People think that willpower is the most important component of a good weight loss strategy. Everyone that is overweight wants to lose extra pounds but many think they just don’t have the willpower to stay on a diet. The reason why people think this way is because most diets are impractical and are difficult to participate in for long time periods.
The stricter and more impractical the diet is, the more willpower is required to follow it. Instead of thinking willpower, think for reasons to lose weight. Picture yourself thinner, more attractive, fitter, healthier, being able to accomplish physical tasks easier. Choose a weight loss program that promotes slow and gradual but effective and permanent weight loss. What you need is a change in behavior – a new lifestyle rather than temporary dieting.
Follow a weight loss program that consists of several stages. Start off by making small gradual changes in your diet and exercise levels. Don’t believe quick weight loss schemes that are too good to be true – they usually are. Don’t use unrealistic weight loss deadlines. Instead, choose a program that recommends an improved lifestyle with a weight loss goal of one to two pounds per week. By following these guidelines willpower becomes less important, and the pressure of quick weight loss is diminished.
Many scientists believe that your genes have predetermined your weight – and that your body and mind strive to maintain a certain set point (body weight). Does this mean you are doomed to be overweight? Not necessarily. There are steps you can take to successfully change this set point – without strict dieting or exercising at vigorous levels. This is why it’s important to choose a plan that involves slow and steady weight loss.
There are several ways you can accomplish this. You must become more active. Exercise raises the metabolic rate; even a half-hour brisk walk, especially after dinner will help increase your metabolism and make for a healthier heart. And you don’t have to deny yourself the foods you love most. Just concentrate on smaller and less frequent portions.
When you use strict dieting combined with willpower to lose weight, you are putting huge pressure on your body. You are working against your metabolism. Your system responds by sending hunger messages – to increase food intake in order to maintain your preset weight or set point. If you starve your body for longer periods your metabolism adjusts and slows down tremendously to conserve energy.
As a result, your body reaches a point where weight reduction comes to a stop. This is what frustrates dieters the most: the fact that they stop losing weight even though they are eating less.
Below are some tips to help change that set point:
- Your weight loss goal should be one to two pounds weekly.
- Don’t avoid foods you love just cut down the portions and the frequency.
- Don’t cut out an entire food group like carbohydrates.
- Partake in a well balanced diet including plenty of fruits, vegetables whole grains.
- Increase meals with fish and choose lean meats and skinless poultry.
- Don’t skip meals. Instead, have smaller frequent meals.
- Watch your calories. Calories still count. Unless you are extremely overweight, your total daily calories should equal ten times your weight in pounds.
- Get more active. Walk more often. Walk to the corner store instead of driving. Participate in regular exercise or sport.
By following these guidelines you will begin losing weight gradually until you reach a desirable target – without fighting with your body’s metabolism and disturbing its balance. Over time your body’s set point will adjust and you will enjoy permanent weight loss.