it comes to weight loss, there's no lack of fad diets promising fast results.
But such diets limit your nutritional intake, can be unhealthy, and tend to
fail in the long run.
key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight isn't about short-term
dietary changes. It's about a lifestyle that includes healthy eating, regular
physical activity, and balancing the number of calories you consume with the
number of calories your body uses.
in control of your weight contributes to good health now and as you age.
What is Healthy Weight Loss?
natural for anyone trying to lose weight to want to lose it very quickly. But
evidence shows that people who lose weight gradually and steadily (about 1 to 2
pounds per week) are more successful at keeping weight off. Healthy weight loss
isn’t just about a "diet” or "program”. It’s about an ongoing lifestyle that
includes long-term changes in daily eating and exercise habits.
you’ve achieved a healthy weight, by relying on healthful eating and physical
activity most days of the week (about 60—90 minutes, moderate intensity), you
are more likely to be successful at keeping the weight off over the long term.
weight is not easy, and it takes commitment. But if you’re ready to get started(https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/getting_started.html), we’ve got a step-by-step guide to help get you on the
road to weight loss and better health.
Step 1: Make a
Making the decision to lose weight, change
your lifestyle, and become healthier is a big step to take. Start simply by
making a commitment to yourself. Many people find it helpful to sign a written
contract committing to the process. This contract may include things like the
amount of weight you want to lose, the date you’d like to lose the weight by,
the dietary changes you’ll make to establish healthy eating habits, and a plan
for getting regular physical activity.
Writing down the reasons why you want to lose
weight can also help. It might be because you have a family history of heart
disease, or because you want to see your kids get married, or simply because
you want to feel better in your clothes. Post these reasons where they serve as
a daily reminder of why you want to make this change.
Step 2: Take
stock of where you are.
Consider talking to your health care provider.
He or she can evaluate your height, weight, and explore other weight-related
risk factors you may have. Ask for a follow-up appointment to monitor changes
in your weight or any related health conditions.
Keep a "food diary” for a few days, in which
you write down everything you eat. By doing this, you become more aware of what
you are eating and when you are eating. This awareness can help you avoid
examine your current lifestyle. Identify things that might pose challenges to
your weight loss efforts. For example, does your work or travel schedule make
it difficult to get enough physical activity? Do you find yourself eating
sugary foods because that’s what you buy for your kids? Do your coworkers
frequently bring high-calorie items, such as doughnuts, to the workplace to
share with everyone? Think through things you can do to help overcome these
think about aspects of your lifestyle that can help you lose weight. For
example, is there an area near your workplace where you and some coworkers can
take a walk at lunchtime? Is there a place in your community, such as a YMCA,
with exercise facilities for you and child care for your kids?
Step 3: Set
Set some short-term goals and reward your
efforts along the way. If your long-term goal is to lose 40 pounds and to
control your high blood pressure, some short-term eating and physical activity
goals might be to start eating breakfast, taking a 15 minute walk in the
evenings, or having a salad or vegetable with supper.
Focus on two or three goals at a time. Great,
effective goals are —
Forgiving (less than
For example, "Exercise More” is not a specific
goal. But if you say, "I will walk 15 minutes, 3 days a week for the first
week,” you are setting a specific and realistic goal for the first week.
Remember, small changes every day can lead to
big results in the long run. Also remember that realistic goals are achievable goals. By achieving your short-term goals
day-by-day, you’ll feel good. about your progress and be motivated to continue.
Setting unrealistic goals, such as losing 20 pounds in 2 weeks, can leave you
feeling defeated and frustrated.
Being realistic also means expecting
occasional setbacks. Setbacks happen when you get away from your plan for
whatever reason – maybe the holidays, longer work hours, or another life
change. When setbacks happen, get back on track as quickly as possible. Also
take some time to think about what you would do differently if a similar
situation happens, to prevent setbacks.
Keep in mind everyone is different – what
works for someone else might not be right for you. Just because your neighbor
lost weight by taking up running, doesn’t mean running is the best option for
you. Try a variety of activities – walking, swimming, tennis, or group exercise
classes to see what you enjoy most and can fit into your life. These activities
will be easier to stick with over the long term.
Identify resources for information and support.
Find family members or friends who will
support your weight loss efforts. Making lifestyle changes can feel easier when
you have others you can talk to and rely on for support. You might have
coworkers or neighbors with similar goals, and together you can share healthful
recipes and plan group exercise.
Joining a weight loss group or visiting a
health care professional such as a registered dietitian, can help.
Continually "check in” with yourself to monitor your progress.
Revisit the goals you set for yourself (in
Step 3) and evaluate your progress regularly. If you set a goal to walk each
morning but are having trouble fitting it in before work, see if you can shift
your work hours or if you can get your walk in at lunchtime or after work.
Evaluate which parts of your plan are working well and which ones need
tweaking. Then rewrite your goals and plan accordingly.
If you are consistently achieving a particular
goal, add a new goal to help you continue on your pathway to success.
Reward yourself for your successes! Recognize
when you’re meeting your goals and be proud of your progress. Use non-food
rewards, such as a bouquet of freshly picked flowers, a sports outing with
friends, or a relaxing bath. Rewards help keep you motivated on the path to
Information for this article obtained through: www.cdc.gov