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Have you ever wondered why a lot of people struggle with weight loss? It could be possible that you are one of those people who have tried in vain to shed some pounds.

Some actually stick with their diets and lose the weight only to regain it again soon after. Consequently, people become caught up in a vicious circle of gaining, losing and gaining weight. And yet the reason for this is so simple and straightforward.

So why do people fail with weight loss programs?

Well as I said the reason is simple. In almost all weight loss failure situations, people fail because they always treat weight loss as a crash program.  We live in a modern society where people are impatient and want things to happen now.

Those who want to get rich want to do it quickly, and those who wish to lose weight want it to happen instantly. As a result, we regularly hear of `magical` 12-week weight loss programs being touted.

They are composed of rigorous diets and exercise regimes that are designed to help you lose weight in the shortest time possible.

The selling point of these weight loss plans is always the time factor. They will show you a fat individual`s picture, and then show you that same individual 8 weeks later after using the program and wow!!!!

All the weight is gone. Suddenly they have an athletic body to die for.  Now I am not going to speculate as to whether the rapid weight loss in those examples is real or not. That is not why I am writing this article.

My only argument is that such high intense, crash programs are difficult to sustain for the majority of individuals who genuinely want to live healthy lives.

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So what is the problem with crush programs?

One of the biggest problems you will find with crush, short-time restricted, programs is that they ask too much of the individual.

Suddenly weight loss becomes hard work and the natural reaction is usually that of dread. It all becomes unpleasant and once that happens all motivation is lost and ultimately the weight loss effort fails.

Secondly, crush programs fail to address the reasons why people gain weight. They focus more on the weight than its causes. You cannot successfully address a problem unless you fully understand why the problem occurred in the first place.

A person takes years and years to gain weight, how can they expect to lose it all in three months?

So what is the best way to lose weight?

The best way to lose weight is to first look at why a person gained weight in the first place. And the reason is usually very straight-forward.

Very often you will realize that they gained weight because they picked up bad eating habits over the years. So in order to lose weight, they simply need to pick up good eating habits over the next few years. Let us look at habits a little bit more.

Habits

A habit generally forms over a long period of time. They say it starts as a thought, then the thought becomes an act and if the act is repeated regularly, it gradually becomes a habit.

Let me give you an example: A man living a healthy lifestyle and weighs 55kgs walks into a pizza shop. `Oh the food smells really nice`, so he buys a slice. Now there is nothing wrong with that.

The problem is that he then comes back again tomorrow and this time buys 2 slices, and again on the third day, all the time increasing his number of slices until he can finish a whole pizza alone, in one sitting.

Only he doesn’t stop there. He then begins to love that pizza so much that he starts to have it twice a day, and then three times, and so forth.

Gradually the individual begins to gain weight.  Meet him 4 years later and he weighs 180kgs. That is essentially how people gain weight.

So how do I successfully and permanently lose weight?

You see weight gain is all about lifestyle and its habits. A smoking addict never starts as a 20 a day man.

He gradually builds up to it. Similarly, if you seriously want to lose weight, the best way to do it is to start by gradually building new, healthy eating, habits in your life. If you currently eat 3 pizzas a day, start by eating 2 a day.

And when you become comfortable with eating two, then drop to one, and eventually stop altogether.

Take advantage of the bad foods that you eat but are not addicted to. Those need to go first because you won`t miss them.

Those that you have become addicted to, pose a bigger problem. However, just gradually come off them. If you have not been an exercise person then start by taking a walk for half an hour each day.

The build it up to a brisk pace for half an hour, then a slow pace jog, and so on. Be comfortable with what you are doing and you will find that you last longer and go further with your efforts.

If you are comfortable doing it then you can do it much more often and as time goes on you can even begin to enjoy it. Suddenly you will be surprised that you can no longer do without it. Good habits form just as bad ones do.

If you eat the right healthy foods many times enough you can easily begin to develop a habit for eating healthy foods.

I used to drink a lot of sugar in my tea. I used to put 4 teaspoons of sugar in a mug size cup and that habit started when I was 7 years old. Then one day I just decided I wanted to stop taking sugar.

So I made a plan that I would get off sugar completely within the next four months.  I dropped a teaspoonful of sugar each month and by the end of the 4th month, I no longer took sugar with my tea.

Now I haven’t taken sugar in with my tea for over 5 years and I am never tempted to. I almost throw up if I taste sugar in my tea. If you gradually start to hate bad food, you can eventually hate it for good.

Your body can also start to react to those kinds of food. It`s all about one gradual step at a time.

Instead of saying I want to lose a large amount of weight in the next 3 or 4 months, decide to have built a good permanent healthy diet over the next year and a half to two years.

Slowly remove the bad unhealthy food from your diet and gradually replace it with healthy alternatives.

Loose Skin

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One other advantage of gradual weight loss is you will not have skin hanging down when you complete your diet.

This is because our skin has elastic tissues and fibers in the dermis and sub-dermis. This allows it to stretch or contract depending on how it is treated. However, the skin can only stretch or contract gradually.

It is not a balloon that you can inflate and deflate instantly. Skin can take 2 years to shrink. If you are on a gradual weight loss program, your skin can also gradually shrink as your body shrinks.

If you lose your weight in two years as opposed to 2 months, I guarantee you that you will never have to worry about hanging skin.

Health Risks

However, there is an exception here. Gradual weight loss should be done if your weight is not causing urgent health concerns. If your weight is such that you could be dead any time soon because of the health risks it poses then rapid weight loss may be the way to go.

Listen to your Doctor

I am going to make this last point. Before you start dieting to lose weight, first listen to what your doctor has to say about your weight loss effort, and not what your gym instructor tells you.

Your doctor knows much more about health and diets than your gym instructor. Doctors know how your body will react to rapid weight loss. You may risk shocking your body if you embark on a rapid weight loss, crash course.

Therefore consult your medical practitioner before you start any weight loss program. You will also find that following diets and weight loss programs outlined by hospitals is much more helpful, effective, and much safer.

They place more importance on safe weight loss and are more knowledgeable about the health implications of weight loss.

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