When beginning a weight loss program, it is crucial to understand that there are no shortcuts or quick fixes. Be careful of programs that promise weight loss results with no effort.
Each year, Americans spend millions of dollars on products that are ineffective or unsafe. If it is too good to be true, then it probably is.
Weight loss is a process that takes time and commitment. However, with the proper knowledge, support, and motivation, you can obtain results. An important point to understand when attempting to lose weight is the concept of energy balance.
Energy balance refers to the difference between calories in and calories out. Both food and drink provide calories in our body.
At the same time, we burn calories in everything we do, whether we are at rest or active. When the calories we take in are the same as the calories used, our body weight does not change.
However, when the balance tips in the opposite direction, the result is weight gain. The goal is to tip the other way, so there are more calories burned than calories taken in. An easy example is to look at how portion sizes have changed over the past 30 years.
Today, the average American consumes an additional 200 calories a day when compared to the 1970s. This is like drinking an extra 20 oz soda every day. In one year, that extra soda translates into an additional 20 pounds.
So, the key to successful weight loss is to find healthy ways to reverse this balance.
First, increase your daily physical activity. Over 90 percent of individuals who successfully lose weight and keep it off exercise every day. We recommend working up to a daily routine that lasts for at least 45 to 60 minutes.
Secondly, track your progress by weighing yourself frequently and monitoring your food and exercise in a diary. This is a powerful predictor of weight loss success.
Third, eat smaller, more frequent meals, we recommend consuming two to four hours, or up to five to six times per day.
Fourth, work to make your portion sizes smaller. This is an easy way to reduce the number of calories you eat every day. Try a smaller plate.
Fifth, find support. Over half of successful losers have sought professional weight loss advice.