6 Steps to Choosing a Safe, Successful Weight Loss Plan

Are you looking for the safest, most effective way to permanently lose unwanted pounds? Millions of us are, and experts agree that the safest and most effective way to achieve permanent weight loss is to follow a healthy eating plan and get adequate physical activity. The weight loss plan you choose should be one that promotes healthy eating habits to lose weight and to maintain weight loss. When you’re ready to select your weight loss plan make sure you choose one that includes:

1. Healthy eating. Choose a weight loss plan that reduces calories without leaving out specific foods or food groups. Make sure your weight loss plan includes foods from all the food groups on the nutrition pyramid.

2. Exercise. Enough cannot be said about the importance of a regular workout plan that includes 30 to 60 minutes of cardiovascular activity at least 5 days every week – 6 to 7 days a week is even better.

3. Medical supervision. If you’re going to follow a diet plan that includes a modified eating plan such as a very low calorie diet, or a liquid diet, make sure that regular medical care is incorporated. This can mean seeing your own health care provider before, during, and after your weight loss, or seeing a medical professional who participates in your weight loss plan.

4. Behavior modification. This is a key element of permanent weight loss. Learn to recognize what triggers you to eat. Often seeing a therapist who specializes in weight loss is a great way to discover what your eating triggers are, and help you learn to say “No” to inappropriate eating.

5. Slow, steady weight loss. Choose a weight loss plan that provides gradual and consistent weight loss of about ¾ to 2 pounds per week. While you may lose weight faster than this at the beginning of your diet, generally, you should not lose more than 3 pounds per week to maintain good health while losing weight.

6. Maintenance plan. Any weight loss plan that doesn’t include a maintenance plan for after you’ve reached your goal weight isn’t worth your time. Make sure you have a plan to maintain your healthy new weight after your diet. Your plan should incorporate healthy eating and regular physical activity as a permanent part of your daily life.

By Tracee Cornforth (Women’s Health Expert)

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