It`s natural for anyone trying to lose weight to want to lose it very quickly. But evidence shows that people who lose weight gradually and steadily (about 1 to 2 pounds per week) are more successful at keeping weight off. Healthy weight loss is not just about a `diet` or `program`. It is about an ongoing lifestyle that includes long-term changes in daily eating and exercise habits.
To lose weight, you must use up more calories than you take in. Since one pound equals 3,500 calories, you need to reduce your caloric intake by 500ï¿½1000 calories per day to lose about 1 to 2 pounds per week.
Once you have achieved a healthy weight, by relying on healthful eating and physical activity most days of the week (about 60ï¿½90 minutes, moderate intensity), you are more likely to be successful at keeping the weight off over the long term.
The good news is that no matter what your weight loss goal is, even a modest weight loss, such as 5 to 10 percent of your total body weight, is likely to produce health benefits, such as improvements in blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugars.
For example, if you weigh 200 pounds, a 5 percent weight loss equals 10 pounds, bringing your weight down to 190 pounds. While this weight may still be in the `overweight` or `obese` range, this modest weight loss can decrease your risk factors for chronic diseases related to obesity.
So even if the overall goal seems large, see it as a journey rather than just a final destination. You`ll learn new eating and physical activity habits that will help you live a healthier lifestyle. These habits may help you maintain your weight loss over time.
In addition to improving your health, maintaining a weight loss is likely to improve your life in other ways.
Your eating habits may be leading to weight gain; for example, eating too fast, always clearing your plate, eating when you not hungry and skipping meals (or maybe just breakfast).
Losing weight is the first step. Once you've lost weight, you'll want to learn how to keep it off.