When beginning a weight loss program, it is
important to understand that there are no shortcuts or quick fixes. Be careful of programs
that promise weight loss results with no effort. Each year, Americans spend millions of dollars
on products that are ineffective or unsafe. If it is too good to be true, then it probably
is. Weight loss is a process which takes time and commitment. However, with the proper knowledge,
support, and motivation, you can obtain results. An important point to understand when attempting
to lose weight is the concept of energy balance. Energy balance refers to the difference between
calories in and calories out. Both food and drink provide calories in our body.
same time, we burn calories in everything we do, whether we are at rest or active. When
the calories we take in are the same as the calories used, our body weight does not change.
However, when the balance tips in the opposite direction, the result is weight gain. The
goal is to tip the other way so there are more calories burned than calories taken in.
An easy example is to look at how portion sizes have changed over the past 30 years.
Today, the average American consumes an additional 200 calories a day when compared to the 1970's.
This is like drinking an extra 20 oz soda every day.
In one year, that extra soda translates
into an additional 20 pounds. So, the key to successful weight loss is to find healthy
ways to reverse this balance. First, increase your daily physical activity. Over 90 percent
of individuals who successfully lose weight and keep it off exercise every day. We recommend
working up to a daily routine that lasts for at least 45 to 60 minutes. Secondly, track
your progress by weighing yourself frequently and tracking your food and exercise in a diary.
This is a very strong predictor of weight loss success. Third, eat smaller, more frequent
meals. Our dieticians recommend eating two to four hours, or up to five to six times
per day. Fourth, work to make your portion sizes smaller. This is an easy way to reduce
the amount of calories you eat every day. Try a smaller plate. And finally, fifth, find
support. Over half of successful losers have sought professional weight loss advice..