Jul 19, 2007

Best Weight Loss Practices

By Amy Nutt

The best practices for permanent weight loss are healthy habits that you can continue for the rest of your life.

Make Exercise a Habit

One of the best things you can do for your body is to move it. A balance of cardio activities and resistance training will:

• Boost your metabolism
• Allow your body to burn more calories
• Create a leaner look
• Prevent sagging skin after weight loss
• Increase your energy
• Extend your life by giving you a healthier heart.

If you don’t already participate in weekly cardio and weight training activities, start small and gradually add to your time and intensity.

Make Healthier Food Choices

Exercise alone cannot help you lose weight. The best practice to shed extra pounds is to combine exercise with a sensible diet.

Choosing a diet to follow can be overwhelming with so many books, programs and Web sites on the market. Fad diets often claim to have the miracle for weight loss. It is important to weed through the various weight loss plans and learn to spot a fad diet.

A sensible diet is one you can safely and sanely follow forever. A healthy diet isn’t one that you follow for 48 hours or for 30 days. There is no time limit for a healthy lifestyle. Cutting food groups and following extreme calorie reduction plans don’t work either.

The best eating plan for permanent weight loss is cutting back on sweets and eating foods in their natural form. Limit fast foods and processed foods and eat frequent small meals throughout the day to avoid feeling hungry or deprived.

Stay Motivated

The majority of people who start a diet quit long before they reach their goals. Special occasions and minor setbacks can easily lead to binge eating and reverting to your old eating habits.

Finding your own motivation to stay on track with your weight loss program is essential to your success. Maybe you want to be a healthy role model for your kids, you want to reduce the amount of medicine you take, or you just refuse to live being overweight any longer. Use these things to guide your daily choices.

Write out the things that motivate you to lose weight and revisit the list when you start to veer off track from your weight loss program.

Stay Hydrated

You need to stay hydrated to feel and look your best. Drink eight cups (the minimum recommendation) or more of water every day. Water will also help flush the fat from your body.

Pulling it All Together

Water, natural food, exercise and keeping your motivation up will help you stick with your diet and reach your weight loss goals. Tracking everything through a journal or online tracking program is a great way to make sure you have done your best each day and are moving closer to your goal weight.

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