How to Lose Weight and Keep It Off
Healthcare experts agree that losing weight is fairly easy for most people, but keeping the weight off is a greater challenge. Here are some weight-loss methods and lifestyle changes to consider:
- The simplest principle of weight loss is that it involves burning more calories than you ingest. Eating less and exercising more, on a permanent basis, will result in less weight gain over time. Most experts advise against "crash diets" that provide insufficient calories or diets that involve the elimination of certain food groups such as carbohydrates or fats. These diets will often result in temporary weight loss, but the weight may come back when a person stops the diet program.
- A useful guideline is to regard 3,500 calories as equivalent to one pound of body weight. Thus, if a person can combine diet and exercise to reduce her calories by only 200 per day, she can expect to lose about 10 pounds in one year.
- Have realistic plans and goals. For example, a person who weighs 200 pounds may be able to lose 20 pounds (10% of his or her current weight) within one year. This typically can occur through making permanent but fairly easy changes in diet and exercise habits. Generally speaking, weight that is lost slowly is less likely to come back. A loss of one pound every two weeks will result in a total loss of 26 pounds in a year.
- Most experts advise staying away from diets that make you feel hungry all of the time. They also advise against eliminating favorite foods. For example, instead of cutting out desserts entirely, eat a single bite of dessert.