Like riding a bicycle, playing tennis, or singing at the Met, successful weight loss takes practice, sometimes a lot of practice. Nobody's born knowing exactly a better way to lose weight. In other words, to win at weight loss, you have to follow the rules. Translation: You have to know when you're ready to lose weight, and once you've decided that, you have to know how to distinguish a healthful weight loss program from the merely okay or the truly awful weight loss program.
The five rules listed below are a guide:
Rule #1: Be sure you actually need to lose weight
Your assignment if you choose to accept it, is to be certain that you really do need to lose weight. Assess you weight realistically, is it too high? Too low? Avoid the pitfall of trying to lose weight for the wrong reason. An eating disorder will make you feel fatter than you really are. On the other hand, if you are really a couple of pounds on the wrong side of the scale, and your doctor agrees that losing weight will improve your health, proceed to Rule #2
Rule #2: Don't start a weight loss program until you're ready
I mean really, really ready. Trying to lose weight is like trying to give up smoking. I know how you feel, and I sympathize. You've tried to lose weight before, and either didn't make it or gained back everything you lost. So how do you know if you're really ready this time. Just ask yourself this few simple questions:-
1) I want to lose weight because:-
a) My boyfriend/girlfriend/parents say I'll look better.
b) My doctor says it will improve my health.
c) I think losing weight will improve my health. And I'll look better
2) I am willing to try to lose weight right now because
a) I've lost my job, and dieting will keep me occupied
b) I broke with my boyfriend/girlfriend, and dieting will take my mind off my broken heart.
c) Things are pretty good, so I figure I have the energy to change my eating habits.
3) My goal is to lose...
a) Ten pounds the first week.
b) Ten pounds the first month
c) Ten pounds
4) My diet is ...
a) Oranges three times a day, after all, they're high in fiber and vitamin C
b) All fruit; nobody can just live on just one fruit, not even oranges
c) Fruit, veggies, grains, dairy foods, meat, fish, and poultry - only in measured portions, smaller than I usually eat.
5)After I lose weight...
a)My whole life will change
b) I'll never eat ice cream again
c) I'll continue an active, nutritious lifestyle.
And the correct answer to every question is of course (c). Why? Because it describes a decision based on what you want to do and what you can do, not on someone's else opinion or on unrealistic assumptions about weight. Lose ten pounds in a week? Wave bye-bye to all your problems? Never eat ice cream again? Give me - and yourself - a break!
Rule #3: Pick a diet that provides all the essential nutrients
A very healthy diet, even one designed to take off pounds, provides a variety of different foods. Let's take broccoli for example. Even though the vegetable is packed with anti cancer carotenoid pigments, plus vitamin A, vitamin C, the B vitamin folate, carbs, and dietary fiber, we cannot live by green florets alone. Variety in food is important in weight loss. Food is meant to be enjoyed, even diet food. When your weight loss diet is interesting and tastes good, sticking to it is less of a chore. Besides, human beings are omnivores, which means that they have digestive tracts equipped to handle foods from plants and foods from animals. While vegetarianism may certainly be a healthful choice, maybe even a moral one for folks who do not want to consume animals, human bodies have the ability to metabolize and use all kids of food: meat, dairy, grains, fruits and veggies. Who are you to contradict Mother Nature by eating only one food?
Rule #4: Choose a diet with sensible goals
Obesity has become such an important health issue that oodles of reputable organizations, such as the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, the American Dietic Associaton, not to mention all the relevant government agencies, are ready and willing to offer pretty much the same prescription: Eat less, eat a variety of foods, get the nutrients you need, step up your exercise, and take the time you need to lose pounds easily. This advise is boring, no doubt about that. Boring or not, the simple truth is that like the tortoise in Aesop's tale whose slow but steady pace left the jumpy hare in the dust, slow but steady weight loss is a sure winner over the long haul.
Rule #5: Pick a diet you can live with forever
If the thought of sticking with your weight loss program triggers pure panic - what? Asparagus and toast everyday for the next 40 years? - you have a pretty good clue that you have picked the wrong diet. However, if your reaction is, "Yeah, I guess I could learn to live with more veggies, more fruits, and fewer coconut cream cupcakes so long as I can have a Mc Burger or a fat free frozen yogurt once in a while." that suggest that you're on the right track. Remember, true weight control is a lifestyle change, and a healthy lifestyle can (and should) be a pleasurable lifelong commitment.