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Prevent Obesity with the right Attitude

Some people will never reach an ideal or desirable weight, but everyone who's overweight can certainly lose some of those extra pounds and maintain a healthier weight with the right attitude. The only absolute rule for weight loss is to be realistic. Your attitude must be positive if you are to succeed, and you have to accept the fact that permanent weight loss is a slow process. The following guidelines may help:

  • Set short-term, achievable goals. If you need to lose 70 pounds, first set your goal at losing 5 or 10. Reaching a short-term goal may give you the motivation to keep going toward the larger, more distant goal.
  • Don't go on a crash diet. Instead, think long-term. Change your eating habits so that your meals and snacks are balanced with a variety of healthy foods. Balance high-fat foods with low-fat foods. Eat the foods you like to eat, but master portion control.
  • Increase your activity. Pick an exercise routine that suits your lifestyle so you'll stick with it. Take lessons to learn a new sport such as tennis, racquetball or golf. If you can't join a gym or you're not interested in sports, find everyday ways to exercise. Walk to and from work every day, or take a brisk walk during your lunch hour. Skip the elevator and walk up and down the stairs. Leave your car some distance from where you're headed so you have to walk part way.
  • Don't give up. After losing the first few pounds, you may reach a plateau where your weight will stay steady for weeks even though you're watching your calories and exercising regularly. Hang in there. Don't cut back further on calories or increase your activity. Once your body adjusts to the new fat and calorie levels you've introduced, you'll continue to lose weight.
  • Give yourself a break. Don't get obsessive about weight loss. If you blow it one night and overeat, just get back on the plan the following day. One binge won't destroy all your good work.
  • See your doctor if necessary. If you're 30 percent or more above normal weight and your weight poses a significant threat to your health, your doctor may recommend a medically supervised very-low-calorie diet. You'll likely use liquid diet "shakes" containing vitamins and minerals three to five times a day, and drink an additional 2 quarts of water and other calorie-free fluids. The length of time on the fast varies with the individual and depends on health status, desired weight loss and how well the person adapts to the diet. The latter part of the programs includes a return to real food, at which point patients have an opportunity to incorporate behavioral changes into their new eating patterns.
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