For those of us who have attempted to lose weight, we all know it takes more than just a desire.
Losing weight trying the latest fad diet to see rapid results. Losing weight means making a commitment and having a well-thought-out plan that you can follow. Let’s face it, most (if not all) of us want to see rapid results in very little time. But CDC research shows that people who lose weight gradually and steadily are more successful at keeping weight off. This means, that the best way to experience long-term results, is to make a shift in lifestyle that includes a regular exercise routine and making healthier choices every day.
Below are a few suggestions to help you get started.
Step 1: Make a commitment. Start by making a commitment to yourself and write down a contract of your goals including the amount of weight you want to lose, the date you’d like to lose the weight by, dietary changes you’ll make to have healthy eating habits, and a plan for getting regular physical activity.
Step 2: Be aware of where you are currently. Get in touch with your health care provider. He or she can evaluate your height, weight, and explore weight-related risks you may have or ways to monitor your weight or any related health conditions. It may help to keep a food diary and write down everything you eat. It’s also important to examine your current lifestyle. Identify things that might pose challenges to your weight loss efforts.
Step 3: Set realistic goals. Make sure to set a few short-term goals and reward your efforts along the way. Remember, small changes every day can lead to big results. Being realistic also means expecting the occasional setbacks. Account for slip-ups and make sure you have a plan to get back on track and not get discouraged.
Step 4: Seek information and support. Find family members and friends who will support your weight loss efforts. Positive reinforcement and a strong support team can increase your motivation and help you tremendously in your weight loss journey. Also, a great resource for nutritional information is our DASH nutrition plan. Using the DASH nutrition plan, you don’t even have to count calories or points. You simply focus on eating more fruit, vegetables, and whole grains; look for dairy products that are lower in fat; limit total fat saturated fat and cholesterol; cut back on salt and sugar; adopt a plant-based diet, limit your meat consumption; and replace juice and soda with water.
Step 5: Monitor your progress. Revisit the goals you set for yourself and evaluate your progress regularly. If you are consistently achieving a particular goal, add a new one to help continue your pathway to success.
By taking it one day at a time and utilizing resources available, you will be on track to lose weight in a healthy and successful way. Keep challenging your goals. Stick to your commitment and make this your new lifestyle. Also, be sure to consult with your doctor for tips and advice tailored for you.