The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to do the same things successful dieters have done to shed extra pounds and keep them off permanently.
Research shows that people who have lost extra pounds and kept them off lose weight slowly–no more than two pounds a week–and make permanent lifestyle changes. These lifestyle changes include healthful eating and regular exercising habits.
Other things you can do to keep the pounds from returning are keeping a food journal, joining a weight loss support group, watching fewer hours of television and weighing yourself every day.
Lose Weight Slowly
Approximately 95 percent of dieters who lose extra pounds will gain them back, and many of those dieters will gain a few more extra pounds than they lost. Nonetheless, these same dieters will go on the very same diet or try a newer diet only to experience the same cycle of losing and then gaining back more additional pounds, says Paul J. Rosch in the Health and Stress article “How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off, Safely and Permanently.”
Research shows that shedding one to two pounds a week works better for permanent weight control because by dropping weight at this rate, the body doesn’t react by going into famine mode where its metabolism slows down and stores fat for energy and survival because it believes food is scarce. The good news is when you lose fewer than two pounds a week, your odds for permanent weight loss increase exponentially, says Christian Jessen in the Evening Standard article “No Fad Diets at Christmas.”
In addition, losing punds too quickly can cause serious health conditions. The risks of dropping weight fast according to the Weight Watchers article “Losing Weight at a Safe Rate” are anemia, bowel irregularities, gallstones and an irregular heartbeat. In addition, you could also suffer from weakening bones, especially as you get older. Losing pounds too quickly increases the odds of fractures and osteoporosis (“Crash Diets: Ineffective and Unhealthy”).
The term diet has a negative connotation. In general, people hear the word diet and react negatively to the idea. The word diet also implies something temporary; a diet is something people go on to reach a goal or number on the scale, and once the pounds disappear, the diet ends. Instead of thinking about the concept of a diet, choose a food program that you believe you can live with for the rest of your life. There are several food programs such as the DASH, Mediterranean and Weight Watchers programs that can help you lose extra pounds and keep them off.
Exercise Regularly for the Best Way to Lose Weight and Keep It Off
There are no substitutes for exercise and losing extra pounds. Research shows that people who exercise regularly are more successful at weight management. According to the National Weight Registry, 94 percent of people who have lost weight and have kept it off report increasing physical activity. The most common type of exercise reported is walking.
If you haven’t been that active, start exercising slowly after getting your doctor’s approval. Make specific goals. For example, instead of making a goal to walk every other day, make it more specific. Make a goal to walk on certain days of the week at specific times. Perhaps you could make it a point to get up 30 minutes early on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and go for a walk or go for a walk during lunch breaks while you’re at work on four specific days during the week.
After you’ve started an exercise program, start increasing the duration and intensity of your workouts. Eventually, you’ll want to workout five to seven days a week for at least 30 to 45 minutes. Exercising regularly will help you feel and look better.
Besides finding a permanent healthy eating plan and exercising regularly, start keeping a food diary, join a support group for weight control, watch fewer hours of television and weigh yourself often. Doing these things practically guarantees you’ll get slim and stay slim according to people who have been successful with permanent weight loss.
“Crash Diets: Ineffective and Unhealthy.” Shape. January 2009, Vol. 28, Issue 5, P100.
Genge, Amanda. “Losing Weight at a Safe Rate. Weight Watchers.
Jessen, Christian. “No Fad Diets at Christmas.” Evening Standard. December 8, 2010. pg. 30.
Rosch, Paul J. “How to Lose Weight and Keep it Off, Safely and Permanently.” Health and Stress. 2000, Issue 7, p1.