Tuesday, May 6, 2008

How to Set Your Weight Loss Plan

In a previous article I discussed how moderate exercise can help you lose 1 lb a week. In this article I will cover how to modify your diet to achieve a further 1 lb a week weight loss.

There are 3 basic steps you need to follow in order to succeed:

  1. Set Your Weight Loss Goal

To be effective your goals must be written down. If you don’t write them down; don’t proceed further and waste your time because you won’t succeed.

You must then have a detailed plan of how you will achieve your goal. Your plan needs to be time bound and measurable. A simple example might be: “I will lose 2 lb a week for the next 10 weeks by ... exercise plan ... diet plan. I will weigh myself on the bathroom scales first thing every Sunday morning to track my progress.”

A good starting point in your plan is to ascertain your ideal weight for your height. The difference between where you are now and your ideal weight becomes your weight loss goal. You can then divide your goal by the time over which you want to meet your target.

The last important goal setting factor for success is to review your goal at least daily and create a vivid mental image of your sexy slender self as you will be! Positive self-talk and affirmations have also proven to be powerful psychological tools in persuading your subconscious to believe your goal and act accordingly.

  1. You need to know what you are eating. You do this by keeping a diary or small notebook and recording everything you eat and drink for the day. This will be your starting point for improvement. You will later incorporate this process into step 1.
  1. You will replace high calorie fatty low nutrition food from the previous day with nutritious low calorie alternatives in a gradual but incremental process by reviewing the information from step 2. By using the 80/20 rule you will focus on the 20% of your food that generates 80% of your calories. Eg. Fast food, high fat, high sugar products.

To start with these foods should be pretty obvious to you so you shouldn’t need to get into counting calories unless you want to be more precise. There is plenty of data available online to find out the calories for each food.

You need to incorporate your plan into your food shopping. There’s no point buying food that’s going to hinder your success or not having healthy food readily available. So forget about the high fat products. Look for alternative low calorie substitutes. You can never go wrong with plenty of fruits and vegetables. Apply the same logic to your drink selections and exclude soda type sugar drinks.

Your plan is your guide but always be on the lookout for easy ways to boost your progress with healthy choices for meals. Remember that once you’ve made a change, it’s a permanent change. The idea is not to starve your body but to actually make incremental improvements to your nutrition.

By retraining your body with healthy nutritious food you will soon be experiencing the benefits of improved health, improved appearance and higher energy.

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