Effective Lifestyle Changes For Weight Loss

So who cares about healthy weight loss? Everyone should. Over 65% of adults over the age of 20 can be classified as obese. In addition, 17% of adolescents ages 12-19 years are overweight and 19% of children ages 6-11 years are considered overweight. Obesity is and will continue to be a serious problem in the future unless changes are made.

While everyone understands that being overweight, or obese, is "not good for you", many people do not understand the risks they and their loved ones face if they fall into this category. Overweight or obese people are at increased risk for some or all of the following conditions:

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1. Various forms of heart disease

2. Strokes

3. Diabetes

4. Cancer

5. Arthritis

6. Breathing problems

7. Psychological disorders

8. Hypertension, or high blood pressure.

9. Unfortunately, the stigma of teasing from others that can cause lifelong scars, especially with children.

It is estimated that 300,000 deaths each year in the United States are associated with obesity. Billions of dollars are spent each year for treatment of the complications associated with obesity. The economic costs include the out-of-pocket expenditures of the individuals involved, the costs of the institutions and organizations which help provide services, and the costs by every member of society whether they are in this group or not.

A healthy weight loss program could do a lot to help people avoid personal and financial risks associated with being overweight, and to help achieve happier, healthier, more productive years of fun once they leave their weight problems behind.

There are many "fast" weight loss programs available today rather than healthy weight loss programs, and it is next to impossible to include both terms in the same sentence. The quick weight loss programs that are so prevalent are short-term and temporary. These programs, which commonly involve drinks, supplements and pills simply do not work, at least not for permanent, healthy weight loss. Worse, many of these programs can actually contribute to more weight gain in the long run, decreased vitality, a decline in health, and in extreme cases, death.

Fortunately, there are healthy weight loss programs, plans, systems, and options which can contribute not only to healthy weight loss, but a lifetime of healthy weight management. While a comprehensive program can explain the ways to achieve healthy weight loss, here are some tips to help anyone wanting start a permanent program for health and fitness.

Here are some tips on how you can lose those unwanted pounds the healthy way:

Start moving.

One of the most effective weight loss strategies is built around exercise. Unfortunately, many people have no idea how much exercise they should do. The good thing is that simple, enjoyable activities such as gardening, swimming, or playing tag with the kids can be part of an exercise program.

Eat smart.

There is a lot you can do to improve what and how you eat, but some of it takes training and knowledge most people do not have. Some common sense with your eating plan will go a long way. It is very important to eat "real" food (not canned or packaged), plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, some protein, and even some carbs, but stay away from things with sugar. Teach yourself to start looking at labels.

Eat small amounts.

Eating small meals and snacks several times a day is very important to keep your metabolism burning strong. This also keeps you from getting too hungry and ultimately binge eating. One way to sabotage a healthy lifestyle change is to deny yourself food. It is very important to eat regular small meals and healthy snacks.

Team up.

Get together with a friend who has much the same goals as you. Take a walk with them every day. Meet them for a healthy lunch. In fact, why not get a group together? That way, if one person is not available, maybe someone else will be. Moreover, the social interaction is good for you. People who go on "diets" tend to start avoiding people. That way if they "fall off the wagon", they feel like they are not accountable to anyone.

Think healthy.

Stop using the word "diet". That word causes images of eating only salads and starving yourself to lose just a few pounds. Instead, try telling yourself you want to get healthy. It shouldn't take too much to convince yourself to do that.

Get rest.

When the body is tired, chemical changes occur and certain substances are released in the body that cause weight gain or slow weight loss. It is easier to get involved in activities when you are rested.

Have fun.

You need to enjoy life. If you lose weight and feel healthy, you will want to enjoy life because you feel good about yourself. When you go out of your way to enjoy life, you will probably be more active, and this will contribute to your overall well-being.

Drink water.

Many times we interpret the body's signals as hunger when they are actually thirst. Keeping the body properly hydrated helps it to flush out toxins and perform a myriad of functions more efficiently.

Don't quit.

Many people are disheartened when they lose only 1 or 2 pounds a week on average. Unfortunately, many are looking for the quick fix. When you look at the long-term of 1 or 2 pounds of weight loss a week, that is 52-104 pounds in a year and 104-208 pounds in two years! Think about how you felt about your body one or two years ago. Is it the same as today? Had you made the commitment back then to get serious about living a healthy lifestyle, you would be much healthier today.

Be happy with your results. If you are living in a healthy manner, you will lose weight. Of course, how much weight you lose depends on many factors - what kinds of food you are putting in your body and the amount of exercise you are doing to burn calories. If you are walking 20 minutes a day and not losing what you think you should be losing, change to walking 30 minutes a day or a 15 minute walk twice a day. Adapt and move on.

However, do not expect to be the man or woman you were in school or college. You might never fit into your old prom dress or military uniform again. Just get up, have some fun and do what you can. Reward yourself for your accomplishments and forgive yourself for the setbacks. I refuse to call them failures. There is no failure until you give up completely.

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