it.  Come back the next day and hit it hard with focus.  Work out between 3 and 5 days a week.  Again, 3 really good intense workouts are better than 5 sloppy ones.  Mix it up to keep it fresh.

2.  A healthy nutrition program.  Eat a balanced amount of lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, vegetables and good fats.  Watch your sodium intake (salty foods) and drink plenty of water (yes, it is boring but essential).   Have a cheat meal once a week so you can have your favorite pizza or bacon cheeseburger.   Trust me, it's good for the soul :)  Then, get right back to the balance.  Eat five small meals a day instead of "3 squares."  It keeps your body fed so it won't want to store up fat reserves.

3.  Be persistent.  There will be times where you won't see much, if any, progress.  That is normal.  Believe me, your body is changing on the inside.  The external changes will come.  Focus on how your clothes are fitting vs. pure weight.  Remember, muscle is more dense than fat.  As you make those trades, weight may not come off, but your weight will be "better weight." 

Using all the resources on, you will build a very healthy weight loss program that fits you perfectly  This is a journey, not a destination.  You are making a lifestyle change.  Embrace it!

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