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How To Lose Weight For Life

Updated on July 28, 2009

How to Lose and Maintain Weight

I have been dieting on and off since I was a teenager and I have not found any diet that really worked. I always thought of a diet as a temporary thing and ate less for a while, lost some weight and then went back to eating how I had before. Of course the weight came back on again.

The key to being able to keep weight off for life is to be able to change your lifestyle so that it is normal to eat the right amount of food to stay a healthy weight. This is not a exact science as each person is different but by cutting down the amount of calories that we eat, we should be able to lose weight. Many people can do this fairly successfully but then they get to the position where they are at their ideal weight and do not know what to do to keep it off.

It is actually quite simple, just make sure that you keep eating sesibly. Increase the amount of calories that you are eating if you are losing too much weight and decrease the calories if you are putting it on. This may sound like hard work but once you get used to knowing how many calories there are in various foods then you should be able to do these calculations in your head pretty much.

How To Maintain Weight Loss and be Healthy

It is all very well losing weight and maintaining it but it is still possible to be very unhealthy. If you eat 1000 calories of chocolate a day and do no exercise, you will not be overweight but you will not be healthy.

Most people lose weight because they want to be able to look better. However, it is important to remember that your looks are no good to you if you are unwell due to you being unhealthy. Despite the amount of unhealthy foods that are available to us these days, it is easy to make healthy choices:

  • Do not eat unhealthy take aways and processed ready meals
  • Find out how much fat, sugar and salt are healthy and aim to eat less than this
  • Eat 2-3 different fruits a day
  • Eat 3-5 different vegetables a day
  • Eat balanced meals with half a plate of fruit and vegetables, a quarter of low fat protein and a quarter of carbohydrates
  • Eat plenty of fibre such as wholegrain carbohydrates
  • Put the whole family on to the new eating plan
  • Do plenty of exercise - at least 60 minutes a day

How To Get Started

It can be hard to make lifestyle changes like this and doing it all in one go can be rather daunting. However, making small changes can help, so why not aim to make one change a week and then you will slowly build new habits and get used to living a healthier lifestyle. The sorts of things you could do are :

  • Replace you latte and muffin with a cappucino or americano and a piece of fruit
  • Swap high fat butter for lower fat spread
  • Cut down crisps, biscuits and sweets to once or twice a week
  • Swap fizzy drinks for fruit juice or fruit tea
  • Swap cream for low fat yoghurt
  • Reduce your portion sizes
  • Eat out less often
  • Make take outs a rare treat
  • Start eating a healthy cereal for breakfast
  • Swap white rice for brown and white bread and pasta for brown
  • Find a reduced fat cheese that you like and only eat it occasionally
  • Start noticing calories and work out which foods will prevent weight gain
  • Find out how many calories you need to eat to sustain your current weight and decide whether you need to reduce the amount you are eating
  • Take healthy snacks to work
  • Walk or cycle to work
  • Take a walk in the evening or join the gym
  • Start doing stairs instead of the lift

All About Exercise

Many people think that exercise is just a way to lose wieght and that they woud rather eat healthily and forget about it. The truth is that exercise is important for fighting off illnesses as it boosts our immune system, strengthens our heart muscle and improves our bones and many other parts of the body.

You neednt be worried about exercise though. It does not mean that you have to spend hours on the treadmill or end up gasping for breath. There are lots of ways to exercise and they can be a lot of fun.

Walking is a great exercise as it is unlikley to cause injury and it is free. It is important to raise your heart rate and get slightly out of breath when you are exercising and you can do this when walking as long as you are fast enough. It coudl be a good idea to go up hill as this can raise your heart rate more quickly.

Cycling can be good as well, as it coudl be a means of getting you somewhere but also gives you exercise at the same time.

If you find it hard to motivate yourself to exercise then consider joining a gym or doing an exercise class with someone else. You will be able to encourage and help each other.

If you keep thining of ways that you can incoorporate a bit more exercise into your life, you are likely to come up with some great ways. It is just a matter of setting a little bit of time aside to look after your body.

Conclusions

The important things to remember are that you should be putting your health above everything else.

If you family seems more important or your work then think about how well you will manage those things if you are unwell. If you look after yourself you will be improving those situations as well in the long run.

Make some time to think about your health, think how you can exercise more and start to buy healthier foods.

Enjoy yourself, see it as a fun challenge and try to get your friends and family involved so that they can support you.

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