If you are overweight, reaching optimum health will involve losing that extra weight. Unfortunately, this is much easier said than done. Sometimes it may seem as if you are getting nowhere fast, take a deep breath, relax and read on. Some of the reasons why weight loss is hard include being inconvenient, improper education about nutrition, and needing to satisfy cravings for certain tastes. But more often than not, the reason ends up being plain old hunger.
If you have been unable to lose extra weight due to inconvenience, education, or taste, then you already know what you need to do. Important things are seldom convenient, you need to educate yourself about proper nutrition, and you have to make sacrifices about your cravings for certain tastes. (Fortunately, most of those cravings go away once you eat the right foods.)
But if you are troubled by hunger, you might not be certain how you can deal with that. In fact, if you were like I was, it may be more than just hunger. You may get to where you are simply unable to function when you try to diet. If you simply cannot function when you cut back on excess calories, I have some bad news and some good news for you. The bad news is that you are probably on the road to poor health. The need to consume extra calories is a good indication that you are out of balance in one or more ways. The good news is that, if you can address these issues, you will find weight loss much easier.
In my case, I had to eat all the time to minimize feeling lousy. Mind you, this didn’t mean I felt great. Instead, I was trying to avoid feeling worse. Once I was able to turn things around, I now eat a fraction of what I ate before and feel much better. This doesn’t mean I always feel great now—I don’t. But if you can get your system in balance, the impediments to losing extra weight just seem to go away.
Exactly how you address this depends on your individual circumstance, which I can’t address in detail here. But a likely culprit is refined carbohydrates. If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, then perhaps you should think hard about getting sweets out of your diet. And if you really don’t think you could eliminate sweets, then I would say you absolutely need to do just that. Excess cravings for sweets are not healthy or natural. And the stronger those cravings are, the more important it is that you deal with what is causing them.
For the record, I even limit fruits because I was diabetic. If you have healthy blood sugar levels, then fruit should be okay. But if you could go as far as to eliminate everything that is refined or contains sugar (as I have done), you would be much better off. If you crave sweets, you would almost certainly see your hunger and cravings diminish, and the weight would come off. In addition, you would most likely find that you could function much better.
I can’t come close to addressing all my thoughts on this issue here, but the bottom line should be that, just because you feel terrible when you eat less, it does not mean that you cannot change this. If you eat healthy, you are likely to find that you can eat far less than you needed to before and feel better as well. Your food choices should be foods packed with the most nutrients and not those packed with the most calories. Note that this change may not be possible to do overnight.
While I would recommend dropping sweets and refined carbohydrates overnight, your body will need time to adjust. In fact, I felt horrible when I was first making this transition. But once the transition had been fully made, the results were nothing less than amazing to me. There is a related issue I should mention, and that is stress. If you are easily stressed out (whether you are aware of it or not), this can impact your health and diet in a number of important ways.
Stress can cause your body to release various types of adrenalines. In order for your body to prepare you for the impending emergency suggested by your emotional stress, the response is to raise blood-sugar levels, stored fat, and prevent the release of stored fats. This is to ensure you will have plenty of energy available once that emergency arrives. If that’s not enough, it also stimulates appetite to further increase the amount of available energy.
While this response may be appropriate in some stressful situations—situations you are unlikely to run across in modern times—the long term effects of such conditions damage both your waistline and your health. Some research even suggests that stress can contribute to diabetes, as it may have in my case.
Don’t underestimate what proper nutrition can do for you. Just because you feel you absolutely need to continue your bad eating habits, don’t assume that you cannot change this. You should learn what you need to know about proper nutrition and then make the switch, and then give your body time to adjust.
If those cravings don’t eventually go away then, most likely, you have simply not changed enough. While hunger is natural, excess hunger and cravings are not. Deal with the cause of those cravings (often poor diet and health) and the rest will follow. The bottom line is that losing excess weight is easy when you follow a healthy lifestyle.