How to achieve weight loss goal

Written on Friday, January 7th, 2011 at 5:28 pm by Christiane

Only a few days into January and many New Year’s resolutions are probably already abandoned.

One of the most popular resolutions is to lose weight. This year, I joined those who want to shed some extra pounds in 2011. I’m optimistic that I will be successful as for me it’s about continuing what I achieved last year. 20 pounds are already gone; another ten shall follow in 2011.

Like many people, I have tried in the years before several times to lose weight. Like so many others, I also struggled with the typical pattern of losing and gaining back – until last March, when I had enough.

Two ways to lose weight:

There are only two ways to lose weight. Either you cut down on calories or you burn more than you consume by increasing physical activity.

In previous diets I focused on cutting calories. As this didn’t work so well because I can’t deal with hunger, I had only one path left: exercise! I have never been the athletic type, and frankly, I don’t enjoy workouts in gyms or running on sidewalks of busy streets, right next to car exhaust fumes. But I needed to do something and so I began jogging, and was at first shocked to learn that I could hardly run for a mile. With time and perseverance, I made it eventually to five miles. The weight loss started when I ran in minimum three miles on at least five days per week. I keep doing this despite winter temps and snow outside, but I still don’t enjoy it – however, I do enjoy the results.

On the positive side, I didn’t need to make major changes to my diet. I did replace caloric drinks like fruit juice and sweetened tea with water, though, and cut down on cookies and candy. Other than that, I’m eating normal meals and don’t go hungry.

After nine months of running, I know that I found a weight management technique that works for me- and will work in future as I will have to keep running to avoid gaining back the pounds I have shed.

It works for me because it didn’t require extreme life tyle changes – I just had to make room for 30 – 50 minutes of running. (Sometimes now, I’m literally running my errands like running to the library or to a store)

Secret to weight loss

I firmly believe this is the secret to achieving your weight loss goal: You must find a way that doesn’t require major changes in your daily routine or diet because it’s hard to stick with something that is totally different. I think, this is the problem with most of these fancy diets – they are too different to our normal grocery shopping, food preparation, and eating routine, and therefore after a while we go back to our old (unhealthy) eating habits and portion sizes.

If you want to lose weight and keep the pounds off, you must make changes that last.

Start by listing your biggest diet sins, and then, perhaps step by step, eliminate or reduce these sins. Instead of two spoons of sugar in coffee, only one; instead of a muffin only two small cookies….eat the burger, but only half of the bun and half of the fries….Also, add exercise. It’s good for your health and will speed up the weight loss. You may not lose 20 pounds in 12 weeks, but if you develop new healthier eating and exercise habits that you can stick with, you will keep off what you lose.

Posted by Christiane Turnheim. Christiane is Life & Career coach, author of “Learn to Love Your Job” , and teaches Psychology at a Community College in Massachusetts.

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