Weight Loss and Health: Losing Weight And Keeping It Off For Life.

Weight Loss and Health: Losing Weight And Keeping It Off For Life.

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Weight Loss and Health: Losing Weight And Keeping It Off For Life looks at strategies to loss weight and keep shape for a long time.

  1. Obstacles to Overcome When Trying to Lose Weight

There is no doubt that losing weight takes dedication and determination. Many people prefer to perceive it as an easy task because they want to be positive right from the start, otherwise they may not have the courage to start at all.
If you have just started in your own weight loss program or if you are contemplating starting soon, the following list of possible challenges will help you become better prepared for dealing with them as they arise.

Unrealistic Expectations

Many people start their weight loss plan with goals that are almost impossible to achieve. One example of this is setting a date. Setting a deadline for your weight loss efforts may tend to increase your levels of stress and anxiety which is counter-productive to your goal of losing weight.
Setting a deadline may make you vulnerable to indulging in magic weight loss pills and other harmful weight loss plans that promise to make you lose weight quickly but will not make you healthier at all. Go easy on yourself and set a workable deadline.
Food Cravings
Some people are initially successful in achieving their desired weight only to find difficulty keeping it off later on. One of the reasons for this is that they start giving in to their old food cravings all over again after months of saying no.
It is common for some people to begin binge-eating after they have deprived themselves of their favorite foods throughout their weight loss journey.

If you want to lose weight and keep it off for life, look for alternatives to your formerly favorite fattening foods. Choose nutritious and healthy substitutes so you will not have to worry about gaining weight when you consume these foods.
It may help you stick to your plans if you set a “cheat” day once or twice a month. This will be the time when you eat your favorite foods guilt-free and in moderation.
Social Interaction
Food has become a very important part of people’s social life. Of course, you do not want to lose your friends while you are in the process of losing your excess weight. This is why it may be difficult if you are invited to a celebration or social gathering to stay focused.
Once you have reached the social venue and cast your eye over a feast of foods it is too easy to forget about your weight loss plan and easy to say “just for today”.
However, the following day, at the self-judgmental weigh-in, you may be horrified and disheartened to see an increase on the scales.
So what should you do the next time you’re invited? Fill your stomach with low-calorie but filling foods before leaving home. This will help make it easier for you to resist the urge to binge. Plus you can mentally tell yourself there is no way you could possibly be hungry!
Many people perceive dieting as being expensive. This statement is only true if you choose fancy diet plans that require you to buy premade meals or specified food preparation materials and ingredients.
Losing weight does not mean buying expensive food items. Many people actually end up saving money as they stop buying and eating processed and prepared foods and opt instead to eat healthier, natural foods. Preparing your meals instead of eating out will also save you loads of money every month.

Plan and Prepare
Knowing these challenges ahead of time can help you plan in advance which techniques to use to help you stick to your goals. No matter how large the obstacles may appear, keep uppermost in your mind that the benefits of losing weight are immense and well worth all of the work and planning.

  1. Staying Motivated on your Weight Loss Journey

Staying motivated is a key factor to keeping you on track with your weight loss. It is important to surround yourself with positive people and projects during this time. Perhaps you have a friend who could be a “work-out buddy,” with whom you might carpool to the gym with, or walk or bike ride together. Partnering up is a great way to help you stick to your fitness schedule.
You will encounter times when you simply do not feel like working out, and having a partner to be accountable to may push you to complete the workout when you could have easily changed your mind.
Other great tips include: keeping motivational success quotes handy, such as on your fridge or in your wallet. Having pictures of clothes you will wear once you reach your goal and signing a contract with yourself to commit to small goals, along with setting specific dates to achieve those goals.

  1. The Importance of Fitness and Exercise
    Losing weight for life can feel like an overwhelming venture, especially if your self-esteem is involved and you are already feeling low regarding your self-image.
    Trying to change your lifestyle is no mediocre task and it is important to be patient with yourself during the process. When you are trying to overhaul your diet, exercise and daily routine simultaneously, it can feel like you are trying to take on the entire world all at once.
    It is common for people to become discouraged and frustrated when trying to change their weight loss habits. In order to help ensure your success, it is vital to have a good support system. Setting realistic goals for yourself will help you keep on track as well.
    If you are planning on looking fit and healthy for the beach, it’s a good idea to start thinking healthy thoughts now! Plus, starting some fresh habits now will give you plenty of time to get used to changing your routine.
    Simple Ways to Incorporate Fitness and Exercise
    Before you commit to early morning work outs or late night swims, understand your personal biorhythms and when you feel at your best.
    If, for example, you are an early bird, timing your workout for that time would make sense.
    If, however, you are a night owl, maybe hitting an evening dance class or stopping at the gym on the way home from work would be more beneficial than going on the way to work. Everyone is different. You will be more likely to stick to your workout schedule if you personalize it as much as possible.
    Jazz Up Your Workouts
    You will be more successful losing weight if you incorporate strength training, cardiovascular workouts and stretching routines such as Pilates and Yoga. If you simply repeat the same, monotonous workout, your results will be much slower to attain and you may even find you plateau in your weight loss. This can occur because your muscles and tissues have become accustomed to the same exercises.
    There is significant evidence showing that “muscle confusion” is effective in helping people lose weight quicker. This concept is achieved by doing a variety of different exercises for the duration of the workout.
    Step out of your comfort zone and be creative. Think of unusual exercise ideas, such as ballroom dancing or ice-skating. Both are great for helping your improve your balance and muscle coordination.
    Signing up for a dance class at your local community center is a great way to incorporate some new cardio and renting some free exercise DVD’s from your local library is an excellent way to familiarize yourself with different exercise programs prior to committing to a class.
    Taking Tai Chi or Qi Gong (pronounced Chi Gong) are wonderful options for increasing your flexibility and stamina.
    Tracking Your Progress
    Keeping a daily log of your workouts and your diet, along with your weekly measurements, will help you track your progress. It is recommended that you use a measuring tape around your arms, hips, stomach, waist and thighs to measure your inches.
    Once you start seeing results, you may find yourself more dedicated to keeping the log.
    Of course you can enlist the help of a personal trainer or pay a membership to a local gym. Some people prefer fitness classes such as “Bootcamp” which often consists of an hour of intensive exercise.
    Check out your local swimming pool for Aqua-Fit classes which are basically an aerobics class that takes place in the pool, providing an excellent low-impact cardiovascular workout. Your local community center may have some group classes such as Zumba, line dancing or square dancing. These are fun ways to increase your activity level. Yoga and Pilates classes are a great option if you have any health issues, such as back pain, as they help you stretch and tone your muscles.

If you are having any concerns with budget, or making the commitment to take on a regular fitness schedule, don’t give up. Starting out small with daily walks in your neighborhood can be a great place to start. For example, walking the kids to school or going around the block after supper are some easy options. Maybe you want to offer to walk the neighbor’s dog if you don’t have your own?
It can seem fairly daunting to try and complete an hour, or even a half an hour of strenuous exercise. Especially if being active is something new you are trying to bring into your day. Instead of worrying about how you are going to have the time, energy etc. to cope, maybe try thinking about it differently.
Do some sit-ups or jumping jacks after you check your email. Try some lunges or squats after you finish folding that laundry or taking your next bathroom break at the office.
Incorporating more activity into your lifestyle will be easier to manage and less intense if you can simply feel good about starting the process. With time, you will notice that you can do many more repetitions and enjoy working out as you see positive results.

  1. The Health Benefits of Exercise
    We all know there are huge health benefits to exercising. It is great for your mind, body and soul. For instance, exercising releases endorphins in your brain, making you feel great after a workout. These endorphins positively affect your mood and can leave you feeling accomplished and happier.
    If you suffer with anxiety and stress, exercise can lift your moods instantly, due to the release of endorphins.
    Taking steps to improve your body image can also make you feel more confident and proud that you are taking charge of your health.
    Serious Health Issues Lessen with Weight Loss.
    A variety of serious health concerns can be addressed by losing weight. Your risk of cardiovascular disease significantly lowers when you are maintaining a healthy weight.
    You will be reducing your risk for:.
    • Cardiomyopathy.
    • Heart Attack.
    • Stroke.
    • High Blood Pressure.
    • Lower LDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides – Exercise will help keep your circulatory system functioning smoother and reduce the possibility of deadly plaque deposits forming in your arteries.
    Type 2 Diabetes.
    Many people living with Type 2 Diabetes have been able to successfully manage their disease under the strict supervision of their doctor by following a healthy diet and exercise program.
    With commitment and perseverance, it is possible to regulate your blood sugar levels and remove the need for medication in certain cases.
    • This is not to be confused with type 1 diabetes.
    Again, this requires working with a doctor who is supportive of helping you attain the necessary lifestyle changes to achieve this goal.
    Becoming educated on how to balance your blood sugar levels will help your feel less ravenous, dizzy and agitated throughout the day and more satisfied and stable
    Other health concerns that are greatly reduced or may even disappear altogether once your weight regains a manageable level includes:.
    • Hormone Imbalances.
    • Sleep Apnea.
    • Joint Pain.
    • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
    • Hypothyroidism and other Thyroid Imbalances.
    Anxiety and Stress.
    Many people use exercise as a safe and effective way to manage stress levels and find it helpful for alleviating mild depression; due to the positive endorphins released after strenuous exercise and cardiovascular activity, as previously mentioned.
    The next time you feel riled up about finances, your in-laws coming to visit or attitude from your kids, try going for a brisk walk or light jog. If you are dealing with an obnoxious co-worker or boss at work, use your coffee and lunch breaks to get some fresh air and activity.
    If you feel your anxiety levels rising and break time is not coming soon enough, simply excuse yourself to the bathroom and shadow-box in the stall for a few minutes! You will immediately feel calmer after raising your heartbeat for a few minutes and blowing off some steam … much better than internalizing the stress or eating a package of cookies at your desk.
    Don’t Watch the Scales.
    It is important to realize that muscle weighs more than fat. If you are watching the scale, you may feel discouraged to see your numbers going up throughout your exercising process. This is completely normal, don’t fret.
    Exercising increases your basal metabolic rate and the more muscle you build, the more fat you will be burning during your rest periods. Set yourself small goals to start with. The more you exercise, the easier you will find yourself drifting off to sleep at night. You will soon notice that you have more energy as well!
  2. Obesity Risk Factors and Complications.
    Many people grossly underestimate the dangers of “packing on a few extra pounds,” and the detrimental effects it can have on their overall health and quality of life.
    Obesity has been described as the next global pandemic. It is a condition that is affecting millions of people of every race and age, all over the world.
    People become obese for a variety of reasons usually related to diet and lifestyle.
    • Consuming more calories than you burn is one sure-fire way to gain weight.
    • Living a sedentary lifestyle with no exercise is another.
    • Being glued to your computer or sitting at a desk all day is an easy way to fall into the excess weight gain trap.
    • Over indulging in greasy, fried foods and simple carbohydrates that only fill you up for a short time is another issue.
    • Of course genetics may play a part so is another factor to take into consideration, but don’t let that become an excuse for poor lifestyle choices.
    Suffering from depression and being an “emotional eater” can also take its toll on your physical and mental health. Not making time to incorporate exercise into your life can eventually make you feel too tired and sluggish to even try.
    It is important to be proactive in your health and make the necessary changes so that you can live a long, healthy life.
    Life-Threatening Complications of Obesity.
    Besides being extremely hard on your knees, hips and other weight bearing joints, obesity can cause serious complications and heart disease and blood sugar problems are at the top of the list.
    If a person is obese they often have to live with the consequences of various cardiovascular diseases.
    As we have already said, many people suffer with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglyceride levels which can eventually lead to a stroke if action isn’t taken. Plus the other potentially life threatening health concerns that may develop due to excess weight include type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea and other respiratory problems.
    Another point to note is that people who are obese are additionally at a greater risk for Gallbladder Disease and Metabolic Syndrome, which is a combination of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high triglycerides and high blood sugar.
    Irregular periods and infertility are among the gynecological concerns for obese women.
    For men, sexual health issues such as erectile dysfunction are common due to fat deposits actually narrowing or blocking the arteries in the genital region. A condition known as Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease can lead to scarring or inflammation of the liver due to the excess fat deposits that build up within the liver
    Making Changes for the Better.
    As you can see, the above picture isn’t pretty and for some it is quite scary. Statistics prove that obese individuals have a shorter lifespan.
    It is extremely hard for our body to function successfully and maintain an optimum state of health when there are copious amounts of excess fat deposits hindering our natural processes.
    Fortunately, it is never too late to make changes for the better! Becoming educated on how your body works is the first step in making lasting changes.
    Making some important changes to your diet and exercise routine will help to get you on the right track. Simple things like drinking extra fresh, pure water every day will help your body to feel fuller and therefore, consume fewer calories.
    Your weight loss program is important for continued health and longevity!
Weight Loss and Health: Losing Weight And Keeping It Off For Life.

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