While losing weight poses a challenge for many people, keeping the weight off permanently often proves to be more difficult than getting rid of it in the first place. Though reaching your goal weight and desired fitness level are the first steps to a more fulfilling and healthier life, constructing an intelligent plan to keep yourself there is the key to lasting happiness and weight management.
First, it is essential that you review your current personal standards regarding your body image, diet and exercise regimen. Understand that permanent weight loss is not attained or maintained with fad diets or fitness programs. The choices that you make in order to lose weight must be incorporated into a lifelong commitment to keeping your mind and body healthy. Thus, setting strong but reasonable standards for yourself is crucial.
Make a decision to be better to yourself every day. Rather than focusing on how heavy or unhealthy you feel, concentrate on the potential you have to become more fit. A healthy, positive outlook on your weight loss will serve to motivate you throughout the process rather than discourage you.
Second, don’t allow yourself to fall prey to the common misconception that starving yourself will result in lasting weight loss. On the contrary, while the body may certainly shed a few quick pounds in response to a drastic reduction in caloric intake, this type of behavior invariably leads to a sluggish metabolism and, eventually, to the return of any weight lost.
Permanent weight loss is only achieved through a responsibly planned and balanced diet of healthful foods. A complete and healthy diet consists of recommended amounts of whole grains, lean meats (such as turkey, chicken and lean beef), fish, beans and lentils, fruits and vegetables, along with an abundant amount of water daily.
Depending on your starting BMI, your individual caloric needs may differ from that which is considered standard. However, standard medical recommendations suggest that men consume at least 2,400 calories per day and that women consume 2,000 calories at a minimum, assuming they are both active. A diet that adheres to these suggestions is complemented by at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity per day.
Finally, remember that weight lost gradually is weight lost more permanently. When your body is given adequate time to adjust to the pounds of fat shed, your metabolism remains steady and strong. Though it is often tempting to rush through diets and exercise programs, keep in mind your new, higher standards for overall health and lasting fitness, and use this frame of mind to find encouragement in the prospect of a longer, happier life and permanent weight loss.