Excess weight causes many problems including health issues, low self-esteem, depression and physical limitations. Establishing and implementing a weight loss plan to not only lose the weight, but to also keep it off, can dramatically change a person's overall quality of life.
The easiest way to develop a weight loss plan is to break it down into several goals that are easy to achieve on their own. Having both short-term and long-term goals in your plan and being realistic is the best way to succeed.
Before starting any weight loss program, it is best to seek the advice of a physician.
Here are some tips to help you develop your weight loss plan.
- Be Realistic – Trying to lose 50lbs in a few weeks is not realistic, and losing too much weight too quickly is unhealthy and dangerous. Your goal should be losing weight and getting healthy. Remember, this is for the long-term.
- Plan for Your Future – Trying to lose weight for a special occasion is a great motivator, but make sure that you're planning for long term weight loss. The idea is to lose it and keep it off, so you can improve your overall health and quality of life. Incorporating exercise in your daily routine will have a long-term impact on your health and weight.
- Focus on the Plan – Put more emphasis on the components of the plan, such as how often you will exercise instead of how many pounds you will lose each week. Focusing on what you are doing to lose weight is much more beneficial in the long run than worrying about how much weight you will lose. Muscle weighs more than fat, so you will see your weight fluctuate from week to week, but your body will be changing and getting healthy and that is the long-term goal.
- Modify as you Go – Take short-term goals and build them into long-term goals. If you've never practiced or it's been a very long time, start by walking 15 minutes a day. Increase this amount by 5 minutes every day or every other day until you're walking a minimum of 30 minutes each time. After you start feeling the effects of exercising, you'll want to start doing other activities, and you can adjust your plan accordingly.
- Buddy Up – If you can find a weight loss and exercise buddy, you'll have a great chance of success. Having encouragement along the way will keep you focused and motivated, especially on those days when you really do not want to exercise. Encouraging and stimulating someone else is very rewarding and might just be the extra boost you need for your own plan.
- Reward Yourself – When you reach your goals, reward yourself. If one of your goals is to be able to walk 45 minutes at a time, make sure you reward yourself when you reach that goal. Rewards should be anything but food. Buy yourself something you've been wanting, or do something nice for yourself that you've been putting off – a massage sounds good.
Develop a plan that has goals that are easily measured. For instance, planning to walk 4 or 5 times a week is easily evaluated. Modify your plan as you go, so you continue to use the plan not only for weight loss but for becoming healthy and improving your quality of life.