Weight loss and physical fitness are two of the top New Years’ resolutions people make every year.   Losing weight isn’t easy for a multitude of reasons. Furthermore, the more overweight you are, the more challenging it is to reach your goals.

Getting a coach or personal trainer is one great way to help you.  Not only can a personal trainer help to make sure you are doing exercises properly, but an effective trainer can also keep you motivated through their passion and caring.  One such example is how a kind military veteran’s passion for physical fitness helps people on their own weight loss journey.

Legitimate difficulties with losing weight

No matter your weight goal, 20 pounds or 200 pounds, losing weight is a challenge.  There are a number of misconceptions regarding weight loss that can lead to demotivation and doing exercises improperly.  Certain health conditions can contribute to making it 3 times more difficult to lose weight as well.

Our mentality towards weight loss needs to be adjusted

People by nature are lazy unless they are getting a reward or sense of accomplishment out of what they are doing.   This holds true for dieting and exercising as well.  It’s one of the reasons people look for an easy and fast way to achieve what took them months or years to gain.

1.      Dieting is a lifestyle, not a short term option

We tend to think of dieting as a short term choice we are making.  In actuality, in order to maintain a certain weight or prevent weight gain, we need to establish certain eating choices depending upon our goal.  Eating healthy foods and decreasing calories and bad fat combined with consistent activity or exercise are generally the methods of losing weight.  As a result, your energy levels improve, your blood sugar is more stable, your cells in your body can perform better and you’re more mentally sharp.

Doing this does not necessarily require you to become a vegetarian or choose a specific diet such as Keto or Paleo.  It is a conscious adjustment to your eating pattern that encourages healthy, balanced food choices for a healthy body.  There is a multitude of balanced diets out there.  It may require a bit of trial and error to see which benefits you the most.

2.      There’s no quick fix for weight loss

I remember in high school that the common practice of losing weight was pretty much to starve yourself and maybe drink a lot of coffee to keep your energy up.  Not a smart idea, but it was high school.  Unfortunately, that mentality still exists except now it’s replaced by low-calorie protein shakes and bars with a lot of water.  It is advertised as a way to “flush the fat” out of your system, remove toxins and bloat.

The fact is, while you are still getting some nutrients from the protein shake, you are still lacking proper nutrients. This places your body in starvation mode, meaning it will hold onto extra fat.  Yes, you will lose weight and water and muscle.  After it is done, you will put weight back on twice as fast and usually more than you had before.  Medical doctors state that you should not lose more than 2 pounds per week to help ensure potential permanent weight loss.

It took you weeks, months, or years to put on the weight.  Logic dictates that it will take you almost the same amount of time to lose it by only adjusting your diet.  Exercise with diet may help you lose it a bit faster, but it would require a lot of dedication.

Losing weight requires a commitment to yourself, a dedication to achieving a healthy weight in a healthy manner.  Attempting a fad diet or extreme dieting will only continue the cycle of poor eating choices and weight gain for the rest of your life.  That is also why it is a lifestyle choice.  There is no true fast fix.

    • Pills or diet supplements

As part of the desire for a fast fix, many people try supposed “diet” pills or supplements.  Most diet pills contain epinephrine or caffeine to increase your heart rate under the idea that the result is an increase in your metabolism.  They also act as diuretics to potentially rid your body of excess water.  Neither will truly help you lose weight.

Exercise and weight loss

Exercise is great for your overall health, but don’t count on exercise alone to help you lose weight.   In a review conducted by The 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee, it was stated that adults should do 150-300 minutes of moderate to extensive cardio or aerobic exercise per week with at least 2 days of strength training.   For older or elder adults, some balance training should be included as well.

It is important to understand that it requires 3500 calories to be burned a day to rid your body of 1 pound of fat.  You cannot burn off that much with exercise alone.  What exercise does do is get your metabolism working, helps you sleep better, and increases blood and oxygen in the body. You will also have better digestion. Weight training is good because muscle burns calories even when you are not exercising.   The more efficiently your body operates, the more energy it burns off naturally throughout the day.

Health issues that complicate weight loss

There are conditions or diseases that can make losing weight extremely difficult.  It may be difficult because of a lack of diagnosis, metabolism imbalances, hormone imbalances, joint problems, fatigue, mental fog, or more.  Additionally, some illnesses or diseases require medication that decreases mental awareness and focus, energy levels, moods, and more.  Some of these illnesses include:

  • Cushing’s disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Insulin resistance
  • Depression
  • Menopause

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Using a Personal Trainer

A study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine showed that 57% of volunteers demonstrated an increase in motivation and physical improvement after using a personal trainer.

A personal trainer is trained to provide support, motivation, education, and options with a personalized exercise plan.

  • Support and motivation come from holding you accountable for following through on doing the exercises as well as from tracking your improvements in form, strength, and stamina.
  • Education comes from the coach training you on the form your body should be in to perform the exercises in the most effective and safest manner.
  • Options are made available because they are there to help design a plan personalized for your goals and health challenges.

Meet Veteran, James Coley

One personal trainer in Tampa, Florida, James Coley, caught the attention of ABC News for his outstanding work.  Coley is an Air Force Veteran who later played professional basketball in the Dominican Republic.  According to the news report, he started just helping friends at the gym and realized that he felt so rewarded helping others get in shape.  He found great satisfaction in sharing his passion for physical fitness and began helping others who contacted him.  Many of these individuals had significant weight gain and health issues.  They found him to be a caring, compassionate person.  One such client went from 316 pounds to 175 pounds.

He attributes the leadership skills that have benefited him in multiple positions in his life to the 3 D’s he learned in the service:

  • Determination
  • Dedication
  • Discipline

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Final Thoughts About Weight Loss and Achieving Physical Fitness

Making the decision to lose weight is easy.  Finding the commitment and dedication to adopt healthy eating and exercise as a legitimate lifestyle can be difficult.  It is important to do your research in choosing a diet.  Don’t fall for the latest fad diet or miracle pill.

Everything you need to start is in how you approach getting healthy.  Reaching out to family, friends, and a personal trainer can be a great way to keep yourself motivated. Plus, you’ll learn how to exercise safely and effectively, and gain the encouragement and support to reach your goals.  Perhaps you, too, can find a kind, military veteran with a passion for physical fitness to help you on your weight loss journey!