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How To Make Intelligent Choices to Lose Weight and Look Great

Lose weight and look great

Stories about weight loss and diets are in the news every day, and one reason they are so popular is that countless numbers of people are looking for ways to help themselves lose unwanted pounds. They are hoping that by reading these stories, they may discover how to make intelligent choices to lose weight and look great.

Decisions to lose weight by celebrities

Among the latest celebrities on the weight loss front is Governor Chris Christie, who announced on May 7 that he had undergone a weight loss surgical procedure called lap-band surgery in November 2012. Christie, who was quoted in a USA Today article saying he had struggled with his weight for 20 years, reportedly has already lost 40 pounds.

Anyone who has followed daytime talk shows over the years (or even if you didn’t) has probably noticed that celebrity Oprah Winfrey has had a battle with weight and dieting for decades. Oprah reportedly has tried a number of different dieting approaches, some of which proved successful, at least in the short run.

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These two celebrities are just two examples of individuals who made their own choices about how they wanted to lose weight--successfully or not. They also lead to two of the burning questions about weight loss: how do you make an intelligent choice about which weight loss plan to follow, and how do you keep the weight off once you drop the pounds?

Do not count on what worked for a celebrity--or even your best friend--to also work for you: you are unique and have your own biochemistry, health issues, lifestyle, needs, and desires. So when you decide it’s time to lose weight and keep it off, there are several things you need to do.

How to make intelligence weight loss choices

  • Be honest with yourself. Are you truly ready to make the commitment to lose weight, or are you trying to fulfill someone else’s expectations? Are you ready to make lifestyle changes that are necessary to be successful? If you can honestly say “yes” to these questions, then you may be ready to take the plunge.
  • Talk to your healthcare provider. It’s a wise choice to discuss your weight loss plans with your physician, especially if you are significantly overweight or obese and/or if you have health issues and are taking medications. Planned modifications to your diet and physical activity should be coordinated with any physical limitations, medication or supplement use, or dietary restrictions you may have. If surgery is the decision both you and your doctor make, then you can establish the short-term and long-term program you will need to be successful.
  • Make the commitment formal. If you make a written statement or even a contract with yourself to lose weight, it can make your commitment more real. Many people find that having a written contract that definitively states a starting date, weekly and long-term eight loss goals, the changes you will make in your life to achieve those goals, and how you plan to maintain your weight loss are helpful in sticking to the plan.
  • Share your commitment. If you let other people know (e.g., family, friends, coworkers) know you are on a mission, they can serve as a support network. Having social support when making lifestyle and dietary changes can be a tremendous help in keeping you on track. Don’t forget online weight loss support from forums, chat rooms, and weight loss websites.
  • Remind yourself. Post notes and reminders for yourself to keep you on track. Some effective reminders may include keeping a daily diary of your thoughts, feelings, activities, and weight loss, or you might post positive affirmations on sticky notes in your bathroom, bedroom, or car. Keep your written contract handy so you can re-read it often. Make connections with your social network often so you can be reminded why you are working toward your goal.
  • Keep a positive attitude. Remember that choosing a weight loss plan is about making changes to your eating habits, not depriving yourself. If you choose to stop eating 10 high-fat, high-calorie foods, then choose 10 delicious, low-calorie foods to replace them. Learn how to make low-calorie versions of high-calorie recipes.
  • Chose foods you can live with. Even though you are on a quest to lose weight, you also want to keep it off. So your eating plan should include foods you can live with for the rest of your life. That means a wide variety of fresh, nutritious foods (the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet are two good examples) and not the grapefruit diet or the cabbage soup diet.
  • Be realistic. Prepare yourself for occasional setbacks or plateaus. You may lose several pounds the first few weeks then stop losing for a while. Have a Plan B ready for when this happens. One thing that may work is to change your exercise routine by adding something fun like dancing or zumba—something that makes you feel good about yourself, even if you have a temporary slowdown in weight loss.
  • Stay informed. Be sure to follow the research on weight loss, nutrition, and exercise. But stay away from fad diets, supplements that promise unrealistic weight loss (always read the fine print), and overpriced exercise equipment. If it sounds too good to be true, it is.
  • Reward yourself. When you reach certain weight loss goals, give yourself a planned reward. These rewards can even be included in your contract with yourself. You might treat yourself to a movie, a new dress, a trip to a favorite museum, or a stress-free afternoon walk in the park. Whatever you choose, make it fun.

You can make intelligent choices to lose weight and look great if you take the time to make a plan, monitor your progress, reward yourself, and know you will look and feel great once you meet your goal.

Image: Pixabay