Seven Simple Steps to Weight Loss

By Hui Xie-Zukauskas

Obesity represents a pressing public health problem. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the seriousness of the problem. It’s fine for people to feel comfortable with their body. However, it’s dangerous to feel comfortable with obesity since it significantly increases the risk of developing type-2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and several types of cancer, and it also contributes to chronic diseases like dementia. In all of these ways and more, obesity can lead to quality of life being seriously compromised.

Weight control is challenging for some folks, and there is no magic pill or drug therapy that works. And actually, it’s better not to resort to a pharmaceutical solution, because doing so can result in drug dependence with significant adverse side effects. It’s better to manage weight the old-fashioned way, with self-understanding and self-discipline. If controlling weight is a challenge for you, here are seven simple steps to help empower your efforts.

1. Raise you awareness and will power. 
Know that you are not determined by your genes alone. Even if you have a family history of obesity, you have the power to make a healthy change. Obesity is preventable.

2. Identify one or two key factors that cause your weight gain.
Uncontrolled food intake? Sedentary lifestyle? Too much junk in your diet? Busy schedule causing an unbalanced diet and no time for exercise?

3. Know how to measure your results (using a simple equation/formula). 
Weight control is based on energy balance. The simple yet important formula is:

Energy IN = Energy OUT

Which means:
Calories IN (most by food intake) = Calories OUT (most by daily activity or exercise)

This is critical to understand. The average daily energy expenditure for adult men is 2000 to 3000 calories. Therefore, the recommended daily food consumption for men is 2000 to 3000 calories, depending on activity level and base metabolism. Similarly, the average daily energy expenditure for women is 1600 to 2400 calories. So for women, the recommended daily food consumption is 1600 to 2400 calories, depending on energy expenditure and base metabolism. However, most Americans exceed the calorie intake needed to balance their energy expenditure and so live in a state of energy imbalance. This is why about 65% of Americans are overweight or obese.

A common way to measure your results if you are attempting to lose weight is to use pounds lost as a measurement. Remember, to lose one pound, you need an expenditure of approximately 3500 calories more than your food intake. You can achieve this by either decreasing food intake or increasing daily exercises or doing both.

4. Have a lifestyle modification plan in the short term. 
-          Make it personalized. Include a specific daily diet (type and amount of food consumption) and specific physical activity or exercises (routines, time, and duration).
-          Make it measurable, with a specific number of pounds to lose.
-          Make it attainable. Whether it’s losing 5 pounds or 50, make sure it’s doable and within your capabilities.
-          Make it realistic. Can you completely give up your sweets-pleasure? Would it be better just to limit it? Don’t set any unrealistic goals, which will only frustrate and discourage you.
-          Have a timetable, say two or three months. Accomplishing short-term goals is an effective enabler. It will give you satisfaction and the confidence to achieve more.
The bottom line is to have a road map for your healthy-weight journey. And then stick to it.

5. Follow the golden rules.
There are some rules not only effective for weight loss but also beneficial for well-being and longevity. Particularly,
Rule #1 Always eat to a maximum of 70-80% full.
Rule #2 Never eat a big meal one or two hours before your bedtime.

6. Get armed with antioxidants by reinforcing a lifestyle change.  
Recent research shows that oxidative stress plays a role in obesity-related health problems. Obesity is characterized by lowered antioxidant defense and enhanced levels of free radicals. In part, this can be attributed to the fact that obese individuals may have a lower intake of antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods, while also being relatively physically inactive. To boost your antioxidant status, keep moving! In addition, modifying type of food intake is one of the most effective strategies for weight control.

7. Get a helpful hand.
Find a coach or a buddy to work along with you. This might also be a family member or a friend, but it should be someone who can hold you accountable, monitor your progress, and send you an alarm when you’re drifting off course.

Related topic: Dos and Don’ts to Control Weight and Defend Colon Cancer

Image credit: By lockstockb

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