Keeping it off
Our first weight loss article on this subject dealt with losing one pound per week, which is achievable for everybody. This article deals with keeping weight off after you lose it, or controlling weight. There is little point in going through with a diet and changing your exercise regime only to see the weight return; that is demoralizing and exactly what happens to people who attempt to lose weight too rapidly. If you weigh 200-pounds and wish to get down to 150 pounds it is going to take 50 weeks to achieve it and sustain your new weight.
Controlling weight means having to learn two sets of behavior: weight loss and weight maintenance. According to some health professionals, weight maintenance is the more difficult. Only a third of the people who lose weight are able to keep it off. Long-term success depends upon continuing the good eating and exercise habits you developed while losing weight. So don’t allow yourself to get into a regime that is too vigorous because you are unlikely to be able to keep it up. Vigorous diets do work but usually they only work to take the weight off and then become unsustainable and within a short period of time the weight returns.
Set Sustainable Goals
Now is the time to set sustainable goals and to meet that criteria your goals need to be realistic. Losing a single pound (450 grams) each week should not prove too difficult. I once heard comedian Billy Connolly say: “Losing weight is easy; all you have to do is eat less and move more.” I don’t think anybody has ever stated a more obvious fact. So ask yourself whether you can eat a little less and move more each day, if the answer is yes and your will power is strong enough then you will have no problem losing weight.
It will take time to make these new habits part of your life. Continue to modify your behavior by:
1. Accepting the fact that it takes your stomach about 20 minutes to get the message to your brain that it is full. Most people continue eating long after they have had sufficient.
2. Never drink beer, or carbonated waters like Coke, Pepsi or anything that fizzes with your meal. Beer prevents the breakdown of fat.
3. It is better to have five or six small meals than one big meal.
4. Eat slowly and chew each piece of food.
5. Stop eating before you feel full. Be prepared to take a twenty minute break before deciding if you have eaten enough.
6. If you become hungry between meals then eat a piece of fruit or a raw carrot.
By losing weight you are achieving an ambition and achievement deserves reward. Just do not reward yourself with food. New clothes are a good incentive, a visit to the theater or a sporting event or anything that you will see as a reward..
You do not have to give up any food that you like, unless it is extremely high fat content, It is just a matter of reducing the amount that you eat. This can be achieved in many ways. I nominate one thing each day that is off the menu for that day. Say potatoes: I do not substitute potato, I just leave a gap on my plate that it usually fills. That way I reduce my calorie intake and my extra light exercise also burns further calories. Y’know Billy Connolly is right. It works. The final decision is always yours and only you have the ability to see it through but if you are reading this article then you are at least thinking about it. Lowering your weight and increasing your fitness not only prolongs life, it makes life more fun.
This article is © copyright David McCarthy 2005. It may be reproduced only in its entirety with no changes or additions.
Keeping it off