I subscribe to several women’s health magazines, and with each issue there is always a weight loss plan featured on the cover. “The #1 Way to Erase 8 Pounds!” was on my latest Self magazine cover, “How to Drop 10 lbs in 30 Days!” was on September’s issue of Shape magazine, and “Melt 12 lbs in 28 Days!” was on this month’s Health magazine. Which one is the best plan to follow? It really doesn’t matter because they are all essentially the same. After reading these magazines for several years, I’m discovered these diets all boil down to the following:
- Eat approximately 1600 calories per day. Most plans include breakfast, lunch, dinner, and one or two snacks.
- Exercise. They recommend a combination of cardiovascular exercise and strength training.
These aren’t exactly mind blowing revelations, right? Eat less and exercise more. I’m guessing they wouldn’t sell as many magazines if the cover said “The #1 Way to Lose Weight : Eat Less, Exercise More!”. So, is it worth spending $4 to buy one of these magazines and read the article? It depends. Are you are looking for a magical new breakthrough to help you lose weight? If so, then don’t waste your money. However, if you are looking for some new recipes and exercise ideas, these magazines can be a great resource.
Weight loss articles typically include meal and snack ideas that are healthy and easy. Too many times people plan to make elaborate (and time consuming) healthy meals during the week, and when life gets in the way, they throw in the towel and get take-out. So, arming yourself with simple recipes that are quick to prepare will make you much more likely to succeed with your healthy eating plan.
As for the exercise routines that accompany the eating plans in these magazines, I’m guessing that most people don’t cut out those little cue cards and actually take them to the gym. Most of the time, the routines are overly complex and intimidating. If you have a busy lifestyle, it’s important to keep things simple! Stick with 30-40 minutes of your favorite cardio activity for 3-4 days of the week. Supplement with 2 days of strength training using a basic routine. Not sure what to do? Grab a 30-minute strength training DVD and just follow along!
So, the next time you see “The Best Way to Shed 10 Pounds” on a magazine, remember that you already know the best way to lose weight! It comes down to making the commitment to eat less and exercise regularly.