Many people look for an easy way to lose weight. They think that if they engage in some sort of medical procedure, such as liposuction or gastric bypass, that will not only remove the excess weight they are carrying, it will also prohibit them from gaining weight in the future. Unfortunately, that is simply not true. It may take away the weight that they have, but to keep it off means changing habits and engaging in a healthy lifestyle.
If you read the fine print of any advertisement that you see touting the benefits of the latest miracle weight loss drug, somewhere you will read the words or hear the announcer say "combined with proper diet and exercise". It is true that there are medications out there that will force a person to lose weight, even if they make no changes in their lifestyle. These medicines, however, are only effective for as long as they are being taken, and long term use exposes a person to health risks that are far greater than being overweight. Once the target weight loss has been met and the person stops taking the pills, the weight will begin to creep back up.
The word that trips most people up when they read about making these changes is "diet." Many people automatically connect the word diet with a weight loss program - the Atkins diet, the South Beach diet, even the grapefruit diet - and they block it out, saying that they have tried dieting in the past and it did not work for them. The true definition of diet is what a person eats. A proper diet is not one that specifically limits calories or instructs a person to only eat certain types of food. Rather, it means engaging in a nutritionally balanced approach to eating.
The other half of that equation, exercise, also trips people up because they feel intimidated. They feel it means they have to go from a primarily sedentary lifestyle to running marathons and lifting truck tires. The truth is most people can get all the exercise they need by taking a 30 to 45 minute walk every day. That is one of the aspects to living a healthy lifestyle: taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking a few rows away from the entrance. You're not necessarily challenging yourself but simply engaging in small practices that keep you moving.
There is no magic pill, no super surgery, no modern medicine that takes the weight off and keeps it off. Once a person has made the changes to their weight, medically or otherwise, it then takes commitment to a healthy lifestyle. But by doing so, with a proper diet and exercise, they will maintain the results they want.
Jack Terry is a freelance writer and fitness enthusiast who believes a healthy lifestyle comes from the unity of body, mind and spirit. http://www.legacyfit.com