Changing the way you approach weight loss can help you be more successful in the long run. Most people focus solely on their overall goal of losing weight. However, setting goals for lifestyle changes can be much more effective. Goals to consider include: following a healthy eating plan, controlling portion sizes, decreasing the amount of time you spend sitting, increasing your physical activity, reducing stress, and getting enough sleep.
To maintain a stable weight, your energy intake (kilojoules) must equal the energy you use. If you use more energy than you consume, you will lose weight. On the other hand, if you eat more than you use, you will gain weight. The sensible answer to losing excess body fat is to make small healthy changes to your eating and exercise habits.
A combination of eating fewer calories and being more physically active is the best approach. This can help decrease the fat around your waist and increase your strength and the fitness of your heart and lungs. Initially, plan to lose 5-10% of your body weight. (For example, if you weigh 250 pounds, multiply this number by 0.10 = 25 pounds = 10%.) This amount can make a big difference to your health. You can keep losing more as needed.
People lose weight at different rates. It is important to keep your expectations realistic. Aim to lose a pound or two a week over a six-month period (depending on how much weight you need to lose). Do not give up. Women, in particular, have a hard time losing more than a pound a week. To lose one pound of weight per week, you need to eat 3,500 fewer calories per week or burn that many calories through exercise. A nutritionist can help you develop a plan just for you, finding ways to cut 500 to 1,000 calories a day.
A healthy approach to weight loss will include some or all of the following approaches:
1) good nutrition,
2) diet or weight loss programs,
3) exercise and movement,
4) supplements and herbs,
5) medication review,
6) mind-body therapy,
7) adequate sleep,
and 8) acupuncture and hypnosis.
Recent research has shown that a low-carbohydrate diet can reduce body weight and some risk factors for cardiovascular disease, but differential adherence may influence these effects. The meaning of “low carb” varies from diet to diet. Some diets recommend extreme restriction of all carbohydrates, while others simply limit carbohydrates primarily to whole grains. What “low carb” means really depends on the diet and how it is followed.