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Disclaimer:   We are not doctors or health care professionals.  Instead we are a bunch of average everyday people who have struggled with weight just like most people.  The advice here is based on a very large amount of reading and research and everyday experience.  We are not responsible or liable for any actions you take based on what you read here.  You should always consult with your doctor and specialist before attempting any of this.

Stop wasting all that money to lose weight!

It is amazing how much money is spent on weight loss pills, plans, videos, clubs, books and products.  This product segment is a marketers dream, and it is easy to see why.  If you ask most people, they will tell you they sometimes struggle with their weight and want to lose a few pounds.  And people are willing to pay a lot of money to do it.  Save yourself some money and a lot of reading, let us simplify it for you right here!  What is the BEST way to lost weight?  

After extensive reading and research on this topic, we have come to a simple conclusion.  While there is marginal success with some products, there is no miracle product.  Worse yet, there are a lot of safety issues with some of the “herbal” drugs that are out there.  Many people who do have success after spending all that money wind up gaining the weight back.  The answer on how to lose weight is can all be summed up in one phrase: Eat Less, Eat Better, Move More and consider changing the times of day you are eating.  

The only problem:  It is NOT EASY!  Why is it so hard?  To understand that is the true key to losing weight!  As with many struggles, the most important part is to understand the challenge so that you can overcome it.  To do that, you need to remember a very important yet simple concept.  

Food is a Drug!  The 2 sides of food

1)  The first we will call the food need.  The food need is the basic building block of life.  In order to live, you need food.  Nothing new here.  

2) The second use for food is really what drives weight loss.  That we will call the food drug.  That is an odd term but one that we chose to really hit home this concept.  The food drug means that we also eat food for reasons other than to sustain life.  What are those reasons?  Here are a few:

1) The social drug: So many of our social functions revolve around food.  Going on a date, usually you have a meal.  A family gathering, that is almost always around food.  Sporting events, loaded with food. Getting together with some friends, that will most likely be at a restaurant.  We use food as a social outlet and as a destination for many events and activities.  Have a business meeting?  Most will include food.  It is the most common social connection for people all over the world.

2) The emotional drug:  The term “stress eating” is used very often.  This means that when people are under stress, or pressure, they tend to eat more.  Food is a very powerful drug that we believe can make us feel better.  In our brains, food is good, and in bad times, we want something good to counter the bad.  And in these situations, binge eating can also take over.  

3) The pleasure drug: Our brains relate food to pleasure.  What is better than a triple chocolate donut with cream filling?  A huge ice cream sundae?  A big bucket of boardwalk french fries.  These all have powerful effects on us, simply because we enjoy them.  They are easy to get and very popular.  And the fact that every other commercial and billboard you see today shows off this pleasure drug, our brains and trained to want it.  It is legal, is is relatively inexpensive, readily available, and enjoyable.  So we want it.

In each of these cases, a majority of the food you eat is not a need. Sometimes food does serve both purposes, such as when you have a regular meal out.  But lets face it, the food need part of this is very small.  Your body doesn’t need a ½ pound burger with all the extras and fries to sustain life.  It can get by with a nice salad with some chicken on top.  

The key concept here is to recognize the part of food that is a drug.  And it is highly addictive.  There is a lot of research that shows the more you eat, the more you want to eat.  You train your brain that these are good things and you want more.  

If we begin to relate these behaviors to a food drug, we have a better chance of controlling it.  It is all about control, not elimination.  Some diets try to replace this food drug with what they call “healthy alternatives”.  These rarely are healthy.  That fat-free cake either tastes lousy and doesn’t satisfy the craving and/or it is loaded with junk that is doing more damage than good.

So what is the best way to lose weight?  Pick some of the options below AND continue to remind yourself of the mental aspect of the food drug you read above.  The more options you follow below, the more successful you will be.  Even if you only follow one option below, you are at least starting in the right direction!

The first part of the equation-the food you eat and when you are eating it:

1) Improve the food you eat to satisfy the food need part.  Stay away from processed foods, genetically modified foods, food coloring, etc.  There is a growing theory that actually blames the obesity problem on the fact that we eat so much processed food that contains added sugar.  A recent documentary titled “Fed Up” deals with this exact point.  It shows a brain scan after eating a lot of sugar and after using cocaine, and finds similarities.  

The most important concept for weight loss in this area is the quality of food.  There are countless success stories on people who have lost weight and improved their health by improving the type of food they eat.  The concept again is simple, the more fruits, vegetables and lean proteins you can eat and the less processed food, the better.  Consider the new healthy trend of juicing.  Click here to read our discussion on juicing.

2) Recognize that food is a drug.  When you are staring at the plate of cookies in the office, tell yourself that those cookies are a drug.  Understand that when you eat one, you will want a second.  And then you will want more.  When you crave a food, recognize that it is the food drug calling, not the food need.  If you always give in to the food drug, you will gain weight.   Do not think you can just completely cut out the food drug.  And this is the most important concept.  Allow yourself to have the drug every once in a while, in its pure form.  Don’t try and substitute that donut for some imitation.  Have the real thing.  When you have the drug, eat it slow, think about it, enjoy it, and remember it. And when you are done, tell yourself you just had the drug, and it was good. And now it is time to get back to only having the food need.  

3) Reward yourself for your hard work.  Tell yourself that if you keep things really light for a day or two and eat good, you will allow yourself to have some of the food drug.  Don’t go crazy, try and be as good as possible, but don’t substitute.  Once you have enjoyed the drug, get right back to just the food need. Continue this cycle.  You will find that you are slowly training your brain and body to recognize that the food drug is just a once in a while treat, not an everyday thing.  You will learn to recognize your cravings and understand why you have them.  You will see that you are having a drug and treating it that way.  

4)  Take a look at what you drink.  Cutting down or eliminating soda or other high sugar drinks has proven to have a huge impact on people.  Again these are also food drugs.  It is almost like quitting smoking. A recent study has concluded that drinking regular soda each day can age your body the same way that smoking does.  At first cutting these out is very hard, and you will have those cravings.  Water just isn’t very exciting.  But over time you will find that you feel better and can actually train yourself to eliminate these.  

5) It is not easy to simply cut down on such a powerful drug.  Find something else to help you get through the challenging times.  Chewing gum has proven to have great results.  When you get a craving, put on some music.  Put your mind on something else.  Give yourself some motivations.  If I do this for a certain number of days, I will reward myself with something.  Everyone needs motivation to help get through difficult challenges.  Keep in mind the huge emotional part of the food drug.

6) Drink more water.  There are different opinions on how much you should drink, so we will stick with the more the better.  Aside from helping with weight loss, research has shown that drinking water has many other great health benefits. You can find plenty of information on that as well.

7) Consider changing the times you are eating.  This one is a newer idea but one that is gaining traction with people.  Try to shift some of your calories to earlier in the day.  Recent studies have shown that people have had success if they eat earlier in the day.  A controlled group eating the same calories earlier in the day lost more weight than those that ate the same amount later in the day.  

Consider trying a small part of another concept gaining popularity.  It is sometimes referred to as the “Intermittent Fasting Diet.” This belief actually counters a very common diet theme of the past few years that says eat more frequent meals to keep your metabolism going.  The approach here is to have a stretch of time where you are not eating and your body is not digesting food.  Some studies show this to have a better impact than the small frequent meals approach.  Under this approach, your body is not always in a state of digestion which many believe to be the key to this diet.  

Try it:  Pick a time of the day when you have cutoff all food for that day.  As an example, say that after 2pm you will not eat again until the next morning.  Obviously this eliminates dinner.  Try it for a few days.  At first it will be hard as your body is used to eating dinner.  But it will get easier over time.  You don’t need to do it 7 days a week but try as many days as possible.  After the cutoff time all you have is water.  You can have bigger or more frequent meals as you need but once that cutoff time hits, you do not have even one single bite of food.  

In summary, The main theme again to keep telling yourself is that a big part of food is mental:  It is a drug.  Your brain is telling you that it wants this drug.  If you can control it while at the same time allowing yourself to have some it every once in a while, you will be amazed at the results.  

The second part of the equation-MOVE MORE!

This involves exercise, in any possible form.  There is some new research that shows a 10 minute workout can be almost as effective as a 40 minute workout.  The underlying theme here is that any form of exercise, for any length of time is better than none.  Anytime you can get your heart pumping is good.  Start just by doing something.  

Get up in the morning and hop on the treadmill for 10 minutes.  Or go take a bike ride.  Jump some rope for 5 minutes in the morning.  Do something, anything.  When you are done, the sense of accomplishment has a huge impact on your mental state.  It makes you feel better which will go a long way to help fight against the food drug.  Weight loss is

addictive as well.  Once people get started, momentum can go a long way.  But then once the excitement of it wears off, it is easy to fall off and reverse to a bad trend.  

Just continue to tell yourself:  I must not let that food drug control me, and I need to move whenever possible, even if just a few minutes.  You will be amazed at how good the results can be.  You don’t need to go spend money on books, programs, or videos.  Take some of the advice above and you can see results.  The more of these changes you make the better your results will be.

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