No matter what the reason, successful weight loss and healthy weight management depend on sensible goals and expectations. If you set sensible goals for yourself, chances are you'll be more likely to meet them and have a better chance of keeping the weight off. In fact, losing even five to 10 percent of your weight is the kind of goal that can help improve your health.
Most overweight people should lose weight gradually. For safe and healthy weight loss, try not to exceed a rate of two pounds per week. Sometimes, people with serious health problems associated with obesity may have legitimate reasons for losing weight rapidly.
What you weigh is the result of several factors:
-how much and what kinds of food you eat
-whether your lifestyle includes regular physical activity
-whether you use food to respond to stress and other situations in your life
-your physiologic and genetic make-up
-your age and health status.
Successful weight loss and weight management should address all of these factors. And that's the reason to ignore products and programs that promise unrealistic quick and easy results, or that promise permanent results without permanent changes in your lifestyle. Any ad that says you can lose weight without lowering the calories you take in and/or increasing your physical activity is selling fantasy and false hope. In fact, some people would call it fraud.
Why Fad Diets Don't Work
The world has an unhealthy obsession with 'fad' diets. This is due to the American culture's need for a magic bullet or solution that provides immediate gratification. Technically a diet simply refers to what you eat any day. In the truest sense, we are all on a diet daily - the question is, is it healthy or not.
It can get pretty confusing because one is assaulted daily with claims from diet gurus. Also sky-high book sales from diet plans promoting diets that restrict certain foods or food combining tells us that these diets are healthy. This is not necessarily true. The diet may work for the short term but you could end up with a heart attack, problem skin, kidney failure and even malnutrition!
There is continuing controversy between the "diet" experts about which diet works best. One book advises to avoid all carbohydrates, yet another promotes carbohydrates. Some suggest that you consume a high fat, high protein diet consisting of no carbohydrates, while another may say that eating no fat is the key to weight loss success. Who do we believe, and what do we believe? I'm not discred
iting all weight-loss programs and products. Those few that focus on permanent lifestyle changes, correct information, and proper nutrition are the weight loss programs that are the most successful.
Fad diets don't work because they cause you to focus more on food than you would if you were not dieting. Most of them are based on self-deprivation. Depriving one's self of a craving usually doesn't last for more than a day. The next thing you know the person is breaking the diet, feeling the failure of that and then giving up altogether. The idea is to adopt a healthy eating and exercise plan to avoid this common dieter's pitfall.
Another drawback of fad diets is that many of them don't work at all. Some, such as those based on diuretic herbs simply cause a loss of water rather than fat. This water is simply regained back by the body and then retained with a vengeance after you are off the diet. This is known as rebound weight gain.
Diets fail because they offer no long-term solution. When people initially start dieting they're highly motivated. They immediately stop eating fast food, stop-consuming alcohol, stop eating sweets, and start exercising. But as time passes, they fail to exercise, as often, they don't watch calories as closely as they once did, and they lose the motivation they once had. As a result, they fall back into old habits, patterns, and eventually a lifestyle. You can prevent this phenomenon by introducing changes at a gradual pace. Don't attempt to change your entire lifestyle overnight. For example, cut back on sugar consumption and add exercise to your daily routine two or three times a week. A few weeks later add another day of exercise and limit junk food consumption to once or twice a week; continue until a balance is reached and you feel in control.
The reason that most diet gurus sell a lot of books is because they are selling hope, not realistic expectations. Many people place all their trust in the book, and not themselves. As a result, they don't accomplish their weight-loss goal because the secret isn't found in a diet book. Succeeding at weight-loss requires far more than just reading a book, it requires the accumulation of knowledge, patience, planning, good choices, and of course, realistic expectations.
It's essential to make good choices. Once you make a choice, it then makes you. Choices feed habits, habits define lifestyle, and lifestyle determines your future. Learning to make good choices is an important step in establishing long-term weight loss goals.