Weight Loss & Dieting Tips

All too often, we make weight loss much more difficult than it needs to be with extreme diets that leave us cranky and starving, unhealthy lifestyle choices that undermine our dieting efforts, and emotional eating habits that stop us before we get started. But there’s a better way! You can lose weight without feeling miserable. By making smart choices every day, you can develop new eating habits and preferences that will leave you feeling satisfied—as well as winning the battle of the bulge.

Yet no matter what approach most people use to diet, their weight loss is temporary. The weight they lose almost always returns in the long run. 

Studies show as much as two thirds of the weight lost through dieting is regained within one year, and almost all the weight is regained within five years. Other weight loss techniques such as behavior modification, exercise and drugs--even in controlled settings--usually produce only short-term results. 

While there is no “one size fits all” solution to permanent healthy weight loss, the following guidelines are a great place to start:

    Think lifestyle change, not short-term diet. Permanent weight loss is not something that a “quick-fix” diet can achieve. Instead, think about weight loss as a permanent lifestyle change—a commitment to your health for life. Various popular diets can help to jumpstart your weight loss, but permanent changes in your lifestyle and food choices are what will work in the long run.

    Find a cheering section. Social support means a lot. Programs like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers use group support to impact weight loss and lifelong healthy eating. Seek out support—whether in the form of family, friends, or a support group—so that you can get the encouragement you need.

    Slow and steady wins the race. Aim to lose 1 to 2 pounds a week to ensure healthy weight loss. Losing weight too fast can take a toll on your mind and body, making you feel sluggish, drained, and sick. When you drop a lot of weight quickly, you’re actually losing mostly water and muscle, rather than fat.

    Set goals to keep you motivated. Short-term goals, like wanting to fit into a bikini for the summer, usually don’t work as well as goals like wanting to feel more confident or become healthier for your children’s sakes. When frustration and temptation strike, concentrate on the many benefits you will reap from being healthier and leaner.

    Use tools that help you track your progress. Keep a food journal and weigh yourself regularly, keeping track of each pound you lose and inch of your waist lost. By keeping track of your weight loss efforts, you’ll see the results in black and white, which will help you stay motivated.

Keep in mind it may take some experimenting to find the right diet for your individual body. It’s important that you feel satisfied so that you can stick with it on a long-term basis. If one diet plan doesn’t work, then try another one. There are many ways to lose weight. The key is to find what works for you.

Healthy dieting and weight loss

The following recommendations for successful weight management:

    Regular physical activity. Exercise not only increases caloric expenditure, it increases feelings of well-being and perceived energy level. Studies also suggest exercise can be effective in regulating appetite. However, the challenge is to incorporate exercise into other life-long habits.

    Social support. Long-term weight regulation is easier when individuals are supported in their goals by family, friends, colleagues and treatment support groups.

    Internal motivation. Those who demonstrate internal motivation such as "I'm doing this to be in charge of my life," are more successful in weight management than those who focus on external reasons like "fitting into a new pair of jeans."

    Positive health benefits. Focusing on positive health benefits such as an ability to walk further without being winded, increases the chances of successful long-term weight management.

    Smaller, more frequent meals. Eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day helps maintain blood sugar levels and avoids feelings of starvation, which can lead to bingeing.

    Gradual changes. Those who make gradual changes in diet and exercise are more likely to successfully manage their weight in the long run, than those who make dramatic changes at once. 

Weight Management Approaches

Managing caloric intake is the most popular way people attempt to lose or maintain healthy weight. Results of the Food and Drug Administration's recent Weight Loss Practices Survey indicate that many people are using reduced-calorie foods as part of their weight management strategies, including low-calorie dressings, low-calorie sweeteners, low-fat frozen desserts, low-fat cheeses, diet breads and light alcohol beverages.

Vitamins, meal replacements. over-the-counter products, weight loss programs and diet supplements are also being used by men and women in decreasing order from 28 to 3 percent. While certain diets alter the proportion of calories from fat, carbohydrate and protein.

Some studies show, however, that overweight individuals do consume more fat in the diet than their slender counterparts. Gram-for-gram, dietary fat provides more than twice the number of calories as carbohydrate or protein.

Pound-for-pound, how does that effect of caloric restriction compare to exercise? Evidence suggests that greater amounts of weight are lost more quickly with caloric restriction than with increased caloric expenditure. But, when exercise is added to dietary change, even greater weight losses are possible.

"Exercise builds muscle tissue, and muscle cells burn more calories while you are resting than do fat cells. The more muscle you have, the more energy you burn while at rest".

1 comment:

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