The path to sustainable weight loss

Friday, February 6, 2009
The path to sustainable weight loss needs a beginning. As you put your new knowledge to work and embark on a comprehensive weight-loss method, there are several things you can do. The goal is to maximize your knowledge so that you are prepared to make informed decisions for your best approach.

• Consult with your doctor before starting any weight management program. It is a good idea to get a complete physical before beginning a diet and/or exercise program to rule out medical limitations.

• Ask your doctor or pharmacist if any of the medications that you’re taking might affect your weight-loss success by increasing your appetite or slowing your metabolism. The good news is that in almost all cases other drugs are available that treat the same condition but do not affect weight. It is worth finding out whether a simple change in your medication can remove this potential obstacle.

• Think about weight-loss methods that you have used in the past. How many of the factors that predict successful weight loss and sustained weight loss were part of these methods? Are there things that you could have done differently to include more factors?

• What do you see as your “happy” weight and when do you see yourself achieving it? If your answer is a weight that is less than 90% of your current body weight and your time frame for reaching that weight is in less than six months, rethink your expectations. A reasonable goal is a loss of 10% of your current weight over six months. Start with that goal—you may very well surprise yourself by exceeding it!

• Identify at least three people you know who have successfully lost weight and are keeping it off. Find out about their experience what method they used, what strategies and approaches they took to make it work for them, and what they are doing to sustain the weight loss. Compare what they tell you about the factors of successful weight loss, the factors for sustained weight loss, and the basic components of a weight-loss program.

• Remind yourself often and with confidence that sustained weight loss is possible. Your body will not undermine your achievements by slowing metabolism so that you gain the weight back.

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