Healthy Approaches to Losing Weight

December 27, 2010 · 3 comments

This is a guest post by Mollie Jolin.

Losing weight is a chore. Diet experts tell us that 90 percent of the diets that people start are broken within the first month. The major reason that people fail to stay on a weight-loss program is that although they begin with good intentions, they often do not plan well or expect too much too soon. In our fast-paced society we often are not tolerant of slow improvements. We too often hear or see a television commercial or television program where people claim to have lost large amounts of weight in relatively short periods. Always keep in mind that the weight you gained did not suddenly appear at once. The best approach to losing weight is to proceed at a slow and steady pace. Losing one to two pounds per week is a good weight loss goal. At that rate one would lose 50 to 100 pounds in a year! Consider the following tips when attempting to lose weight:

First of all eat breakfast. Do not skip meals. Skipping meals lowers you metabolism and means that your body will be less efficient in burning the food you do eat. Also, when a person skips a meal they will often unconsciously “make-up” for it later. A substantial number of obese people do not eat a good breakfast. Also eating late at night is not a good idea.

Stay away from lose-weight quick diets that promise drastic weight loss. The fast majority of people who do lose weight on these diets gain it right back. Most diets in this class are unhealthy and such diets never allow one to learn how to change eating habits in the long run. Good diets allow one to eat regular meals. Consulting with one’s physician can be very helpful in establishing a solid diet plan.

Make sure that you drink plenty of water. Many people do not get enough water in their diet. Water improves metabolism, flushes out waste produces, and diminishes hunger. The standard approach is to drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water each day, but a better guideline is to try to drink a half ounce of water per pound of your body weight per day.

Watch that sugar! Sugar is sugar whether it is refined or unrefined sugar, fructose, corn syrup, or whatever. Sugar, when not burned off immediately by exercise, can be stored as fat. Most people eat too much sugar. If you must have sweets limit them to one small sweet on weekends and holidays. Do not use sugary foods as rewards for being good on your diet. Instead of using refined sugar and corn syrupy foods eat naturally sweet foods such as fruits and vegetables (which also contain complex carbohydrates). Eating a piece of fruit with every meal can keep your blood sugar stable and give you energy. Fruits and vegetables have no magic associated with them; however, they provide low calories and dense fiber that can satisfy hunger pangs. The daily recommendation of fruits and vegetables is often set at five servings, but those people trying to lose weight should consider five servings as a minimum daily amount. Consider using fruits and vegetables as snacks in place of sweets and carbohydrates.

Eat complex carbohydrates. A good way to understand what foods constitute good carbohydrates is to rate them on their relative glycemic index, which ranks carbohydrates in relation to their effect on blood glucose levels. Eating low glycemic index foods allows blood glucose levels to rise slowly and this leads to you feeling more sated between meals. Foods ranked above 70 on the glycemic index are high and should be avoided; those between 69-56 are medium; and foods at 55 and below are considered low on the index. The lower the glycemic index ranking is, the better the foods help you lose weight. Nutrition schools can give you more information on the right foods and the right carbohydrates to eat.

Try and exercise regularly to burn calories, increase your metabolism, and reduce the effects of stress. Stress makes many people want to eat. Instead of eating take a walk, ride a bike, or do something else. Make light exercise part of your daily lifestyle. Try any work up to 60 minutes of light enjoyable exercise at least five days a week. Do something that you like to do otherwise you will not do it. Make sure that your goals are realistic. When monitoring your weight loss weigh yourself weekly on the same day at the same time. Otherwise stay off the scale. Weighing yourself daily can frustrate your overall goals as your weight will fluctuate from day to day. Realistic goals will keep you on track, motivated, and will result in long-term success.

Consider incorporating as many of these healthy approaches to losing weight into your weekly plan and you will have weight loss success!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

John December 27, 2010 at 3:15 pm

This post could have been written by me and titled how I lost weight this year.

Good job.

Jeremy December 28, 2010 at 12:32 am

Originally for me it was all about losing weight - then as the weight started to drop off, it became more about body recomposition. That is where lifting weights really started to make an impact. Being thinner was nice, but once I started to put on muscle the changes became more dramatic.

John December 28, 2010 at 1:06 pm

I agree that strength training is also important. I have been lifting 3-4 times a week when healthy.

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