Weight Loss AKA "Welcome to a New You"

While there is no "one size fits all" solution to permanent healthy weight loss, the following guidelines are a great place to start:

  • Think lifestyle change, not short-term diet. Permanent weight loss is not something that a "quick-fix" diet can achieve. Instead, think about weight loss as a permanent lifestyle change--a commitment to your health for life. Various popular diets can help to jumpstart your weight loss, but permanent changes in your lifestyle and food choices are what will work in the long run.
  • Find a cheering section. Social support means a lot. Programs like Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers use group support to impact weight loss and lifelong healthy eating. Seek out support--whether in the form of family, friends, or a support group--so that you can get the encouragement you need.
  • Slow and steady wins the race. Aim to lose 1-2 pounds a week to ensure healthy weight loss. Losing weight too fast can take a toll on your mind and body, making you feel sluggish, drained, and sick. When you drop a lot of weight quickly, you're actually losing mostly water and muscle, rather than fat.
  • Set goals to keep you motivated. Short-term goals, like wanting to fit into a bikini for the summer, usually don't work as well as goals like wanting to feel more confident or become healthier for your children's sakes. When frustration and temptation strike, concentrate on the many benefits you will reap from being healthier and leaner.
  • Use tools that help you track your progress. Keep a food journal and weigh yourself regularly, keeping track of each pound you lose and inch of your waist lost. Or you can find a weight loss/exercise app that works for you on your smartphone that collects data, self-monitors, sets reminders, tracks your caloric intake and performance--whether you workout at a gym or at home--and even gives you tailored feedback on how to better reach your weight loss goals. By keeping track of your weight loss efforts, you'll see the results in black and white, which will help you stay motivated.

Keep in mind it may take some experimenting to find the right diet for your individual body. It's important that you feel satisfied so that you can stick with it on a long-term basis. If one diet plan doesn't work, than try another one. There are many ways to lose weight. The key is to find what works for you.

7 Healthy Dieting and Weight Loss Tips

  1. Avoid common pitfalls
    • "The person on the commercial lost X amount of lbs in 2 months, and I didn't". Diet companies make a lot of grandiose or awe-inspiring promises. Most are simply not realistic. Unfortunately, losing weight is not that easy, and anyone who makes it seem that way is doing you a disservice. Don't get discouraged by setting unrealistic goals.
  2. Put a stop to emotional eating
    • Consider how and when you eat. Do you only eat when you're hungry, or do you reach for a snack while watching TV? Do you eat when you're bored or stressed? When you're lonely? To reward yourself? Identify your emotional eating tendencies and work to gradually change these habits and mental attitudes that have sabotaged your dieting efforts in the past.
  3. Tune in when you eat
    • e live in a fast-paced world where eating has become mindless. You eat on the run, at your desk, while you're working, in front of the TV, etc. Pay attention while you're eating! Counter these tendencies by practicing "mindful" eating: pay attention to what you eat, savor each bite and choose foods that a both nourishing and enjoyable.  
  4. Fill up with fruit, veggies, and fiber
    • o lose weight, you have to eat fewer calories. But that doesn't necessarily mean you have to eat less food. Add the types of food that can keep you feeling satisfied and full, without packing on the pounds. Start eating foods high in Fiber. High-fiber foods are higher in volume, which makes them filling. They also take longer to chew, which makes them more satisfying to eat (e.g. fruits & veggies, beans, whole grains, and salads).
  5. Indulge without overindulging
    • ry not to think of certain foods as "off limits". In order to successfully lose weight and keep it off, you ned to learn how to enjoy the foods you love without going overboard. A diet that places all of your favorite foods in the "off limits" zone won't work in the long run--you will feel deprived and will cave--because when you do, you probably won't stop at a sensibly-sized portion.
  6. Take charge of your food environment
    • Set yourself up for success by taking charge of your food environment: when you eat, how much you eat, and what foods are available. Plan meals ahead of time; don't go grocery shopping when you're hungry. Serve yourself smaller portions. Start the day with breakfast--people who do tend to be thinner than those who don't. It will jumpstart your metabolism and it will help you from binge-eating later in the day.
  7. Make healthy lifestyle changes
    • Get plenty of sleep; turn off the TV; get plenty of exercise; drink more water.