Last Updated on March 26, 2018 by Michael Brockbank
Statistics show a large portion of adults in the United States are considered obese. You can see this any time you walk into a Walmart. Being overweight causes a myriad of problems including a shortened lifespan. But do you need mainstream diet plans to shrink the waistline?
Many of these so-called “guaranteed” methods to help you lose weight really don’t do much aside from tap your wallet. In reality, you have the power to make those changes yourself without spending a single dime.
It all revolves around whether or not you want to make those changes.
Mainstream Diet Plans are In It for the Money
You’ve probably seen ads for diets, plans or merchandise to help you lose weight. While some of these items may deliver a few of the claims, keep in mind the companies are in it to make money.
You can’t really blame them for that, though. It’s a business, and no business starts with the idea of losing money and going bankrupt. However, many of these people and organizations fail to demonstrate how you can do it all yourself without buying their products.
Free Information vs. Paid Plans
Most of the paid plans I’ve come across consist of information that is readily available. In some cases, you can learn more just by doing a simple Google search. The sum of human knowledge is available at your fingertips – tap it.
Don’t get suckered into “experts” who are trying to sell you something to “help” you. This is the same dynamic as working-from-home gimmicks. They claim they want you to have a better life, but then charge you $49.99 for the book, DVD or plan to achieve your goals.
If they wanted to help you, they’d give the information away for free without premium support fees or other expenses.
In reality, everything you need is literally accessible from the Internet. All it takes is a level of determination and motivation from you to make it happen.
Everyone Has Different Needs
One thing I don’t like about mainstream diet plans is how it’s based on a one-size-fits-all scheme. The truth is, not everyone has the same nutritional and dietary requirements. Sure, humans share a lot of traits. But you don’t see too many people allergic to nuts diving into them for the protein.
A lot of diets want you to cut out sugar altogether. Unfortunately, humans need a bit of sugar to survive. It contributes to delivering energy in the body. For some, like myself, it prevents hypoglycemia because of low blood-sugar levels. This doesn’t mean that you need to eat a pound of it a day, though.
My point is that not everyone will experience the same results while using mainstream diet plans. Personally, I prefer people build their own based on what they need.
Why Many Mainstream Diet Plans Fail
A lot of people will try the latest diet fad only to fail after a few weeks. Is it because these mainstream diet plans are faulty? Not really. In most instances I’ve seen, and experienced personally, it’s a lack of dedication from the individual.
Sometimes it’s the products themselves that cause issue for people. Not everyone can afford to buy all the Weight Watchers meals or Atkins products on the market.
Your Mentality Towards Dieting
The way you approach dieting will affect the outcome. If you don’t believe in the diet plan or don’t think it’ll work for you, chances are it won’t. A lot of the time, this is caused by self-sabotage even if it’s subconscious.
Mainstream diet plans don’t work for me because I don’t like restriction. I don’t like the idea that I have to sacrifice the things I like because some expert tells me to. Thus, these diets really don’t help me much.
For other people, many of these plans may provide what they need most – structure. I’m not saying that all mainstream diet plans will fail. Just keep in mind it’s your mentality towards them that will have the greatest influence.
Lack of Physical Activity
Certain diets won’t do much to help you lose weight if you choose to live like a slug. I see people looking for weight loss solutions all the time that don’t involve exercise, and I’ll never understand why.
Exercise doesn’t merely affect how you look to the general population. It’s more about what you feel on the inside.
No, I’m not talking about whether you love yourself or not…although that is a positive side effect.
I’m talking about your internal organs and how they behave. When your heart stops due to a lack of physical activity, it tends to light a fire under your ass. Unfortunately, many will have a brush with death before they realize that physical activity is a bonus.
If the only movement you get is walking from your chair to the bathroom periodically throughout the day, it’s an inefficient way to live. In fact, there are a lot of practical benefits to exercise outside of just building biceps or looking good in a bathing suit.
When my heart stopped, it scared the hell out of me…enough to do something about it.
How I Lose Weight Outside of Mainstream Diet Plans
Now, I can’t say that this method will definitely help you lose weight. What I can tell you is how I’ve lost more than 60 pounds without jumping on mainstream diet plans or spending hours at the gym.
First, it’s all on you. Do you really want to lose weight, or is it more of a passing fancy? This is the biggest question for losing weight, and the answer will contribute to whether you’re successful or not.
Intake vs. Output
Regardless of what diet plan you choose to try, they all center around one inescapable truth: intake versus output. Are you consuming more than your body is actually using?
You would be amazed by how many people are simply overweight because they don’t burn everything they eat. I was one of them.
For years, I sat at my computer desk working and playing without really getting up and doing much. During that time, I gained a lot of weight merely by eating more than I needed. And it wasn’t just Walmart cupcakes and donuts…but they were part of it.
The less active you are, the less food you need to stay alive. It’s that simple. So if you plan on hitting Taco Bell for lunch today, realize you will need to do about 50 minutes or so of aerobics if you want to still lose weight.
Create a Sustainable Food Plan
I am a calorie counter. However, it takes more than watching how many calories you consume compared to how much you burn. After all, you can’t expect to live on cookies alone simply because they fall into your “calorie count.”
You need a sustainable diet plan conducive to both your health and budget. You also need to include healthier alternatives to certain foods just so you get the nutrition you need to maintain good health. Sorry, but a bag of Oreos does not supply enough protein, vitamin C or folic acid to stay alive.
For myself, I spend between $5 and $7 per day on food depending on how I snack. My meals are all under $2, and I am losing weight on a daily basis.
How do I spend money? For one thing, I portion out the food I buy into logical sizes. For example, I will buy a bag of chicken fried rice and mandarin orange chicken from Trader Joe’s and portion it out to 1/2 cup of chicken and 2/3 cup of rice. This makes my lunch cost less than $1.50 and I freeze the remaining four meals for later.
A big reason many mainstream diet plans fail is because many people are incapable of financially maintaining them. This is why I find it better to make my own foods and research what I need to be healthy and lose weight.
Create a Sustainable Exercise Routine
Don’t think of exercise as trying to crack out a bunch of push-ups or whether you can run a seven-minute mile. The truth is any physical activity is considered “exercise.”
Devise a sustainable workout routine for yourself. It’s all about keeping your mind engaged in the activity and being eager to keep it up over the long-term. If you start to think of a routine as a chore, you’re going to give it up soon.
Personally, I play my Xbox Kinect every morning for 35 to 40 minutes. I usually burn between 400 and 500 calories while playing tennis. I also have about 20 other games that keep my mind engaged.
Find a physical activity you love and commit yourself to it. These activities don’t have to be sports or things that cost you money. Go for a nice nature walk, ride a bike or buy some cheap plastic golf balls and practice your swing in the back yard.
Any activity will do as long as you can increase your heart rate. Personally, I’ll sweep and mop my floors often just to get a bit of movement in for the day.
Are Weight Loss Operations a Valid Option?
I am against weight loss operations for many people. A lot of the time, it’s those who don’t have the will power to make changes themselves. However, these operations are not some magic wand you can wave over your stomach.
In most situations, the diets and regimens you commit to after something like gastric bypass surgery are far more grueling than most mainstream diet plans you’ll see on the Internet. If you can commit to that, why not do so before the operation?
I’m not trying to shame anyone. But I’ll never really understand how some people would prefer subjecting themselves to such torturous practices on purpose.
Besides, I rather like the idea of being able to do this myself. I am more confident and proud of myself after losing 60 pounds because I did it without fad diets, operations, drinks or pills.
Now, some people probably need surgeries to save their life. And that’s fine. I just don’t like the idea of surgery being such a prolific option that it pops up in casual conversation like it’s some kind of trending fad.
I’ll do it myself, thank you.
Choose the Best Plan for Your Needs
Before subjecting yourself to various mainstream diet plans, do some research. Discover if it’ll be something you’ll benefit from or if you’ll wind up hating it. Read both positive and negative reviews before making up your mind. Personally, I prefer self-discovery, but that’s what works for me.
What will work for you?