Saturday, October 9, 2010

7 Keys to Losing Weight and Keeping It Off

If you have ever tried to lose weight, you know that it is a huge challenge. But it's a challenge that is well worth the effort. Just think of the rewards: feeling good, looking your best, enjoying better health, fun times with family and friends, radiance, increased lifespan, less sick days and lower medical bills. Who won't want all those things.

Here are a few tips to help you meet the challenge:

1. Look in the mirror. Have a frank talk with the person looking back at you. Then make the commitment; but only if you are ready to make the leap. Otherwise, you could be setting yourself up for another round of disappointments.

2. Assess your needs. Try to understand what caused you to gain the weight in the first place, why you have not been able to lose the weight, or if you did, why you couldn't keep it off. This will help you to figure out what you need to do this time to achieve real, lasting success.

3. Write down your goals. Set goals that are fairly easy to achieve. Then, as you accomplish one goal you can aim for another, perhaps aiming for greater results as you go along. Don't set yourself up for disappointment by aiming for results that you know are unattainable.

4. Pay attention to what you eat. You shopping list should reflect your new weight and health goals. Your cupboard should do the same. So should the food on your plate and the snacks you consume.

5. Take a walk. You don't have to start your weight loss program by overdoing it when it comes to exercising. If you have been pretty inactive, taking a brisk walk around your home or apartment complex might be a good place to start. You can increase the amount of time and intensity of the exercise as you get more physically fit.

6. Drink up. You can trick yourself into eating less by drinking water a few minutes before a meal. This will make you feel full and thus, reduce the amount of food that you actually consume. You should also drink water between meals, especially if you begin to feel hungry, since the sensation of hunger might really be a sign of thirst.

7. Get some sleep. Lack of sleep can disrupt the hormones in your body that regulate your appetite and signal that you are full so that you do not overeat. Your stress hormones are also affected by lack of sleep. So, be good to yourself and get your zzz’s.