Take a Common Sense Approach to Weight Loss

In a society where 8 out of every 10 Americans are considered either overweight or obese, the fight to stay healthy isn’t an easy one. There are no quick answers, no magic pills or formulas, no shortcuts to maintaining a healthy body weight. While some individuals may need to work a bit harder than others to stay in shape, weight loss is a goal that anyone can reach, but only when approached in a healthy and natural way.

The secret to weight loss is a simple one: in order to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you take in. Calories that are not burned are stored as fat, and start to add up, especially around the waist, hips, and thighs. A pound is equivalent to 3500 calories, so it doesn’t take too many fast-food binges before you start to notice your jeans don’t fit as comfortably.

Before you can start taking steps toward weight loss, it’s important to have an idea what your healthy ideal body weight truly is. Remember that each person is shaped differently, and the ideal body image for one person is simply not realistic for another. Women, especially, may find they look and feel their best when 5 pounds heavier ,or 5 pounds lighter, than their recommended body weight. Check your Body Mass Index to get an idea of what is a healthy weight for your height and body type, but don’t fixate on a certain number as a definition of your accomplishment.

In order to lose weight, make yourself accountable for every piece of food that passes your lips. A healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you can never eat your favorite fattening foods again, but it does mean you need to own up to it when you do. Knowing how many calories, grams of fat , and carbohydrates are in everything you eat helps shine a light on exactly how much you’re eating. Many Americans actually consume twice the number of calories than what they estimate. Fortunately, as society becomes more health-conscious, more restaurants and grocery stores are providing nutritional information, making it much more difficult not to be aware of your diet.

Many people identify a need to lose weight and respond by dramatically cutting calories. Crash dieting and excessive calorie restriction doesn’t work in the long-term, and those who use these methods to shed pounds actually end up gaining as soon as normal eating habits are resumed. Most individuals improve their metabolisms by eating smaller portions, at more frequent intervals. The standard three-squares-a-day method often leads to feeling pressure to avoid snacks, and then binging on calories at mealtime. Breaking your daily calories up into small portions, every few hours, curbs hunger and speeds up metabolism. If you do feel the need to eat larger meals now and then, eat a larger breakfast, and progressively downsize so that dinner is the smallest meal of the day, and is eaten at least four hours before bedtime.

There are countless tips and helpful pieces of advice that can aid you in reaching your weight loss goals, but the simple truth is that only the willingness to work toward a healthy lifestyle and directly address issues with food, exercise, and body image will help you reach your goal. Like any difficult achievement, weight loss is as much of a mental battle as a physical one, and once you’ve convinced yourself you’re able to overcome the obstacles, those demons are no longer quite so daunting.

More health articles about: Tips & Tricks, Weight Loss