There is something compelling about Top Ten Lists. They promise to provide the most vital information in such an easy to read format. In less than a dozen lines or short paragraphs we can become as knowledgeable as the most learned expert, and privy to the greatest of secrets. This knowledge is all that is required to change our lives. Sort of.
If you do an Internet search for Top 10 Lists dealing with weight loss, you will find more lists than you can shake a carrot stick at. So, why am I writing another one? Because my editor asked me to. I quote from an e-mail he recently sent me:
Every day I feature a story and next week I'd like to feature some news about weight loss. Do you happen to have any sort of tips for losing weight that you could write up for me?
I'm looking for about 1000 words or so. A Top Ten List would be great. You know, something like:
10) Eat three wombats a day
Wombats are both nutritious and filling. Catching them will not only burn calories but also make for an interesting afternoon.
Information about weight loss is available just about everywhere. Much of the information available is actually true, though some of it seems a little suspicious. For this Top Ten List I am going to assume that you are familiar with what is available out there to the same extent as most people who have not been living in a cave fashioning spearheads out of flint. So, you can consider this:
The Top Ten List of Weight Loss Ideas for Athletes Who Have Already Read a lot of Top Ten Lists of Weight Loss Ideas by Fred Bretscher
(By the way, wombats are not a good source of dietary fiber and are much craftier than you might think.)
10) To get started, you only need to remember the difference between a carrot and a cookie.
You have heard about supplements, and high protein, and low carbohydrate, different carbohydrates, and more and more. There are some good tools and techniques to be learned out there. There are plenty of authors who want to sell you more books or magazines on the subject. Some of them are repackaging tried and true ideas; others are encouraging wacky wastes of time (or worse). Weight loss is not complicated. Don’t stop yourself by getting bogged down in the details. Just get started.
9) If it seems too good to be true… you know the rest.
Almost everyone is interested in healthy weight loss and keeping the weight off. When there is a genuine scientific breakthrough you can be sure that it will be published in the popular press. There is no “secret” formula or technique that will bypass eating well and exercising.
If you hesitate or even cringe at the thought of exercise, then remember that it will help you in ways far beyond just your waist line. Even moderate exercise will also help you sleep better, feel more energetic, be happier, deal with stress more effectively, and much much more. You will see the results of your exercise on your weight loss in just days. However, you will see the results of exercise on your whole life in just hours or even minutes.
7) Write down everything you eat.
Like any other habit, eating habits function largely without our conscious attention. If you want to change a habit, you focus conscious attention on it and on the new behavior patterns that you are developing. Writing is one of the most conscious activities in which humans engage. Unwanted habits and habitual behaviors are very shy. If you continually shine the spotlight of conscious writing on them, then they will eventually go away and leave you alone.
6) Drink more water and less… of whatever is not-water.
Drinking water will not make your fitness goals happen without also changing your eating and exercise patterns. However, it will make those things more effective and has a host of other benefits. Your body needs water; your body likes water; most of your body is water. Your body will thank you for water.
As you can tell by this photo Fred Bretscher in fact loves wombats. Fred has spent much of his career living off the fat of the land. In other words, his day job entailed helping thousands of people lose weight. Tomorrow we'll bring you part two of The Top Ten List of Weight Loss Ideas for athletes who have already read a lot of Top Ten Lists of Weight Loss Ideas.