So you want to lose weight - great! Now what? You've read about this diet or that miracle pill that will "melt" the fat off overnight while you sleep. You know those really don't work. So how can you lose weight in a healthy way that gives you the best chance to keep it off?
There are several ways to do it (some harder than others). Here are 5 ways to lose weight in a healthy manner:
1. Introduce Change Gradually
There are two main components to any good weight loss program 1) less intake and 2) more activity. When coupled together they will begin to give you the results you are looking for, but they must be approached in a controlled manner.
When starting any weight loss program it is important to introduce these changes to your body gradually in order to give it time to make the proper adjustments. If you don't, you will set yourself up for failure each and every time!
For the first couple of weeks (before you really begin your weight loss program, you should take inventory of both what and when you eat as well as how active you are. This will set the baseline for your program and allow you to make changes in a controlled and measured fashion
.2. Increase Your Level of Activity
We all know that we need to be more active than we are. But for many (most) of us that equates with going to the gym (and who has time and money for that these days!). Well, the good news is that you don't need the gym to increase your levels of activity. You can do this be simply walking more.
Walking a natural and free activity that most of us can do and it surprising just how much time we can find to do it (even at work). Just think of the ways you can add extra steps to your day to get in more activity (before work, at lunch, after work, etc.) You can even form a group at work and go walking together. All you have to do is do it!
Of course if you want to go to the gym you can, but you really don't need to.
3. Eat "Free" Foods For Snacks
"Free" foods are those that fill you up but don't contain many calories. So you can eat as much as you like without doing any real damage to your weight loss program. Some examples of free foods are: Lettuce, Carrots, Beets and Celery. Also included in the Free Foods category are Calorie Free Soda, Black Coffee, Club Soda and Unsweetened Ice Tea.
4. Reduce Portion Size
If you have been to any restaurant lately you will know that the portion sizes served are just continuing to grow and grow. What you buy for one will easily feed two these days. So a great way to lose weight is to reduce the size of the portion you are about to eat.
The easiest way to do that is to simply divide what is on your into four (4) quarters and only eat three (3) of them. The left over quarter can be saved for a snack the next day for make up part of lunch.
5. Learn To Maintain Your Weight Loss
One of the most difficult things for most is the maintenance of the weight loss you have achieved. If you don't do this you will not only put the weight back on but probably more as well. You need to be able to maintain you weight after losing a few pounds.
Here is a good way to do it. Setup your weight lost program to run for 12 weeks (maximum). Set a goal for the number a pounds you would like to lose by the end of the 12 weeks and go for it. If you don't reach your goal at the end of that time don't worry about it, but don't try to continue to lose weight then either. Instead learn to maintain the new weight level you do have before going on to try to lose the rest of the weight you would like to lose. In this way you will increase your chance of keeping the weight off!
Remember losing weight is not a race. Slow and steady is the best path to follow and 1- 2 lbs a week is the best rate to achieve your goals. You didn't put the pounds on overnight and you aren't going to get them off overnight either.