Friday, February 1, 2008

Lose Weight in '08 - 7 Steps To Weight Loss

Weight Loss
7 Steps To Weight Loss
By Michael O'Shea

1. BUY A SCALE
To change your body, you need to know where you stand. A recent study by Brown University Medical School showed that daily weigh-ins are key. Place your scale on a flat, uncarpeted surface and weigh yourself at the same time every day. (First thing in the morning is best.) Use the number as a way to track your progress. A realistic goal is a weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds a week.


2. CLEAN OUT YOUR CUPBOARDS
Toss all those naughty little goodies that might prove too tempting when you’re tired or hungry. Or put them at the back of the cupboard or refrigerator so you won’t be faced with them every time you open the door. And divide large bags of snacks into single-portion baggies or buy prepackaged 100-calorie options.

3. KEEP A JOURNAL
Write down your weight each day, plus everything you eat. You’re the only one who has to see this—so be honest. Estimate the calories of each entry as you write it down. (Find out the number of calories in everything you eat. Visit nutritiondata.com.)

4. TELL EVERYONE
Sit your family down and tell them your goals. Be clear that losing weight is important to you and that you would appreciate their support. A weight-loss buddy also can improve your chances of success. If you don’t know anyone who fits the bill, consider joining an online support group.


5. EAT SEVERAL SMALL MEALS A DAY

It’s natural to be a little hungry during the first few days of any diet. Remind yourself that it is just a physical sensation, and you can handle it. Still, any diet that leaves you hungry all the time will lead to overeating. Many people find that having five or six small meals a day works best for them.

6. GIVE YOURSELF TREATS
If you deprive yourself endlessly, you’ll end up going on a world-class binge at some point. Consider adding a treat to your daily or weekly plan, but pay attention to portion size and calorie count. A 1/2 cup of low-fat ice cream or three pieces of chocolate can work as long as you limit yourself to that.

7. START AN EXERCISE PLAN
Besides burning calories, exercise also builds muscle and boosts your metabolism as you progress. One of the best things you can do is walk. Invest in a pedometer and aim for a goal of 10,000 steps or more a day. It’s the only number you want to see go up, up, up!


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