All of a sudden you discover that you are overweight!

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You are joining 8 out of every 10 adults in the United States that are also overweight or obese.  Whether your weight is a fairly new problem or has been something that has plagued you for most of your life, it’s never too late to do something about it.  If you are determined to do something positive about losing your excess pounds, good for you!  But you have an important decision to make at this time as you are beginning to embark on a new weight loss venture. 

Don’t expect that you will be able to take some miracle drug or supplement or purchase a new machine that will magically solve your problem and help you shed those extra pounds without making any other efforts.  Don’t look for a quick fix because there is no universal quick and easy cure for your problem unless you make some lifestyle changes.

Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight requires a steady and livable effort made each and every day.  It usually involved work on several different fronts.  You will need to make good choices when it comes to your diet.  This will include eating healthy foods and in correct portions.  You will have to include an exercise program and change your habits and emotions. 

Losing weight requires more of our time than we would really like to give.  You will probably need to make some changes in schedules, activities, and expectations.  Definitely you will find that the long-term benefit will be worth all of your efforts. 

You do not have to have a will of steel, or endure terrible hunger to lose weight.  You do need to develop a livable plan.

Before starting any weight loss program you should have a medical evaluation and ask your doctor if you have any health problems that are related to your health.  There are many things your doctor should look at when evaluating your health:

  • Your actual height, weight, and body mass index (BMI), as well as any trend you have had over the past few years in your weight 
  • Your blood pressure
  • Your lipids: cholesterol (total, HDL, and LDL) and triglycerides
  • Your fasting blood glucose (blood sugar) level, which if elevated may lead your doctor to recommend a glucose tolerance test
  • Any symptoms that might suggest a medical problem aggravated by weight, including chest pains or pressure, shortness of breath, daytime drowsiness, fluid retention, irregular menses, or sore joints (especially knees and hips)
  • An electrocardiogram, stress test, or other heart-related studies if you have worrisome chest symptoms or are contemplating vigorous exercise
  • Any medical problems that might be contributing to your weight problem, such as hypothyroidism or polycystic ovary syndrome

 Weight loss(43866)Credit: blog.premiersurgical.comNow you need to identify why you want to lose weight.  It needs to be your reasons because too many people try to lose weight in order to please someone else or to get someone off of their back.  Spouses, children, partners, other relatives and even your doctor might be the reason you think you need to lose weight.  This may provide motivation for you but will only motivate for a while, but it rarely works for a long-term effort because resentment and resistance nearly always enter the picture. 

Why do YOU want to lose weight?  You need to identify why and then write it down.  After you have written down your reasons then you need to repeatedly review them when you start feeling that you can’t possibly continue with your program. 

You must then start your program by adjusting or amending any counterproductive expectations and beliefs. 

  • Appreciate slow and steady progress.  Fad diets and ultra-low calorie diets will promise rapid and spectacular weight loss, and you will probably achieve quick results but this is not a healthy way to do it.  The most reliable weight loss program occurs constantly and gradually.  Remember that one a pound a week is a loss of 52 pounds a year. 
  • Set realistic expectations.  If you are getting older and think you will lose weight as easily as you did in your twenty-something’s, think again.  Your primary goal should be to reach a weight that improves your health and sense of overall well-being.  For most adults the primary target will be a weight that gives you a BMI of 25.  Remember that if your significantly overweight (with a BMI of over 30), even a modest loss of five or ten pounds can make a major difference in some important health risk factors, including your cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, and blood pressure.
  • Love life right now.  Losing weight will not change everything for you and so you need to be happy right now.  Yes, losing weight can give you some personal and social positive benefits but if you are not satisfied with your life at your present weight, it’s unlikely that losing weight will make it that much better.  True happiness and contentment comes from the inside.  You need to have a healthy you on the inside as well as the outside to be completely happy.
  • Take personal responsibility.  It’s time to quit blaming your parents for your genes, your sit-down job, fast-food restaurants, the sugar industry, or everyone else for your weight problem.  Quit wasting some perfectly good energy by blaming everyone but yourself.  Yes, you are more than likely the reason you are fat.  Is that a new concept to you?  Then it’s time to take the responsibility for you.  No one can lose weight for you but no one can stop you from losing weight!
  • Losing weight is not a prison sentence!  Quit dreading the fact that you are going to embark on a new healthier you.  How often do you get in the rut of, “I’m starting a diet tomorrow so I’m going to really enjoy eating today?”  This is a self-defeating attitude and is a guarantee of failure on your part because you are dreading it so much.  Nourish your body correctly and you will also nourish your mind in a healthy way.
  • Learn from mistakes.  How many weight loss programs or diets have you tried?  Use those experiences to set yourself on the right path this time.  You know what worked and didn’t work for you.  If you “fall off the wagon” occasionally, don’t beat yourself up for it.  Remember that it’s not what you ate yesterday; it’s what you will eat today that matters.
  • Know that you can succeed.  You will get frustrated but you need to keep going on the right path.  Believe in yourself.  Surround yourself with positive motivators such as family or friends that will embark on a weight loss program with you. 
  • Track your progress.  It’s a proven fact that those who keep a weight loss journal have a 200 times better success rate.  Celebrate each and every milestone you reach!