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Winning While Losing
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With nearly 60 percent of Americans overweight, the pursuit of weight loss has become a national way of life. All told, Americans spend $40 billion a year on weight loss regimens. Diet books have taken up permanent residence on the New York Times best-seller list.

Since there are so many authors with different gimmicks to lose weight, it becomes difficult to wade through them all and find out what really is the truth about weight loss. Set out below are fifteen recognized guidelines for safe and effective weight management. The more of the guidelines you follow, the more successful you will be in your goal of gaining and maintaining your ideal body weight.

1. Set a realistic goal to lose no more than 1 to 2 pounds a week, or 4 to 8 pounds a month.

2. Move it, to lose it. Regular daily exercise is essential for weight management. Cutting calories alone is insufficient as the body will adjust its metabolic rate from a lower caloric intake.

3. Cope with anxieties, frustrations and depression without turning to food.

4. Establish new eating habits. Make permanent lifestyle changes.

5. Think and talk positive about your efforts for weight management.

6. Avoid snacks and junk foods. Eat less fatty foods and sweets.

7. Enjoy low-fat, fiber-rich meals. Emphasize vegetables and fruits.

8. Eat smaller portion sizes and avoid second helpings.

9. Start the day with breakfast. Avoid long periods without food. Overeating often follows a long delay in eating.

10. Don’t avoid fat altogether. A little fat helps to satisfy hunger better.

11. For long-term success, eat a diet predominant in slow-digesting complex carbohydrates like pasta and rice, rather than choosing easily digested white bread and potatoes.

12. Get more out of life by living a balanced lifestyle, including having adequate rest and sleep every day. People who are short on sleep often eat more.

13. Don’t go it alone. Have a support group. They will help motivate you to achieve your goals.

14. Don’t forget to drink lots of water. Drinking water when you are hungry can diminish the appetite somewhat.

15. Monitor your weight closely. Have a game plan for taking off the small weight gains that try to derail you.

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By Winston J. Craig, R.D. Copyright © 2011 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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