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How to Lose Weight Successfully
Practical Advice on How to Lose and Maintain Weight
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Guide to Weight Reduction

Weight Loss Advice

Is it really possible to lose weight without regain? You bet!

Genetic factors may control our basic body shape, metabolism and body weight, but the decisions we make about what we eat, how active we are, and other lifestyle matters determine whether we are normal weight, overweight or obese.

Almost everyone who is a bit overweight can safely maintain a 10 to 20 pound (4.6-9.2 kg) weight loss, and some obese people can trim hundreds of pounds. What's the secret? It's no secret, really. Everyone knows what to do: to lose weight, you just have to burn more calories each day than you take in. Here are a few weight loss tips.

Make a Commitment to Lose Weight

Making a firm commitment is a critical first step toward successful weight loss. Take advantage of the interest you have in losing weight today.

Set Realistic Weight Loss Goals

Losing one pound a week - and keeping it off - with sensible eating and exercise is probably the most sensible goal. Dropping three dress or suit sizes in eight weeks isn't. One way to figure out how many calories you can eat and still lose weight is to keep a food diary for a week and figure out how many calories you're consuming now. Then create a food plan that provides about 500 calories per day less than you're eating now. As long as you're also exercising, you'll lose about one to two pounds a week - the maximum you can lose without regain. Fast weight-loss programs actually make it more difficult to lose weight because they slow your metabolism. Result? You regain weight!

Successful Weight Loss Takes Careful Planning

Successful weight loss requires significant changes in your lifestyle, and planning ahead-everything from making out grocery lists to scheduling time for workouts-will make those changes easier. Plan how to avoid dieting problems. If asked to bring appetisers to a party, make it a salad plate. If you have trouble keeping yourself motivated, enlist a friend as your weight-loss pal.

Successful Weight Loss Requires Physical Activity

Exercising not only burns calories and compensates for the slower metabolism that comes with eating less, it makes you healthier. A daily stroll is a great first-step. Then, try swimming, dancing, jogging, or anything that gets you going. Or just make small changes in your daily routine, like taking the stairs when you can instead of the lift.

It's also a good idea to build strength training into your workouts. The less muscle you have, the harder it is to lose weight and keep it off. Here's why: muscle is metabolically active; it takes energy, in the form of calories, to sustain it. Fat isn't, and it doesn't. So the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn, even at rest. Two or three 30-minute weight-lifting sessions each week will make a big difference in your body composition and, therefore, in the number of calories you burn each day.

Successful Weight Loss Requires Good Diet Nutrition

Eating well makes it easier to lose weight because you'll feel better, and you'll have more energy to stay active. Ideally, your daily intake of calories will break down like this: 55 percent from carbohydrates, 15 to 20 percent from protein, and 20 to 30 percent from fat. And make sure you load up on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. They'll help provide lifelong protection from a host of health problems, including cancer and heart disease.

Improve Your Attitude to Food

Before you have that snack, ask yourself if you're really hungry. Or is it something else you need? Food is a notorious substitute for fulfilment, love, and other ineffable (and non-fattening) essentials. You might decide that calling a friend is what hits the spot-or maybe you need a massage, time with a good book, or some other splurge.

Track Your Weight Loss Progress

Studies show that people who lose weight successfully track their progress. That's inch-loss and fat-loss as well as weight loss. Writing it down keeps you from fooling yourself about how much you're eating and exercising. And watching those numbers drop on the scale can be a great motivator. What's more, research shows that people who keep a food diary, even if they're not consciously eating less, lose weight.

Weight Loss and "Bad Days"

All dieters have bad days. So will you. Instead of relying on willpower to guarantee continuous weight loss, plan ahead how to cope. And remember, it's not the bad day that destroys your weight loss diet - it's the guilt you feel after bingeing that does the damage.

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