Healthy Weight Loss

Have you been noticing that your dress size has been creeping up a number or two? Are your favorite jeans getting a little snug? Are you concerned about your risk for diabetes or heart disease? If you answered yes to any of these question, then you may be considering losing a little weight to help your body to get back into shape. But (as most of us know!) weight loss is not an easy thing to attempt, and, if done improperly, it can be associated with some serious health risks. So if you are eager to lose a few pounds, here are a few healthy weight loss tips.

Do You Need To Lose Weight?
Before you start shedding those pounds, it is important to find out if you really need to lose weight. A lot of men and women are eager to drop a few sizes when they really don't need to or during a time in their lives when weight loss just isn't healthy. If you are under the age of 12, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should never lose weight, as this could result in serious health complications. If you are suffering from an eating disorder such as anorexia or bulimia, you should also refrain from weight loss.

On the other hand, other men and women may not be aware that their weight is putting them at serious risk of health complications, such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. An easy way to tell if you could stand to lose a few pounds is to use the Body Mass Index. Available from your health care provider, this index provides you with a number that compares your weight and height. Depending upon what your number is, you may be underweight, of normal weight, or overweight. Most healthy adults have a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9. If your BMI is above 25, you may want to lose a little weight.

Before You Lose Weight

Before you start out on a weight loss program, there are a few key things that you will want to do.

Identify Your Motivations
Before you start out on your healthy path to weight loss, it is a good idea to become familiar with the reasons why you want to lose weight. By identifying your motivations for weight loss, you will actually help yourself stick with your diet plans. Some reasons for losing weight may include:

  • healthy living
  • appearance
  • increased energy

It is best to have a motivation that will encourage you to continue with your new healthy lifestyle.

Keep A Diary
For a week or two before you begin your diet, keep track of all of the food you eat and exercise you complete. This will help you to identify problem areas that you may wish to address.

Talk To Your Doctor
Make an appointment with your health care provider before you start any weight loss program. Your health care provider will want to make sure that you are healthy enough to engage in safe weight loss. Your health care provider might also have some tips on how you can best lose weight.

Components of a Healthy Weight Loss Program

A healthy weight loss program should include two main facets: food control and exercise.

Food Control
In order to lose weight, most people will need to cut their calories. Most moderately active people need to take in between 2,000 and 2,200 calories every day. If you want to lose weight, it is recommended that you reduce your intake by between 300 and 500 calories. This calorie reduction will help you to lose between one and two pounds per week. Though this may not seem like quick weight loss, it is the healthiest rate at which to lose weight. It is very unwise to cut your calories by any more than 500 calories. Such diets, often referred to as crash diets, can result in a number of health problems, particularly fatigue. It may also set you up for future weight gain because it can affect your metabolism and cause intense food cravings.

Here are some great and healthy ways to reduce your caloric intake:

  • Eat a healthy diet filled with lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grain products.
  • Reduce or eliminate alcoholic beverages.
  • Consume low-fat products.
  • Reduce your portion sizes and don't eat second helpings of food.
  • Reduce high-calorie foods, including sugary and fried foods.
  • Eat more grilled, broiled, and roasted foods.

Exercise
Physical exercise is an essential part of any healthy weight loss plan. Exercise will help you burn excess calories and fat, and will also help to tone and build muscle. When trying to lose weight, it is a good idea to exercise daily. Be sure to speak to your health care provider before engaging in any type of physical exercise. Here are some tips to effective weight loss exercise:

  • Find an activity that is easily accessible and that you like doing. This will make it easier for you to stick with.
  • Start slowly. Start with 30 minutes of exercise, three times a week and build from there.
  • Add in exercise everyday: try climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator, or get off the bus a stop early and walk to work.
  • Try to combine all types of exercise into your routine, including strength-building, aerobic, and flexibility exercises.

Diet Don'ts
When it comes to dieting, there is a lot of bad advice out there. Never resort to any of the methods listed below to help you lose weight:

  • Diet Pills: Diet pills are usually ineffective for weight loss and are often dangerous and unregulated. Some weight loss pills contain addictive and harmful ingredients and should never be used without a doctor's supervision. If you are interested in weight loss medication, speak with your health care provider.
  • Laxatives: Many people use laxatives to try to lose weight quickly. Never use laxatives to lose weight. They only cause water-weight loss and can seriously dehydrate you. When seriously abused, laxatives can become life-threatening.
  • Fasting: While fasting plays a major part in some diets, it is generally not recommended for safe weight loss. Fasting can seriously impair your body's metabolism, making it more difficult to lose weight in the long run. Fasting can also dangerously affect nutrient and water levels in the body.

You might have made the decision to declare war on excess fat gained over the last years. If you feel overwhelmed with the resources available on the internet, then Weight Loss Support is the best choice to inform yourself before getting involved in any weight loss program.

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