Action Plan For Losing Weight

If you want to lose weight, make a start right now!

If you want to lose weight, it´s important to get started, and to avoid the possible inevitable delays. “After Easter, when I start my diet”, “when I feel a bit stronger…..” Even if you are a bit stop and start at the beginning, this really doesn´t matter too much – so long as your desire and motivation to lose weight remains firm and you go back to the diet.

Do you actually need to lose weight?

Are you, in fact, overweight? Because weight and dieting have become such big topics all around the world, many people think they need to lose weight when they don´t really. There are, of course, people who do need to lose quite a lot of weight, but when they look in the mirror, they see a svelte person looking out at them.

Start a food & drink diary

Even before you start the diet, start a food diary.

A food diary is something you should keep up while you are on the diet. Some nutritional experts consider this the single most important thing to do in a weight loss plan. You should record, daily, everything you eat and drink, together with other details. Snack or main meal? How much did you eat or drink? If it wasn´t a main meal, why did you have it – at work? friends called round? mood? hungry? no reason?

The Food Diary may immediately make clear where you have a problem in calorie intake (too much sugar? too many snacks? too many beers?). Are the portions you eat/drink too large? Is there a connection between your mood and feeling the need to snack? It will even tell you when you can afford to relax just a bit, have that chocolate bar because you´ve got some margin in hand.

There have been various studies that have come to the conclusion that people who keep food diaries as part of a weight loss plan are much more likely to achieve the weight loss and then keep the weight off than people who don´t keep a diary.

Consider your lifestyle

Is there a reason why you consume too much? Business travel, with a lot of meals in restaurants where it´s normal (and human!) to have things that you might not have at home. Large breakfast from the buffet table, normal restaurant over-large portions, sweet desserts, several bread rolls with meals, wine and other alcoholic drinks? Do you drink soda or other sweetened drinks? Several beers every day when you get home from work? Nothing has to be totally eliminated, but it´s sensible when there are obviously fattening things you consume, to cut them back during the diet. (And keep them under control after the diet.)

Do you do much in the way of exercise, apart from walking to the fridge to get another beer? Sports or walking? Climbing stairs, walking to the shops? Think about all the physical activity you go in for. If you are overweight, there´s a good chance that you could do with more physical movement in your life.

Do you actually need to lose weight?

Are you, in fact, overweight? Because weight and dieting have become such big topics all around the world, many people think they need to lose weight when they don´t really. There are, of course, people who do need to lose quite a lot of weight, but when they look in the mirror, they see a svelte person looking out at them.

Decide how much weight to lose and over what period

Set yourself a target – the weight you´d like to reach and by when you want to do it. Make it realistic, as setting unrealistic targets which you find impossible is simply disheartening and pointless. Losing up to 5% to 10% of your body weight over 6 months is generally recommended by experts as being both feasible and safe. Good assistance in setting your target weight is available from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at:

From the information you input, they will take into account your present weight and level of activity to calculate the calories to consume to reach your target weight.

It is important not to cut too many calories, as doing so can be very dangerous. A diet with a calorie consumption of under 1,000 calories a day should be undertaken only under medical supervision!

Choose a diet

If you are overweight, or obese, the solution for most people will include a combination of diet and exercise. Choosing a weight-loss diet can seem daunting!

There are hundreds of weight loss programmes, some of them unhealthy or even positively dangerous. Also, the percentage of people who lose weight with a diet and then put it all back on again later is very high – runs close to 100%! This suggests that you need a permanent change to what you consume, rather than simply a change that lasts only until you´ve lost weight, when you go back to “normal”. It is vital to find a way of eating that you can live with permanently – for the rest of your life – a way that includes all the nutrients you need and does not leave you feeling hungry.

To achieve this, some thought is needed to develop criteria for choosing a diet.

The following should considerations should help you choose a diet:

Personal factors: You should keep in mind aspects of diet that are personal to you. Do you have any cultural or religious constrictions on what you eat? Have you been on diets before and what happened. Did you find them hard to follow, or did they work initially, but then all the weight went back on again very soon when you stopped the diets? Do you have any food phobias or allergies to take into account? What is your lifestyle? Do you, for example, have to travel a lot, staying in hotels and eating in restaurants?

Talk to your doctor: If you are obese or have health issues, you should certainly talk to your doctor before starting any weight-loss diet. The doctor can help you decide how much weight you should lose and how fast and may also have some ideas on which weight-loss diets work or which might be good ones for you. If you are obese, the doctor can advise on exercise plans and also whether weight loss drugs, or even surgery, are options to consider or suggest a specialist. Any prescribed medications that you are on also have to be taken into account.

Some good criteria for choosing a diet include the following:

Diets to avoid: You should certainly avoid diets which make big promises on achieving dramatic and fast weight loss or which claim that they can cause you to lose weight from certain just certain parts of your body. A very low-calorie diet should be undertaken only under medical supervision and a company that recommends one to the general public is automatically suspect. You should also avoid diets that say you will lose weight without actually dieting or exercise, as this is not likely to be achievable.

A good safe diet should include adequate amounts of all essential nutrients from all the food groups and also of calories. It should certainly not concentrate on you consuming large amounts of some particular food, like grapefruit or cabbage.

Subject to what your doctor might have to say, most people who want to lose weight can do so without going on diets that require particular meal-replacement foods, supplements or drugs, which usually have to be bought from a particular company. They tend to be expensive and. also, generally fail to address the issue of long-term or permanent weight loss.

Diets to consider should usually talk in terms of steady weight loss, at a rate of about a kilo (2 lbs.) a week. That is easily achievable by most people and, over time, is quite dramatic. A good diet will stress the necessity of lifestyle change for lasting results and also of the importance of exercise.

Whose diet is it? You should certainly take into account the qualifications and experience of the people running the diet. How long have they been in business? Do they have a good reputation and do they seem to be more interested in the good they can do than in making money?

Does the diet have an overall lifestyle approach, rather than simply losing weight: A diet for now, to simply lose weight, does not work in the medium to long-term, as all the weight lost will usually be put back on again. A good diet should focus not just on what you consume now, but on an overall lifestyle approach. You need to correct the mistakes in the past that led to the overweight problem and also take into account the need for exercise.

What does the diet cost? If there is significant cost involved in the diet, you need to think about whether you need it. Couldn´t you achieve the same results on your own? Probably, what the particular diet you are considering recommends is freely available online – so what exactly will you be paying for? That is very much an individual choice. Some people may well feel that something they have paid for is more likely to work, or that having paid will give them an added incentive to keep it up. We are all different!

When you should see a doctor first

In the event that you are significantly overweight – by more than 15 pounds, say – you should not embark on a diet or exercise program without seeing your doctor first. Also, if you´ve had health problems, or believe that you might have, you should see your doctor before starting. If you need to lose weight, your doctor will not try to stop you, but if there are health issues, he (or she) will advise on the best way to do it, including what to do about any medications you are on. The doctor may also be able to advise you on different diet plans or, alternatively, recommend someone who can.