Healthy Weight Loss Strategies
For a formal and effective weight management plan, these weight loss strategies can help:
#1. Target your appropriate weight. Speak with a health care professional to determine a weight range that is healthy for you.
#2. Set realistic goals. Gaining or losing one-half pound to one pound per week is a safe and realistic goal.
#3. Personalize your plan. Think about your food preferences and lifestyle when designing your weight management program.
#4. Put your goal and plan in writing. You might also find it helpful to keep a journal of what and when you eat to become more aware of your eating habits.
#5. Evaluate you progress. Track your progress by weighting yourself weekly at the same time of day. Remember that time periods when your weight does not change are normal.
Healthy Weight Loss Strategies
Weight loss strategies #1.
Eat 1,700 to 1,800 calories daily to meet your body’s energy needs. Eating fewer than 1,400 calories a day may cause you to miss out on essential nutrients.
Weight loss strategies #2.
Include your favorites in moderation. Eat smaller portions of your favorite high-calorie foods, and eat them less frequently. Instead of giving up ice cream altogether, for example, have a small scoop one a week.
Weight loss strategies #3.
Eat a variety of low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods (foods that are high in nutrients as compared with their calorie content). Whole-grain products, vegetables, and fruits are examples of low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods.
Weight loss strategies #4.
Drink plenty of water. Eight glasses a day will help keep your body functioning at its best.
Risky Weight loss Strategies
A number of weight-loss strategies not only fail to produce long-term results but also serious health problems. Part of being a health-literate consumer involves recognizing the potential health risks associated with some weight-loss plans and products.
Fad diets are hard to stick with because they limit food variety. The “grapefruit diet” is an example of a food-limiting fad diet. Some fad diets are costly because they require dieters to buy certain products. Fad diets that severely restrict the foods a dieter eats fail to provide the body with the nutrients it needs for health and growth. Any weight lost on fad diets is usually regained.
A person on a liquid diet replaces all of his or her food intake with a special liquid formula. These very-low-calorie diets generally do not meet the body’s energy needs. As a result, they often leave the dieter feeling fatigued. Many liquid diets do not provide the body with fiber and needed nutrients. Relying on high-protein, low-carbohydrate liquids as the only source of nutrients can cause serious problems and even death. Because of the potential dangers associated with liquid diets, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration require these product to carry warning labels and recommends that they be used only under close medical supervision.
To fast is to abstain from eating. Although this may seem like a sure way to lose weight, fasting for more than short periods deprives your body of needed nutrients and energy. Without a fresh supply of nutrients each day, your body begins breaking down protein stored in muscle tissue for energy. If the person who is fasting also avoids liquids, he or she may become dehydrated.
Some religious and cultural rituals involve brief periods of fasting. Such fasting is not dangerous for the average person because the fast is of limited duration. However, fasting may not advisable for those with diabetes or other health conditions. If you are unsure about how cultural or religious fasting may affect a medical condition, consult a health care professional for advice.
Some diet plans or products may seem to help people lose weight quickly, but the weight loss is usually from water, not body fat. Water weight lost is quickly regained. The repeated pattern of loss and regain of body weight is called weight cycling. Weight cycling is common in people who follow fad diets. Some reports have suggested that weight cycling is harmful, although other studies do not support this finding. In general, slow and steady weight loss is the best strategy for long-lasting results.
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