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This is the fastest way to lose weight

To lose weight and keep it off, aim to make one new fat-busting habit at a time, such as replacing all the sweet drinks you drink with water.
To lose weight and keep it off, aim to make one new fat-busting habit at a time, such as replacing all the sweet drinks you drink with water. Shawn McClendon

As we know, the question about how to lose weight is extremely common. I would imagine that this is perhaps the most commonly asked health/fitness-related question of the past several decades. Yet it continues to be more relevant than ever as a staggering two-thirds of the American population is overweight or obese.

In this column, I plan to answer the question of how to lose weight quickly as a few of my readers have requested, and I also would like to talk about how to lose weight practically.

As far as how to lose weight quickly, the answer is actually very simple. To cut the fat, you need to cut your energy intake. Body fat is simply an energy storage site for the body, and many of us have too much stored energy from consuming too much energy, especially in the form of sugar.

Cutting your energy intake works two ways. It keeps you from storing so much as fat, and it enables you to use your own stored energy as your energy source, which means that you actually lose the fat you have.

The biggest culprits in our society as far as fat gain is concerned are sweet drinks (sodas, fruit punches and juices, coffee drinks, etc.), processed foods and breads. Consuming these as regularly as we do causes us to literally flood our bodies with way more energy than we need, which puts the pancreas into an insulin-secreting hyperdrive, exhausting the organ and putting us at risk for Type 2 Diabetes.

If you’re an individual who drinks a lot of drinks, lives on packaged food and eats bread religiously, simply cutting these foods out of your diet will cause you to lose weight very quickly.

Now that we’ve talked about how to lose weight quickly, let’s talk now about how to lose it practically.

People lose lots of weight all of the time, but they usually gain it back. Being on this weight loss/weight gain roller coaster is not only no fun, it also causes a lifelong preoccupation with weight loss that has a way of holding you back from fully living the rest of your life.

This is how you skip all of the heartache: Permanent weight loss will happen when you develop and maintain weight loss habits. For that reason, it shouldn’t be rushed into. Let’s say again that you are the sweet drinks/processed foods/breads person. You already know that you need to cut most of these foods out, but to develop habits you need to cut the foods out gradually.

For example, tackling the sweet-drink desire is a good place to start. What you’re going to need to do is to focus on not just cutting the drinks out but on changing your desire for them so that you don’t need them anymore. Over a week or two, gradually reduce the amount of sweet drinks you consume while replacing them with water. When you do this long enough, you will find that you won’t desire the drinks nearly as much. As you develop this habit, permanent weight loss naturally happens.

After you’ve mastered your new drink habit, you could move on to the processed foods, cutting them and replacing them with green vegetables, for example. Focus only on developing this next habit until you’ve developed it fully. Then you can move on.

Then one day you’ll have a glance of yourself in the mirror and you’ll say, “Oh, I lost weight!” The coolest part about it is that because you’ve developed habits, you can know the weight loss is permanent.

Peach County resident Shawn McClendon is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and owner of the health/fitness blog YourHealthAtTheCrossroads.com. Email him with your questions at shawn@yourhealthatthecrossroads.com or at @ShawnB2B on Facebook.

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