Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Important Tips You Need to Know Before Starting a Weight Loss Program

We are concern about weight because we are gaining weight and can see the health risks ahead. Even worse is to start a weight loss program without a plan, as there are pitfalls in losing weight that you need to avoid.

Don't restrict your daily diet to less than 1000 calories a day, unless you are under the supervision of a doctor. Severely restricting your diet can lead to serious health complications. It will also signal to your body that it's starving, and so slow down your metabolism to conserves stored fat, and defeat your weight loss effort.

Don't cut out one or more food groups, including fats from your diet. Your body needs an adequate supply of all the essential nutrients in order to stay healthy. In every food group there are good and bad choices for weight loss. Stick to the good ones. The key to healthy dieting is to eat a balanced diet.

Don't purge. Whether by emetics, diuretics, induced vomiting or laxatives, they rob your body of more than the nutrients that you're getting rid of; they may deplete the electrolyte in your body to a dangerous low level where it begins to affect the proper functioning of your cells and internal organs.

After you have checked all the 'don'ts', it's time to get to the 'dos'. Decide on your ideal weight: the weight you are comfortable with, and also attainable. If you are in your forties, your ideal weight can't be the same as when you were in your twenties.

Experts in the weight loss field have found that short-term attainable goals interspersed with short breaks work better in attaining your ideal weight. For one thing, this method is easy to sustain over a long period of time. For another, people on diet lose weight steadily for about 12 weeks, then hit a plateau. This is where the experts say you should take a break from dieting to a weight maintenance diet.

The reason for the break is that after 12 weeks of dieting your body has received the signal that you are starving, it kicks into slow metabolism, begins to conserve its stored fat, and then you stop losing weight.

When you get on a maintenance diet, for at least 8 weeks, your body's metabolism will return to normal allowing you to lose weight slowly until you get back on the diet program again. The trick is to do 12 weeks of dieting, break for 8 weeks of maintenance diet, then back on dieting for another 12 weeks, and then a break until you get to your ideal weight; at which time you should stay on the maintenance diet to maintain your ideal weight.

Researchers have found that more than half of the people on diet who take off significant amounts of weight do not maintain that weight loss once they get off the diet program. By practicing weight maintenance in stages, you'll be allowing your body time to adjust to your new weight level as you move from one stage to another.

While this is going on, don't forget that physical exercise is what allows you to lose weight without endangering your health. All good diet programs give the body more calories than it can burn with normal activities. Regular physical exercise burns off the excess calories in your body to ensure that you succeed in your weight loss program.

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