With over 60% of the North American population currently overweight there has been much emphasis lately on the ways and means of healthy weight loss. If you have just successfully dropped a hundred (or even 10) pounds, congratulations - you did it! Now here comes second part of the challenge – weight management.
Research has shown that approximately only 20% of dieters keep excess weight off long term once they have reached their target goal. In fact one of the richest most powerful women in the world, Oprah Winfrey, has recently shared with the public her frustration and deep disappointment at unsuccessfully being able to maintain her ideal weight. So the woman who has everything; the guy, the job, the homes, the cars, a stellar career, fame and fortune still can’t buy thin and has to somehow muster the strength and courage to start all over again. Good luck Oprah, you can do it, you really can, and so can any one else who has a solid weight management plan.
To begin developing your own plan for weight management, you will need to figure out what the ideal weight for your height and build is so that you know what healthy weight to set your weight loss goals by. Determining an estimate of your ideal body weight can be done by using a Body Mass Index Calculator or through a consultation with your doctor.
There are many weight loss options available that can aid you in reaching your ideal body weight. You can choose from a multitude of different diets, such as low-calorie or low-carbohydrate diets. There are fad diets such as the Cabbage Soup Diet and the South Beach Diet. There are prescription diet pills and OTC diet pills that can provide a multitude of benefits including lessening your appetite, increasing your metabolism and blocking fat absorption from the foods you eat. There are also exercise programs and bariatric surgeries. Carefully consider the risks and benefits of each option, do your research and enlist a medical doctor to help you make an informed choice.
All of these methods to lose weight, however, are only tools to assist you as you ‘battle the bulge’. Nothing, not even the best diet pill or most costly surgery will do all the work of losing weight for you - you still have to do your part. Your responsibility as someone who not only wants to lose weight, but wants long-term weight management is to make healthy adjustments to your lifestyle. This may include educating yourself about healthy eating and nutrition, learning how to exercise safely and effectively, and addressing any emotional aspects of your relationship with food and eating that may have been a contributing factor to your weight gain.
Weight management following weight loss is not complicated – all you need to do is consume a calorie-controlled diet and get regular exercise. It sounds pretty simple, so why is the success rate of weight management so low? The two main reasons are the inability to stay motivated over the long term, and a belief that dieting has an end goal rather than seeing it as a permanent lifestyle change. Weight management requires modifying behaviors around food and activity. The good news is that it takes less calories to lose weight than it does to maintain it and you can adjust your diet accordingly. Clinical studies have proven that the common denominators found amongst those who have successfully lost weight and have kept it off for a period longer than five years are:
– high levels of activity
– low-calorie, low-fat, portion-controlled meal plans
– eating breakfast
– developed and consistent eating patterns
– they stayed motivated
The only truly good reason to lose weight should be to gain health despite social and cultural mores that would have you believe otherwise. Losing weight and achieving your weight loss goals is only half of your journey to a healthier you completed. The other half of your journey is weight management and keeping the weight off once it’s gone.
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