It seems like there are as many different weight loss methods as there are people trying to lose weight. When you decide that you are serious about weight loss, you might wonder how and where to start. The first thing you want to decide is what you hope achieve from your efforts.
There are a number of reasons for wanting to lose weight not the least being to look and feel good about yourself. For example, you might be under your doctor’s orders to drop weight for health reasons. Or you may be interested in shaping your body and having more energy.
Keep in mind that not all fat is bad—it’s the excess fat that you want to focus your attention on.
As you begin your weight loss program, you might feel a sense of urgency and be tempted by one of those lose-weight-over-night-so-you-can-look-good-at-the-beach gimmicks.
Avoid these quick results programs; the only thing you will lose is your money.
Starting a weight loss plan needs to be a deliberate and long-term endeavor. This is because weight loss is not an action/results kind of process. You need to make some lifestyle changes that will help you lose the weight and prevent it from returning. Here are a few things to look for in a weight loss program:
- Make sure it’s safe. This is critical because although you are working to lose fat, you still need to ensure that your body still gets the recommended amount of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and calories.For most women, a diet consisting of 1,000 to 1,200 calories a day is sufficient. For men, a diet of between 1,200 and 1,600 calories per day should work. Be sure to keep your doctor in the loop with your weight loss program.
- Keep it slow and steady. The battle of the bulge is won over time with hard work, a positive mind set, and patience. Expect to lose only a pound a week after the first week or two. This might seem minimal, but it’s weight that you are losing from changing your eating habits.If you attempt to lose weight faster, you are more likely to regain what you lose. Plan to lose no more than 1 to 2 pounds each week throughout your program. Over time you will notice some amazing results and you will remain healthy.
- Add exercise to your program. You can accelerate your weight loss through regular exercise. Standard weight loss requires that you burn more calories than you consume.If you engage in an intense exercise program such as training for a marathon or triathlon, you need to compensate by adding more calories to your diet. Here again, consult with your doctor to make sure you are maintaining a proper diet/weight loss balance.
- Know the difference between weight loss and fat loss. The point of losing weight is not to lose pounds on the scale, it’s about losing fat—especially that bulgy stuff that gathers around your waistline. Put the thought of losing weight out of your mind.Focus on losing fat but gaining muscle.
You do this through eating nutritious foods and exercising regularly. In fact, during your weight loss program, hide the scale because muscle weighs more than fat. Base your progress by how your clothes fit, how you look, and how you feel.
An effective weight loss plan doesn’t need to be complicated. With a successful weight loss plan, expect to replace high-fat and sugary foods with more vegetables, fruits, grains, and lean proteins. Also expect to participate in a dedicated program of physical activity.