Many of us make a vow to lose weight year after year, only to find that we can’t make it stick.
Your skirt is too tight. You can’t zip your jeans. You don’t even want to think about putting on a swimsuit. You look in the mirror and mutter about how you’ve got to lose weight.
Though there’s enough dieting advice out there to fill a dozen refrigerators, be wary of programs that offer quick weight-loss solutions. Remember, modest goals and a slow course will increase your chances of both losing the weight and keeping it off.
If you are really serious about long-term weight loss, look to change habits, not slash calories and deprive yourself.
Start with these tips:
- Maintain a sensible calorie intake. If you cut back too much, you will risk failure and lose muscle tissue – not fat. A 1-2 pound per week weight loss is optimal.
- Spread your calories evenly throughout the day. Do you eat as little as possible during the day so you can “save” calories for later? This approach almost always backfires. You’ll find yourself raiding the kitchen in the late afternoon. Eat every three hours to keep hunger at bay. Adopt healthy snacking habits.
- Keep a food journal. Write down everything that you eat and drink along with the time. Little things can add up.
- Be positive. Don’t approach this with a diet mentality. View your commitment to lose weight in a positive light, not as a means of punishment for past behavior.
- Exercise! If you want to trim down, you will need to include regular exercise in your life on most days of the week.
- Reward yourself. When you reach a goal, treat yourself to a healthy dinner out with friends or take a short vacation.
Remember, losing weight isn’t just a matter of looking good but of staying healthy.
This monthly blog series is brought to you by UnitedHealthcare. Follow them on Twitter for more health and wellness tips.