Although weight loss and exercise take considerable effort, there are ways to make it a little easier. And when you make these healthy habits easier, they are more likely to become part of your life for the rest of your life.
Different approaches work for different people, but all require strong commitment. Permanent weight loss is difficult. It takes psychological readiness, and changes in lifestyle and behavior. It never comes about through wishfully thinking, “I need to lose a few pounds and exercise.” It comes about via a concerted effort in which exercise and weight control become an important project in your life. You need to get up every morning committed to your program, focusing on how to get your needed exercise and arranging for healthy meals each day.
Key steps to maintaining a weight loss are:
* Grazing (eating small meals throughout the day while reducing portions at mealtime).
* Portion control (measure or weigh your food) PORTION CONTROL IS CRUCIAL!
* Count calories or points. (Weight Watchers is a good program, as is the www.sparkpeople.com website.)
* Weight yourself often.
* Eat foods that are low in fat, sugar and salt, and high in fiber.
* Do NOT diet. Severely restricting food is related to the yo-yo syndrome, where weight is frequently lost but quickly regained. When you fall off the wagon, get right back on your diet/exercise program; it is crucial to NOT let bad days turn into weeks and months.
* Motivation is a key; dietitians/nutritionists can help. Fitness/Health magazines are motivating. One good newsletter is the Nutrition Action Newsletter (www.cspinet.org). Apps such as myfitnesspal are helpful.
* The old Weight Watchers memo to “Move more and eat less” is still relevant.
* Exercise regularly.