McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Features

December 30, 2008

Weight loss resolutions take time and dedication

Each year many Oklahomans make a list of New Year’s resolutions. Topping the list for many is to lose weight. Some people have this goal on their list every year. They may shed a few pounds, but do not seem to have long-term success.

Although there are numerous fad diets that promise quick results, a healthy diet combined with physical activity is still the foundation to long-term weight loss success. Keeping weight off permanently requires not only a change in eating habits, but an overall lifestyle change. Losing weight and keeping it off takes time, focus and a lifelong commitment.

A person must lose weight for the right reason. A person should not try to lose weight because of external pressures. It must come from within and it must be done to please yourself, not others.

Losing weight takes a lot of mental and physical energy to change old habits, so if there are other issues in your life, it is best to address and try to resolve them.

Although you are responsible for your own behavior, it’s important to seek support as you make this weight loss journey. Surround yourself with people you know who want only the best for you and who will encourage you along the way.

It also is important for a person to set realistic weight loss goals. Healthy weight loss occurs slowly and steadily. Aim to lose 1/2 to 2 pounds per week.

In order to lose up to 1 pound per week you must burn 3,500 calories more than your body needs or about 500 calories per day. Individuals who lose weight at a more rapid pace are losing water weight or muscle tissue, rather than fat.

Adopting a new eating style that promotes weight loss includes lowering your total caloric intake. Some people may think they have to give up good taste or make complicated meals to meet their new calorie needs. However, adding more fruits, vegetables and whole grains to your diet can provide you with satisfaction and flavor at the same time.

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