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 How To Lose Weight And Keep It Off 

How to lose weight and keep it off: An overview 

Even if some aspects of weight control seem to be beyond your control, there are some very specific principles which have been proven over time to help you to lose weight and keep it off.  Manipulating these factors to your advantage will help you to successfully accomplish your weight-loss goals. 

Most programs that truly teach you how to lose weight and keep it off require a three-pronged approach: changing behavior patterns, making adjustments in your diet and the increasing your level of physical activity.  These basic factors have been well defined by medical research over time to assist people to truly lose weight and keep it off.  There are some people who are chronically obese or who have medical problems that contribute to their obesity, who may need to consider whether medication or surgery are necessary in consultation with their doctors. These options should only be considered after diet and exercise have failed however. 


Be Motivated 

Motivation may be one of the biggest keys to teaching a person how to lose weight and keep it off.  You may need to alter lifelong habits toward exercise and diet.  You will need to be motivated enough to change habits not for a few weeks or months, but probably for a lifetime.  You cannot underestimate the importance of this resolve.  The desire must come from within rather than from external pressures.  The person who wants to shed 20 pounds to please a spouse or others, will not be as motivated as someone who wants to improve their health or self-esteem. 

Choosing the right time to start weight a loss program is very important also.  People under stress or other pressure may not be able to devote enough time and effort to such an important goal that requires such massive lifestyle changes. 

Set Realistic Goals 

Weight tables frequently give “ideal weights”, and you can probably be healthy above these ideal weights if you eat a nutritious diet and you exercise regularly.  Rather than attempting to lose a specific amount of pounds, you should probably make it your goal to adopt healthy eating and exercise habits.  If you are obese and feel compelled to set an ideal weight goal, 10 to 15 percent of your current body weight may be may be a realistic objective. Also, many weight loss experts have concluded that the safest rate of weight loss is ˝ to 2 lbs. per week. 

If your weight is relatively stable, cutting out about 500 calories day may help you to achieve this weekly goal.  As a general rule, your average woman who is dieting should probably consume at least 1,200 calories a day, and your average man about 1,500. 

Take Advantage of Exercise 

Cutting caloric intake is an important part of how to lose weight and keep it off.  But, also combining exercise with the reduction in calories is more successful than dieting alone.  A moderate level of exercise on a frequent basis, such as walking or riding a bike, in addition to reducing calories may be the best approach to losing weight over the long term.

Adapted from information from The Johns Hopkins Medical Guide to Health After 50

Additional Information and webpage by Paul Susic  MA Licensed Psychologist   Ph.D. Candidate  (Health and Geriatric Psychologist)

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